Arrived Phnom Penh by bus from Vietnam. A Tuk Tuk took us to the Comfort House hotel . The hotel is quiet, large room, air con, TV, fridge and a bathroom large enough to hold a party in. We got a room on the ground floor as there is no elevator. It is a bit far from town but we agreed to stay two days and appraise the situation after that.
We found that although the Comfort House Hotel (more a guest house) was great the distance to central Phonm Penh return cost about $8-10 each time. As we were used to going out sometimes three times a day this was going to be expensive. Also given there are only Tuk Tuks and they don’t have phones keeping the same guy by appointment was not a good option. One evening we stayed local and walked to a Chinese restaurant somewhere around the corner. Having eaten in the nosiest restaurant you could imagine, not the customers.. The twelve female staff who yelled and screamed at each other so loud Mrs. Wombat was drowned out less than a meter away. Add to that the Chinese TV show blaring out in which all the girls were totally engrossed and could not take their eyes off it was probably amusing. Leaving the restaurant in the dark and raining we realised we had failed to bring a map or hotel card. So off we wandered (As Wombat’s do) to find our way “home”…… Hmmmm left or right? No straight ahead then left… or was it right? Well we wandered around back and forth. Asked Tuk Tuk drivers “Do you know the Comfort House hotel?” no body did. Asked in other hotels.. no luck (They did not speak English.. Chinese hotels). Did they have a map.. NO… So we walked around the streets for one hour until like a Lighthouse beacon there before us was a sign from the heavens.. “Comfort House Hotel!!!”
It is amazing that local drivers and hotel staff know NOTHING about their local area. One Tuk Tuk driver tried to take us “Near Central Market” which even we knew was wrong.
Anyway the next morning we got Pang to drive us around town, found a hotel central to everything The Queen Wood Hotel No. 75 Street 136 , negotiated a rate of $32.00 including breakfast and the next day we moved in. Even has a swimming pool on the roof. The room is not as spacious as previous but we are certainly slap bang in the middle of everything. Walk out of the front door and you are full on in Phnom Penh, restaurants, bars, markets, street stalls etc.
Wombats comments on Phnom Penh.
1 = bad 10 =good
Based on a stay at Queen Wood Hotel
Accommodation where we stayed: 3 out of 10
Ease of using local transport: There is none (Tuk Tuk only)
Atmosphere of Phnom Penh: 6 out of 10
General cleanliness: 5 out of 10
Locals friendliness: 9 out of 10
Ability to be understood by locals: 7 out of 10 (Moderate)
Foods varieties: 8 out of 10
Restaurants and eateries: 8 out of 10
Comments: Our hotel looked good in the foyer but neglected upstairs and has a Disco on one side which prohibits sleep before 2am. Food hygiene leaves a lot to be desired with food at breakfast in bain maries not heated. Definitely a health hazard. A busy tourist town let down by the number of “older” seedy looking Farang men with local girls on their arms or looking for them around the hostess bars in Pub Street. No local transport so the only way to tour is by Hiring a Tuk Tuk by the hour or renting a motor bike. Walking done on the actual roads as footpaths are covered in bikes. Food is plentiful and varied with hundreds of restaurants all over town and especially around Pub Street. The riverfront area had many restaurants and the night market is a good place to eat.
The people are wonderful even though the country is very poor and has undergone some terrible times.
Overall: We enjoyed it and would like to return.