Once all of the Westerners in the squished up mini-van were dropped off in Kampot – coincidentally infront of a commissioned guesthouse, we set about trying to find some sort of accommodation. The information centre had no maps, and no information on the attractions of Kampot to give us but did mention one newly opened place, Paris Guesthouse, so we walked a street behind the riverfront and found it.
Brand new building. Good location if being central is your priority. However, Kampot is so small that you can walk everywhere quite easily. In a new building next to Captain Cham, a cafe & travel agency.
Paris offered us a fan room at $8 or with air conditioning at $15. We opted for fan, and for that you receive a huge room, ensuite and a TV. Unfortunately the bed sheets weren’t amazingly clean and when I requested them to be changed, the woman walked us to the room and demanded to know where it was stained, then proceeded to tell us it was the machine that left the marks. That’s all fine and dandy, but if requested, it should be changed. The bathroom was large, but the toilet was dirty. We didn’t notice at first either but at the top of the bathroom there’s an open partition with your neighbour’s bathroom so both parties can hear every single thing that’s happening in there!
We then proceeded to move to Pepper House on Guesthouse St the next night.
A bit further away from the riverfront – which for us was a good thing. This guesthouse is owned by a Khmer family who are friendly but a bit limited with English. They have rooms in the villa and bungalows for $25 per night. The room looked amazing when we first entered, with its huge bed and wooden floors, but we then noticed that the lid of the cistern of the toilet was missing – thus we had to put our hand in and manually push the button in the water. Hmm… The shower also didn’t drain straight away so we had to wade in dirty water to get out.
We also had a problem with insects and found some bugs on our sleep sheets and mozzies in the room. Not sure how or why since there are fly screens on the window. Again, we opted for the fan option at $8 for a double room. There was a TV and we spent a few hours blogging and watching the Late Show with Jimmy Fallon which was nice and relaxing.
This place had wifi and a cafe/bar which had a good vibe about it despite it being empty due to low season.
The Magic Sponge
Not sure where the name originated but this place is two doors down from Pepper. We decided to try it out as we weren’t too keen on continuing manually flushing the toilet or fighting the mozzies again. It’s an old villa, then a bank and now a guesthouse. William is a very friendly American who runs the place and offered a fan room for $9 or with A/C for an additional $5.
He drew us a very detailed map of Bokor Mountain and its attractions and suggested places to visit which was very handy as none of the other places were very helpful in this regard.
The room is basic, smaller than the previous rooms, and without a TV (a blessing as it forces us to blog and organise our photos on the tablet!) The pressure in the shower however, is non-existent so trying to scrub the dirt we had accumulated from our motorcycle ride was very difficult!
We must sound like very fussy people but we are keen on cleanliness and friendliness. We also know that for $8-$9 we’re getting a bargain so really we shouldn’t complain!
Pepper would be our pick as it’s a local family run business and they do have nice rooms – though missing the cistern lid is a pretty big deal. For friendliness and service, we would have to go with The Magic Sponge as William is very helpful and sometimes the Internet and guidebooks just aren’t enough.
Both places also organised an automatic scooter for us at $5 each (BYO petrol).