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Sundance Cambodia

Phnom Penh offers a variety of nightlife to suit all interest. Dancing at Martini Pub, or Riverhouse Lounge, Shooting Pool in Cambodias largest rock and roll bar Sharky's, or more intimately at the Air Force Bar,  Zanzibar & Rose Bar on Street 104. The Cadillac Bar, and DV8 bar are just a few.  Or have late night drinks at Howie's  Bar,  Heart of Darkness on Street 51 is a popular dance spot during the late night hours.  There are too many places for us to list but they are all listed in the Phnom Penh Pocket guide. Have a drink in our lobby and browse the Canby Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville guides, or Bayon Pearnik

We Post these Tips for making your stay in Cambodia more pleasurable in our rooms. Some of the information has already been stated above. We also post them so we don't find ourselves having to deal with issues that with a little common sense could have been avoided.

Cambodia is a third world country though at times on the surface it doesn’t appear to be. Police and Security operate at a minimal level. On the street, in taxis and buses, safeguard your personal belongings. Don’t give a thief an opportunity to capitalize on your carelessness. People have not strapped on back packs or have left them loosely in a tuk tuk only to be snatched up by a passing motorbike thief. Street kids, beggars and vendors are opportunist. Don’t leave telephones or personal affects on bars and tables at restaurants. Often times a police report will cost you a “donation” to the local precinct. Average monthly salaries are between 40-80 dollars a month. Don’t be flamboyant (a target) with jewelry or cash. Don’t give dollar notes to beggars as it sends the wrong message to people who actually work all day for the same amount. 200-500 riel is sufficient should you give. We can suggest other charitable organizations that will ensure to get the money to the people who need it the most. Don't check valuables in unlocked (and at times Locked) luggage whether flying, riding buses, taxis and any mode where someone has access without your attention!

Embassies, banks and travel agents usually operate 7am-5pm Monday through Friday. Don’t wait around to make travel plans, Visa, or do your banking. Cambodia has an overabundance of holidays. Plan your activities accordingly.   Overstay is charged at 5 dollars a day.  Negotiate taxi fares before you are at their mercy for services rendered. 1000 Riel is only 25 cents and it’s not worth getting worked up over. Most sales are final. Always inspect merchandise before purchasing. Once money leaves your hands it is difficult to get a refund.

Many travelers find Cambodia hot. Well it is. Drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. Royal D an electrolyte additive to water is available at pharmacies and is like Gatorade. After a day out, a cool shower is very effective while your air conditioner begins to cool the room. Air conditioners are not instant. They run, then compressors kick on, then they begin to cool. If you are looking for immediate relief after a hot day out, turn on your AC, and then hop in the shower (takes a layer of Phnom Penh off as well) and when you get out you will feel fresh.   Wash your hands regularly and don’t bring the bacteria to your mouth or eyes.  

Traveler’s diarrhea is often caused by not being acclimated to the heat, food, alcohol, and time zones. Take time to rest. Ciproflaxicin can be purchased in local pharmacies and is an effective antibacterial drug. Bacteria also attaches to carbon, and some pharmacies sell carbon tablets. Most locals shy away from Imodium as we feel it is best to get the bad stuff out.  Major medical care is limited here. There are clinics and western medical staff in Phnom Penh. Pharmacies carry a wide variety of remedies.  Be aware of your surroundings and use common sense.

Malaria and Dengue fever exist in Cambodia.  Malaria is not prevelant in the bigger cities.  Local expats do not take malaria pills and never have issues.  Mosquitos will go for ankles and feet as there are more blood vessels there.  Shoes, socks and long pants prevent getting bitten.  Dawn and Dusk are the worst times. Repellant is a good option. 


Remember the Khmer Rouge killed off a large poplulation of educated people. Their logic, or methods vary distinctly from where you come from. Be patient or better yet share your education and experience. The people here are friendly and really eager to learn. The country is in a growing stage and will take a few more generations, but they are trying. Cambodia surpasses the region in spoken English. Finding someone to help you is not a problem.


A visa is required for entry into Cambodia. Arriving into the country by Air, visa applications are usually provided on flights and currently Bangkok Airways provides them in the waiting area prior to boarding the plane. Upon arrival at Phnom Penh (Pochentong) International Airport, you enter the terminal, cue at the desk, provide your passport, application and one passport photo to the customs official. An official will stamp it and pass it down like an assembly line. When it gets to the end you pay $20.00US for a tourist Visa or $25 for a business visa.   You can avoid a cue at the visa processing area by securing a visa in advance

After you have retrieved your luggage you will be greeted by a hoard of taxi and moto drivers eager to get your business. Don't let this intimidate you. A taxi will cost $10.00 to the hotel and the ride will take about 30 minutes. They all know where the hotel is located and if they appear to be confused, you tell them near the Mekong Express Bus.  Many Taxis will tell you we are closed. This used to be the case as they tried to get you to go to a hotel that would offer them commission.  This used to be the norm, but since the internet, the traveler is more savvy and knows where he is going.

Overland border crossings have been reported to operate under their own set of rules.  Expect to pay 1000 Baht (25 dollars) for a tourist visa.

Upon arrival our friendly staff will greet you and get you situated.  You will find our location easy to get your bearings. From here you can comfortably venture out and return to the tranquil setting along the river front. A short walk to the south is the Night Market. Less than a kilometer is the Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace and National Museum.  West of our location is Wat Phnom and the Post Office.

Airport Taxi Scam Warning!!!

We encourage our visitors to use the airport taxi in order to give business to them. You have booked with us or maybe another hotel. Commissions sometimes are paid to taxis who bring customers to their establishments. We in fact will pay a taxi commission if he brings us someone cold off the street, but we don't pay commissions to taxis when travelers have either booked us on the net or have done their own home work via word of mouth, guide books, internet etc. A taxi will do his best to convince you (sometimes to the point of really being annoying) to go to a place where he will receive a commission. Regardless of you’re staying with us or another establishment, kindly tell them you have a previous booking or you are a friend of the owner of the establishment or you are catching up with other travelers.

Overland Travel Scam Warning!!!

Traveling over land via Poipet to Siem Reap and from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh by bus:

Some Local tour companies are in the practice of turning a 6-8 hour journey into an all day affair. They will try to heard you in to restaurants and make the claim that the bus is broken, then will take the bus to another location and go through your luggage. After a few stops to add hours to the trip and put you into a fatigue state they will roll you into their hotel and guest house which is somewhat out of the way or down dark streets. You do not have to stay there. There are Moto dops and taxis available to take you to other hotels and guest houses. They might be a block away at times. You can also get a shared taxi from the border crossings for a slightly higher fee.  There are more Reputable companies these days and they might be a couple of dollars more, but worth the Expense.

Money Scam Warning!!!

Some tour operators will tell you that you must change money to the local currency. This is false! The US dollar accepted throughout the country, and the Thai Baht is accepted around Siem Reap, Koh Kong, Sihanoukville and many places in Phnom Penh.  The current rate of exchange is about 4000 RIEL to 1 US DOLLAR. These tour operators have been known to offer as low as 2500 RIEL for one dollar taking 25 to 50 percent of your money! Wait until you can exchange money with a reputable bank/exchange or hotel.



CAMBODIA  a brief introduction

Cambodia is a third world country! Things do not function as they do in your country. Thirty years ago in Phnom Penh there wasn't a doctor, lawyer, dentist, painter, teacher, street sweeper, plumber, get the point. They either fled or were killed off by the Khmer Rouge.  However the city functions relatively well. Good basic human instincts put things in order. Traffic at first looks like chaos but there is a method to it. A whole generation is missing and it will take probably another two generations to bring the country up to speed. Despite this, there is dynamic growth, and many entrepreneurs. Building projects are everywhere. The people are finally enjoying basic living that they were deprived from for so long due to war. Tents for celebrations spring up periodically on streets for weddings, and bons (colorful Buddhist celebrations for various reasons) or funerals. They will set up loud speakers and make their celebrations known and the general rule in Cambodia is if you have a speaker you must play it at distortion levels! In the past, power failures were common due to lack of proper infrastructure. Come to Cambodia with an open mind and you will be surprised how rewarding your visit will be and like many others, perhaps we will start seeing you on a yearly basis.


Tourist Attractions.

In Phnom Penh-Wat Phnom, Wat Ounalom, Toul Sleng Museum/Killing Fields, Royal Palace, National Museum, Shopping in the Russian, Central or Various markets around town as well as Soriya Center. Mekong Island (Koh Dach silkweaving island), Water Park, Go Cart Track, Apsara Arts Khmer Dance, Shooting Range (just beyond the airport).

Day Trips (sites within 50K of town)-Oudong, Phnom Chissor, Tonle Bati, Wat Boran, Kien Svay, Phnom Tamau (Zoo), Phnom Baset and Wat Nokor Vimean Suor, Longvaek.

Other Great Destinations within the Kingdom:

Siem Reap-Angkor Wat

Siem Reap boat tickets available for $25 dollars. The boat leaves at 0700 with transfer to the port. Approximately five hours. Water Levels in the Sap River fluctuate as well as the direction of the river. At the peak of the dry season flying or taking the bus could be a better option. Mekong Express located just 3 doors away from us, runs the best bus service and leaves at 7:30, 8:30, and 12:30 daily. Cost is 15 US dollars and takes about 5 hours. Paramount Angkor also provides good service and is just around the corner.  There are night buses that leave daily near the night market. 

Other destinations we can help you plan for.

Sihanoukville (Kampong Som) at the coast, Kratie (Kracheh) where the Irawaddy dolphins are located, Kampong Cham up the Mekong River with rubber plantations and temples, Battambang with some great temple sites as well, Takeo and Kampot Province to the south.

Embassies and Visa Services:

Cambodia Tourist Visas are 30 days and can be extended for 1 month only.

Business Visa can be obtained upon entry to the country and can be extended up to one year (multiple entry).

Lao, and Vietnam Visas can be processed in about 24 hours and require additional passport photos. A Vietnam Visa will cost around 30 dollars, quite a lot cheaper than the 55 pounds some of my customers had paid in the UK.


Traveler's checks and cash advances at most banks in town for a 2% fee. It is Always a good idea to exchange some dollars into smaller Riel as you will encounter Monks, Landmine victims, and 'tour guides' at various sites and markets. $1.00US is about 4000 Riel. Dollars are the primary currency in Phnom Penh. There are no coins which is GREAT! No heavy pockets or loose change. If you make a 2.50 purchase with 3 dollars, you will receive 2000 riel back in change. Thai Baht is accepted in areas closer to the Thai - Cambodia Border. ATMs are located all over the city now. Foreign cards will be charged a fee up to 4 dollars.

IMPORTANT!  Locals do not like torn or damaged bills and will not accept them, even if they are taped up. Don't wad your money up and stuff it in your pocket. When taking cash advances or cashing travelers cheques, check the bills the banks are giving you. Sometimes they are the worst at passing bills you will have the most trouble cashing in Cambodia.


IMPORTANT! Don't wait till the last minute to cash money or make travel arrangements.  Banks keep similar hours as to those in the west. Travel agents will operate until 6 PM (some later).  Getting a bus ticket to the next destination in a timely manner might mean the difference in a morning or noon departure. Cambodians travel to the provinces during holidays and seats fill up fast around such times.