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Phnom Penh - Floating Island Guesthouse sucks sucks sucks

View Around the world ın 8 months on chrisvasil's travel map.

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is a big city with some charm but not too much to do. We spent 2 short sejourns in the city, as I had to get my China visa. We were meaning to do 2 days then 2 days, but cut the first stay short short because of a bad experience with the guest house we stayed at. That ended up being for the best, as it allowed it an extra day in Siam Reap (I needed to be back Friday to pick up the passport from the consulate, otherwise we'd have stayed at the fancy hotel even more than 3 days).

Basically it was an ok budget place, but the staff was extremely rude. When we were looking at the place we were told there was wireless internet and hot showers. There was no internet (he told us that night that it's available until 8pm, and the next morning he said it's at a place down the street), and I took a cold shower - Sue only got hot water after asking reception to turn it on. Later on I asked how to get to the China embassy. The guy that runs the place said it's about 5km away. I asked how much transport should cost. He said another guy working there can take me there for $5. I asked if it's available for cheaper, he said no. I then consulted my guide book, as of 2006 it was 50 cents. I asked him about that, he got mad and screamed "you walk then!". One of the guests, a Frenchman, joined in and said there's no way I'll pay less than $5. We left, and after a bit of negociation we paid $1 to someone outside. When we came back, we filled our water bottle at the water cooler, and the same guy says something like "What? You can't afford to buy water??". So we check out after 1 night instead of 2, and go to Siam Reap. Part of the reason this was so upsetting was that people running guest houses are generally extremely friendly (this is our first negative experience in 6 months of budget travel), and this place was recommended by our travel guide. Also this place cost $3.50/night, so the amount he wanted to overcharge on taxi was more than one night's stay.

Anyway, the bus from Laos broke down a couple times (blew a tire), allowing us get out and see the landscape a bit better. The bus was pretty good, a karaoke bus with 20 white people and 2 Lao people. A quarter of the time they were showing a Michael Jackson DVD, and the rest of the time one of the Laos guys was singing along to Lao music.

Posted by chrisvasil 07:21 Archived in Cambodia Tagged lodging

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