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Sihanoukville bus station

  • dannyengland

    Joined Travelfish
    10th September, 2006
    Posts: 4

    The experience of being hasseled by moto drivers has just got worse now you are attacked by Farangs prompoting thier guest houses. Mick and Craigs, Cool Banana The Curry House and Monkey Republic. The lady from Monkey Republic was so pushy and agressive that it was scarry. It is my believe that all flyes should be distributed at the bus station by Cambodian Nationals or banned altogether. We noticed a few Cambodians handing out flyers who were polite and seemed intimidated by the Farangs. The gent from sakal was one such person and that was where we eventualy stayed.
    Please for the sake of a beautiful town clean up the act. First impressions are lasting ones
    danny

    #1 Posted: 11/9/2006 - 08:23

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  • lindabbb

    Joined Travelfish
    11th September, 2006
    Posts: 1

    I traveled with Danny and was as discusted as he was. It appears a war for customers has developed and that Cool Banana and Monkey Republic are chasing the same cliental. This has resulted in a discount in rates $3 per night at both venues but has resulted in agressive tactics at the bus station. With all the new bungalows being built in Sihanoukville I can only see this situation getting worse. As Danny said the lady from Monkey Republic was way over the top
    Linda

    #2 Posted: 11/9/2006 - 10:13

  • dannyengland

    Joined Travelfish
    10th September, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Can I suggest thet all travellers who find the Sihanoukville bus station situation to be untolerable email bayon magazine and have them publicise this matter

    #3 Posted: 11/9/2006 - 10:23

  • suecanada

    Joined Travelfish
    11th August, 2006
    Posts: 5
    Total reviews: 2

    Now that I look back on the bus arrival it was a little off putting. I have never recieved so much paper at one time. Almost enough to print a book. Still I supose that these people must make a living. I do feel though that it is better to be met by someone who speaks English

    #4 Posted: 12/9/2006 - 09:34

  • suecanada

    Joined Travelfish
    11th August, 2006
    Posts: 5
    Total reviews: 2

    Now that I look back on the bus arrival it was a little off putting. I have never recieved so much paper at one time. Almost enough to print a book. Still I supose that these people must make a living. I do feel though that it is better to be met by someone who speaks English

    #5 Posted: 12/9/2006 - 09:42

  • coolbananac-
    ambodia

    Joined Travelfish
    12th September, 2006
    Posts: 1

    I'm the owner of Cool Banana and I'm sorry if I have ever offended anybody it certainly was never my intention. The owners of all the bungalows concerned are trying to make a living and if you dont meet the buses with your flyers you dont get any customers. We all try and help the tourists and give an honest answer when asked a question about anything people want to know.

    #6 Posted: 12/9/2006 - 22:29

  • MonkeyRepub-
    lic

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd September, 2006
    Posts: 2

    I am the owner of Monkey Republic Guesthouse in Sihanoukville and i am sorry if any of my staff we pushy or aggressive. The girl that is mentioned in the above comment is no longer working for us. I have been going to meet the buses now for more than 3 years and it is my policy as well as that of Monkey Republic to stand back and allow tourist to get their luggage before we ask if we can give them a flyer.
    It is sadly a basic economic fact that without the right to flyer at the bus station the big Cambodian guesthouses who pay the hight commisions such as GST, Makara and Sakal Bungalows would rely on the moto drivers to badger most customers into staying there.
    They initiated a price war recently forcing smaler businesses like ours to either match them or go out of business.
    First thing tommorrow i will talk to all of my staff to ensure that they conduct our business in a manner that i am happy with.

    #7 Posted: 22/9/2006 - 19:48

  • dannyengland

    Joined Travelfish
    10th September, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Congratulations to Monkey Republic and Cool Banana. They not only read web sites that are relivant to them but have the guts to answer and try and rectify problems. I'm sorry if I was harsh in my comments but it is good to see that something is being done. It is always better if people fix thier own problems and are not forced to by others. Well done and I hope to see an improvement at my next visit in December

    #8 Posted: 24/9/2006 - 09:01

  • dannyengland

    Joined Travelfish
    10th September, 2006
    Posts: 4

    Could someone please explain comments from Monkey Republic re commission. I pay the moto driver why do guest houses pay as well. This doesnt seem right

    #9 Posted: 24/9/2006 - 09:05

  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7061
    Total reviews: 24
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    At least 113

    Hi Danny,

    Re commissions, some guesthouses (eg GST mentioned by MonkeyRepublic is notorious for it) pay the moto a commission on top of what you pay them as an incentive for the moto to take you to their guesthouse.

    In some cases the commission may be just a buck or so, but in others it can be substantial -- in the past (and I'm not sure if this is still the case), GST paid the moto a percentage commission on eveything the guest spent for the duration of their stay -- including food, drink and tours -- this made it a very lucrative deal for motos who could convince guests to stay there.

    The commission system isn't unique to sanookyville - you'll see it across all the countries we cover on Travelfish -- best just to ignore it and just go where you want to go, not where your moto/taxi driver wants to take you.

    #10 Posted: 24/9/2006 - 09:22

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  • sinclair

    Joined Travelfish
    7th August, 2008
    Posts: 1

    I too wa harrassed by the Cool Banana staff and it was very bad, I even saw a Dutch girl being pushed over by them, people should stay clear of these touts!

    I even made the mistake of staying at the Cool Banana, a very unpleasent experience indeed, very basic and no customer service at all.
    I had a very bad nights sleep there and left the next day, when I spoke to the staff about the broken bed they just said up to me if I move out.

    #11 Posted: 7/8/2008 - 18:26

  • rbakels

    Joined Travelfish
    17th November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    To the owner of CoolBanana: after a stay of some days I left your place yesterday (now I am in Battambang). I can say from personal experience that I did not choose your place because of sales practices the above people complain about. I came by tuktuk to the Serendipity area, and I found your place simply better, more laid back, not a noisy cafe with some beds like Monkey Island, but some beds with a (quiet) bar as well.
    Cool Banana and Monkey Island offer different "products", they cater each for a clientele with its own preferences.

    If your representative would have addressed me at the bus stattion that might actually have been a reason not to select your place. Coming directly from Vietnam I was (and am) completely fed up by sales practices by (literally!) agressive touts.
    P.S. Why can't you be reached by e-mail?????? Other people complaints about that as well on the internet. PLEASE Publish your address here, or inform be directly via TravelFish. Thanks!

    #12 Posted: 21/1/2011 - 11:17

  • rbakels

    Joined Travelfish
    17th November, 2010
    Posts: 16

    ONE THE BUS STATION ITSELF: my 2009 "Mekong" Lonely Planet shows the bus station in the center of the town, saying that you might avoid the taxi/tuktuk "cartel" by walking into the city center.

    Actually nowadays the bus station is much farther away from the center (eventually I found a comment in the LP text saying that it "might" move there some day).

    In sum, you can't avoid this taxi driver mafia anymore. Unless you are prepared to make a long walk. Like I did, because I believed the LP map. How stupid.

    #13 Posted: 21/1/2011 - 11:23

  • saintaaron83

    Joined Travelfish
    20th July, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Hi all... I live and work in Sihanoukville and can confirm that the bus station has in fact moved to just up from the port near to Victory hill (6km away from Serendipity beach area). I also flyer the buses from time to time too... I see people completely ignore any advice from real people in favour of their guide books and storm off out of the bus station. Unfortunately the attempts to make the bus station into a better environment for all have meant that the tuk tuk's and moto's who pay their fee to be able to be inside the station actually control the prices and so..... Rip people off a bit.

    The fact is there are a few outside the station but again they will probably be unwilling to undercut the guys inside - if you walk left out of the station back towards the port there is a petrol station (you'll see it as you arrive on the bus) and that's where moto drivers sit - you'll get a proper price there....

    BUT...

    Here's the thing the guys inside the station have all paid to be there, can speak English and know where the guesthouses are - That comes at a premium! If people arriving ask me about real moto prices then I can't say anything and nor would I - These guys have gone to a lot of effort and trouble to be there and speak the language of tourists... Like I said if people walk down to the petrol station, can talk to the moto drivers then there's a better deal to be had... It's not about mafia really it's just about making a living. You'll get a local price when you can at least ask for it in the local language!

    My final bit of advice is - moto's don't agree prices beforehand.... Not for locals. You get on, tell them where your going and pay the right price at the end, locals pay no more than about 2000riel to go anywhere in town - a westener will probably pay somewhere near double but they won't understand Monkey Republic or G.S.T you need to know the street name or beach name (in Khmer).

    I know it can be a bit overwhelming at the bus station and I'm sure a hand full of flyers don't exactly help but those guys are there 1. to make a living 2. to help.... People ask my advice all the time and I'm honest, give the advice I've just written here and leave them to it... That's it. I meet people who look at me like dirt, are rude and aggressive but end up going where I was trying to help them get to anyway...

    #14 Posted: 23/1/2011 - 14:47

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