Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hostel Review: Fancy Guesthouse + Some Khmer Food

Fancy Guesthouse is located a few minutes from the bus terminal, near the Russian Market. I booked our room via email. I also haggled our room down to $15 – it was off-season anyway. Mr. Phannak replied to all my queries promptly and cordially, a plus!

Upon our arrival, we were greeted warmly by Mr. Phannak himself. The guesthouse has a well-lit lobby. There is a single computer that you can use for free. They also sell some drinks, snacks and some toiletries. However, they do not offer breakfast.

We discussed how we can go to Siem Reap the next day. I wanted to ride the Mekong Express since it proved its worth during our ride from HCMC to PP, which costs $13. We bought the heavily peddled bus ticket going to Siem Reap for $8. That was a $5 savings – which goes quite a long way in our spending.

This is the famous autographed picture of Elton John.
I was wowed by the room. Comparing this $15 twin room to the $17 double room in HCMC, this is way nicer by a long shot. Too bad we will be here just for the night.

Excuse my mess

The room also comes with a TV. Wifi signal is great. The bathroom is spacious and clean. Hot water comes quickly, and they have pegs where you can hang your stuff.

The hallway
By the way, USD Dollars are widely accepted in Cambodia. They have their own currency: the Cambodian Riel, but dollars seem to be the standard – well, for tourists, I guess. 1 USD = 4,000 Riels. This exchange rate does not change – which I don’t get. Why accept something in dollars if it is worth the same thing in your own currency? It is like accepting Php 50 for ten P5 coins. I don’t get it. If you buy something worth $0.75, your change will be 1,000 Riel. Better get rid of your Riels before you exit Cambodia.

We had dinner at Friends, a restaurant ran by a non-profit organization, Unicef. The resto is just a couple of steps away from FG. It trains the youth how to manage a restaurant. This is on the pricey side, we shelled $10.50 dollars for our meal. But we know that it is a money well spent. The restaurant is well-lit, and the staff is courteous. The meal was superb.

Excuse the feet from someone in the other table.

For breakfast, Mr. Phannak recommended a noodle shop just a few steps away. It is one of the best meals during the entire trip! Nobody spoke English. We just got by sign language.
He got shy when the camera came out

For $1.50 per bowl, this is a mouthful. Tip: observe how the locals use the utensils. I almost drank the hot water from a huge glass thinking it is some flavored water or tea. But it is used as a sterilizer for your utensils. Good thing I was stopped in time.

A lot for just $1.50.

At 8:00am, the tuktuk driver picked us up and drove us to the bus. And that was our 18 hours in Pnomn Pehn.


  1. Many thanks for sharing this fine review. Indeed there are plenty of affordable yet quality travel accommodation options out there. Sometimes it just takes good research skills and helpful posts like yours!

  2. One of the best breakfasts ever is something I might never be able to order again! Huhuhu. Must find out what that soup bowl combo is called!

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