Photo: Within the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Cambodia forum

First time backpacker to Cambodia

Posted by juulie on 13/5/2006 at 21:17

Hi, I'm newbie here and will backpack to Cambodia alone from 21st to 30th May which is this coming saturday. Just a few questions to ask even though I've went through most of the msgs posted here.

I realise some budget lodging does not have online booking such as redloge or two dragons. They have good comments and affordable. My concern is if I can't book online how am I going to get transport from from Siem Reap airport. Please advice, thx.

In addition, my itinerary mostly likely stays in Siem Reap and phom Penh, unless i can find some buddy traveller around some other places in a group.

thx

#1 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by exacto on 13/5/2006 at 21:38

hi juulie,

i can't speak for redloge, but two dragons definitely does online booking. i used the online booking link right from the website here to book my room with two dragons. they responded fairly quickly too, and even helped me arrange transport from poipet to sieem reap.

i'd try to book ahead for two dragons, since they are popular and do fill up. plus, they should be able to help you arrange transport from the airport. otherwise, you should just be able to grab a taxi from the airport into town, just like you would anywhere else.

have fun. cheers.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,650
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Posted by juulie on 14/5/2006 at 00:48

Thx exacto..

will try to email them.

#3 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/5/2006 at 18:50 admin

Agree with exacto -- Two Dragons is a good choice. If you must book ahead, Rosy, Earthwalkers and Jasmine are all good budget choices that accept online reservations.

#4 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by juulie on 14/5/2006 at 19:02

Thx somtam

By the way, i've just have my itinerary. please advice am i over ambitious or unrealistic on this plan. I couldn't find any traveller books of cambodia at our library. So frustrating. So i have to rely on travelfish.org. This is a good site. I've just recommended it to another friend. Keep it up ya.

Day 1 & 2 Arrival time 7:05 am. At Siem Reap International Airport.
Heading to Two Dragon Guesthouse & Restaurant
Visit stay around town or possible visit Angkor Wat,

Day 3 & 4 Heading to Phnom Penh. Planning to catch a bus down.
Estimated bus duration: 5 hours.
Lodging at café Freedom & lodge 2 nites

Day 5 & 6 Heading to Sihahankilill
Orcheuteal Beach
Plan to stay at cloud 9 room

Day 7 & 8 To Ko Russei. Plan to stay at Bar Ru Guesthouse or Mick &
Craig’s sanctuary

Day 9 Heading back to Phnom Penh & Siem Reap (WHAT
TRANSPORATION IS MOST ADVISABLE!)

Day 10 Catching flight at 7:50 a.m at Siem Reap International Airport

Apart from Two dragon which i've just send an email for room inquiry i haven't made other reservations on different location. Am i too late to get any reservation for the venue i listed above?

Some questions:
what if I couldn't make it to stay in any hostel i planned. Will i ended up sleeping along the road? Am scare cos i travel alone and its my 1st backpacking.

Thx a lot!

#5 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/5/2006 at 19:15 admin

Hi Juulie,

Glad you're finding the site helpful!

The only suggestion I'd make is maybe to shave a day off Sihanoukville -- perhaps overnight at Cloud 9, then head out to Ko Russei, or just stay at Cloud 9 and do a daytrip out to Ko Russei -- getting around in Cambodia is time-consuming and you don't want to be traveling every other day --more in less!!

If you leave Sihanoukville in the morning, you'll be in Phnom Penh early enough to get a bus (or share taxi) back to Siem Reap -- then you're there for one last night before the morning flight out -- you're only other option would be to fly back, which will cost more$$!

Cloud 9 don't take reservations, so for the other places I'd just show up - you'll always be able to find something!

#6 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by juulie on 14/5/2006 at 19:28

Hi somtam

Thx for yr quick reply. Let’s see if I understand what you mean cos’ I want to be certain.

I agree that I don’t want to spend most of my time travelling so.. I’ll change my schedule as this..

Day 5 to 8 Staying at Sihanoukville. heading straight to Orcheuteal Beach and lodging at Cloud 9. Any day can make a trip to Ko Russei.

Day 9 Head back to Siem Reap.

Any idea how long does it takes from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh then heading back to Siem Reap? What kind of transportation is most advisable?

thx

#7 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by somtam2000 on 14/5/2006 at 19:45 admin

Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh is about 3 hours by share taxi, over 4 by bus -- if you're in a hurry I'd go the share taxi. From there to Siem Reap by bus (4-5 hours) or bite the bullet and take a flight.

#8 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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Posted by juulie on 14/5/2006 at 19:47

i see. but how much is the flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. sigh i should have book my departure ticket at phnome penh .. :(

#9 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by exacto on 14/5/2006 at 23:40

juulie,

is your departure flight from siem reap on day 10 a bangkok airways flight back to bangkok? if it is, bangkok airways also offers about three flights a day from phnom penh back to bangkok. if you really are flying back to bangkok on bangkok airways, it might still be possible to change your flight to phnom penh.

i saw today that bangkok airways is offering a webfare special from phnom penh to bangkok for only US $95 ($125 including taxes and fuel charge) from 2 May to 15 July. it sounds like it is least worth checking, to see if you can switch your flight and save yourself that bus right back to siem reap. good luck.

#10 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,650
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Posted by juulie on 15/5/2006 at 07:54

Hi Exacto,

I'm using JetStar Asia airways saver flight back to Singapore. I've checked the website and I can't change the flight back.

Thanks a lot.

Got reply from two dragon. :) But no reply from Café Freedom and Lodge. Maybe I've got to check with other hotel soon.

My itinerary has changed a bit. Will stay in Phnom penh for 3 nites then head to Serendipity Beach of Sihanoukville for another 3 nites. Then back to Phnom Penh and siem reap.

Any idea how much does it cost to take a bus from Siem reap to Phnom Penh then to Sihanoukville. Hopefully i can meet up with other traveller and share the cost..

Will definitely let you know how's my trip once i'm back!

I'm very excited and yet nervous haha..

#11 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by juulie on 31/5/2006 at 23:28

Hi all,

Just came back from the trip yesterday.

Wonderful trip at Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Serendipity Beach.

Siem Reap not exactly the good place for shopping bargain. Phnom Penh's Russia Market, Psar Toul Tom Poung has a good buy.

Some info to other backpackers. Take Capital Tour if you are on budget as it cost only US$4 while Mekong express cost US$9. The differences are no toilet, not food or drink with one stop during 6 hours drive. But Capital Tour stop every 2 hours, not so bad.

Serendipity Beach was beautiful. Stayed at Diamond guesthouse just 10m down to the beach w/o air-con for doube bed at US$7. However, i discovered The Nap Hse with air-con just cost US$11. Worth a try.
Overall, Diamond guesthouse have friendly staffs and good service run by family. Recommended food would be same same but not different, coaster guesthouse (due treated by unfriendly staff), and Eden, all just right in front of the serendipity beach.

Worth to vist the beach again in the future.

Thanks alot to all contributions at this website! Keep it up!

#12 juulie has been a member since 13/5/2006. Posts: 7

Posted by somtam2000 on 1/6/2006 at 06:18 admin

Hi Juulie,

Thanks for the report back -- much appreciated!

#13 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,565
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