The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has organised 345 free buses that will run over the course of the Khmer New Year holiday, to reduce travel costs for people who intend to visit their hometowns during the period.

In an April 3 announcement, Phnom Penh governor Khuong Sreng said that 70 of the buses would service the capital during the holiday period, while 275 would travel to and from the provinces. The services to the provinces will depart at 5:30am on April 13, the eve of the festival, and will return on April 17, the day after it.

Buses will depart from multiple locations across the capital.

Prey Veng buses will depart from Veal Sbov station on National Road 1, as will the Kandal-Svay Rieng buses.

The Kandal-Takeo route is said to leave from a church along Veng Sreng Boulevard – most likely the Mormon church.

Four routes – Kep, Kampot, Kampong Speu and Preah Siahnouk – begin at the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) branch on street 2004.

Kampong Chhnang, Pursat, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey buses will depart from Russey Keo Park on National Road 5.

The Tep Mermaid roundabout on National Road 6 in Chroy Changvar district will see buses heading for Kampong Thom and Siem Reap.

Kampong Cham, Tbong Khmum, Kratie and Stung Treng buses will depart from the Royal Railway Station in Daun Penh district.

The administration traditionally provides free buses ahead of the Kingdom’s two largest holidays, Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben, although it was unable to do so in 2020 and 2021 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ngeth Chou, a financial consultant, expressed his support for the authorities’ efforts to reduce people’s travel costs.

“It is very helpful to the majority of the people, and makes the holiday more affordable,” he said.

Chou added that without such support, transportation costs would be higher than usual.

On March 6, Prime Minister Hun Sen instructed the municipal administration to prepare buses to carry the residents of the capital to their home provinces for the occasion of Khmer New Year.