Upon descending the Pinkuylluna Mountain, I met a middle-aged American couple who asked me if where I came out of was the entrance to the hill with the ruins. I ended up having an interesting conversation with them right there on the narrow, cobblestone covered street of the old Inca part of Ollantaytambo.
At one point they mentioned they had dined at Apu Veronica Restaurant located across the bridge heading out of town, and recommended the restaurant to me for some of the best food in town. So I made a point of heading out there and satiating my digestive system after the uphill climb.
Apu Veronica is, exactly as the Americans told me, across the bridge heading toward the fortress. It is located on the second floor of a building, but is well marked to make it easy to find.
I walked up and seated myself in the smallish restaurant currently catering to just a couple of people eating there. However despite being noticed by the staff, I was totally ignored for the longest time.
I proceeded to walk up to the counter and grabbed a menu out of there myself, thinking this would get the message across and a waiter would come to ask what I wished to order. That never happened.
The menu suggested heavily overpriced dishes, but whereas one of the dining patrons was a local, I knew they also had locally priced options. I found those on an individual sheet on the counter.
Called “Daily Menu“, this option offered a selection of a few pre-made dishes for 15 Soles which included a small plate of soup and a glass of Chicha Morada (traditional Peruvian non-alcoholic, sugar sweetened beverage of deep purple color made from dried dark corn). Compared to the dishes listed in the menu, which sell for upward of 70 Soles (over $21 US) per plate, these three course meals are hell of a better deal, but as a foreigner, you’re not supposed to know about them. That’s if anyone bothers to serve you in the first place.
Having figured out what I wanted, and having demonstrated to the staff that I’m indeed present in the restaurant and ready to place an order, I expected a waiter to finally show up after some 15 minutes of ignoring me in the restaurant with hardly any people to keep them busy. It never happened, so I stood myself up, walked up to the counter again, and called up a waiter to place an order there.
I ordered fried trout, but asked if instead of standard rice as an accompaniment, I could get a portion of fresh salad made from whatever veggies they had in the kitchen. The waiter said it shouldn’t be a problem, so I went to sit myself down at my table again.
As per the speed of previously demonstrated service, it took forever to finally bring me my order, but nevertheless, I got the trout exactly as I asked for. Compared to what I got in nearby Puno for half the price, this was a miserable portion of fish, but I was in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, so I took it as it was.
I went to Apu Vernica after descending the Pinkuylluna Mountain so I did feel like unwinding after the heart pumping uphill trek, which is probably the only reason why I stuck around. The terrible service with no reason to justify the insanely long waiting times was otherwise inexcusable. The food however, I have to admit, was tasty and the cook prepared it for me the way I wanted, so I feel like my review is at the draw as far as recommending or not recommending the restaurant.
Furthermore, unless you get sucked into ordering one of the hard core overpriced options from the foreigners’ menu, the value for money in Apu Veronica is decent. The food was safe and didn’t make me ill, so I’ll leave it at just that – Apu Veronica is probably a decent choice for dining in Ollantaytambo, but not if you don’t have whole day to wait for service, or are really hungry.
Upon arriving in Ollantaytambo from Cusco, I proceeded to look for a room to stay in. I liked the idea of staying within the stone streets of the original Inca town, so I wandered around there and asked in a few places that had a Hotel or Hostal sign.
The van from Cusco dropped me off at Ollantaytambo’s Plaza de Armas, and whereas it was obvious that all traffic passing through the small town passes through Plaza de Armas, I decided to stay in Inka Wasi Hostal, which is located near Plaza de Armas to provide near instant access to the downtown area, but is not directly on it so as not to pay too much for a room.
Inka Wasi had nice and clean looking rooms, but the windows faced the hostal’s courtyard where local children played and yelled whole day and late into the night. People living in the adjacent houses used the courtyard to conduct their overly loud phonecalls. Needless to say, there were few opportunities for a restful sleep.
The bed was however comfortable, there was hot water in the shower, and the internet worked reasonably well. The location would be probably the establishment’s biggest selling point, and at the cost of 50 Soles per night (a touch over $15 US), the value for money was nothing to write home about as far as Latin America is involved, but it wasn’t overly pricey either.
Overall, I would stay at Inka Wasi again, if I made a return trip to Ollantaytambo.
I recently paid a visit to my friend who travels with an iPad (an Apple product). I simply asked him if I could check up on my sites on his laptop to make sure nothing was falling apart since it looked like I was not gonna make it back home for a good while. He handed me his iPad and told me to take as much time as I need. Since I’ve been traveling with what I consider to be the best laptop for travelers, near whole day of iPad use gave me a chance to compare the two and thoroughly review the latest gadget that seems to get so much attention. Is iPad good for travelling or not? Is it better than a laptop or does it lag behind? Read on to find out all about it. This is my in-depth personal review of the Apple iPad with special focus on use by the travelers on the road.
Unfortunately, because it was my friend’s iPad that I got to use (and am reviewing here) and I used it while visiting his place, I do not have any pictures of it. I did not go to visit him to review the iPad, it just so happened that he had one. However given how popular this gadget is, I believe everybody has already seen one or knows how to look up the pictures of it.
Using iPad – First Impressions
Using iPad is no different from using any other Apple product. Nothing is where you would naturally anticipate it to be. Granted, human being is a highly adaptable creature so I eventually get used to everything working backwards, but I still think it’s just plain weird that everything would be set up to go against intuition.
Second thing you also notice right away is the awkwardness of use. This is also something that could be anticipated as iPad was stripped of all the useful things (such as a keyboard) so typing and working with text, or otherwise using any of the features is a major pain (on top of being unnatural as mentioned in a paragraph above).
The immediately noticeable positive thing is a crisp and sharp screen with very nice picture. That is also something I would call typical of Apple as usability and functionality have never been strong features of any Apple product. Instead of proper engineering, Apple clearly puts maximum focus on cute design. Regardless of how unusable a gadget is, for as long as it looks cool and has a cool screen, it seems to be enough to trick many people into buying.
I know really darn well that this was a poor business decision, but my personal and professional conscience made me put the business second. A good example were SONY cameras. They had these cute little buttons and really attractive designs, but while both were strong selling points, one thing hidden from a customer looking to buy a camera was quality of pictures they’d take.
Being a small retailer who had to offer added value to his products in order to survive in the shade of the big box stores, I educated all of the people who came to buy a camera from me on what they could anticipate in terms of image quality from each of the cameras. I explained to them what they would be gaining and losing if they opted for this model as opposed to that one. Being a professional photographer at the time, I had the real life expertise sales people from big box stores did not have and that was the reason many people came to buy their cameras from me.
Many however bought their cameras elsewhere and then came to ask me, whom they knew of being an expert on photography, to explain why their pictures look like crap. Often times, by mere looking at pictures I had but one question to ask – is it a SONY camera you have? More often than not, the answer was “Yes”. After brief introduction, the customer would realize that buying a camera from a big box store instead of from a photographer was a mistake and that deciding which one to take based on what the camera looked like was the main reason why important images did not work out.
Still, despite poor picture quality, SONY cameras counted among the best selling ones among the people who did not buy theirs from me. That only confirmed the fact that people are visual creatures and will side with more attractive looks rather than quality output when making purchasing decisions.
It is the same with Apple products. Ipad could be the most useless gadget to be released in centuries, but thanks to its polished black surface and shiny, sharp-pictured screen, it sees millions sold worldwide. I have seen people’s shopping decisions influenced by attractive looks before, so it does not surprise me with iPads at all.
As a brief disclaimer I would simply state that I closed my photography business down in 2005. I have not kept an eye on SONY cameras since and what I talk about above simply reflects on the knowledge I acquired while I was running said business. Things may have (and likely have) changed since. But let’s get back to iPad and its use as a gadget for travelers.
Cost of the iPad
The biggest drawback of iPads is their high cost. These underpowered, limited use calculators with movie playback capabilities (but without a DVD player) are way too expensive for what they offer. I bought my laptop for $379 Canadian and at the time, Apple iPads were available for $499 Canadian (basic version). Had I been delusional and bought an iPad instead of my Samsung N150, I would have spent more money but got far more limited device which would disallow me from being efficient and productive. This could potentially jeopardise my income to a point that I could entirely lose it. As a businessman who earns his living on a computer, an iPad could never be an option.
Yet despite its extremely limited use, it costs significantly more to buy than my small netbook with which I can do absolutely anything. In a year since the purchase, my N150 was my sole tool I used for all video editing, dozens of photo manipulations done each day, graphics design for high end customers, daily web programming and maintenance of high traffic server serving 3 million unique readers a month.
Ridiculously enough, despite being superbly overpriced to begin with, the functionality of this overpriced product is so limited, you will be stuck having to spend more money to buy various applications to actually have at least any use of your new gadget. Yet even if you were to spend thousands of dollars on aps, you still won’t get the functionality of even the cheapest, crappiest laptop available.
Paying more money to be able to do less makes no sense. As a result, buying iPad – whether for travel or anything else makes no sense. None whatsoever.
Review of iPad’s Usability by Travelers
I frequently use my laptop while standing up. Being a rigorous traveler, I often get caught in need of an immediate information and need to get on the internet to look it up. It frequently happens when I can’t find the guesthouse I want to stay in in a city I just got to. When that happens, I walk around in search of unsecured WiFi signals and get on my laptop wherever I can find it. Oftentimes there is nowhere to sit, or it could be raining so I’d be just hiding under whatever piece of roof I could find and as a result, I’m forced to use my laptop while standing up.
Using a conventional laptop standing up is not a problem. But trying that with an iPad became a major nightmare. You basically can’t use the iPad while standing up comfortably. You would either have to twist your wrist into an unnatural position to be able to type, or band your back and neck too much making for a very uncomfortable use. This thing alone makes the iPad unusable for travel.
But usability suffers in all other aspects as well. As a busy traveler, after a long day of trekking, when you’re really tired but need to check your emails and whatever else you use online, you’d like to just lay on bed with pillow folded up below your upper back to keep the upper body up so you can both relax and do your computer work, but if you have an iPad, you can’t. Putting your laptop on top of your thighs and using it while in near laying position is easy and I do it often while traveling, but it’s impossible to do with an iPad.
In order to use it, you’d have to sit up, which would require you to sit on the age of your bed because as a traveler, you won’t see many guesthouses that also have armchairs in their rooms. Sitting on the edge of the bed means that you have nothing to lean your back against and if you’re tired after a busy day, this can be a real issue. Furthermore, even if you do have an armchair or other seat in your room, because you have to lay the iPod flat on your lap, you will be forced to arch your back till it hurts which will make you feel even more tired and will significantly reduce productivity if you’re like me and earn your money on line. The only alternative to it is to hold the iPad with one hand to have it under comfortable angle but this way you will only be able to use one hand for actual work cause the other one will be stuck holding the darn thing.
As for sheer usability during traveling, iPad is completely and utterly unusable.
Review of iPad’s Functionality for Travel
Aside from being more expensive than significantly superior rivals, completely unusable by travelers and non travelers alike, iPad also lacks in basic functionality to a point that it’s ridiculous.
The iPad I tried had only one web browser on it – Safari (Apple operating systems are rather limited and not user oriented so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was no option to add a different browser to it, but I don’t know that for sure). Using Safari by travelers is beyond destructive. Let’s say that like me, you have a travel blog and you’re writing a new post. Your entry includes something you have previously talked about so you want to link that page. You open another tab and navigate through your blog to get to that page so you can copy its URL and paste it into your new entry. With the URL in your clipboard, you come back to the tab where you had your work in progress only to find out that switching tabs in Safari refreshes the pages so you will have lost all you have worked on. Imagine the frustration!
Typing using iPad is a whole new level of frustration all together. If you are responding to something, you won’t be able to see the text because it will be covered by the keyboard buttons. The iPad I used had an external keyboard (yet another expense) which made typing a little easier, but made the whole thing clunky and disorderly. As a traveler, packing and transporting a laptop is easy. But having an iPad and a separate keyboard requires extra space and makes storage and transportation more challenging. The bulk of stuff and cables turns the use of it on the road into a major headache.
Without an external keyboard, the typing is tough. There is no tab key and no arrow keys which makes navigation through text (especially if you’re trying to write something longer than a couple of sentences) a nightmare. If you need to edit a sentence two paragraphs up, you’ll be up for a major task. Many other tasks which take no time and effort on a laptop are also a major nightmare on an iPad with that touch screen – trying to edit the URL in the address bar for example is nothing short of a complete horror.
Photo editing is impossible for images larger than 2,000 pixels on any side. In other words, unless your camera is 10 years old, forget about editing your photos, even if you shelled out for the camera connection kit. Speaking of photo editing, using any of the intuitive, user friendly applications you are used to using, such as Adobe Photoshop or ULead PhotoImpact would be impossible on an iPad. You would be stuck using weird looking and functioning PhotoGene.
Major Technological Drawbacks of iPads for Travel
No Multitasking – what more needs to be added? I’m a busy webmaster. When I get on my laptop, even though it only has 1GB RAM memory, I have several windows open at the same time because I need them at the same time to do my daily tasks. This is impossible with an iPad. As such, iPad is unusable. If you are a traveler, it is quite likely you have some form of presence on the internet. If that’s the case, then lack of multitasking will make the iPad unusable while you travel. But if you make your living on the internet, then iPad is an absolute NO. Yet even if you don’t, surely you would like to have an MSN Messenger or Skype running in the background while you’re on line so when some of your friends log in, you can step in for a chat. Unfortunately, on an iPad, you can’t.
No USB Ports – If you want to be able to download pictures from your camera onto your iPad, you’d have to buy (yep, more money spending) a camera connection kit which is nothing short of ridiculous.
No Flash – this paralyzes more than you would imagine. WordPress image uploader is flash powered for example. If you run a WP powered blog, tough luck! The uploader is not the only WP feature that doesn’t work on an iPad, though. Some sites use login popup splash screens powered by Flash so if you’re a member of such and visit them on an iPad, you won’t be able to log in. Similarly, many online forms will be difficult or impossible to fill in. If they use flash, they won’t work at all, but because the keyboard doesn’t have arrows, even if it wasn’t a flash powered form, you won’t be able to navigate through it, which makes filling them up an insanity of an effort. Complete nightmare!
There is also no DVD player on an iPad, but that’s not a drawback in my mind. DVD players are a major battery wasters and are a more or less an obsolete technology so they’re not anything I’d expect to be on a portable computer anyway. With flash drives growing in size and becoming excessively popular, DVDs have no place on computers anymore. It’s much faster and more convenient to put data on a USB stick than it is to burn them on a DVD disc.
Statement iPod Ownership Makes
There is absolutely nothing that an iPad can do, what a netbook can not. On the other hand, an iPad can do no more than 5% of what an average netbook can. Yet an iPad costs significantly more than an average netbook. As such, anyone who travels with an iPad makes an undeniable statement that they got to 5 trying to add 2 and 2.
iPad – The Good
Battery life seems decent
iPad – The Bad
Overpriced and underperforming
Requires additional purchases to achieve basic (yet still limited) functionality
Impossible to use comfortably
Can’t use it comfortably while standing up
Can’t use it comfortably while laying in bed
Can’t use it comfortably while sitting without a desk
Safari is a default (and only) web browser
Typing is very challenging and tiring
Text editing is either difficult or impossible
No arrows or a tab key for normal navigability
Limited photo editing capabilities
Impossible to edit images over 2,000 pixels
No USB ports
Limited and difficult file management
Slow web browsing (web pages always load very slowly)
Touch screen picks up fingerprints and dust too easily
Made by Apple (fanboys are just plain irritating)
Review of iPad for Travel – Conclusion
Using an iPad for travel would make absolutely no sense. Even if you don’t need to do any type of computer work and only need a machine to check emails and watch YouTube videos, iPad would prove to be a major headache since even the simplest tasks (typing URLs for example) are a tiring and challenging. If however your use of the internet goes beyond email checking, then iPad is a complete No No. Yet even though iPad is nothing more than a limited use calculator with video playback capabilities, the price tag for that thing is unreasonably high which makes a consideration to buy it a sign of limited wits. The fact that so many people did pay to own it only proves how backwards much of the society is.
During my three day visit to Don Det, I stayed at Sunset View Bungalow. I always check a few available accommodation options to compare what I’d be getting for my money and when it came to Don Det, Sunset View Bungalow seemed like the best of both world.
When you are on an island that’s not all that big, there is a limited number of things that you can do. But when it comes to night time activities, this number is further reduced significantly. The main reason why I opted for Sunset View Bungalow over everything else on Don Det was the atmosphere at the outdoor restaurant that’s within the ground.
Several cool looking people were chilling with a Beer Lao at the table, a guitar in their hands and trance music on the stereo. On top of that, an unmissable sign of good mood was in the air as skilfully rolled joints were being passed around.
Sunset View Bungalow Price
As I was told by the French fellow who was in charge of showing new comers the premises, a bungalow at the Sunset View cost 30,000 Lao Kip (about $3,60 US) per night. There were bungalows and guesthouse rooms for as little as 25,000 Kip per night on Don Det, but none of these appeared to have had the atmosphere of Sunset View Bungalow. Even though slightly above average priced, Sunset View Bungalow was the hangout spot so that’s where I decided to stay.
Cheap Accommodation in Laos?
In a rundown of my experiences in Laos, I mentioned that Laos is a surprisingly expensive country to travel through. Yet the very first accommodation I scored cost less than $5 per night so how is that expensive, right? While I do admit 30,000 Kip per night for a private place is not expensive by any stretch of imagination, one needs to put things into a perspective and compare it to the type of accommodation this amount of money would land you in similar countries.
The bungalow I got was about a foot on each side larger than the bed inside. There was not enough space to even turn around, never mind safely storing a backpack. Aside from a wooden bunk bed with a simulated mattress and a pillow, there was only a stained mosquito net with holes in it hanging over it.
Truly partisan style bathroom and a shower were outside to be shared by dozens of others. Bungalows also had a porch with hammock but given the size of that porch, one had to tiptoe around to not fall off on the way inside. Small opening on one of the walls served as a window which when opened, offered the room slightly larger appearance.
Sunset View Bungalow was a backpacker’s paradise. Nothing much to complain about because it was truly cheap, however when compared to what I was getting in Cambodia for $3, this was still slightly pricey and a clear introduction to how expensive Laos is going to be.
More Luxurious Accommodation at Sunset View Bungalow
Aside from the 30,000 Kip bungalows described above, Sunset View also offered slightly more comfortable huts for 50,000 Kip per night (about $6 US). These were a bit more spacious, had more spacious verandas with hammocks for two people and an en suite bathroom. I’ve never tried one of those, I was just shown and opted for a less expensive, true backpacker accommodation.
Sunsets at Sunset View Bungalow
If you catch a cloudless day while on Don Det and are into all that romantic stuff, then you’re gonna like the view of sunsets from Sunset View Bungalow. Located on the north-west corner of Don Det, Sunset View Bungalow offers spectacular sunset views though most of the bungalows don’t face that way. You can enjoy the view from the restaurant, though.
The downside is that because of tin roofs, it gets pretty hot inside a bungalow in the afternoon. East side of the island peak where all the guesthouses are faces the same issue in the early morning hours when rising sun turns the rooms into a steaming sauna.
What I Liked Sunset View Bungalow
After personally checking out most other places offering accommodation on Don Det I maintain that Sunset View Bungalow is the best option. There are not many places in Laos where you can stay a night for less than $5 so if you make it on Don Det, enjoy the one place where it’s possible. You’ll get what you pay for, but at least what you pay is not much. Laos is otherwise surprisingly expensive (compared to most other countries in South East Asia) and even though Sunset View Bungalow seem to be the opposite, when compared what you’d get for this type of money in comparable countries, it’s definitely not cheap.
Hanging out and chilling with other backpackers is the best part of Sunset View Bungalow and as such, is unrivalled anywhere on Don Det, or entire 4,000 Islands for that matter. I would wholeheartedly recommend every backpacker coming to Don Det to check this place out.
Don Det is a small island and everything is concentrated in the same area. While staying at Sunset View Bungalow, you’re never too far away from anything, however that could be said about any other accommodation on the island. Other places just seem a bit too formal so if leisurely talk with other travelers, former strangers but now friends is not alien to you, then Sunset View Bungalow is the place to be. Grab a bottle of cold BeerLao and have yourself good time while on Don Det.
What I Didn’t Like About Sunset View Bungalow
I can’t say there was anything I really didn’t like about Sunset View Bungalow. It’s a cheap (for Laos) place with great atmosphere, fun management, cold beer and that stuff I shouldn’t talk openly about. Shared bathroom and shower are a bit grotty and lower priced bungalows are a bit squishy, but Sunset View Bungalow is not about fancy accommodation. It’s about having a good time and enjoying yourself with all your worries left behind. If it’s upscale accommodation you seek, check out Don Khong or Don Khon islands instead.
There are a few other things that could be brought up in the “didn’t like” section, but they are not specific to Sunset View Bungalow, but rather apply to whole island (or whole area). While there is little motorized traffic on any of the 4,000 islands, making them reasonably quiet, fisherman boats make way more noise than any motorcycle and start running around like there’s no tomorrow before sun dawn. Most accommodations on Don Det consist of wooden rooms that are as far from being sound proof as they get. Those few non air tight wooden planks that serve as walls will let all of the noise from the outside right in so if you stayed out drinking beer with other backpackers till 2am and get awakened at 5am by loud fishing boats the noise of which never seems to fade into distance, you won’t be too amazed. That would take place no matter where on Don Det you decide to stay.
Also, being an isolated island (not so isolated anymore, but still), many things on Don Det are expensive because they have to be brought in from the mainland, but the most expensive thing of all is internet. At the time of my visit, there were three internet cafes on Don Det, each charging an unholy 400 Kip per minute. Translated into English, this is a $3 for an hour on line. I have been on far more isolated islands since, I have been in the middle of the jungle, but have yet to come to a place where internet would be this expensive. You best update that page before coming over and leave next update until you have gotten elsewhere or prepare to shell out some heavy bucks for the privilege of surfing the net. As if Laos as a country was not expensive enough, Don Det takes it to a whole new level. Compared to much of mainland, beer is also expensive here (11,000 Kip for a bottle of BeerLao compared to 8,000 for the same in Pakse), however budget restaurants offer food for prices comparable to the rest of Laos.
One more time – expensive internet and loud boats buzzing around since early morning are the reality of an entire 4,000 Island area. That’s something you would be exposed to whether you decide to stay at Sunset View Bungalow or somewhere else. Don Det is a wonderful place full of friendly people and should not be missed out by any traveller passing through the area. Kick back a few BeerLao and enjoy the real laid back lifestyle, whether at Sunset View Bungalow or somewhere else on Don Det.
After Two Dragons, Prohm Roth Guesthouse was the second guesthouse I have stayed in during my long term stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I have chosen Prohm Roth Guesthouse due to its absolutely phenomenal location within Siem Reap town, closeness to Preah Prom Rath Temple, great prices and friendly, responsive nature of Meang who takes care of email enquiries. Unlike Two Dragons, Prohm Roth Guesthouse is Khmer owned and run, meaning that by staying there I would be directly supporting local people. This comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, however there is no other guesthouse in Siem Reap where I would have stayed more times than in Prohm Roth. Let me go through what I liked and disliked about Prohm Roth Guesthouse in more detail. This is my personal review of this accommodation option in the most touristy town of Cambodia.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Review – First Impressions
Prohm Roth Guesthouse is a nice looking and newly built building that stands out like a sore thumb among the slums of surrounding huts. The main advantage of this is the fact that nothing obstructs the windows of rooms that are rented out so your room will be bright and happy, unlike it was at Two Dragons where rooms are dark and gloomy because within a meter of each window there is another building that obstructs all natural light from entering the room. Being a new building, interior is very cozy and nicely decorated which again was a major step up from cold, unwelcoming insides of Two Dragons.
The main reason why I opted for Two Dragons as my first guesthouse in Siem Reap was amazing responsiveness of Gordon, the owner who’s a native speaker of English which made communication smooth and to the point. Meang, one of two owners of Prohm Roth Guesthouse was the second most responsive guesthouse representative and the most responsive out of native Cambodians. Just as was the case with Gordon of Two Dragons, Meang addressed all questions in his responses and never opted for cut and paste replies. Both Gordon of Two Dragons and Meang of Prohm Roth Guesthouse deserve props for amazing pre-sale support and responsiveness. However, coming from the Western world, I must admit that I found responses from Meang really cute. Asian people may sound over the top when trying to earn your business, but take a look at a sample of how I was being addressed in emails sent to me and tell me if that’s not the cutest way to try to earn your business:
Dearest Sir Mark,
How are you doing? It’s such a great joy to read your message! I pray and hope that you are doing great, so thus your wonderful family!
How could you possibly not want to stay with someone who addresses you like this… Unfortunately, when it comes to most Khmer owned guesthouses in Siem Reap, an option to enquire by email either doesn’t exist or responses are way too slow and don’t address your questions. This makes such guesthouses unusable by first time visitors to Cambodia who would like to have everything arranged before they leave their home country. Luckily guesthouses such as Two Dragons or Prohm Roth do exist so one can easily make all arrangements from abroad utilizing internet communication tools.
The Room Review
September is the peak of rainy season in Cambodia which means it’s not particularly the high season month so room availability is oftentimes unlimited. I had several options varying from room with just a fan, through room with a fan and hot water all the way to the finest room in all of Prohm Roth Guesthouse – the one overlooking the Preah Prom Rath Temple. This was the most expensive room and had both air conditioning and hot water.
I asked about possibility of preferential pricing should I stay at the guesthouse for an extended period of time and was offered reasonable discount with each of the options. Upon my move to Prohm Roth Guesthouse, the best room was taken, but the couple occupying it was leaving the following day. So I’ve made arrangements that I would stay in another room for the night but once the best room becomes available, I would move there.
My first room was only equipped with a ceiling fan, but had hot water so it was one of the mid grade ones. Not having air conditioning in this heat was pretty tough. Especially since I’ve only been in Siem Reap for a week which wasn’t long enough to get used to such high temperatures and near 100% humidity (because of all the rain). Luckily, I got moved to the nicely spacious and air conditioning equipped room the following day and totally loved it.
The room had large windows on two walls making for a very bright atmosphere. It was a breath of fresh air after a week in super gloomy room at Two Dragons. It had two beds, some basic furniture, small TV set and a very uncomfortable chair I haven’t used at all, but it served well as a hanger for my sweaty t-shirts that got drenched after each visit outdoors.
The view from those large windows was the best thing about the room – overlooking the Preah Prom Rath temple gave the room a very high end feel. The only thing I could complain about was slight moldy smell coming from the built in closet (the smaller room I stayed in for one night had the same moldy smell coming from its closet as well) and there was an open hole in the washroom wall which had a fan in it to draw the air from the outside into the washroom which unfortunately was large enough to allow mosquitoes to safely fly into the room even if the fan was turned on. No matter how hard I tried, there were always dozens of blood hungry mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria and dengue fever in the room. The room was otherwise fantastic.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Prices
Per night rates for twin rooms with just a fan start at $10. Same size twin room but with air conditioning costs $13 per night, whereas large double room with view of the temple costs $18 per night. I have enquired about per week and per month prices and was quoted $40 per week for a twin toom with a fan and $60 per week for a twin room with air con. Monthly quotes were at $170 and $260 respectively. Those quotes did not include the double room with view of the temple, because I was initially only looking for the least expensive accommodation possible. My thinking has changed once I have seen the big room.
I really liked the large room so when I was told it was gonna be available the following day, I have immediately asked to have it reserved for me. I was offered a rate of $75 per week for that room and ended up staying for 2 weeks. I think Meang and his partner were happy after I was leaving because the interest in Prohm Roth Guesthouse kept growing on a daily basis and their finest room was taken at a very attractive (for me, not them) rate.
Agreement was an agreement, though so Meang and his partner honored the quote they have provided me with and I have used Prohm Roth Guesthouse on each of my subsequent returns to Siem Reap. I had very few complaints about this guesthouse but the location as well as everything else I could think of was so great, I was not interested in trying out other guesthouses.
Unfortunately, unlike Two Dragons, it is not possible to pay for your stay at Prohm Roth Guesthouse with a credit card.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Location Review
Perhaps the best thing about Prohm Roth Guesthouse was its location. Placed directly on a Pub Street extension, it took less than a minute on foot to get to the heart of all happening in Siem Reap. It was also just across the street from Wat Preah Prom Rath where I was teaching English so it took me less than a minute to get to the classroom making it even more convenient. Angkor Trade Center – one of main shopping malls in Siem Reap was also only minutes away.
Best of all, though – Prohm Roth Guesthouse is only around the corner from Pokambor Avenue, the road which leads all the way to Angkor Archaeological Park which was on my to-do-next list so strategically, this guesthouse is located very well.
Unfortunately, the slums surrounding the guesthouse are not very pretty. Piles of garbage nobody ever cleans make for nasty environment and the fact that the street is not illuminated makes for a bit dodgy walks home. It only takes a minute to get to the guesthouse from Pub Street, however it’s a minute through a very dark street inhabited by people living in sketchy looking huts with no electricity. I’ve never had a problem, but it was still rather scary. If someone was to get mugged in that street, there would be no helping them.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Staff Review
All of the staff at Prohm Roth Guesthouse are always very positive and very friendly making you feel better about your day no matter how shitty it may have been. They were always smiling and always seemed happy to see everyone. At times it felt a bit uncomfortable because you would expect to see everyone pissed off at least at some point of time, but I grew to really appreciate their smiles and positive attitude.
As it was with Two Dragons, Prohm Roth Guesthouse also promises to deliver a bottle of water to their patrons every day. However, unlike at Two Dragons, their bottle of water was handed to you by someone who would be at the desk when you get back to the guesthouse after a day out in the scorching sun. Unfortunately, more often than not nobody would get a chance to get you one so you end up without a bottle of water you should be getting. At Two dragons, you would find your bottle in your room after your room has been done. It would never be otherwise. Whereas at Prohm Roth Guesthouse it would only depend on who is at the reception desk and whether they are busy at the time.
It was the same with daily room service. Prohm Roth Guesthouse promises to offer daily room service, but room has not been attended to every day, only some days. Again, this would not have happened at Two Dragons. When it comes to daily bottle of water and daily room service, Two Dragons Guesthouse excels and gets 10 out of 10 points. Prohm Roth Guesthouse lacks in this regard quite a bit.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Free Internet Review
Just as was the case with Two Dragons, Prohm Roth Guesthouse offered free wireless internet to its guests and as was the case with Two Dragons, the owners of Prohm Roth cheaped out on it. It is free and can be used for emergencies, but good luck trying to load a simple website. Dial Up access would fly by the speed of the internet available at Prohm Roth Guesthouse. It is there, but it’s literally as though there was none. You can’t get anything done when internet is this slow. You will spend hours trying to load up one email message until you can’t do it anymore and end up going to the Temple Club or Khmer Family Restaurant the owners of which (same owner for both) didn’t cheap out so their free WiFi signal makes your internet fly.
Prohm Roth Guesthouse Website
I don’t know who designed their website, but Prohm Roth Guesthouse has hands down the shittiest website on the entire internet. It’s atrociously horrible. And if stupid animations, awful mouse pointer and nauseous graphic were not bad enough, once you click through to the main content, music starts playing pretty loud with no option provided to mute it. I can think of nothing they could do to their website to make it any more heinous than it is right now. Take a look for yourself at:
Non Smoking Rooms (smokers can smoke in the hallway sitting area)
Excellent Location Close To Everything That’s Important in Siem Reap
Friendly and Welcoming Staff
Cash Only for Payments (No Credit Cards)
Daily Water and Daily Room Service Remain a Promise, Not Reality
Moldy Smell in Built-In Closets
Although it’s certainly not perfect and has its downsides, Prohm Roth remains the best guesthouse I have stayed in in Siem Reap. Each time I left the town and came back, I headed straight for Prohm Roth Guesthouse and never regretted the decision. Reliable, honest and friendly management is one of the finest to deal with and prices are reasonable. It’s a great value for money and perhaps the best location in Siem Reap given the price. Unless something unpredictable happens, I will be sending Meang an email to secure myself a room at Prohm Roth Guesthouse each time I’m gonna head back to Siem Reap. Prohm Roth Guesthouse is my guesthouse of choice. Thumbs up!
This is my personal review of Two Dragons guesthouse in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It reflects my personal impressions and experiences after staying in Two Dragons for a week. All the positives and negatives, all the pluses and minuses in this review are presented without bias and without misleading.
Why I Chose Two Dragons Guesthouse
Prior to leaving for Cambodia I have contacted several guesthouses, homestays and low scale hotels in Siem Reap about their availability and pricing. I specifically wanted to know which establishments offer special pricing for long term stay (both week long and month long) since I was planning on staying in Cambodia for a while. In my email enquiry I have mentioned that I was interested in a single bed room with en suite shower (preferably with hot water).
In addition I also wanted to know if the establishment offers free pick up from Siam Reap airport, whether wireless internet is included in price and whether they had laundry facility on site that’s available to guests.
Two Dragons was the fastest to respond. Before I was done contacting all of the guesthouses I wanted to contact, I had a reply from Gordon – owner and manager of Two Dragons Guesthouse. That was a big positive and this first impression made major impact. I have not heard from most other guesthouses till following morning. There were a few that took several days to respond – I did not deal with those at all.
After impressive first impression from Two Dragons Guesthouse and elimination of most other guesthouses because of cut and paste responses or not answering any or all of my questions, I was left with three of my favorites. The reason I eventually opted for Two Dragons was that it was owned by an expat, a westerner who’s lived in Cambodia for many years plus I liked the approach Gordon is taking on his website – he’s addressing right audiences in the right way. He’s not too formal and says it the way backpackers would want to hear it. According to Two Dragons official website – twodragons-asia.com, they do not B.S. and provide truthful information based on what is best for the tourist, not on who offers them the biggest kickback.
On their website, Two Dragons management also claims that they have English speaking, reliable Tuk Tuk drivers who unlike many other Tuk Tuk drivers in Cambodia, can be trusted. All this information was presented in a very inviting way setting Two Dragons safely apart from competition. Given that a tourist is most vulnerable during initial hours of his/her stay and subsequently rather lost and confused for the following few days, staying at Two Dragons seemed like the best starting point.
Two Dragons Review – First Impressions
So far so good. I re-contacted Gordon two days prior to leaving Canada to make sure everything is in place and driver will be waiting for me when I arrive in Siem Reap. As before, the response was prompt and affirming, leaving no doubt that Two Dragons has reservations taken care of with no room for mishaps. This feeling of everything being in place made it all easier on me, since I knew my arrival in Cambodia will be proceeded by more than 24 hours on the airplanes and at the airports and by the time I get to Cambodia all work out and tired, it will be late night there. I’d be an easy prey for vulture like scam artists who operate at international airports of third world countries.
As promised, driver waited for me at Siem Reap airport, delivered me to the guesthouse without hassle and guesthouse staff took care of the rest. I got the room and was left alone to get some sleep after long flight. The very beginnings during which a tourist is most vulnerable were taken care of wholesomely by Two Dragons. There were no screw ups in the beginning while I was extremely cranky and in desperate need of some sleep.
The Room Review
I was given the room #15. Something is telling me that this is the shittiest room in entire Two Dragons guesthouse. During the day, when girls who work at the guesthouse clean other rooms and doors are open, I could see inside that each other room was nicer than mine. Maybe I arrived when this one was the only one available, and while I don’t have any major issues with the room, I’d say that anyone looking to stay in Two Dragons who is not dead tired when they arrive, asks the staff to show them each of the available rooms and choose one they like the best prior to unpacking.
The room I was in was small in size, but that’s all you need. It had two beds on each side of the wall, small coffee table, tiny little TV set on a stand, nice looking imitation wardrobe made of bamboo, a chair made of bamboo, a ceiling fan and an air-conditioning unit (all rooms at Two Dragons are air conditioned). The room also had en suite washroom with sink, heated shower and toilet bowl.
Two Dragons proudly claim that their room are the cleanest in Siem Reap (or something like that). I have never had any issues with non cleanliness so even if that may be an exaggerate statement, you won’t be seeing chunks of dust under your bed or spider webs on the ceiling. First night I slept on one of the beds that stank, so I spent the rest of my stay on second bed in the room which was better.
I have never watched TV. I don’t watch TV at home and as a matter of fact, I have not been on the tube, other than by watching my DVDs in years. Two Dragons website claims that they have over 80 international channels that you can watch. It’s quite possible, though the TV set in my room was no bigger than 14 inches, which is really tiny.
Two Dragons Bullshitting of Patrons
While Two Dragons do offer daily room cleaning services (not all guesthouses do), which is a positive thing, I didn’t like the fact that they pull the same trick at their patrons as many other similar establishments. To bullshit you into not getting your towel changed daily, Two Dragons will pull the well approved trick about being environmentally friendly at you. This is the most jokeable and most cynical part of their business. On one hand they claim that at Two Dragons they strive to protect the environment and as such they would ask you not to request having the towel changed daily, yet on another you won’t find anything about Two Dragons that would back up the statement that they do care about the environment. If they really cared, they would use eco friendly (energy saving) bulbs everywhere throughout their establishment. If they cared they would not be giving bottled water to each of their patrons, instead they would provide a dispenser of sorts. If they cared about the environment, they would use bio degradable cleaning solutions. But they don’t. At Two Dragons they just want to save up on each customer so they make you feel guilty about the environment while true intention is to spend as little on you as possible. That’s all. I hate bullshitters.
Two Dragons Staff Review
All staff members I have had an encounter with during my week long stay at Two Dragons were extremely nice and friendly. Room cleaning is done while you are gone and is done properly. I have always found my bed done up, sheets were probably changed a few times during my stay, garbage was emptied daily, fresh bottle of drinking water left in the room every day and my personal stuff never seemed touched. I left my money and IDs on the table while I was gone and always found it there.
There is allegedly a safe available for use by the guests, but there was some major headache attached to using it so I never did. I thought of shoving my extra money in it, but I didn’t have any pouch to put it in so I’d have to hand them a pile of bills which seemed less tricky than burying it in the bag among dirty laundry.
Two Dragons Restaurant Review
I have only eaten in the restaurant here once. The reason – overpriced. Food was OK. It was nothing spectacular, but not bad either. However it was way more expensive than other restaurants hence not worth it. There were several restaurants nearby – literally just seconds away where I would go to eat. I’d pay half the money and get twice the food. It just didn’t make any sense eating at Two Dragons.
The restaurant is also located by the entrance to the guesthouse so when a new guest comes, you get to listen to a lot of commotion while you’re trying to eat. As a guest, you are however provided with complimentary tea and coffee that you can help yourself on the upper floor where the guest rooms are, right outside small balcony. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t comment on that, but the tea was Lipton Yellow Tea in separate bags that you dip in hot water from a dispenser. It was provided for free, so no complaints and I did help myself on a couple of occasions.
Two Dragons Location Review
Location of Two Dragons completely blows. It’s too far away from anything interesting in Siem Reap, but most of all it’s on an unpaved road so during rainy season, you get to plough through mud to get to and from the guesthouse. It truly sucked because I bought a bicycle to move around and most of town was fine – at worst a little puddle here and there. But the alley leading to Two Dragons was always covered in mud.
One of the things Gordon points out all the time is that he will offer a no B.S. advice to his guests and will tell them what is worth checking out, what is not, where to go to do this, where to go to get that – and all of it with interests of the visitor in mind, not his own. It sounds nice on paper, but is it really so?
I had two questions of Gordon after I first met him – I wanted to know about renting or buying a bicycle and I wanted to know about buying a SIM card for my GSM cell phone. In both cases I got advice that didn’t fit the description of giving advice that most beneficial to the guest.
First I wanted to know how much their bike rentals were and where I should go if I decided to buy one instead of renting. I was told they rent bikes out for $2 per day. Most guesthouses rent bikes out for $1 but was not my concern. Gordon is the boss, he can set his prices any way he wants. Some of his guests ate in Two Dragons restaurant, I didn’t see the point and went to the one around the corner where meals are half the price and you get a three course meal with desert for less than one dish at Two Dragons. If people are fine paying for Two Dragons food, it’s their own business. And the same goes for bicycles and laundry service. Gordon charges $2 per day for bike rental and $2 to wash 1 kg of laundry. Shed right next to Two Dragons does 1kg of laundry for $1 and two sheds down you can rent a bicycle for $1 per day. I would take this 30 second walk just on principle, however many people are fine paying Two Dragon’s prices and that’s their own business.
After answering my question about how much they were renting bikes for, Gordon mentioned that I could buy a bike instead of renting form them if I wanted to stay for a while and ride while I’m here. He gave me valuable advice that cheapo bikes sell for $30, better ones for $50, however there are no quality mountain bikes available for sale in Cambodia. Only pieces of junk from China and overused second hand rejects form Japan. But whether I was going to buy or rent, I would still end up riding the same piece of junk, so it would make no difference. That’s what I was told and 80% of it was true which is a decent ratio for free advice.
The following day I wanted to go take a look at what bikes are available for sale, so I asked Gordon where the stores were. He insisted that I take a Tuk Tuk ride there. I told him I was fine walking as I like walking, it allows me to see the town and besides – I’ve been walking everywhere so fat and given Two Dragon’s location, I had opposite ends of town covered so wherever bike stores could be, I could definitely do it. However Gordon insisted that I take Tuk Tuk because it’s too far.
I really didn’t see where possibly it could be that I could not walk there, but eventually I broke down and agreed to taking Tuk Tuk. Needless to say – it was not far at all, which made it look as though despite what he claims, Gordon truly wants to get some business to his Tuk Tuk drivers for carrying his sign on the back of their trailers and for being his on call drivers. So this all blabber about only advising tourists what is best for them is questionable. He does give you advice, but it always involves taking one of his drivers to go there and do that. Afterall, expecting that there would be a business owner who would not think of kick backs when giving advice to a tourist who is looking to spend money on something is foolish.
My second question on Gordon was where to go to buy a SIM card for my phone. Again, I was told that tourists can buy a tourist SIM card which is only valid for a week and costs $12. To stay true to his intentions to hook his Tuk Tuk drivers with earnings (or maybe he keeps part of their net earnings – which would explain why he is so strung for everyone going everywhere and doing everything via his “approved” Tuk Tuk drivers), he added that a better option is to ask one of the Tuk Tuk drivers to buy me a regular SIM card, put it under their name and give them few extra bucks for doing that for me.
Good thing was I didn’t let him get me a Tuk Tuk driver to take care of it for me, like it was with the bicycle fiasco. This time around I said I was gonna think if I want a SIM card at all and went to do my own research myself. As it turns out, you can buy regular SIM card without problems. I bought one for $3 which comes with $4 worth of within network calls (charged at $.06 a minute) and $2 worth of cross country calls (charged at $.09 per minute). These minutes must be used within a month or else they expire and the card must be recharged within following two months or else the number expires. You do not need a Tuk Tuk driver to get yourself a SIM card for a GSM phone in Cambodia. And this is the first cell phone company I enquired with (Metfone). There are 9 of them in the country. Once again, I was forced to doubt real intentions behind Gordon’s vehement attempts to make sure he hooks up his Tuk Tuk drivers with income. The claims that at Two Dragons they don’t B.S. and don’t advice anything for kick backs are truly questionable.
Two Dragons Free Internet Review
This was my biggest pet peeve of all. Given the nature of my work, it is absolutely essential for me to have internet access. Two Dragons comes with a promise of free WiFi wireless internet. The only catch is, that it sucks like no other. Most of the time the internet doesn’t work. It’s either completely down or not down, but nothing loads and times out. On an important day I was trying to submit one article to a website. I started at 7pm and by midnight it was still not sent. I had to put it off till the following day and even that took a good chunk out of my day just to submit one silly article. WiFi internet you get at Two Dragons is simply awful. If you regularly update your website or need to keep up with friends on line and choose to stay at Two Dragons… oh boy! You’re in for an unpleasant surprise. Even as I’m writing this review, I can see that WiFi is again down and there is no knowing when it comes back up. It’s the most frustrating feeling ever. I spoke with several people who stay in other guesthouses, none have this type of issues with internet.
I did not come to Cambodia expecting to get high speed internet similar to what we have in Canada. But internet that doesn’t work at all is B.S. – as owner of Two Dragons would say. This alone would be a good enough reason on its own for me to seek different accommodation arrangements.
Internet is yet another reason to believe that despite what they claim, the Two Dragons management does B.S. their patrons. In a booklet provided in guestrooms, it is stated that there is not enough bandwidth allocated for Cambodia hence internet is often slow and unreliable. This fact is used to force people into limited use of the internet, restricting it to email checking and no videos, no webmail chatting or anything similar. The guests are reminded that they will be cut off should they burn any more bandwidth than what the management of Two Dragons likes.
I can imagine that this scare mongering works well given what Siem Reap is all about – most tourists to make it here only stay for a day or two and spend them exploring Angkor Wat temples. If it were not for Angkor Wat, Siem Reap would be nothing with no tourists making it here. Still, since tourists come here with particular purpose and leave once this purpose is fulfilled, they will have little chance experiencing real Cambodia and what it has to offer. And if such tourist chooses to stay at Two Dragons, they will believe what they are told. Most tourists who stayed at Two Dragons have probably left Cambodia believing internet truly is slow and unreliable and there’s little bandwidth for this country so checking YouTube videos or chatting over Skype with webcam feature on will kill entire system. But after you have explored real Cambodia for a bit and tear yourself away from Two Dragon B.S., you will get to see that it’s nothing like it’s presented to you there.
You can go for nice supper at Khmer Family Restaurant on Pub Street, Siem Reap – WiFi internet is provided to their patrons for free. It’s fast, reliable, always works and always flies. You have no problem playing video, no problem engaging in any internet activity you are used to and no one will mind, because they simply did not cheap out on crappy internet they provide to their clients.
You will get exactly the same at Temple Club. Lightning fast internet with no restrictions. Another awesome option is to go to the Common Ground Cafe where internet is also fast and reliable. All you need to do is to order a drink with them, and get a password for security enabled wireless internet. And you’re on. You can come any day, any time of day and it will always fly, and no restrictions will be imposed upon you. Two Dragons simply like to B.S. their client with lots of B.S. and unfortunately, since most clients don’t stay in Siem Reap for too long, this B.S. goes unnoticed.
Few Random Negatives
There is this buzzing noise that seems to be omnipresent throughout most of Two Dragons. It sounds as if there was a big transformer somewhere within the walls that makes buzzing noise and while most of the day it’s negligable, it was awfully loud on my second night at this guesthouse. It was deafening. I was working on the computer, trying to get something submitted on the internet, but connection here is ridiculous and this noise was just buzzing and buzzing until my head felt like it was going to explode. I was trying to locate it, but it seemed like it’s spread throughout the building. I walked out on the hallway and it was there too. It was everywhere. Since it was past midnight and everyone was asleep, I didn’t know what to do about it, so I just suffered through it. It eased down the following days again, even though it was still remotely present.
The drain in my bathroom did not drain very well. bathroom is extremely small and houses both toilet, sink and shower. You basically spray all over the toilet bowl as you take shower and need to move the toilet paper out in order not to get it wet during showering so you can use it afterwards. The excess water from showering didn’t drain very well so as you are taking your shower, the level keeps rising with hair and soap dirt floating in it.
Two Dragons Review – Conclusion
Discount for Long Term Stay Possible
Responsive with Pre Sale Enquiries (very strong positive)
Rooms have Air-conditioning and En Suite Washrooms
Non Smoking Rooms (smokers can smoke on the balcony)
Clean Rooms Attended to Daily
Daily Free Bottle of Water
Credit Card Payments Possible
More Expensive than Equally Good or Better Guesthouses
Too Much B.S. Pretending to be Help (worst kind of B.S. – very strong negative)
As far as rooms themselves are concerned, I think Two Dragons would satisfy most visitors to Siem Reap. Everything else is a downer. The owner doesn’t care about repeat customers and will do anything to rip you off as much as humanly possible on your first stay. Most visitors to Siem Reap will not pay Cambodia another visit so he’s fine with ripping you off. If you’re a smart traveller and find out how things work for yourself, without asking Gordon for advice, you will avoid getting ripped off. If you make a vital mistake and do ask for advice, you will be taken advantage of. You could just ask a simple question, Gordon will immediately get one of the girls who work at Two Dragons to call a Tuk Tuk driver claiming you need him for everything you do and even though you insist on not calling, the girl will already be on the phone making arrangements in a language you don’t understand, ultimately forcing you to feel obliged to accept the arrangements made. One former American lawyer, a 61 year old expat who now lives in Phnom Penh had a misfortune of staying at Two Dragons and Gordon made such forcible arrangements for him which resulted in the guy overpaying $20 for a taxi ride.
Even though rooms are clean and attended to daily, I would not recommend Two Dragons to anyone. Value for money is not quite there – you can find better and less expensive accommodation that’s also at much more attractive location so Two Dragons really make little sense. But the owner is the main problem. The only way to not get ripped off is to never ask for anything and never use any of their services other than accommodation. You will feel like you are not welcomed, you will feel like they consider you an unworthy guest (that’s the way I felt, because I went to eat at restaurants that were not overpriced and have not fallen for any of Gordon’s rip off attempts) so while every other guest will be talked to and greeted nicely, you will be either ignored or just dealt with quickly. But it will save you from getting ripped off.
Despite this unspoken tension, I kept to my promise and remained at Two Dragon guesthouse for a week. As soon as my time was up, I darted off and will not consider ever staying there again. In addition – the more people I meet who stayed there, the more stories of having been ripped off come up. As the time went by, I stayed at over a dozen of guesthouses, some as cheap as $3 a night, yet Two Dragons still ranks as the worst place I have stayed at in Cambodia.