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Archive for April, 2012

20120425 Silkair MI601 Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Singapore Trip Report

Hotel Nine, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 23-24 Apr 2012


Brutally frank:

Though a sister establishment to Monument Hotel, it had none of the latter’s friendliness.  The staff has a sneering superciliousness.  When I called the reception at night, no one bothered to pick up.

The hotel looks nicer than Monument. The breakfast is slightly nicer than what you find at Monument.

Toiletries are a lot fewer than at Monument.  Just shampoo, shower gel and soap.  No tissue in the room (I don’t mean bathroom tissue. That’s available).  Many channels on the TV.  No need to bring your power adapter – the power sockets can fit any plug.

There are a lot of food stalls set up right outside the hotel by the road come night.  Might be useful if you intend to eat local.

Closer to the minimart on Sothearos Boulevard than Monument.  Just a 5-min walk away.

I much prefer Monument Hotel.  Hotel Nine is more expensive (US$49 per night for Standard Double, inclusive of breakfast) but the snobbish staff is a real turn-off.  There was a cockroach in my room.  Enough said.


Hotel Nine (Translated to Italian is Albergo Nove)

Seppur facenti parte della stessa catena, l’Hotel Nine non ha nulla dell’atmosfera cordiale e amichevole che si trova al Monument Hotel (Translated to Italian is Albergo Monumento). Il personale e’ borioso e indisponente. Quasi beffardo. Quando la notte ho chiamato la reception, nessuno si e’ degnato di rispondere alla chiamata.

Come struttura il Hotel Nine sembra migliore del Monument. La colazione e’ leggermente migliore di quella servita al Monument.

Pero’ i generi di toeletteria a disposizione sono molto piu limitati di quelli in dotazione al Monument. Solo shampoo, sapone e docciaschiuma. Non ci sono ne’ tovaglioli ne’ fazzoletti di carta. La carta igienica e disponibile. La TV offre una vasta scelta di canali. Non ne’ necessario portarsi appresso alcun adattatore di alimentazione  – le prese sono adattate per qualsiasi tipo di spina.

La sera, numerose bancarelle per la vendita di cibo vengono disposte lungo la strada fuori l’hotel. Possono essere utili se si ha intenzione di assaggiare piatti di cucina locale.

E rispetto al Monument e’ piu vicino al minimarket di Boulevard Sothearos. Solo 5 min a piedi.

Preferisco di piu l’Hotel Monument. Il Hotel Nine e’ piu costoso (US$49 per una camera doppia standard, prima colazione compresa). La scarsa attitudine e il comportamento altezzoso dello staff sono di vero disappunto e delusione.


九號旅館 (Hotel Nine)

雖然是紀念碑旅館(Monument Hotel)的分館,九號旅館卻沒有它的人情味。它只有不屑般的傲慢。當我晚上打電話到櫃台,竟然沒有人接電話。







九号旅馆 (Hotel Nine)

虽然是纪念碑旅馆(Monument Hotel)的分馆,九号旅馆却没有它的人情味。它只有不屑般的傲慢。当我晚上打电话到柜台,竟然没有人接电话。






Bahasa Indonesian

Hotel Nine

Meskipun masih bersaudara dengan Hotel Monument, tapi tidak memiliki ciri ramahtamahnya sama sekali. Senyum pegawainya nampak angkuh. Ketika saya memanggil petugas resepsionis  di malam hari, tak ada satu pegawaipun yang terpanggil untuk mengangkat telepon.

Hotelnya nampak lebih manis dibanding Hotel Monument. Sarapannya agak lebih enak dibandingkan dengan yang anda temukan di Hotel Monument.

Perlengkapan kamar mandinya jauh lebih sedikit dibandingkan dengan yang di Monument. Hanya sampo, gel mandi, dan Sabun. Tidak ada tissu di ruang itu (yang saya maksudkan bukan tissu kamar mandi. Disitu sudah tersedia). Terdapat banyak saluran televisi. Tidak perlu membawa serta power adaptor, stop kontaknya bisa disesuaikan dengan alat pengisiaan apa saja.

Terdapat banyak kedai makanan yang ditata tepat diluar hotel disisi jalan bila malam tiba. Sangat bermanfaat jika anda berniat menyantap makanan lokal.

Lebih dekat dengan mini market di Jalan Sothearos dibandingkan dengan hotel Monument. Hanya perlu waktu 5 menit dengan berjalan kaki.

Saya lebih menyukai Hotel Monument. Hotel Nine lebih mahal (US$49 per malam untuk kamar dobel standar, termasuk sarapan) tetapi sikap pegawai yang tinggi hati benar-benar tidaklah menyenangkan.

Sihanoukville (spelled Sihanouk Ville locally) 24 April 2012, Cambodia

Journey to Sihanoukville

The boards at Sorya Bus Station or the tickets booths selling bus tickets at Sisowath Quay (which still leave from Sorya Bus Station) will tell you the journey to Sihanoukville take 4 hours.  First bus to Sihanoukville leave Phnom Penh at 7am.  Last bus back to PP leaves Sihanoukville at 5.30pm.

Brutally frank:

My journey to Sihanoukville took 5.5 hours.  Gasp! Perhaps because we were really crawling to get out of the city in the morning. The journey back to PP took 4 hours 15 mins.  During the journey, you get one toilet/ meal break. Don’t expect a fancy restaurant.  It’s just a couple of stalls selling local food.  If your bus is a double-decker, there may be a lavatory on board.  Single deck, please forget it and hold it in.

The Cambodian highway is basically a 2-lane affair (one lane in your direction; one land in opposite direction).  It doesn’t feel so much a highway as a country road.  It reminded me of driving in Malaysia before the North-South highway was built.

The countryside, depending on the light, can really look quite pretty. Have your camera ready.

The bus driver will overtake even when he can’t see what’s coming up ahead eg going up a slope, round a bend etc.  OMG!!! Insurance is advised.

The locals will tell the driver where they want to get off and the driver will stop at their desired spot.  A Caucasian girl tried to get the driver to stop in PP city on the way back but he didn’t.  He stopped in the city, however, for the locals to get off.  Read: follow the program if you are a foreigner.

The Sorya bus station in Sihanoukville is some distance away from the beaches.  Locals tell you it’s 1 km away. It sure feels more than that.  Tuk-tuks and motos wait at the bus station for buses to arrive.  No problem getting transport to beach.  I paid US$1 from bus station to Ochheuteal Beach on a moto.



Ochheuteal Beach

Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville’s longest and most popular beach, is a 3-kilometre stretch of fine sand lined with casuarina trees.  The roads behind the beach have a great selection of hotels and guesthouses, though none is right on the sand.  There are seafood restaurants, beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables, tubes, fun boat rides, freshwater showers and toilets.


Brutally frank:

Pay 500 riel for the public toilet; 1000 riel for shower.   

Guidebooks often tell you to try local seafood, the cheapest in Cambodia, and suggest that you plonk down on a deck chair facing the beach and order some seafood.  It is quite cheap.

Brutally frank:

While the seafood is affordable, it can be quite challenging to struggle to eat while one arm is busy swatting flies away. If there are strong gusts of wind, sand gets in your food.

The squid was ok.  The sauce did it for me.  The noodles were fried with vegetables.  Kind of plain.  It needed some protein in me to push the flavour up.

Angkor beer is one of the beers made in Cambodia, the others being Cambodia beer and Kingdom beer.  If you buy a can at a mini-mart, it will cost you around US$0.60.  At the Sihanoukville beaches, it is probably around US$1 or US$1.50.

Brutally frank:

Angkor beer tasted all right.  It lacked a certain je ne sais quoi to stand out.



Serendipity Beach

At the northern end of Ochheuteal Beach is Serendipity Beach, which beside restaurants, also has pubs, spas, cafes, travel offices offering day trips, boat trips etc.

Brutally frank:

Ochheuteal Beach seems more geared towards locals.  It was 90% locals, 10% foreigners.  The reverse is true for Serendipity Beach.

The sky is simply incredible.  

Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


Venerated mainstay along Sisowath Quay.  Consists of a bar/ restaurant and a hotel.

Brutally frank:

Venerated?  More like overated.  The décor is not particularly pretty nor does it exude old-world charm, despite being a historic address.

The staff can’t really be bothered about you.  They behave like they can do without your business and look like they wish you are not there so they don’t have to work.

Though the view of the bar/ restaurant overlooking the river is nice, there are countless other bars/ restaurants along the same stretch offering the same.

The address and contact details are not included because I do not recommend it.













Bahasa Indonesian

Klub Wartawan Asing

Hunian utama yang disegani disepanjang Sisowath Quay. Terdiri dari sebuah bar/ restoran dan hotel.

Disegani? Sepertinya berlebihan. Dekorasinya tidak terlalu cantik juga tidak memancarkan pesona kehidupan kuno, meskipun menunjukkan pesan bersejarah.

Para pegawai tidak terlalu peduli dengan Anda. Mereka berperilaku sekakan-akan mereka mampu tanpa bisnis Anda dan sepertinya mereka ingin Anda tidak berada disana sehingga mereka tidak harus bekerja.

Meskipun pemandangan bar/ restorannya menghadap ke sungai sangat bagus, ada banyak bar/ resotoran di sepanjang hamparan yang sama menawarkan hal yang sama.

Alamat dan perincian kontaknya tidak dimuat karena saya tidak merekomendasikannya.

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia


This is really pretty.

Brutally frank:

Note the opening hours. It’s opening from approx 9am – 12noon and again from 2pm -5pm.  Don’t go during lunch time or you may be disappointed.

Admission fee is US$6.25 or 25,000 riel.  The locals don’t bother queuing up to buy tickets; they just scramble/ hustle up to the ticket window.


로열 팰리스(Royal Palace)

정말 아름다운 곳입니다.

개장시간을 확인하십시오. 개장은 오전 9시에서 정오까지 그리고 오후 2 시에서 5시까지 입니다.  점심시간에는 가시지 마십시오. 가시게 되면 실망하실 겁니다.

입장료는 6.25달러 혹은 2만5000리엘입니다. 현지인들은 표를 사는데 줄을 서지 않고 그냥 서둘러 티켓판매 창구로 몰려가는 편입니다.


Palais Royal

C’est vraiment joli.

Notez les horaires d’ouverture. L’ouverture est à partir d’environ 9h – 12h et de nouveau de 14 h-17 h. Ne pas aller au cours de l’heure du déjeuner ou vous pourriez être déçu.

Les droits d’entrée sont US$6,25 ou 25.000 riels. Les habitants ne s’embêtent pas de faire la queue pour acheter des billets, ils se poussent /se bousculent jusqu’au guichet.


Palazzo reale

Proprio bello!

Attenzione agli orari di apertura. Il mattino sono aperti dalle 9 alle 12 circa, mentre al pomeriggio riaprono pressapoco dalle 2 alle 5. Se non vuoi rimanerci male, evita di andarci all’ora di pranzo.

Il prezzo d’entrata è di 6,25 dollari (25000 riel).  La gente del posto non si preoccupa di fare la coda per comprare i biglietti, ma si fa strada o si spinge fino allo sportello della biglietteria.