SPICEGASM.COM My travel tales and food hunting

October 18, 2010

Phnom Penh here I come

Filed under: Cambodia,Hotel,Travel — Alex @ 12:00 am

I’ve been invited to visit Phnom Penh a few times by a very good friend. He is running a maid agency in Malaysia and he occasionally visits Phnom Penh to get his maids to be supplied to his customers in Malaysia. Since I’m in Bangkok and the duration of the flight is only one hour, might as well accept his invitation.

Zach and I decided to go 2 days earlier than my friend’s arrival. With so many information that one can get from the Internet, as long one is adventurous and willing to do some reading and research, visiting a new country will some how reduce our chances of getting conned by locals who prey on tourist. My friend, Eddie from Malaysia suggested that we stay in his favorite hotel. The name of the hotel is Cara hotel. I’m not very particular when it comes to lodging. I just need a bed to sleep and as long as it is clean, I’m all right with it.

Our room in Cara Hotel, Phnom Penh

The flight with Air Asia was on time and just within an hour we touch down in Phnom Penh International airport. Since I’m from the ASEAN country, I do not need a visa. Zach on other hand got to pay USD25 for his visa on arrival. The process was a breeze and no trouble with the immigration or whatsoever. We went out from the airport and saw many taxis offering to take us to our hotel. It cost us USD9 for the 30 minutes ride to our hotel. One thing very interesting about Cambodia is that the currency being used for daily transactions is the good ole US Dollars. Even they have their own currency which is known as Cambodian Riel, but the value is really low.

We did bring some US Dollars with us as we were informed by Eddie that the kingdom of Cambodia uses the US Dollars. I still have no idea how it would be like when I want to purchase some small items like cigarettes. Will I pay in USD and they give me back my change in Riel?

During the ride from airport to our hotel, I was observing the Cambodian lifestyle at a glance. There’s quite a lot of cars and surprisingly there are a lot of luxury cars like Toyata Lexus 4 wheel drive. I did not see any high rise building and definitely Phnom Penh is under developed compared to other Asian countries. I think I can call myself a season traveler but the feeling of excitement of visiting a new country¬† never dies. I’m eager to see what Phnom Penh gotta offer. I always believe that every country no matter how under developed has many positive and good things to offer. Upon arriving our hotel, I just gave the taxi driver a USD 10 note, with one dollar extra as a tip. He seem to be grateful with the small tip.

We book our room via the Internet and the room cost us USD44 a night. Breakfast are included in our double bed room. I was surprised to see that the bed are big compared to the normal double bed rooms offered in most hotels. We were welcome by the friendly staffs of hotel Cara. We got our key and went straight to our room to settle down. The time was 6.00 pm Cambodia time.

Hotel Balcony

Our room even has a balcony. So far everything is smooth and we loved our room very much. It can’t go wrong as it was suggested by Eddie and he stayed here many times. Another good thing is, the room comes with free wifi connection. The download speed is decent but the upload speed is surprising very high.

This is a picture taken from the balcony. This is how downtown Phnom Penh looks like. The petrol station has a mini mart and we frequent there a lot whenever we need to buy mineral water, cigarettes, snacks and most importantly, to withdraw money from the ATM that dispense US Dollars.

This is the view right opposite of hotel Cara. It has some old buildings and it looks like an old church.

More pictures around our hotel area

So far everything seems to be ok and we can’t wait to go walk around over area and look for some good food. For my next post would be our first night adventure in Phnom Penh.

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