Phnom Penh – The Ultimate Guide

Phnom Penh - The Ultimate Guide

When I decided to visit Cambodia, I was torn between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Each has its merits. Eventually, I decided on the latter. And I share my experience in this article titled, Phnom Penh – The Ultimate Guide.

In the months that led to my travel to Phnom Penh, every day I searched on the Internet about this city. I watched YouTube videos to learn a bit more.

I was interested in the people, the culture and religion. What festivals do they celebrate? What is the acceptable dress code and what clothing should I pack in my luggage?

Also, what currency do I bring to pay for food, sightseeing, transportation and shopping? How is the weather there in October (when I visited)?

What are the sights to see? What food to eat? Which are the places that serve the best tasting food? And how do I get around Phnom Penh?

Thankfully, besides the Internet, I had a local friend and tour guide who helped me have a lovely time in Phnom Penh. The information here is partly from what I learned from my friend.

Meantime, if you are curious about Phnom Penh, Cambodia, here is a video from their tourist board promoting their beautiful country, and all she has to offer.


Where is Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Cambodia is a country that is landlocked by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh. It is also the largest city in Cambodia.

Phnom Penh covers the lower south area of the center of the country, and has the Mekong River along the east perimeter of the city. It is also the political, economic and cultural centre of the nation.

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Who are the People in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

There around 1.5 million people in Phnom Penh, and I had the great fortune of meeting one of them. He was a nice guy and a talented photographer. He was an excellent example of the Cambodian people. He was gentle, polite, warm and friendly.

I discovered a well produced video titled – People of Cambodia. It does reflect the people in Phnom Penh too. The video highlights the many different races and lifestyles of the people in Phnom Penh. Do watch the less than 3 minute video to get a snapshot of who are the people in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?


What is the Culture in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

The culture in Cambodia is uniquely Khmer. Yet, it can be said that there were many contributions to the Cambodian culture by the French, the Theravada Buddhism, the Angkorian culture, and even the Indians through Hinduism.

The culture throughout the country is mostly the same. The current state of the culture is an amalgam of cultures from the French, the Theravada Buddhism, the Angkorian, and the Indians. For the latter, Hinduism played a major role in shaping the culture that it is today.

The people are generally quite shy. In the video below, you can see the shyness of the young man as he shares 7 tips about their culture. Good to know before you travel to any part of Cambodia.

What are the 7 Cultural Tips?

  1. When going into a house, take off hat and shoes before entering.
  2. When meeting the elderly, take off hat as well.
  3. Cambodians respect the head. Don’t touch someone’s else’s head.
  4. In Cambodian culture, men and women show respect for each other by not touching.
  5. Don’t hug someone of the opposite sex. Hugging is not big in Cambodian culture. The tradtitional greeting is putting hands together under the chin.
  6. If you invite someone out for coffee or a meal, it is assumed that you are the one to pay.
  7. Most of the time, Cambodians will refuse the first time something is offered. Ask 3 times.

What are the Religions in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Buddha Image at Silver Pagoda - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

When I was in Phnom Penh, I could see clearly that Buddhism is the religion most Cambodians practice. In fact, I found out that it is the official religion of Cambodia.

A minority follows Islam and Christianity. There is even tribal animism being practiced there.

Below is an enlightening video about religions in Cambodia. It features many Buddhist temples that I visited when I was there.

Just for interest, here is a video about a typical life of a Cambodian Buddhist monk. It is truly fascinating to watch.


What is the Official Language Spoken in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

During the Angkorian period, the Cambodian language was heavily influenced by the Indian languages – Sanskrit and Pali. Officially known as Khmer, the Cambodian language has the world’s largest alphabet.

It is a very complex language, and can be hard to pronounce accurately. One of the reasons is that there are different consonants that can have different vowel sounds. While it is hard to learn Khmer, it is a fun language to learn, too. Watch the video for a foreigner’s view on this.

Most of the people also speak English. So, if you speak English, traveling around and communicating with the locals is not a problem

I found that traveling in Phnom Penh is easy because most of the Cambodians speak English. Here is the video of the nice young man again. This time, watch as he introduces you to common sentences spoken in Khmer.


What are the Festivals and Public Holidays in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

I was in Phnom Penh during the month of October. And my friend informed me that the popular Water Festival and Boat Racing was just over. How I wished I had known earlier about this exciting festival!

Ah well. Maybe next time.

Meanwhile, I made a list of the public holidays and festivals in my article about Cambodia. Do go to that article and read about them. There are interesting videos to about each of the festivals and holidays. Especially if you plan to visit and experience the holidays or festivals there.

Here are some of the public holidays and festivals in Cambodia that are also celebrated in Phnom Penh:

  • January 1, New Year
  • January 7, Victory Day over Genocide
  • Usually January or February, Chinese New Year
  • Usually in February, Meak Bochea
  • March 8, International Women’s Day
  • April 14 to 16, Khmer New Year
  • Usually April or May, Visak Bochea
  • Usually April, QingMing Festival
  • May 1, Labor Day
  • Usually in May, Royal Ploughing Ceremony
  • May 13 to 15, King Norodom Sihamoni’s Birthday
  • May 20, National Day of Remembrance
  • June 1, International Children’s Day
  • June 18, Royal Birthday of the King Mother Queen Monineath Sihanouk
  • September 24, Constitution Day
  • Usually September or October, 3 days Celebration, Pchum Ben
  • Usually September, Silkworm Festival
  • Usually September or October, Mid Autumn Festival
  • October 15, Commemoration Day of King’s Father, King Norodom Sihanouk
  • October 23, Paris Peace Agreement Day
  • October 29, Coronation Day of King Sihamoni
  • November 9, Independence Day
  • Usually October or November, 3 days of Celebration, Water Festival
  • Usually November or December, Kite Flying Festival

Again, if you like to learn more about the above holidays and festivals, please go to my article about Cambodia. More details and videos to watch there.


What is the Dress Code in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

You will be pleased to know that the dress code for touring and shopping is casual wear. I was even able to watch a show in a casino wearing bermudas and t shirt.

But when I visited sacred and holy sites like temples, I was mindful to wear according to the requirements. First of all, be respectful. Do not wear revealing clothing like sleeveless tops, tank tops or shorts not covering the knees.

Before you enter any sacred or holy place, you have to take off your shoes, sandals, or any head wear such as a hat or cap. To help you know what to do correctly, watch the video below by His Excellency Sok Sangvar about the code of conduct when visiting a holy place in Cambodia.


What is the National Dress in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

I covered this topic in my Cambodia article. Just to summarize, there is the krama worn by men and women as an accessory. The sampot to wrap the lower part of the body. For the women, there is the Av Pak to wear with the sampot. This is a blouse that can be also done ornately for formal wear or special occasions.

To see how the designs and clothing look like, watch the video below.


I think you can guess by now that boat racing is a really popular sport in Phnom Penh. It is called Bon Om Tuuk, and is held at the end of the rainy season.

Many people love this exciting festival, and they sit along the Mekong riverside to watch the boat racers compete. Watch the video below to see the excitement and fanfare.


What Currency Can I Use in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

US Dollars

Before I arrived at Phnom Penh, I learned that the official currency in Cambodia is the Riel (KHR).

At the same time, I also learned that most businesses accept US Dollars (USD). I asked my local friend, and he confirmed that, as a tourist, it would be best for me to pay for stuff using USD.

Travel Tip: Do be careful with the USD you bring. There MUST NOT BE any stains or damage to the notes. If there are, the locals will not accept it.

I had one USD ten dollars that had a small coffee stain. I did not notice it at the money changer. When I tried to use it to buy some food at a local supermarket, the note was refused. Fortunately, when I returned to Singapore, the money changer took it back with no questions asked.


How is the Weather in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

The climate in Phnom Penh is tropical. There are basically two seasons. There is the dry season and the wet or rainy season. The dry season is from December to April, and the rainy season is from May to November.

I learned that this is important to know because the rainy season can be a damper and ruin the travel experience. Conversely, the hotel rates during the dry and cool season are high. So, I tried to find a balance where I get to enjoy lower hotel rates and really nice weather.

Usually, the weather is cool in Phnom Penh from November to February. This is the best time to visit the city. The weather is pleasant, and there is no rain.

Travel Tip: The cool season is also the peak season when many tourists visit Phnom Penh. If you wish to enjoy lower hotel rates, avoid this season.

I do not like weather that is too hot. It makes it difficult to truly enjoy the tour. If you are like me, and do not like hot climate, then avoid going to Phnom Penh from March to June.

If you do not mind rain, then May till November is ideal for you. And it may not rain all day, too. Usually, the mornings are dry. Then it pours in the afternoon. And it can be brief.

For more information about the weather and the best time to visit Phnom Penh, watch the video below.


Which are the Hotels to Stay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

There are plenty of hotels and guest houses in Phnom Penh. So many that I had a hard time trying to choose. Then I remembered that Phnom Penh is bordered by the Mekong River on the east.

So, that became the first criteria for my choice of hotel. It helped as it narrowed down the list. Finally, I found The Bridge Club Hotel. It offered rooms with high floors that had floor to ceiling window that presented an awesome view of the Mekong River and the city.

Phnom Penh Hotels Review - The Bridge Club - Featured Image
Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club. Click image above to read review and watch video of hotel, room, facilities, amenities and unforgettable view of Mekong River.

Click here or the image above to read about my experience at this great hotel. My review includes a video of the hotel room, facilities, amenities and the magnificent view of Mekong River.


What are the Things To See in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

“What is there to see in Phnom Penh?” That was a question many of my friends asked when they found out that I was traveling to this place.

To be honest, I too wondered if there was enough to see to fill five days and four nights stay. I need not have to be concerned.

Thanks to my local friend, I soon realized that there were so many places to visit, and so many things to see. He knew all the best sights to experience.

There was the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Independence Monument, King Statue, the National Museum, Nagaworld, night markets, and many pagodas as well as the well liked riverside and boat cruise.

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I will be writing about all these places soon. So, please join my I Love Travel Community to get updates when I publish articles about them.


What Food to Eat in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Whenever I visit a city in Asia, I would like to try the local food there. I was curious about the local fare, and my friend happily introduced me to some of the really best places to eat in Phnom Penh.

Most of the cafes and restaurants we patronized served Cambodian dishes. These were accompanied with a bowl of rice. There are also dining spots that serve International cuisine such as western food, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. And of course, there is the famous local boat noodles.

Click on the image below to read my review of this quaint boat noodle restaurant.

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Featured Image

Most Cambodians drink tea and rice wine. Of late, the younger generation has acquired a taste for coffee. Hence, coffee chains like Starbucks has entered the market. There was one just around the corner from the hotel where I stayed.

This coffee drinking trend has created local coffee chains and the small coffee places that many locals and expats frequent. One of the most popular is the Brown Coffee. I tried this joint, and I must say I was impressed with the excellent brew they serve. Plus, of course the yummy cakes.


Where To Go Shopping in Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

There are many wet markets, day markets and night markets to shop at in Cambodia. These are markets where you can find cheap local food, household items, arts, handicrafts, fake branded goods, clothes, and accessories.

Like many of the Asian city counterparts, Phnom Penh has many local markets. There are the wet markets, the day markets and the night markets. At these markets, you can find many cheap products.

Travel Tip: Beware! The ‘branded goods’ at the markets are fake.

If you like to get genuine branded products, head for one of the large shoppping malls there. There was an Aeon Mall just behind the Bridge Hotel where I stayed. It was a nice respite from a hot day touring in the sun. Also, it was where I bought drinks and fruits at local prices from the supermarket.

Watch the video below to learn what are the top 5 shopping malls in Phnom Penh. The first mall featured in the video was the Aeon Mall I frequented.


How to Get to Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

By Airplane

I flew by Jetstar and arrived at the Phnom Penh International Airport, the largest airport in Cambodia. It was a good, safe and short flight from Singapore.

Of course, there are many airlines that fly direct to Phnom Penh. Some of the airlines are AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, Cambodia Angkor Air, China Airlines, EVA Air, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways, SilkAir, and many more. Check online to find out which ones suit your needs.

By Train

The only train to Phnom Penh is from Hua Lamphong, Thailand to Phnom Penh Station. You have to take via Poipet. The entire journey is about 17 hours! Better to take a plane, right?

By Bus

There are private bus companies that provide transport to Phnom Penh. These are from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Saigon. If you are coming from these cities, and decide to take the bus, check with the right bus companies.

Travel Tip: When traveling from one city to another, it is best to take the day buses. Night buses have high rate of accidents.

By Road

The most popular way to Phnom Penh via road is from Bangkok. You can rent a taxi or a car and drive in to the country. Oddly enough, when you travel by taxi or car, you can arrive in Phnom Penh faster than by bus.

By Boat / Ferry

There is only one ferry that goes to Phnom Penh. And that is from Vietnam. It is run by a ferry company called Mandarin Cruises. Go to them to check for further information such as sailing schedules.

On Foot

It is very difficult to travel by foot into Phnom Penh. Consider the above options instead. Best to choose to fly there.


Do You Need a Visa to Visit Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

Most visitors to Phnom Penh require a visa in advance. For some, you can get a visa upon arrival at the Phnom Penh International Airport. Best to check with the official Cambodian immigration website for more accurate details

People from ASEAN countries do not need to get a visa, as long as the stay is not more than 21 or 30 days (depending on the country). ASEAN countries include Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and Myanmar. Again, it is best to check official resources to confirm this.


How to Get Around Phnom Penh, Cambodia?

After you arrive in Phnom Penh, you will find there are a few ways to get around the city.

By Bus

There are city buses that is one of the most used public transportation by locals. As a visitor, you can try this mode of transport too. But it will take a lot of effort to understand the bus routes and schedules.

The upside is that the bus fares are very low. At the point of time this article is written, the fare can be as low as USD0.25.

While cheap and almost convenient, do not that the buses do not have air conditioning. And during peak hours, they can get very packed.

By Taxi

Taxis are plenty, and easily available. It is rather safe to take a taxi. One advantage is that the drivers speak English and usually are very knowledgeable about the city they drive in.

Travel Tip: Negotiate for the price you are willing to pay before you ride the cab.

By Grab

Today, in cities like Phnom Penh, Grab is very popular, and the choice for locals and tourists. This is a service where you can get a cab or a Grab driver (for example an owner of a private car) to drive you to your destination. It is exactly like Uber.

All you have to do is download the app, and fill in your details. Then use the app to ‘hail’ a vehicle to get you to your destination.

By Cyclo

These are like the rickshaws or trishaws in other cities in Southeast Asia. The passenger sits on a large chair (sometimes can fit two people), that is fitted to a three-wheeled vehicle. The driver peddles to get the vehicle moving.

The advantage of this is that you get a clear view of all surroundings because the top cover can be pulled back. Also, this is relatively cheap.

The downside is that you will get wet when it rains.

By Moto

Motos are basically motorcycles that act as taxis. It is quite common in countries like Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

It is very cheap and convenient. As a motorcycle, they can easily maneuver around other vehicles and not get stuck in any traffic jams.

Downside is you will get wet when it rains.

Travel Tip: You must wear a helmet, even as a passenger. The driver must provide you one. If you are caught without a helmet, the police will catch you and extort some money from you.

Tuk Tuk in Cambodia

By Tuk Tuk

Like Thailand, there are Tuk Tuks in Cambodia that drives people around the city. It is basically a passenger carriage on a three-wheeled motor vehicle.

It is much cheaper than traveling by a taxi.

Travel Tip: Grab service in Phnom Penh offers the option to ride in a Tuk Tuk. Give it a try!

By Foot

Most visitors travel around by Tuk Tuks or Grab. At times, when an attraction is nearby, you can consider traveling by foot.

But please be careful when crossing roads. The traffic lights can be confusing. And sometimes cars do not follow the lights.

Travel Tip: It is best to travel by Tuk Tuk or Grab.


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If you have ANY questions about Phnom Penh – The Ultimate Guide, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Featured Image

Before I arrived at Phnom Penh, my Cambodian friend gushed about this place. It is one of the very good Phnom Penh Restaurants he said. Many locals, including him, as well as foreigners patronize this eatery. It is also a popular place for people who are in the arts, such as artists, photographers, etc. My friend is a really good photographer. He is well known in Cambodia for really excellent photographs he had taken.

I was intrigued, and I made him promise to bring me here as soon as I arrived. He made the promise and he was true to his word. When I arrived, it rained heavily. That did not stop us. So, after an evening of dining, here is my Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant.


Boat Noodle Restaurant – The Overview & Rankings

Name: Boat Noodle Restaurant
Cuisine: Asian, Khmer and Thai Food
Meals Served: Various types of dishes to be eaten with rice, Specialty – Boat Noodle
Dining Choices: Dine In, Takeout
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$

Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Salad with minced chicken
Food Quality
Service Quality
Dining Ambiance
Value for Money

Summary

Boat Noodle is quite a popular local fare. How was the food at this Phnom Penh Boat Noodle Restaurant? Read my review to find out.

2.3

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About Boat Noodle Restaurant

I had wondered about Khmer Food since I started to plan for this holiday. And I was a little surprised that most restaurants do not just serve Khmer Food. They also serve other foods like Thai Food, Vietnamese Food, Western Food, and others. This Boat Noodle Restaurant was no exception. They served Khmer and Thai Food.

And to match, or even communicate, the type of food served, the place is decorated with art, sculptures, handicrafts from these countries.

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant, Waitresses cleaning up
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant, Waitresses cleaning up
Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants - Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Interior of Boat Noodle Restaurant

An interesting thing to note is that apparently there is a famous Boat Noodle Restaurant in Phnom Penh. And this is not that one. Even so, this is a popular place for the locals. Some expatriates even frequent this place. That night when I was there, there was a French family dining at a table nearby. And they were later joined by more of their friends from France. From their conversation, it was apparent that they are regulars at this eating place.


Food and Drinks at Boat Noodle Restaurant

The Boat Noodle Restaurant is supposed to be famous for their Boat Noodle. But apparently, they are much better at their meat dishes, especially the barbecued meats. We ordered the barbecued chicken wings, local salad with minced chicken, and rice. My friend had his favorite coconut juice freeze. And I ordered the avocado juice freeze, which was very delicious!

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Dinner with Salad, Chicken Wings, Coconut Freeze and Avocado Freeze
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Dinner with Salad, Chicken Wings, Coconut Freeze and Avocado Freeze

Before I arrived, my friend sent me pictures of the barbecued chicken wings they server here. They looked delicious. But that rainy night, when we ordered the same barbecued chicken wings, they looked a little sad.

Phnom Penh Barbecued Chicken Wings
Phnom Penh Barbecued Chicken Wings

The taste was all right. But not fantastic. And they were served cold. We later found out that it was because of the heavy rain. Usually, their chef would barbecue the chicken wings in the open, and only when someone ordered the wings. But because of the rain, they could not do that. And before the rain came, he quickly barbecued what he could in preparations for later orders throughout the night.

Not ideal. But I have learned that when you are in a foreign country, you have to learn to accept their ways. This is how they handle the heavy rain situation.

Travel Tip: If it rains, go to another place to eat. Come back here when the weather is fine.

The salad was not quite to my taste, too.

Phnom Penh Restaurants - Salad with minced chicken
Phnom Penh Restaurants – Salad with minced chicken

I guess I was used to the tangy taste of Thai salads that I had in Thailand and in Singapore. The salad in Phnom Penh did not have that zing to it. It was quite mild in flavor to be honest. And it was, to me, quite soggy. The vegetables in the salads in Thailand and Singapore were fresh and had a little bit of crunchiness, which I enjoyed. But this one here, the vegetables were wet and a little soggy. Not so much crunch to them.

I was not deterred though. I thought it could be just this restaurant’s way of preparing this dish. I even ordered and tried the salad again at the Titanic Restaurant a couple of nights later.


How to Order the Food?

A waiter or waitress will seat you at a table. Then they will present you with a menu. Here are a few pages of the menu from this restaurant.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Cover
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Cover

As mentioned earlier, they serve both Khmer and Thai food. And in the menu, they divide the two types of delicacies in sections. Before the range of Khmer Food, they have a sort of sub cover page to indicate that you are about to see Khmer dishes.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Khmer Food section
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu Khmer Food section

Here is a page of the Khmer Food section. As you can see, the food is quite varied. And at times, I find the dishes almost familiar, like Chinese dishes. Also, good news! Every item is described in Cambodian and English

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu - List of Dishes
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu – List of Dishes

Here is the page where we ordered our dishes from – the salad and barbecued chicken wings page.

Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu - List of Salad and Grilled Chicken Dishes
Boat Noodle Restaurant Menu – List of Salad and Grilled Chicken Dishes

The ordering of the food is just like how you would order at any restaurant. Simply choose the dishes you would like to have. Wave to the waiter to indicate that you are ready to place your orders. Inform the waiter or waitress all the dishes you and your party would like to have. Then patiently wait for your food to arrive and enjoy!

Travel Tip: Payment is by cash only. So have your US dollars ready. The meal we had (see image above) cost us USD13 only.


Boat Noodle Restaurant – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 2.3 out of 5.0

To be fair to this restaurant, perhaps I visited on a bad day. To be fair to me, I have to give this place a two and a half rating because the food did not meet my standards.

I love chicken wings, whether deep fried or barbecued. Or even sauteed and steamed in some gastronomically delightful sauce. But the chicken wings that night failed totally.

Even my friend who frequent the place seemed a little surprised that the chicken wings looked and tasted so poorly. He commented that it was not like the usual standard that he was used to.

Some people may like the salad. But I really did not enjoy it. There just so much water. And the taste was so mild.

I did read from other reviews that the meat dishes are the best here. So, maybe when it is not raining, this could be better? For now, I have to go with what I have experienced. And that is this place did not serve good food.

The place was charming. But a little cluttered. The art, handicrafts, and furnishings do make the place feel very local. But at the same time, because of the Thai influence, it was a little confusing.


How To Get There?

I stayed at The Bridge Club Hotel, and it was just a short tuk tuk ride to the Boat Noodle Restaurant. So, if you are staying in the city or near the city, the tuk tuk might be the choice of transport. Check with the hotel you are staying at to confirm. Or if you are going to stay at The Bridge Club, then you are assured it is nearby.

Address of Boat Noodle Restaurant:

184Eo Preah Trasak Paem St. (63), Phnom Penh 12301, Cambodia

Operating hours:

8.00 am to 9.00 pm, Daily

Contact Boat Noodle Restaurant:

Phone: +855 11-952-120

By Foot

You could travel by foot. But it might take hours, depending on where you are staying at. So, unless you are staying very near, I suggest to take the tuk tuk.

By Tuk Tuk

This is the best and most economical way to travel around Phnom Penh. It is very cheap and affordable. For example, a short ride, about 10 minutes to the Boat Noodle Restaurant cost only USD1 plus. I highly recommend traveling around the city via this mode of transport.

By Train

There is no train system within this city.

By Bus

There are buses. But the tuk tuk is so much easier and can bring you there faster.

By Car

If you drive, you can take a look at the map above, and navigate your way there. Car park space may be an issue though.

By Taxi

There are taxis. But most people use Grab now. See below.

To be honest, I traveled most of the time in tuk tuks. Occasionally, by Grab. So, I have no idea how the taxis work here in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

By Grab

Grab has taken Asia by storm. Phnom Penh is no exception.

When I arrived, I booked a car by Grab that drove me to The Bridge Club Hotel. It was so easy. All I did was pull out the Grab app. Then book a car. The car arrived, and I was brought to the hotel in less than 30 minutes (it was off peak hours, so no traffic jam).

Grab is now my preferred option for travel when I need to move about within a city. It is so easy. There is no need to negotiate because the price is quoted via the app, and confirmed. The price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


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We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about this Phnom Penh Restaurants Review – Boat Noodle Restaurant, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus

Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club

Phnom Penh Hotels Review - The Bridge Club - Featured Image

It was my first visit to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. I wanted to stay at a comfortable hotel that has a magnificent view of the city and the famous Mekong river. Plus, I wanted to stay at a room that is really affordable. And I found it!

Today, in this Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club, I will share with you my experience of my stay at this hotel. In this review, there will be lots of photos and a video showing you the room I stayed in, the amenities offered, and the facilities available.

There is also information about nearby attractions, where The Bridge Club is located, how to get there, and how to get around Phnom Penh.


Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club – The Overview & Rankings: 

Hotel: The Bridge Club
Room Rates: USD93 and above (depending on room type) per night. For a Deluxe Double Room with City View, the rate is USD101 per night. I got it at USD30 per night only. That’s 70.3% Discount! And I got this great deal at Agoda!
Cheapest Place to Book: Agoda
Location: Ground floor (unit 18 and 19), near The Bridge SOHO entrance, National Assembly Street, Sngkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Rooms:

  1. Superior Room with King Bed
  2. Deluxe Double Room with City View
  3. Premium Studio Room
  4. Executive Twin Room
  5. One Bedroom Suite Apartment
  6. Two Bedroom Suite Apartment

Phnom Penh Hotels Review

Timotheus for Asia Travel Gems

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Great View of the City and Mekong River!
Hotel Room Quality
Amenities
Facilities
Service Quality
Sleep Quality
Location
Value for Money

Summary


Cool New Hotel with Awesome View of Mekong River and city of Phnom Penh. See pics and video of how room looks like plus view. Get Special Discount Rates Now!

3.4

Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club – The Video: 

In this Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club video, you will see the reception area, all the amenities in the Deluxe Double Room, the awesome view of the city and Mekong river from the room which is at 30th floor, and all the facilities offered at this hotel. Click and Watch the Video to see it all!

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About The Bridge Club

The Bridge Club is a 4-star accommodation located in the Chamkarmorn area of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is a very good location as it is near a large mall, cafes, coffee houses and restaurants. Plus, the famous attractions are not too far. Just a short ride on a tuk tuk.

The Bridge Club - View of hotel at night from side
The Bridge Club – View of hotel at night from side
The Bridge Club - View of hotel at night from front
The Bridge Club – View of hotel at night from front
View from back of The Bridge Club Hotel
View from back of The Bridge Club Hotel

It  is the state of the hotel that is a concern. It is very new. And parts of it are still under construction and renovations. There were times when my friends and I were taking the passenger lifts, and the construction team would move things in and out using the same lifts. Not very professional.

Rooms

There are apparently about 900 to 1,000 rooms. As mentioned earlier, there are various types of rooms available:

  1. Superior Room with King Bed
  2. Deluxe Double Room with City View
  3. Premium Studio Room
  4. Executive Twin Room
  5. One Bedroom Suite Apartment
  6. Two Bedroom Suite Apartment

* Tip: Not all rooms face the Mekong River. Some do not even have windows. So, make sure you ask for a room on a high floor with a view of NagaWorld and Mekong River. Of course, you must book a room that has that potential view.

When I booked, I chose the Deluxe Double with City View room. But this type of room can either face the Mekong River or the other side, which is the other part of Phnom Penh city. The view is just all buildings. So I added instructions in my booking to give me a high floor room with a view of Nagaworld and the Mekong River. And I got such a room! See the awesome view!

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Great View of the City and Mekong River!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Great View of the City and Mekong River!

The rate per night for my room was USD101 per night. I got it cheaper at USD30 per night. That’s a whopping 70.3% Discount! All thanks to Agoda!

The size of the room is about 37 sq m with 1 Super King Bed. It is really huge for two people. I really enjoyed the space. And of course, the awesome view. I watch it every chance I got.

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Living Room and Bed plus window with Great View of the City and Mekong River!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Living Room and Bed plus window with Great View of the City and Mekong River!

Visiting Phnom Penh? With Agoda, your Rooms Get Up To 70% Off! Don't Miss This Great Offer! Click Here Now!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

Amenities 

There are quite a lot of amenities at The Bridge Club. But I find the quality of the amenities lacking. For example, the towels were very rough. And the staff a bit raw and untrained. Some were even unfriendly and not very hospitable. But being a hotel that is a work in progress, plus the really affordable rates at this time, it is almost acceptable. I do hope things improve after all the construction and renovation work are done.

Front Desk

  • 24-hour Front Desk
  • Front Desk Safe
  • Express Check-in and Check-out
The Bridge Club Front Desk
The Bridge Club Front Desk
The Bridge Club Reception Area
The Bridge Club Reception Area

En-suite Bathroom with towels

Bathroom and Toilet facilities in Deluxe Double with City View Room of The Bridge Club Hotel
Bathroom and Toilet facilities in Deluxe Double with City View Room of The Bridge Club Hotel

Other Amenities

  • Hair Dryer
  • Free toiletries; e.g. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Refrigerator
Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Living Room with Refrigerator, Water Cooler and Washing/Dryer Machine
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Living Room with Refrigerator, Water Cooler and Washing/Dryer Machine
  • Microwave
  • Electric Kettle
  • Washing Machine and Dryer
  • Electronic Safe
  • Free Internet access via WiFi
  • Free and Pay TV
  • Work Desk
  • Air conditioning
  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Free Asian and Western Breakfast (at 13th floor – check your booking package to see if this is included for free)
  • Pay Later Option with Agoda
  • 1,000 Non-smoking rooms available

Facilities

Outdoor Swimming Pool

Lovely Outdoor Swimming Pool
Lovely Outdoor Swimming Pool
View of Phnom Penh and Mekong River from Outdoor Swimming Pool at 13th Floor
View of Phnom Penh and Mekong River from Outdoor Swimming Pool at 13th Floor

Garden

  • Garden with view of city and Mekong river
  • Barbecue area in Garden
Garden with BBQ facilities at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden with BBQ facilities at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden at The Bridge Club Hotel
Garden at The Bridge Club Hotel
View of Phnom Penh from back of The Bridge Club Hotel, 39th Floor
View of Phnom Penh from back of The Bridge Club Hotel, 39th Floor

Indoor Swimming Pool at Top Floor (39th Floor)

Indoor Swimming Pool at 39th Floor of The Bridge Club Hotel
Indoor Swimming Pool at 39th Floor of The Bridge Club Hotel

Gymnasium

The large gym at The Bridge Club
The large gym at The Bridge Club

More Facilities

  • Spa
  • Rooftop Terrace
  • Playground
  • Car Park with Free Parking for Guests
View of The Bridge Club Hotel from Garden to Top Floor
View of The Bridge Club Hotel from Garden to Top Floor

Visiting Phnom Penh? With Agoda, your Rooms Get Up To 70% Off! Don't Miss This Great Offer! Click Here Now!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

What Good Food to Enjoy in Phnom Penh?

The local food is quite similar to the food in the region – Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. So, you will find some dishes that taste about the same; e.g. curry. At the same time, I noticed most places offer Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian meals. All that can even be in one restaurant! You will be spoiled for choice.

My Cambodian friend introduced me to one of their popular coffee chain called Brown Coffee. It is very good. I will share more about this in a future blog post. Also, we had a fantastic local meal at a restaurant called Titanic. Watch for more about food in future posts.


Attractions Nearby

When you stay at The Bridge Club, you will not run short of attractions to visit. There are so many nearby. For those that are near, you can simply take a stroll over there. For those a little further, take the tuk tuk. It is cheap and convenient. Here is a list of some of the nearby attractions, in alphabetical order:

  • Aeon Mall – about 1 km away
  • Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center – about 800 m away
  • Independence Monument – about 1 km away
  • NagaWorld Hotel & Entertainment Complex – about 500 m away
  • Phnom Penh City Centre – about 3 km away
  • Preah Sihanouk Garden – about 700 m away
  • Royal Palace – about 1.7 km away
  • Samdech Hun Sen Park – about 800 m away
  • Silver Pagoda – about 1.7 km away
  • Sontepheap Garden – about 400 m away
  • Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk – about 1 km away
  • Tuol Sieng Genocide Museum – about 1 km away
  • Wat Botum Partk – about 1.1 km away
  • Wat Lanka – about 1.1 km away

Where is The Bridge Club?

The Bridge Club is located at the Chamkarmorn area. It is a very nice area. Not too busy like in the City Center. Yet, close enough that you can easily visit and see many attractions, and enjoy delicious food at good cafes, coffee houses and restaurants. Here is a map to show you where it is located.

Address: Ground floor (unit 18 and 19), near The Bridge SOHO entrance, National Assembly Street, Sngkat Tonle Bassac, Khan Chamkarmorn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phone: +855-023-236-236

Email: contact@pp-bridgeclub.com

How To Get There?

By Air

The Bridge Club is around 14 km away from the Phnom Penh International Airport.  There are many airlines that fly to Phnom Penh from many cities. You can check which airlines fly to Phnom Penh on Agoda.

By Road

You can also choose to travel by road if you are going to Phnom Penh from a neighboring country. Do plan your route carefully, and make sure you have all papers ready when you cross the borders.


How To Get Around Phnom Penh?

By Bus

There are buses in Phnom Penh. But it is not easy to understand their routes and timings. Also, they only operate from 5 am to 8 pm. Not very ideal when you need to get around after 8 pm, especially after dinner or after a night out in town.

Plus, parking is usually not a problem because there is ample space almost everywhere.

By Taxi

Do these exist here anymore? Most people take the tuk tuk or Grab. See below.

By Tuk Tuk

These are motorized three-wheeled vehicles that have replaced the traditional pulled trishaws. It is a very cheap mode of transportation. It is not as comfortable as sitting in a car, but it serves the purpose of traveling short distances for very low price.

By Grab

Grab is like Uber in Asia. In fact, it has taken over Uber.

It has become my preferred mode of travel when getting around a foreign city in Asia. One reason is that there is no need to negotiate. Another is that the price is usually reasonable and affordable. No hassles.

It is so easy to travel around in cities now because of Grab. Just download the app, state your destination, a driver is assigned to you, take the transport, and you arrive at your destination. Comfortable and easy.

I have switched to Grab for my travels within a city ever since this option became available.


The Bridge Club – Asia Travel Gems Final Word

Asia Travel Gems Rating: 3.4 out of 5.0

From afar, The Bridge Club looks impressive. It looks like a good hotel with fine service, rooms, amenities, and facilities. But looks can be deceiving.

The room I stayed at was good. Really large room with lots of space. The bed was very comfortable, and the pillows are just the right bounce. They are not too soft till there is no support, and not too hard that it is unpleasant to lie on.

The amenities were plenty. But they lacked quality. They felt like amenities provided in a budget hotel, or a 1-star hotel. They could up the standards.

The facilities are quite all right. All still new. So, no surprise there that it was all good.

The service was the issue. The staff at the Front Desk were not friendly. For example, a local friend of mine drove and parked at the hotel car park. We asked for the parking vouchers since it is free parking for guests. They had to be convinced to give the free parking vouchers for all the days we were staying there. At first, they insisted we go to the Front Desk every day to get the voucher for the day.

I had reason with them that we were already booked and staying for four days. Why can’t they give us the vouchers for all four days? Does it make sense that we are expected to go to the Front Desk every day to get a voucher? We are tourists. We are busy sightseeing and experiencing all the city has to offer. We don’t want to get the voucher daily. After a long while, they finally relented.

Another incident was when housekeeping left only one towel for a room that was meant for two. To get that towel, we had to take the lift from the 30th floor, walk from the SOHO area to the Front Desk, ask for the towel, told we had to wait, and we waited for more than half an hour plus we had to take the towel back to our room.

Finally, the ongoing construction. I don’t know how long this has been going on and how long more it will go on. But it is an inconvenience.

All right, true that the room rates were cheaper because of the construction. But surely the construction crew and the housekeeping staff (with their housekeeping trolley), can take a service lift? It is very unsightly to see all that for a hotel guest.

So, there you have it. Why the rating for this hotel is so low? I would have given it an even lower rating. Maybe even a 2 stars. But because of the view. Ah, that gorgeous view of the city and the Mekong river. That is precious. And for that, they get a slightly higher rating.

Phnom Penh Hotels - The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View - Great View of the City and Mekong River in the evening!
Phnom Penh Hotels – The Bridge Club Deluxe Double Room with City View – Great View of the City and Mekong River in the evening!

Visiting Phnom Penh? With Agoda, your Rooms Get Up To 70% Off! Don't Miss This Great Offer! Click Here Now!
Book Your Rooms with Agoda and Get Up to 70% Off! Click above image!

We have come to the end of this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

If you have ANY questions about Phnom Penh Hotels Review – The Bridge Club, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.

Timotheus