Photo: Within the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Cambodia forum

Phnom Penh - hostels and attractions

Posted by csawala on 25/7/2011 at 23:00

I am going to Phnom Penh with 2 friends on August 23rd, for maybe 2 nights, before heading off towards Sihanoukville for some scuba diving.

I was looking at hostels on hostelworld and noticed that even the best rated places had a significant amount of mixed reviews.
Was wondering if anyone could give a recommendation or their own experiences.
Looking for cheaper options, but it doesn't have to be $1/night, and preferably close enough to attractions to make the most of our time. Also somewhat easily accessible considering we'll be taking a bus into PP and another bus out to Sih.

Also, what would be some stuff worth seeing over the course of 2-3days there?

#1 csawala has been a member since 21/4/2011. Posts: 13

Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 29/7/2011 at 11:04 TF writer

It really depends what you're interested in. If it's shopping, then the Russian Market is very popular, Central Market has interesting architecture, and O'Russey Market is a great glimpse into a 'real' market not at all aimed at tourists. St 178 has plenty of art shops and St 240 is a more upmarket shopping experience.

For sightseeing, there's the Palace and Wat Phnom and a ride around the city in a tuk tuk or a cyclo can be an excellent way to get a feel for the place, checking out the colonial buildings, the street stalls and the everyday life.

If you're interested in history, then there is, of course, S21 museum and the Killing Fields. It's difficult to make a recommendation for these, because it's a personal choice. It won't be an easy or unemotional day if you do visit.

Some of my favourite things to do in PP include sitting outside a Khmer coffee shop sipping iced coffee and watching the world go by; strolling along the riverside in the early evening, watching the exercise classes and dance routines; and hiring a boat (just up the river past Titanic restaurant) and having a mini cruise for $20 an hour.

Have fun!

#2 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 178
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Posted by eastwest on 29/7/2011 at 11:54

Agree with Abigail. She only forgot to mention the national museum which is beautiful itself and has a great small classy collection. Even worth it for people who in general are not avid museum visitors.

In 2-3 days you can probably see and do all (or almost) of the above.

As for the location of guesthouse: bus should be no problem. On the way out most companies have a pick-up service.
There is no area that is within walking distance of all the above attractions. Best to pick area according to your interests. Transport costs to attractions within PP are reasonable so that shouldn't be a major obstacle
The riverfront is most popular area, a bit more pricy and has best access to restaurants, bars and nightlife. Bit touristy though.
Good other area is Boeung Keng Kang where most expats live. Area has a nice mix of restaurants and not such a touristy feel. Plenty of cheap hostels as well.

#3 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
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Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 29/7/2011 at 16:29 TF writer

There's quite a lively scene on 'Golden Street' St 278, near the Independence Monument, with some reasonably priced places to stay. And there's a small strip of guesthouses on St 258 (I think!) with 3 Rivers, Happy and Lazy Gekko guesthouses, not far from one end of the riverside. Or you could check out Eighty8, which is a new backpackers with a swimming pool, near Wat Phnom!

If you go just two or three streets back from the river, you'll find slightly cheaper prices and a range of guesthouses and cheap hotels.

Apologies for missing the Museum - it's a treat!

#4 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 178
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