Singing The Guesthouse Blues

By Jane Mountain | May 4, 2014

13,554 km so far.

I wasn’t too impressed with the guesthouse we ended up in last night.

It was pretty much a dive, but one of those dives that you don’t really realise is bad until it’s too late to change your mind. Instead of screaming “run away” as soon as you take your first look, the divey aspects reveal themselves to you one at a time over the course of a few hours.

Anatomy Of A Crappy Guesthouse

At this particular guesthouse, our room was pretty big and looked out over a clean-looking pool. So far so good.

Looks nice right? Pool at a crappy guesthouse.

Looks nice right? Pool at a crappy guesthouse.

As soon as I turned on the wall fan, I suspected something was amiss. It was coated in layers of dust so thick it was clear it hadn’t been cleaned for quite some time. The bed looked good at a glance, but when I flipped back the carefully folded blanket, I discovered some kind of marks on the sheet and a few stray hairs. As with many cheap guesthouses we’ve stayed in, I suspect they hadn’t bothered to change the bedding between guests.

That’s why we carry our silk sleep sheets with us.

Had I been the one to check the room, the bathroom would have been enough for me to say ‘no’. It was just grotty, with open pipe work on the floor, grime in the corners of the shower, and no sense that any professional had worked to build it. It was only a few hours later that we discovered that the tap didn’t produce water and the toilet didn’t flush (until Stephen fixed it).

The cockroach scuttling across the floor this morning as I brushed my teeth was just the icing on the foul cake. I couldn’t leave quickly enough.

It is obvious to us that places like this do not have the benefit of a woman’s touch, so things are done to a standard which is acceptable to the young Cambodian men in charge. How many young men do you know who would be good at running a guesthouse?

Onwards And Upwards

Fortunately, for those with a little flexibility in their budget, you can always buy your way out of an icky situation. We rode straight over to the Thmorda Garden, whose website says “The resort is operated by a team of women”. It shows.

Thmorda over-water restaurant in Koh Kong.

Thmorda over-water restaurant in Koh Kong.

Since it was only 10am, we were told we wouldn’t be able to check in for a while, and we should just make ourselves comfortable in the over-water bar and restaurant.

We happily complied.

over water cabana koh kong cambodia

Private lounge area at Thmorda, Koh Kong.

For the rest of the day, we worked and played and watched the world of the river flow by from a big, comfy hammock on the deck.

Not a bad way to spend one of our last days in Cambodia.  

Want to see the route map? View it on Ride With GPS.

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