29 Jan 2008
Marlin Hotel, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
A$13.50/£6 night
10°37'3.48"N 103°31'44.88"E
1 room


NOTE: Paying in US dollars now which means the prices in sterling will be a fair bit better as the pound is stronger against the greenback than the Thai Baht. (And yes, it is a co-incidence not a typo that the price is the same as the previous one)

We ran the gauntlet of taxi drivers on arrival in Sihanoukville, escaped and headed down a street where we'd seen on a map a couple of hotels that had the words "refurbished" and "internet" in the description. The Marlin was the first we looked at - Gary (who runs the hotel with Peter - both Aussie's and into some pretty serious motor cross riding judging by the bikes they had outside) very kindly offered to put our bags in the corner whilst we had a look around for somewhere to stay - really good of him. We went back there and checked in - the other was a complete no-no and another one month old hotel around the corner was good, but double the price of the Marlin.

The room was basic but very clean, air conditioning and ceiling fan (thank you) and more satellite channels than you could poke a stick at. Wifi was available but there were some concerns as someone had racked up just about a months worth of their download allowance in one day, meaning they were paying by the MB for further downloads. No problem - I explained I knew the intricacies of such things and was really grateful that they let me online for a couple of minutes - our web site host had been having problems the previous day. The 'latest' page for current accommodation or travelogue doesn't have a NEXT button on it because their isn't a next one at that stage. When there is a new one, I have to alter the page on the laptop, delete the old one from the web and replace it with the altered one. It allowed me to delete the old ones, but I wasn't able to upload the new ones. I was happy to go to an internet cafe for anything else, just wanted to fix this up in double quick time.

The bar and restaurant both looked good, and hopefully Peter is down there as I type - he went out for a drink with a Welsh bloke we sat with on the bus with, but is under strict orders to be back in the building by midnight until we find out how safe the streets are here. He can stay down there and chew the fat all night if he wants as long as he's back on the premises. And he's still on the antibiotics so he's alternating between bottles of coke and water.

Tomorrow we're changing hotel, moving down to the beach (not sure why as Peter won't be going swimming in any kind of water until his eye is 100% healed) but this has been a great place to spend the night. And we've just found out that we can not only get a Vietnam visa here, we can get a direct bus so don't have to go to Phnom Penh, which neither of us were looking forward to.

Wouldn't hesitate to come back and would recommend to anyone wanting to stay downtown rather than on the beaches.