Wednesday, October 30, 2013

King Grand Boutique Hotel

During my recent trip to Phnom Penh, I chose to stay at King Grand Boutique Hotel (KGB). I made the booking months earlier via and managed to get myself quite a good bargain. Since we have booked earlier at a discounted website, we do not have to pay for the room and cancellation is FOC up to 3 days before checking in. As there are 5 of us including 1 child, we booked 2 Superior rooms for 3 nights which came up to USD336.00 altogether. That comes up to USD56 per room a night including tax. It comes with breakfast as well.

We arranged for airport pickup prior to our arrival date and was quoted USD20 for a van which can sit 7 adults. Since we arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport around late afternoon, traffic was a bit heavy. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the hotel from the airport while usually it takes about 30 minutes or less. KGB is located at Street 258. The hotel is not facing the main road but it is strategically located. In fact, I strongly recommend tourists to stay at KGB as there are a few tourists sites near the hotel.

Upon checking in to KGB, we were greeted by very polite and courteous staff. Their smiles almost immediately put away the tiredness that they guests may have. We were given a welcome drink while the receptionist does the check in process. To our surprise, I was informed that one of my Superior room has been upgraded to Deluxe Triple Room since I have a 5 years old daughter travelling with us! That totally won me over. KGB is really a guest-oriented hotel. I am not sure about the occupancy rate of the hotel since its website states that KGB has 40 stylish, well equipped bedrooms and two swimming pools. While waiting at the lobby, I switched on my phone’s wifi and managed to get a very strong signal strength from the hotel.

When we brought to our room’s entrance, I noticed the room door security system a bit more advanced that other hotels that I have been to. You need to scan your palm first before a 2 digit pin is being reviewed and then only you swipe your door access card. Stepping into the room, I find the room pretty clean with no hint of any odour. We had a queen size bed and from the balcony, we can see the Royal Palace. 

Phnom Penh 17-20 Oct 2013

The Superior Room and the Balcony  

1-Phnom Penh 17-20 Oct 20131

The Bathroom and the Wardrobe  

The bathroom is also very spacious and have a hair dryer for the convenience of the guests. The LCD TV has got around 20 channels for the guests to watch. A set of bathrobes and a mini safe is also available for the guests to use.

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The above is the collection of photos from the pool side. The coffeehouse is divided into indoor and outdoor section. Sitting besides the pool is so relaxing and you will definitely enjoy your breakfast even more. Besides the standard serving of Asian breakfast as well as cereals, you can also order bacon, eggs and pancakes. The ever polite waiters and waitresses are more than happy to bring them to your table. Service is top-notch here.

There is a pool on the ground floor as well as a jacuzzi pool on the 7th floor which is also the rooftop. The rooftop provides you a magnificent, panoramic view of Phnom Penh city and not to mention the Royal Palace is just a stone throw away from KGB.

If you need to travel around, have no fear. There are many tuk-tuk waiting outside the hotel for tourists. You can bargain for you destination.

If you like what you read, below’s the address for King Grand Boutique. You can visit its website or make your reservations via

Address: #No 18, Street 258, Sangkat Chat Tomuk, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Phone: +855 23 215 848 / +855 23 215 849   Fax: +855 23 215 846   


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Phnom Penh’s Central Market ( Phsar Thmei )

Just came back from a recent holidays to Phnom Penh. For the next few posts, I will blog about the various places I have visited during my 4 days’ stay at Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Cambodia is famous for its Buddhist temples as well as its long history of cruel regime under Pol Pot where many Cambodias were tortured to death. As such, today, Cambodia has a Killing Field and Genocide Museum to “tell” the stories of its gruesome past.

Fast forward to present, shopaholics who would like to get hold of some souvenirs from Cambodia can do so at the Central Market. The market sells a wide variety of items including handicrafts, silks, t-shirts, postcards. According to a source I found from the Internet, prior to 1935, the market area was a swamp/lake known as Beng Decho that received the runoff during the rainy season. The lake was drained and the market constructed in 1935-37, during the French colonial period, and originally dubbed the “Grand Market”. As I have a colleague who likes to collect stamps, I am disappointed that I can’t find any stalls in the market selling souvenir stamps. There are a few stalls which sell locally printed tourist guide books ie Lonely Planet etc. I bet that you will be approached by a few mobile vendors who will try to sell you lottery tickets, bookmarks, travel guides.

Central Market 1One of the 4 entrances to Central Market 

Along the entrances to Central Market, you will find mostly stalls selling clothings & clothing accessorries, fridge magnets and fresh flowers. At the centre of the Central Market, you will find items mostly like watches (read fake designer brands), fashion jewelleries, handphone mobile accessories. Do note that Central Market sells a combination of wet & dry goods. There is a section of the market which sells poultry meat and vegetables. Hawker food is also available in the market.

The items being sold in the market are mainly quoted in USD and price haggling and deep bargaining is a must. Please, please bargain for 50% of the price being offered by the seller. Do bear in mind that Central Market is popular for tourists. Therefore, prices of items here are mostly marked-up.


The dome inside Central Market 

Central Market is opened from early morning around 7am to late afternoon. Tuk tuk (motorcycle taxi) are freely available outside the Central Market. Happy shopping!!