31 Wednesday Jul 2013

Takeo Guesthouse and Accommodation

Takeo is the southern province of Cambodia, neighboring Kampot, Kandal and Kampong Speu.  There are two national roads passing through Takeo.  National Road 3 connects Phnom Penh to Kampot, and National Road 2 connects Phnom Penh to Vietnam.   Since Takeo is so close to Phnom Penh, many tourists rarely spend overnight in Takeo.

Finding accommodation in Takeo city is not too difficult, but finding the right ones can be challenging.  We have picked our top four places to stay in Takeo city.
1. Suon Soben Guesthouse
2. Daunkeo 2 Guesthouse
3. Daunkeo Guesthouse
4. Vathanak Pheap Guesthouse

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Suon Soben Guesthouse, by far, is our top choice for places to stay in Takeo.  This accommodation is located near the city center, tucked away in its own little hideaway.  To get there, you must travel to the Independence monument and the Lotus fountain, head east from the fountain will lead to a dead-end, where Suon Soben is located.   Along the path from the Independence monument to the dead-end, you will find many beer gardens and restaurants a long the way.  Remember you reach the end of the road to be able to see the entrance of Suon Sobin.  During the rainy season, this guesthouse has the perfect view of the open water, a must-see, while during the dry season, an endless green rice paddy field is in plain sight.  Although the guesthouse has only seven rooms, each room contains all your everyday necessary needs such as a bed, a toilet, a shower and air conditioner.  In the middle of the compound, there is a series of bungalows available for free, setup around the pond.  This perfect hideaway is so secluded from the city that would captivate you by surprise.  The name Suon Soben means “the dream garden” in English.  This name is a perfect fit for this place.

Daunkeo 2 Guesthouse ranked second on our list.  It is located right next to Suon Soben Guesthouse. The building is relatively new.  The interior is very clean and inviting.  The room service here is great, even at 10pm at night.  No complain during our stay.  The compound is very spacious, with plenty of car lots.  It is not quite a rural boutique hotel and not quite a guesthouse either.  It is a combination of both elements.  We recommend this place because it is clean and still new.

Daunkeo 1 Guesthouse has two buildings with the older one situated in the left wing.  The rooms are smaller than Daunkeo 2 and Suon Soben but the sizes are big enough for two to three persons.   If you have a large group, this place is one of biggest guesthouses in Takeo city that can accommodate a group of 40 plus.   If you stay for a long period, there’s a laundromat across from the guesthouse.

Vathanak Pheap Guesthouse is located along the bank of Boeung (Lake) Roka Khnong.  It’s a perfect place to stay because you can enjoy the evening walk along the bank.  The room is somewhat small but manageable.  Some rooms are equipped with fans while some with air conditioners.  The price ranges between $10 to $14.

Overall these four accommodations provide suitable sleeping spaces for various travelers.  Their prices are super reasonable, with the cheapest being $10 and the most expensive being $25.  Although the services are not yet as meticulous like you find in Siem Reap, we have to say that these housekeepers and receptionists are attentive and continuing to develop themselves.

We hope that our travelers will be able to find this article useful.  Please share with us your accommodation story in Takeo city.

08 Monday Jul 2013

The Best 30 Angkor Sunsets

Do you know where are places to experience beautiful sunset and sunrise at Angkor complex?

sunset

This month, under the Angkor Heritage Management Framework Project, UNESCO, in collaboration with the Australian Government and Royal Government of Cambodia, has launched a new website on Best Angkor Sunsets.

http://www.angkorsunsets.com/

The Best Angkor Sunsets website presents more than 30 sunset options to visitors at Angkor.

Best Angkor Sunsets will support the conservation and sustainable development of Angkor by providing information to tourists and industry operators, so that they may enjoy better sunset experiences while simultaneously reducing tourist impact on the Angkor World Heritage site.

Book your hotel in Siem Reap: www.dream.myirg.com and book a local tour: www.go.myirg.com.

Visit our facebook page: www.facebook.com/myirg

01 Monday Jul 2013

Toto Ramen, the ramen of Phnom Penh

Now to many  of our readers out there, the word “Toto” often refers to the brandname of the bathroom supplies.  This article however refers to the “Toto” ice cream, bbq and ramen noodle shops in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Toto ice cream shop is a well-known name among the many children and teenagers living in the city.  This infamous ice cream parlor opens its first branch on Norodom boulevard, next to the Chatamuk elementary and middle school, leaving many school kids happily satisfied.   Right next to the ice cream shop is the Toto ramen noodle joint.  Only having been opened no more than 6 months, this noodle shop is now a common place for our many Phnom Penh noodle lovers. The shop serves many japanese and asian noodle style soups.

When I was asked to check out this restaurant, I was at first skeptic of how well the chef would deliver the true essence of ramen, but without a doubt, I was not going to let my presumption be the best of me.

To my surprise, the store itself was quite cozy.  A lot of detail touches were spent on the decoration, making the shop felt so Japanese and alive.  An opened kitchen is connected to the dining area.  The placemat is an eye catcher.  A big bold blue color shapes surrounding the ramen noodle bowl, paired with a  wooden chopstick, was easily notice as you entered the store.  If you seated facing the left side wall, you would have noticed three ramen noodle soups displaying with great presence, leaving you feeling hungry for a taste.

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My first noodle bowl was a heavenly “Tempura Ramen” soup.  At first look, I noticed the golden brown shrimp tempura, perfectly whole intact, drunk  deep inside the ramen soup.  A quick lift of my chopsticks, I gathered a chopstick-full of ramen noodle and shoved into my eager mouth.  Splendid did not describe how well the noodle tasted.  Scrumptious, delectable and mouthwatering were adjectives rolling off my hungry-for-more tongue.  I really enjoyed my shrimp tempura ramen noodle soup as much as the guy sitting next to me since he finished his noodle soup within 5 gulps.  I had many ramen soups before — everything from those college instant noodle to five star Japanese ramen store in New York, but I must say our little Toto ramen noodle shop deserves a place on my top list for places to dine in Phnom Penh.