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Cambodia forum

Battambang - Siem Riep - Short Visit.

Posted by anotherlostsoul on 16/2/2010 at 17:21

I visited Cambodia back in 1996 and think it's about time to pop back and see how things have changed. I have a week available at the end of February and plan to visit Battambang (I couldn't get here in '96), and Siem Riep. Any help with the following would be appreciated!

*Recommendations for budget guesthouses. Would it be possible to get a room (fan and bathroom) with free and reliable wi-fi ... for $10? Or am I wishing? Wi-fi is essential as i'll be working throughout the trip.

*Must-Sees in Battambang? I may only have a day or two here.

*Recommendations for sightseeing at Angkor? I visited the 'top' locations in '96 (Angkor Wat, Bayon etc). I was not able to travel to more far-flung locations back then (due to mines, etc) so tips on places inaccessable back then would be great.

*Finally, I will travel to and from Cambodia via Aranya Prathet. Recommendations on how to travel: Bangkok / Border - Battambang; Battambang - Siem Riep and back to the border / Bangkok.

Any other tips gratefully accepted! Many thanks in advance for any help and suggestions.

#1 anotherlostsoul has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 34
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Posted by Wozzer on 17/2/2010 at 18:57

Well, I think things may have changed a bit since 1996! All for the better - well, mostly.

Anyway - Not sure of the exact price per night, but the Bus Stop Guest House won't be far off 10 bucks a night. It's run by a very knowledgeable Aussie - Brett. The GH has good fast internet.

In terms of things to do... Depends what you like! There's a nice ride north along the river to Wat Ek Phnom. Some great stops along the way to see small family industry: Making rice paper, a rice mill, blacksmiths, etc etc. I did the ride on a tuk-tuk with a guy called Mr Thean (012 336 160)last week. He seems to know everyone in the villages around there.
Also catch a ride on the Bamboo Train (or at least have a look at it). Can be a bit pricey at around $10 though.
There's loads of info on these boards about Angkor and a long thread with tips on how to travel by land from Bangkok to SR and much the same to BB.
Bus runs every morning BB to SR. Any GH will book a ticket for you.

Let me know if you need anything else more specific - like where to stay in SR or whatever.

#2 Wozzer has been a member since 23/1/2010. Posts: 24
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Posted by dano_b on 18/2/2010 at 09:32

Guest houses for 10$ or less is a definite possibility in Siem Reap. We stayed at Wat's Up guesthouse, which was a decent place with private bath, hot water, fan, cable tv and wifi for 6USD per night. There were many other newer (and cleaner according to our tuktuk driver, but all full when we arrived) guesthouses in the same area as Wat's Up. I think one was called Lodge 10 or something like that.

In Battambang, I would recommend the bamboo train. It was a fun, great ride down the rickety tracks and back! We went for a ride around 4:30 and on the way back, the driver stopped on a bridge so we could get a picture of the beautiful sunset! It was great! The entire ride lasted for well over an hour.

#3 dano_b has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 24
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Posted by anotherlostsoul on 19/2/2010 at 14:53

Many thanks for the advice above. I have seen the Bus Stop advertised elsewhere and it looks like just the place. Do you have a guesthouse rec for SR Wozzer? Can you compete with dano_b's suggestion there?

For looking around Battambang , I think you guys are right; just find a knowledgeable Moto guy and head off for the day - see what I find!

Does anyone know if the Battambang - SR boat is running? I'll always take a boat over a bus if the option's there.

Any suggestions on the journey to Battambang from Poipet .... and on sightseeing away from the 'main event' around Angkor?

I pick up my visa in 40 minutes! ;)

#4 anotherlostsoul has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 34
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Posted by bensiemreap on 19/2/2010 at 16:32

Hi Anotherlotsoul,

For the guesthouse to stay in siem reap city, I would recommended to stay or check out at Lisa Cafe & Guesthouse OR (Continental Cafe)(#004, Sivutha BLVD, on the corner of Pokombor Street,or call (+855 12 44 23 22 for free pick up). The room is good, very clean, friendly staffs, free wifi, good location 200m away from the old market.

For the boat running from Battambang to Siem Reap also still running everyday BUT the thing is it take too long to get into siem reap up to 8hours due to the water level too low and sometime the boat stuck in the middle as well. But it would be a good chance to try if your time is limited. And also the boat ticket is expensive as well.

I am a local people in here (Siem Reap) also would like to meet up and exchange travel experience talk during drink or meal time and I also love meeting new people from all over the world as well. Please feel free to contact me any time if you need my help during your stay in siem reap.

Happy Travel
BEN

#5 bensiemreap has been a member since 19/2/2010. Posts: 13
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Posted by bensiemreap on 19/2/2010 at 16:33

Hi Anotherlotsoul,

For the guesthouse to stay in siem reap city, I would recommended to stay or check out at Lisa Cafe & Guesthouse OR (Continental Cafe)(#004, Sivutha BLVD, on the corner of Pokombor Street,or call (+855 12 44 23 22 for free pick up). The room is good, very clean, friendly staffs, free wifi, good location 200m away from the old market.

For the boat running from Battambang to Siem Reap also still running everyday BUT the thing is it take too long to get into siem reap up to 8hours due to the water level too low and sometime the boat stuck in the middle as well. But it would be a good chance to try if your time is limited. And also the boat ticket is expensive as well.

I am a local people in here (Siem Reap) also would like to meet up and exchange travel experience talk during drink or meal time and I also love meeting new people from all over the world as well. Please feel free to contact me any time if you need my help during your stay in siem reap.

Happy Travel
BEN

#6 bensiemreap has been a member since 19/2/2010. Posts: 13
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Posted by bensiemreap on 19/2/2010 at 16:33

Hi Anotherlotsoul,

For the guesthouse to stay in siem reap city, I would recommended to stay or check out at Lisa Cafe & Guesthouse OR (Continental Cafe)(#004, Sivutha BLVD, on the corner of Pokombor Street,or call (+855 12 44 23 22 for free pick up). The room is good, very clean, friendly staffs, free wifi, good location 200m away from the old market.

For the boat running from Battambang to Siem Reap also still running everyday BUT the thing is it take too long to get into siem reap up to 8hours due to the water level too low and sometime the boat stuck in the middle as well. But it would be a good chance to try if your time is limited. And also the boat ticket is expensive as well.

I am a local people in here (Siem Reap) also would like to meet up and exchange travel experience talk during drink or meal time and I also love meeting new people from all over the world as well. Please feel free to contact me any time if you need my help during your stay in siem reap.

Happy Travel
BEN

#7 bensiemreap has been a member since 19/2/2010. Posts: 13
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Posted by dano_b on 19/2/2010 at 16:39

On my recent trip in Cambodia, my boyfriend and I took the boat from Battambang to SR. Cost was 20USD, but well worth it, I think, for the beautiful scenery, villages and there is also a bird sanctuary that you pass along the way with colourful birds if you are lucky enough to see them! We were told our ride would be 6-7 hours but we got stuck a couple times (they unstuck us very quickly) and the motor broke in the middle of the Tonle Sap and it took over 40 minutes to fix it, so all in all the ride was closer to 10 hours! And that was at the end of Jan, so I can't guarantee that the boat will still be running if the water level had gotten much lower than it was a month ago!

Best of luck and happy trails!

#8 dano_b has been a member since 20/12/2009. Posts: 24
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Posted by KirstyB on 19/2/2010 at 16:43

I believe the boat between SR and Battambang is currently running - at least it was on Monday - but is taking around 10 hours at the moment. Take water and snacks.

Regarding internet in the cheaper hostels - whilst many of them have it, check that it is available in the room if that's what you require as in many it's only available in public areas or rooms close to the router. If it is really important to you, best test the speed and connectivity first as it's not always the best in the cheapest places.....

#9 KirstyB has been a member since 27/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 151
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Posted by bensiemreap on 19/2/2010 at 16:54

Hi Alls,

Wow...... Is it take up to 10hours now? Yeah you right better to grap some water and something small to eat during your travel. I think better to take a bus or share taxi from Battambang to SR is much easier and better though.

Anyhow, best wish and good luck for your travel
BEN

#10 bensiemreap has been a member since 19/2/2010. Posts: 13
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Posted by Wozzer on 19/2/2010 at 17:04

Very good point there, KirstyB!

To answer the the original questions of anotherlostsoul....

From Poipet to Battambang: With all the changes regarding the 'transportation centres, things are altering almost day by day right now.I only do the Poipet - SR trip
Possibly the best way is to get a shared taxi at around $10 a seat. Trouble is, not so many people head to BB as to SR. Next best is to get a ride to Sisophon, then try another carrier from there to BB. The road is good and it'll take about an hour and a bit from Sisophon.
Not sure if buses run to BB from Poipet
Also - check with your GH in BB, see if they can offer a pick-up - of if they have any better info?

Regarding SR - The accomo I stay at is very good, clean and wifi in all rooms (they have two routers in the building). It'll cost you around 9 bucks a night. I have to be careful about plugging it (I think), because I help them with their marketing. I did put a posting on the 'New additions board' a few weeks ago.- so check it out there!

Also - for other things to do - there's quite a bit actually.Depends on whet you like / how much time you have. I also freelance for a tours company here in SR (with their marketing). So again, I'm a bit reticent to post stuff on here - given the rules of travelfish.

I'd be grateful if the admins will let me know what is acceptable - and what's not. I'm happy to give travellers advice - whether or not they avail themselves of my suggestions. I've spent a lifetime travelling, so I've experienced both sides of the coin.

#11 Wozzer has been a member since 23/1/2010. Posts: 24
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Posted by anotherlostsoul on 19/2/2010 at 18:19

Things are coming together! Many thanks again.

Poipet: Look for a Battambang bus at the 'transportation centre' (is there only one?) ... or public transport to Sisophon, and onto Battambang from there.

Accomm / daytrip in Battambang - sorted.

Given the advice above, it'll be a bus / share taxi for me to SR - I just don't have 8 - 10 hours on such a short trip. (I'm assuming the bus doesn't take 8 - 10 hours too!). I know all about running aground in boats ;)

Wozzer, I'll have a look where you mentioned for your accomm suggestion in SR. I haven't read Travelfish's T&Cs very carefully but I presume you are not allowed to 'tout'. bensiemriep has a website on his posts; if this is allowed you could always do the same (if you have a website)and just direct readers to any relevant info there. As it's the readers choice to look, would this be ok? As i'm requesting info from you, i'm sure it would be ok to post it here this time; you're not touting, just answering a question.

I just picked up my visa. In order to save time and aggro on arrival at the border, I got the visa from the embassy here in Yangon. Very easy, though is takes 3 days (which wasn't an issue for me). 2 photos / quick application form / passport photocopy / $20.

#12 anotherlostsoul has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 34
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Posted by bensiemreap on 19/2/2010 at 18:36

Hi anotherlostsoul,

Yes, you right. The website doesn't mean that you have to book through this person at all. Just another help / guide book / or leaflet for the questioners to read about the information only. If they feel comfortable with it they can do & if they don't no problem.

Hope you can make a good time to siem reap and maybe we can meet up while you are in here and we can exchange travel experiences together one day.

Happy Travel
BEN

#13 bensiemreap has been a member since 19/2/2010. Posts: 13
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Posted by Wozzer on 22/2/2010 at 21:29

Hi again Anotherlostsoul.

Glad to gear you got most stuff sorted.

I'm really not being difficult or bitching about the posting rules on here - I understand the reasoning behind it - but Travelfish are threatening quite severe penalites - I'll quote:

"..Do not, and we want to be very clear on this, so there are no mis-understandings, do not do any of the following:

a) List your business in other sections on the messageboard.
b) List it in the New Listings section, then bump it up with a later post to get it back onto the homepage. If you need your entry changed, contact us by email with the details and we'll change it.
c) Don't pretend to be a guest and plug it on the forum -- be honest, say who you are -- it's easier for everyone that way.

We reckon the above are pretty simple rules to follow, but they're obviously way too complicated for some businesses. If you don't follow the rules, your business will be blacklisted. By that we mean you won't be listed anywhere on the Travelfish site -- ever. There are no second chances."

So - that's pretty clear to me! And of course being a Brit - It's just not cricket to do it any other way!

Anyway - my email is woz2207@hotmail.co.uk Drop me a line on there and I'll be happy to help. Also I'll be up for meeting you for a beer while you're in town - I can recommend plenty of good watering holes as well ;-)

Safe travels

Wozzer

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Posted by oscarcat on 22/2/2010 at 22:57

In Battambang as I write this in the Holiday Hotel where the room is spotless has H/W A/C a fridge Cable TV Wifi in room (3 bars on signal strength and fast) mind you its 15$... I would suggest you open your purse strings a tad more as AC is practically essential at this time of year IMHO. Got Boat from SR yesterday whilst took just(!) 8hrs it was dodgy as hell try and use a reputable company (Angkor Express) not the fly by nights we used (Santeheap). I shall say nothing of the owner of the Bus Stop for fear of breaching both site guidelines and slander laws but maybe have a chat to some locals before swallowing the swell old guy stuff... I heard some interesting stuff from the Tourist Police at the Killing Cave last yr and some other (unnamed)source this... Finally used a tuk tuk driver today his name was Tea 089725574 buntheun2006@yahoo.com excellent English just came back from the 1 room house which he shares with his in laws (mother and sister!) ask to see the real bat cave! Have a good trip!

#15 oscarcat has been a member since 11/11/2008. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 66
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Posted by anotherlostsoul on 24/2/2010 at 19:04

Many thanks for all the advice ... i'm on the morning train to Aranya Prathet tomorrow.

#16 anotherlostsoul has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 34
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Posted by anotherlostsoul on 3/3/2010 at 00:17

Oscarcat, I would be interested to hear the details of what you mentioned regarding the owner of the Bus Stop on post #15; either here or privately. You'll understand why when you get in touch. If it is what I think it is, and you do not want to write about this publicly, you can send me a private message on LP Thorntree. Thanks.

#17 anotherlostsoul has been a member since 14/9/2009. Posts: 34
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