I’ve been to Siem Reap last year for 7 days and I stayed in 5 guesthouses! Sounds crazy, I know! Temple crawling and bar hopping along Pub Street seem par for the road while you are in this town. But guesthouse hopping?
You see, I was hankering for a change of scenery after being cooped up for about two weeks in a 5 star hotel during my first visit to Siem Reap in 2011. That, and the fact that this time around I was paying for the first few days of my stay, played a huge part in my decision-making process. This town is crawling with tourists of all stripes, more than half of whom are probably the backpacker type, and I was just happy to feel the vibe and soak in the atmosphere. And oh, did I mention that I was travelling solo this time?
Staying at guesthouses in Siem Reap is unbelievably affordable. An overnight stay in a single fan room (so called because you use an electric fan to keep a light breeze blowing across your room) fetch for about USD8 only while an air-conditioned room can be had for USD15. Most of these rooms come with free airport pickup, bottled water, free wifi, and set breakfast! Booking a room is also a breeze since most have online web presence that allows you to view room options. Majority are family-run operations which probably explain why staying at guesthouses here are akin to staying at a relative’s house — very cozy and comfy!
B&Bs here are also generally tidy. Khmers are known sticklers for clean floors – you need to take off your shoes before entering their homes! This is probably why the first thing that you will notice is that their floor tiles are always kept spotlessly clean and neat. Clean floors may indeed be a limited indicator of general room cleanliness but for the backpacker who only needs a decent bed for a night or two, guesthouses here may be more to their liking than other low-budget accommodation in other countries.
I’m not sure if there’s a standard for guesthouses in this town and a government office enforcing it, but they generally have the same features and amenities. They just differ in terms of room size, speed of WiFi service, breakfast offerings, distance to Pub Street (the town’s epicenter of life), and service quality. Room rates may also slightly vary (USD1 lower or higher depending on the distance to the city center).
Here’s a rundown of the guesthouses where I stayed in and some photos.
Bou Savy Guesthouse
Address: #261 Group 17 Khum Svay Dangkum Siem Reap, Cambodia
Office Tel: (855)63 964 967
H/P: (855) 12 898-627, 85512369600
E-mail: email@example.com 0r firstname.lastname@example.org
# 0074, Phum Slor Kram, Siem Reap District
Reception: +855 (0)63 965 059
Mobile: +855 (0)17 814 011
So Chhin Guesthouse
Address: No. 621, Corner Stung Thmey & Phsa Krom, Vihearchin Village
Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Mobile: +855-15 967 696 | Tel: +855 16 980 988 | Fax: +855 63 964 626
#446,National Road 6 , Taphul Village
Svay Dangkum Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Tel: +855 63 963 293; +855-12 767 716; +855-12 980 488
Road 6 Taphoul Village Svaydungkom Commune, Siem Reap
Telephone: (855) 012 516 566, (855) 012 451 286
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
My favorite among the lot would be Rosy Guesthouse. Here’s why:
- Guesthouse staff speak very good English. They are courteous and helpful too.
- It is located along the bank of the Siem Reap river. You will get a good view of the river from the veranda on the second floor. The guesthouse is also located opposite the Royal Gardens, the city’s only open public green space with trees that are home to fruit bats. And there are thousands of them! This area offers a lot of restaurant choices too which are a good alternative to those located in Pub Street.
- The food here is very good, if a tad pricey compared to other restaurants. But it’s all worth it!
- Rooms are a bit small (in fact the smallest among the lot) but are clean, well equipped and beautifully presented. The owners clearly did not scrimp on the furnishings.
- I left my personal towel in my room when I checked out but I was able to collect this from the reception counter two days after, freshly laundered and in a plastic bag containing my name. Now, that’s good service!
This is my long overdue and final blog post in my “Milking my Siem Reap Experience Dry” Series. Thanks to the organizers of the Blogfest Asia 2012 for inviting me!
You might also like my other posts about Siem Reap, Cambodia:
- Spellbinding Apsara
- Siem Reap is love and tuktuk is the bomb!
- Fascinating Siem Reap
- What to bring home from Siem Reap
- Sovanna Phum and the art of shadow puppetry