Posted by: James Shannon | October 13, 2011

Plodding About Phnom Penh + A Warning About The Angkor International Hotel

After bidding the sultry sands of Sihanoukville farewell, it was time to take on the capital of Cambodia — Phnom Penh.  A short moto taxi ride later, I was at the bus station, and I was off to the big city!

The southern Cambodian countryside, carpeted by rice paddies just like this one, whizzs by my window, somewhere halfway between Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh.

Arrival in Phnom Penh … motorbike drivers carry LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tanks on back of their bikes, presumably destined for delivery to restaurants and homes all over the city.  Many people in SE Asia use this fuel to power their stoves, as it is considerably cheaper than the ranges we use here in North America.

Well, I guess that’s one way to prevent copper/cable theft (!!)

After dropping my bags at the Angkor International Hotel (DON’T STAY THERE — more on this later), I proceeded to explore Phnom Penh’s most liveliest district — Riverside.  Between the riverfront and my hotel however, was this very colourful market.  Makes me wish that many of my accomodations had a guest kitchen so I could buy some this amazing food and cook it myself!

The Riverside plaza, a popular gathering spot for locals, expats, and tourists alike…

An amazing temple complex I passed on because (a) I was running out of trip time (barely two weeks left at this point to see Vietnam) and (b) after nearly five months in SE Asia, I was officially templed-out!

Kicking back and relaxing at an uber-comfortable and fancy bakery/ice creamery … no better way to end off a humid hot-season afternoon in Cambodia!

Alas, my night was NOT so comfortable.  During my stay at the Angkor International Hotel, not only did the lock on the door of the first room I was given break off under minimal duress, the second room I was given contained BED BUGS!

I was not bitten, but I killed five of them during the course of a sleepless night.  I spent an hour going through every item in my backpack to ensure none of the little buggers attempted to hitch a ride with me anywhere else, and for the rest of the night, I surfed the net to stay awake.

After my stay here, once I was home in Canada, I researched the Angkor International Hotel on Travelfish, only to find that some woman two years prior to my stay was ROBBED of $500 right outside the hotel lobby, and the proprietors couldn’t care LESS about it!

Moral of this story: Never stay at a hotel recommended by your tuk-tuk driver … they usually aren’t that great (at best). Do your own research, and trust your gut.

Next photo essay will be a serious one — as I venture inside S-21, Pol Pot’s nightmarish hell of torture and death. Definitely mature content, so brace yourself in advance…



  1. […] see, when I breezed through last year, I had an unfortunate encounter with bed bugs at the Angkor International Hotel (do NOT stay there!), and I was in a rush to see Vietnam in the 2 […]

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