My first trip to Cambodia I had no guide and so hitch-hiking around the country I stayed with Cham people on the coast in their homes and never ever saw another tourist. This time I had a Travel Guide and ended up in Sihanoukville where I counted no less then 20 beach verndors per hour trying to sell me various items. It was not until I decided to go to Svey Rieng which Lonely Travel pans, that I got a fresh breath of Cambodia. Not that this place is heaven, but it is not so touristed as seems the rest of Cambodia or at least the Lonely Planet Cambodia.
We packed up and went to the Olympic Market in Phenom Phen and sure enough, the vans to Svay Rieng were there. I’m sure we got screwed on the price as there was a lot of haggling and one of the drivers wouldn’t let the other vans take us and so there was a bit of collusion. I bargained from $5 to $3.50 each. Yesterday they quoted us $3.25. We took the front 2 seats and so had a nice 3 hour ride which included a ferry crossing.
All the low end lodging houses were together so it was easy to compapre. I returned for Richel and rented a horse and cart to take us and our bags the 1 KM. We took a room for $3. Has bath and 2 beds and 2 windows and door out to the balcony. I like this town. Nice and quiet.
There is a riverbed and the town had the good sense to make a walkway along the riverbank and wall in the river. I had a coconut at the only stand open during the day there for 1500R. I ate it under a flowering shade tree and sat and looked at the river. Very peaceful and very little traffic in this town. I walked to the end of the road and met a young American working in the Peace Corps. She told me about the internet here and that at night one can eat at the river at one of 3 or 4 places that open up there. Too bad Lonely Planet pans this place. What a great stop and only 40 KM from the border. There is a decent book store, a couple of internet cafés that I saw and lots of nice people who are probably less likely to rip off a tourist then at the places visited by people who have Lonely Planet guide books. I came back to the room after my coconut to my $3 room with bath and took a nap. When we got up we walked down the street where I had 5 spring rolls in someone’s front yard for 1200Riel. Then we walked to the market where we bought some mango, Chinese apple and baguette. We walked to the river before returning to our room where we both had rice soup with chicken and tea for 3000Riel each. Nice to eat at the river and now as it approaches bedtime we are safely in our room eating one of the best mangos I ever tasted.
#1 allen_moretsky has been a member since 14/2/2008. Posts: 13
Usually if lonely planet says a place is worth visiting, and has little tourists -- you will find the exact oposite when you get there.. its places like that all tourists want to go to...
also remember that the time from the guide books are written, until it is for sale in the stores are quite long.. and a lot of the information will be outdated, and in many cases wrong - and someone might not have the newest edition..
Especially in Siem reap things are happening so fast, new places open day by day, places changes owners and some places closes down.
New entrance fees are introduced, and prices are going up.
Make sure you check with the locals that the information you are loocking at is correct.
Check with your hotel/guesthouse for the most updated information...
#2 kristinholdo has been a member since 30/11/2007. Posts: 11