QUOTE(starlagurl @ Jun 17 2009, 05:07 PM)
It's not really the fact that the people on TripAdvisor are saying anything about anything... just random people put up reviews there, so it's usually pretty helpful.
Personally, I don't read the reviews anyway, I just use that website as a sort of listing of (most) everything that's available. Then, I go with what I can afford, usually ignoring the reviews...
I was just trying to help. So that she doesn't feel all alone...
Yeah, I think it is good you were helping - but also think it was a shame that there was nothing else available for her and that she had to be sent to another site.
I think other sites are good. Why should we replicate other info? - but I just felt that there wasn't much of a personal connection in there for her. I don't know if any of you know what I am trying to say (or if I do) so anyway - I will add in some personal info for people travelling to Phnom Penh and looking for accommodation.
I was heading to Phnom Penh and had been pretty busy and so had done no research before leaving home.
I had a bit of spending money and so I decided to pick up a Lonely Planet (LP) at the airport. (About US$22).
I have been pretty busy lately and wanted to have a day of comfort and also I wanted to get some work done - so from LP I selected Hotel Castle as it has free internet and sounded nice. (according to LP $50 - 55)
I got a moto driver at the airport (costs $7 to get into town) and told him my plans. He said that if I didn't have a booking Hotel Castle would charge extra (a pretty common thing - so I believed him) and would end up costing me around $65. He suggested Regent Park Hotel (email@example.com) as a similar standard but a bit cheaper. (I think based also on the fact he knew I speak Thai and that the Regent is a bit of a Thai hangout). No free internet, but internet is $1 an hour and so I would probably still end up better off. OK. We went there - nice, but no standard rooms available ($45) and so I had to have a deluxe ($55). Still OK. The rooms are pretty nice - not too extravagant, the lobby and restaurant nice, the staff nice, the location nice. Can recommend it.
But it is too pricey for me to stay there more than 1 day so I searched for another place.
Today I am in Power Boutique Guest House (firstname.lastname@example.org) for $30. They have cheaper rooms, but they were pretty yucky and smelled of cigarette. The $30 room is huge and just as nice as Regent Park, but reception, etc is not the same. I haven't stayed yet, so I can't say much more.
There are much cheaper places also. But I am feeling old and tired and want a bit more comfort than what I did before. So I have chosen these as mid range places.
There are also much more expensive places - although they seem unnecessary (although perhaps in another 10 - 20 years I will change my mind about that - I used to think mid range was too flash)
Oh - so the LP I brought (as with most LP I have brought) - I used it a little, but really not worth it. There is lots of info available for free here (one free publication is http://www.canbypublications.com/)
So maybe borrow LP from the library and photocopy a few pages for research, but don't buy it.
Also look up TravelFish - that site has lots of good info on S.E.Asia and includes reviews and a travellers forum. It is a great S.E.Asia source of info. (http://www.travelfish.org/)
And I should mention I am sitting in Riverside bistro that has free internet (www.riverside-bistro.com)
So I hope that gets you started and gives you a few options.
Phnom Penh is pretty relaxed and people nice and as long as you get here and get yourself sorted for the first day - you can easily find more local info when walking around the town.