Cambodia- Love it or hate it?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by the lockmaster, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    What's up guys? I just wrapped up an 11 day trip to the depths of hell. Ummm,............I mean Cambodia. It's always so damn hot there it feels like fucking hell. Ok. Here's my thoughts on the place.

    My main destination was Sihanoukville and the Islands. First though, I spent a night in Phnom Penh. After an exhausting 8 hour bus ride from Saigon I arrived in PP around 11pm. Normally it is about a 6 hour ride, but we had to change buses at the border. So it took longer. Long story short, I arrived.............grabbed some food.........then hit street 136. Hung out till about 3am and took a cutie home. She had a super cute face and an ok body. I'd say a decent 7 or 8. Negotiated her down to $40 and no bar fine. :) barfine because she just had me meet her around the corner from the bar since it was so late. So far so good!

    Next day took a bus to Snooky. this was another exhausting ride. I'd say it was at least 6 hours. Bus travel has always sucked for me in Cambodia. It's always hot as hell, the buses are old and shitty and it just takes forever to get places.

    My first impression was the place was a dump. Had a tuk-tuk driver take me to a few guesthouses to look for rooms. Just my luck, because of Chinese New Year holiday, everyplace raised there prices. I was only able to spend the first couple of nights at $15/night before the prices rose to $30-40+. So my first day or so, I spent my time going around looking for different places to stay that might be cheaper.

    My 1st night I hit the 2 main beer bar spots and the MILF's bar down by the pier. I had a drink with her. @Skins was right. She is a classy lady. She didn't identify herself as the owner, but I knew from what I read here. She's 31 and mentioned having 2 kids. They live in the Province btw. She lives in Snooky alone. She wore a white cocktail dress and drank a glass of red wine for her lady drink. Very nice to talk to. I didn't take her home, but did see one older dude smooching with her a couple of nights later. So I do think she is available for the taking. For the right person anyways. He carried the vibe of a regular.

    So let's see. Quality of the girls. I didn't think it was that great in Snooky. A lot of very average to ugly looking girls. A few occasional cute ones. Much different than PP. Each bar only had 3-8 girls working. In PP it was like 10-20+. Beers were cheap, but girls were asking quite a bit for ST and LT because of Chinese New Year. $50-100 was the average for LT. I was stuck on $40 based on my experience in Phnom Penh. So I didn't end up taking anyone there.

    Another thing about the beer bars, is they were filled with old guys. Shitty looking old guys. Reminds me of the new blog post up. A bunch of tank-top wearing, fat, hairy dudes that were stumbling around drunk. I understand we all get old someday, but for crying out loud. Clean yourself up a little bit! The girls seemed to love these guys because they just go in and blow their paycheck on lady drinks. I guess I was in search of a little higher quality and wasn't finding it.

    Last negative thing about snooky. The wifi was absolutely terrible!

    Ok. Now for the good things. The beaches were pretty decent. The food was pretty good. You can find a very good Western meal for $4-6 dollars. Also, things appear to be pretty cheap there outside of Chinese New Year.

    The island Koh Rong was absolutely amazing! I saw the best sand on a beach there anywhere I have ever been. So soft and white. The water was the most amazing blue color. If you go to Snooky, you have to go to one of the islands. They are very underdeveloped compared to Southern Thailand and just as beautiful. Go soon before hordes of tourists ruin the place.

    I know this is a rambling post. I was somewhat mixed on the place. Prices were overinflated and I saw some rough looking hookers. But strangely enough, I would consider going back and staying for awhile outside of peak tourist season. I like beaches and I think you could find a decent enough girl, or two to keep you occupied while there. I guarantee the chicks lower their prices once the tourists disappear. Then I think it could be a gold mine for a decent looking younger guy. Or even an older one who had a bit of style and by 'style' I mean just button up your damn shirt and know your alcohol limit.

    Any thoughts on Cambodia?

    I'll add more thoughts as people comment.
    Dale, Cinnic, JohnnyB and 4 others like this.
  2. southernallstars

    southernallstars Well-Known Member

    I flew in from Saigon for 100 USD with a very modern Quatar Air plane, took about half an hour only.
    I was only in PP and am also mixed about that place.Mongering is not very good, I think it's best for seeking freelancers or gfs, but you can do that in PI or elsewhere too. The girls seem to be fairly unspoiled, like third world country girls often are, that's their charme.

    You're right, it's way too hot and I think this must be the coldest time of the whole year. The transportation sucks, since walking is no good and you always have to rely on the trike drivers, the locals hardly ever take them so they must be overpriced by the country's standards.
    I didn't like the bars much, but their freelance disco Pontoon was very nice though clearly smaller than e.g. Hiso in Angeles.
    There are pretty girls like in every other SEA country but altogether even less so than in Philippines, which must put them pretty much on the bottom of the ranking.
    Skins and wanderluster like this.
  3. wanderluster

    wanderluster Curry Bling Bling

    See?? Cocky. @the lockmaster I told you that you had it in you. Beautiful post man. Thank you.
    Skins likes this.
  4. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Great write up lockmaster. I've been waiting to hear your thoughts on snooky. Cambodia seems to be the most polarizing place in SEA. Guys either love it or hate it.

    I must admit that I was repulsed by Phnom Penh on my first trip. I couldn't wait to get out! Place just seemed small, dirty, polluted, over priced and downright desperate.

    However, in my last few visits I had a lot of fun. I have a few friends there now and I meet them when I drop in. Met a cute waitress there and shagged her the same night. (Not a pro.) I think a single man would have a blast living there once he learned his way around. My buddy is certainly enjoying himself there. But he works there. Maybe he would choose another spot if he could...

    I think Sihanoukville has huge potential! I agree with your initial observation. It is a dump... but it's dirt cheap, right on the beach, offers a decent selection of dining, drinking and mongering activities. Hotels in every price range. Nearby nice islands and countryside. The city has to blow up in the next ten years. I mean it just has to! The world is running out of nice undeveloped beaches. Cambodia still has them.

    I will make it down to those islands asap. The pics look stunning and your post only confirms that it's beautiful there. Thanks for the report.

    One last thought. When I was there, rooms were $10 for a fan and $15 for air con at GBT guest house. Place is basic but nice enough. 20 steps from the pier. And shags were $15-$25! Loads of horny back packers if that's your thing. 50 cent beers. $3 meals on the beach. I saw clean studio apartments online for $150 per month. Can't go wrong there.

    That wifi though...
    southernallstars likes this.
  5. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Maybe I'll shack up with that broad. She's, cute, classy, mature, business minded, already has kids so she wouldn't beg me for some. Probably wouldn't bother me if I dipped into some strange here and there. Not a bad deal. :)
    Cinnic and JohnnyB like this.
  6. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    She definitely wouldn't bother you for dipping into something else. While I was chatting with her she was asking me if I was interested in any of her ladies for the evening. :)
    Skins likes this.
  7. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    Yeah, quantity wise there were plenty of girls in Phnom Penh. Even Snooky had quite a few due to the large amount of beer bars. The quality though was pretty spotty and the hot chicks all had quite a bit of attention. I hate competing with other guys when it comes to hookers and bars. I like a place like Pattaya where there are so many girls that everyone can have a hot chick. Sure you pay more, but you can go to a place like Baccara where they are all hot. For sure Cambodia wouldn't be my first option for mongering in the region. Especially if I was traveling so far for a few week vacation. If you had a few months to explore. Then it's worth a shot though.
    Skins and southernallstars like this.
  8. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    Sihanoukville is definitely transforming. I saw quite a bit of construction going on while I was there. I did rent a bike for a day and drive around town. It is a pretty sizeable place. There were some very modern looking apartment buildings that I passed. So one could live there with some nice Western-style standards. I'm sure it wouldn't cost much. They are building that place up to appeal to the Chinese tourist(which there are shitloads of). They had Casinos all over town. Definitely more than the population can handle right now. All geared towards Asian gamblers.

    My guess is that it's going to look like a Pattaya or Nha Trang in the next 10-20 years. All of those shitty beach front shack bars will be gone and replaced with high rise resorts and condos. Prices will be driven up and there will be no more backpackers. For this to truly happen, they need to upgrade that airport though. That place is tiny. Once that out. Because ain't that many people driving all the way down there. That's for sure!

    For now, Snooky is a place for backpackers to go and do drugs and rich locals from Phnom Penh to go down for a weekend getaway.
    Skins likes this.
  9. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    I've only been to Sihanoukville once, and that was in 2014, so I can imagine a lot has changed since then. It was also the first city I ever visited in Cambodia, unless you count changing buses in PP, so maybe I would see it differently if I went back today.
    When I first got there I thought it was perfect for me, it seemed so crazy compared to Vietnam or even Thailand.
    Tuk tuks and Range Rovers sharing the roads with dirt bikes and dune buggies, and even some rich Russian guy (so I was told) tearing around town in a bunch of different exotic cars like Ferrari's and Lamborghini's.
    People were smoking weed openly in the streets, shooting fireworks on the beach, and bars were selling balloons full of laughing gas, wild!
    After I got used to it though, it didn't seem so special.
    The girls in the bars seemed lazy and shy compared to Thailand. Most of the freelancers at the beach bars were pretty rough looking, and there really wasn't that many to choose from.
    It was also full of hippy backpackers who seemed especially snooty, acting as though they had discovered some unknown frontier.
    The beaches were nice enough, and fairly unspoiled. I never made it to the nearby islands, but I'm not the type of guy who wants to lay around on the beach all day anyway.
    My dad ended up getting drugged with scopolamine, (I've already told this story in other posts) so I spent a few days at the hospital there acting as his nurse. The place looked like something out of an old war movie, a few rusty old beds and brick shack with a hole in the ground out back to piss and shit in.
    The doctors looked about 16 years old, and didn't seem to have a clue what they were doing.
    This whole experience kind of put a bad taste in my mouth about sihanoukville, which is stupid because the same thing could have happened anywhere, but I haven't been back since.
    Every year I say I'm going to go back and give it another try, but then I get to Phnom Penh and it just sucks me right in.

    Now, on to why I like Phnom Penh so much.
    I will admit, it's hot as fuck there, especially in April/May, but I'm willing to deal with it.
    Phnom Penh is a very easy city to find your way around and I can easily walk between any of the places I really want to go. If I need a ride, there's 10 tuk tuks on every corner and you can go almost anywhere for $1-2. Yes, it's probably over priced by the local standard, but it's convenient, and a lot faster and more fun than taking a car taxi through the traffic of Bangkok or Saigon.
    Tuk tuks can carry way more people and stuff than a motorbike, and cause way less congestion on the roads than cars do, I can't figure out why Vietnam doesn't use them.
    There is enough girly bars to keep a guy busy for a while, and if you get off of St.136, a lot of them are pretty dead most of the time, so you can have your pick of the girls. The scene is not nearly as exciting as Thailand, but the drinks are cheaper (especially draft beer) and the girls are usually not as aggressive about lady drinks, unless you're in one of the more popular bars on 136, in which case I find them to be every bit as greedy as Thai girls.
    Then there is the notoriously greasy Sorya mall beer garden, with $2 jugs of draft and lots of cheap ladies available, if you are willing to lower your standards a little.
    Pontoon is not really my style of place, but there is no doubt some real beauties hanging out there.
    I think the average Vietnamese girl might be better looking, but to me, the good looking Khmer girls are the hottest in Asia. I like Thai girls the least for some reason. It's probably the fact that half of them have shitty nose jobs, colored hair and tattoos nowadays.
    I feel like the cost of living for a tourist is more expensive in Cambodia than in Vietnam, which seems backwards, but if you wanted to stay long term, visas are the easiest around, and there are tons of cheap and decent apartments available for rent. This situation should only improve, since the Chinese and Koreans are building way more condos than the market can handle. Many people are saying there will be a crash when all these units become available in 2018/19.
    I can't deny that Phnom Penh is a bit of a shithole, and I seem to be in the minority of people on this site who like it there.
    I love the smaller cities in Vietnam, and the country in general, but every time I come back to Saigon it's lost a little more of its charm for me and I just want to get out ASAP.
    I've never really liked Bangkok, other than for a few days of partying, and I would lose my mind living in a place like Pattaya for any length of time.
    Phnom Penh has just enough of everything I need, and the place is so far behind other major cities in SEA, that I think it will be a while before the government there has the time or resources to start enforcing stupid rules like chasing away street vendors or subjecting tourists to drug tests.

    Cambodia? I absolutely love it.
    Dale, Mr Fever, Skins and 1 other person like this.
  10. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member


    Many of the things you said about Sihanoukville are still true. The bars girls are definitely more tame than in Thailand and the freelancers at the beach were very rough looking. As well as not being many to choose from. Still tons of hippies there too. The party scene there really seems geared towards the hippy backpacker type. Lots of cheap drugs/booze at shitty little beachside bars to choose from. Not really my scene.

    I also agree with Cambodia being more expensive than Vietnam. I went over Chinese New Year, so of course everything went up. But I have been there before during another time of the year. The reason(I think) it's more because they use the US dollar there. Vietnam has it's own currency, which they constantly devalue to keep up pace with China. It makes the purchasing power of Western currencies even better because our money is worth more than theirs. Cambodia is still very cheap though. One could easily live there for under $1k/month. It's just not as cheap as Vietnam.
    Skins likes this.
  11. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    I've talked to a lot of people about why Cambodia seems more expensive than Vietnam and they always say it's because of the US dollar, but isn't the VND pegged to the USD within a pretty narrow range?
    I think that the USD just allows them to charge tourists more than if they used their own currency, everything is priced in nice, easy dollar bills.
    Im sure it has to be cheaper for locals, they make way less money than the Vietnamese.
    Skins and Cinnic like this.
  12. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Yes I think you are correct. The Vietnamese Dong is pegged to the dollar. I wouldn't say Vietnam is cheaper then Cambodia, I just think the overall quality of living is better in Vietnam. For example, a $15 hotel in Vietnam will be nicer then a $15 hotel in Cambodia. The street food is far better and more abundant in Vietnam. Just my opinion. With the visa runs in Vietnam it probably works out to be the same for cost of living. Hey both countries have the cheapest beer in the world. I save a boat load of cash right there! :D

    All these countries are so close in cost of living it's not much to debate. $1,000 would have you comfortable in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines. (I hear.)
    ryan754326 likes this.
  13. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    That airport seems to be the missing link. Wonder why they don't take action on that? I agree with you, a lot of people don't want to take the long journey by bus. I think they have flights from Siem reap down there. That's good, but if there was a cheap air Asia flight from say Bangkok once a week. I bet they could fill that flight.

    People can start their Cambodia trip in Snooky and work their way up and depart from Siem reap. Or vice versa. Shit all the Thailand expats doing visa runs would probably be enough to fill that weekly flight. :cool:
  14. Mr Fever

    Mr Fever Well-Known Member

    Great write up Locky. Love the 'rambling posts'.
    Koh Rong sounds great. Too bad about the overinflated prices. I mean half the reason to go to a dust bowled dump like Cambodia is to enjoy 3rd world prices.
    3rd world countries like Brazil with 1st world prices spin me out a bit.
    the lockmaster likes this.
  15. brockstar

    brockstar Legendary Member

    OK, my time to chime in. Personally, I love Phnom Penh! It's a huge city, yet its so chill. Yeah, the monger scene isn't top notch, but it's there. As I've said countless times, during my SEA tour I did PP (for the first time) for a week then planned on doing HCMC, Gookville for a week and I lasted 3 nights in Gookville. I actually ATE what I paid for the remaining 3 nights I had already booked and took the first bus back to PP that would take me. I'll be the first to admit Phnom Penh is not for everyone; in fact I'd say you either love it or hate it...........I love it. That being said the infrastructure and pay is shit, so I don't see myself living there anytime soon. If BKK is my first fall back, I'd call PP my second home in SEA :)
    Skins likes this.
  16. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    I don't know what I do wrong, but sticking to $1000 a month budget in either Cambodia or Vietnam is almost impossible for me, even when I'm taking it pretty easy.
    I guess the fact that I stay in hotels rather than renting eats up a good chunk.
    I've tried hanging out with "good girls" rather than hookers before too, It didn't save me very much money, and wasn't usually worth the hassle.
    kris_105 and Skins like this.
  17. mistergrumpus

    mistergrumpus I Ride My Bicycle To Church

    I loved Cambodia. Stole my dang heart.

    Key factors to this, in addition to my general personality:

    First, I was under the tutelage of a nice family the whole time, so I got to see the country "from the inside", if you will.

    And secondly, I wasn't trying to get laid, because pussy is basically an alien species to me. Especially the yellow kind.

    But seriously folks, they have all the same Third World Low Trust Low IQ Dumbassery as anyplace, but if you can get in with their upper-middle-crust then it gets especially awesome.

    As for long term living, I dunno. That said, a king-size bed with a couple Khmai (for daughters) and Siberian (for sons) war brides all to myself would pretty well do it for me, just about anywhere. No Grumpy sperm left behind!
  18. mistergrumpus

    mistergrumpus I Ride My Bicycle To Church

    Sounds like a compliment to ME.
  19. mistergrumpus

    mistergrumpus I Ride My Bicycle To Church

    As for money, there's surely a grind out there where you live in a cheap place, eat at cheap places, and only occasionally go on cheap dates with nice gals who will put up with them.

    But then again I'm old so I don't generate semen so quickly anymore. A nice thick spooge every week or two into someone I actually like beats the shit out of daily with expensive hotties I can't stand.
    Skins likes this.
  20. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    To be fair, he did go during "Chinese New Year." Which is the same in Vietnam. A shit load of people travel during this time period so prices go up. It's a pain in the ass for a few weeks then it goes back to normal. Cambodia is one of the cheapest travel destinations on the planet.
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