…entre nous soit dit…

between me you and the gatepost.

Cambodia Details (Part Three)

 (Click map for larger copy and more detail)

(NOTE: all prices included are in terms of US dollars which are useable in Cambodia – or you can use the local currency equivalent)

.

SIEM REAP

Where to Stay

I stayed at the Claremont hotel which was a bit more than the average traveller would be looking to pay (thanks mum) so I haven’t got any good ideas for where to stay because I didn’t really check out anywhere else.

If you  pick up the little local tourist books that they have stocked everywhere in the cafes and restaraunts of Phnom Penh, and every other tourist town in Cambodia. Failing that, use Lonely Planet, although it’s updated and rechecked less frequently than the local free magazines.

People to Contact

  • Chong Ang – (tuk tuk) – 017 948 933
    Second best tuk tuk driver I had the entire time I was in Cambodia. He was so kind and considerate and willing to do whatever we wanted, no matter the time. He took us to Angkor Wat and all the temples and waited for us. Extremely gracious and talkative.

Things to do

  • Angkor Wat complex – when people think of Angkor Wat they think of the one place, but it’s actually a huge complex with many different temple sites – some about half an hours drive from Angkor Wat itself. I’ll do a separate post for the different temples and where to go.
    Personally I would recommend, if you have the time, getting a 3 day pass (US $40) so that way you can go back as you please to see the temples. If you try to do it in one day then every temple is just going to seem the same as the one before and they’ll all blur together. A one day pass is around $20 so it’s worth it.
    I would also recommend hiring a tuk tuk driver for the day (especially if you’re not going to do it for 3 days) purely because you can relax and you get around a lot quicker seeing as there’s long trips between the majority of the temples – call Chong Ang (see above). $12 is usually a good going rate for day at the main temples (ie sunrise to 2pm or 9.30/10 till 4 or 5ish. Or for further out to Bantaey Srei and Bantaey Samre plus the river (it’s a full day). We paid Chong Ang $16 each day though because he was so helpful.
     
  • Night Markets – there are signs up everywhere guiding you, or grab a local map – these are brilliant for bargaining at (these people are desperate to sell, so they will really bargain. I bought “$30” earings for $6), but they’re just your typical touristy markets. Beware that you’ll probably need to wear long pants if you want to avoid the midgy bug things that jump up and bite your leg. They open at around 6ish and close at 11
     
  • The Old Markets – More touristy things to buy as well as food products and fruit etc. If your looking for a photocopy lonely planet rip off, you can find. These open at 10 or 11am i think and close around 5 or 6ish each day
     
  • Walk around the town and go to the Blue Pumpkin – it has the best ice-cream and pastries out! or a tuk tuk across/around town should be either $1 or $1.50 maximum
     
  • Pub Street is where most people go for food and drink  (Although can be pricey)- usually quiet at lunch time because people are all at the temples, but it gets incredibly busy at night time. Beware of the temple bar (near the end of the street towards the blue pumpkin) as it is filled with prostitutes and if your a male, you will be preyed on – even if your with a girl.

.

RIVER BOAT RIDE SIEM REAP TO BATTAMBANG

This trip can be tedious and long. It can take anywhere between 4 and 10 hours. And yes I mean that. It took us 8 and a half hours, it took my sister almost 10. Don’t get me wrong, it is a pretty trip and it was amazing to see all the small villages that settle on banks, or float in the middle of the widest parts of the river, but it is very long… and the motor is noisy and your all crammed into pairs on small wooden seats. So it does get hard. It’s pretty but not necessarily a must do.

.

BATTAMBANG

Battambang is supposedly the second or third largest city in Cambodia, however it isn’t a tourist town. So don’t expect much. Most people only visit here as a pit stop after the river trip from Siem Reap… and to see the bamboo train.

Places to Stay

  • Seng Hout Hotel – #1008, Road II, North of Phar Nat Market 50m
    http://www.senghouthotel.comchhounseng@yahoo.com – +(855) 53 952 900 OR 012 530 327 OR 092 530 293 OR 012 933 120
    $13 per night for a room with two beds, air con, fridge, tv, wifi and free internet downstairs, bathroom
    I fully and utterly endorse this hotel – It’s new and so nice/luxury considering the ridiculously cheap price for what it is.

People to Contact

  •  David – Tuktuk driver – 092 926 381 – davidsin30@yahoo.com.au
    $15 to take us around for the whole day (we chose some places and he filled in the rest.
    Probably THE nicest tuktuk driver we had – brilliant sense of humour considering his english is sometimes broken. otherwise excellent english (although his emails can be funny).
     
  • BEWARE: the tuk tuk drivers are extremely pushy seeing as there is little work in the town and it’s very competitive. We had a very bad experience with that so I’m warning you now that in particular there are a couple of drivers affiliated with the Seng Hout Hotel that are aggressive and not to be used – unless it is David.

Things to do

  • Chhaya hotel rents motos $5 per day, push bikes $1.50 per day
     
  • I can’t remember what the actual things that we saw were called so get yourself a guidebook and the tuktuk drivers are all too happy to tell you places to visit as well.
     
  • The bamboo train – this isn’t actually a train as much as a rickety old track which would be lucky to have even 5 metres of track that is actually straight. The government is about to close it down this year so hey can try rebuild and restart the trainlines throughout Cambodia (they were all shut down ages ago). It’ll cost $10 for the ride regardless of how many people are on there – 2, 3, 4 or 5. So find a friend and make it cheaper.
     
  • EATING: The Black Rose is the best place you’ll probably eat in Cambodia. The meals are ridiculously cheap and yet awesomely good quality – lonely planet wasn’t wrong for once. Just be prepared for sometimes having to wait 5 or so minutes during peak times because it gets mighty busy. But it’s worth it.
    To get to it, turn right out of Seng Hout and walk through the path straight through the gates and middle of the markets (or around the edge of the market if the gates are closed) and keep heading straight up the street. About 3 or 4 streets up, the black rose is on the corner on your left.
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May 8, 2010 - Posted by | Cambodia/Vietnam Trip, just a quick note, lists, Notes, observation, Travel

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