Boeng Kak Area
Most of the lakeside guesthouses are built on wooden platforms over Boeng Kak, a seriously polluted body of water that no-one should swim in, however much they have drunk or smoked. The guesthouses used to be rickety shacks with dodgy planking, but are now more solidly built, with great communal areas to while away the day. For some it’s like experiencing Ko Pha Ngan in the city, only Boeng Kak isn’t quite the Gulf of Thailand.
Unfortunately, this whole area is slated for redevelopment and work has already started on pumping out the lake. This will be a great loss to Phnom Penh, as this area has a unique vibe, so enjoy it while you can. Sunsets over the lake are not to be missed whether you are staying here or not. Valuables should be kept in lockers, as most rooms aren’t very secure.
Number 10 Lakeside Guesthouse (Map p79; @012 725032; 10 St 93; r US$2-8) This stalwart on the lake has some bargain rooms with share bathroom or bigger rooms with hot water and cable TV. The drinking and dining area (smoking and joking for others) is a mellow place to hang out, and there’s a boozy boat docked offshore.
Number 9 Guesthouse (Map p79; 012 766225- 9 St 93; r US$3-8; (g)) The very first lakefront guesthouse is still a popular place thanks to its blooming plants and billowing hammocks. There are more than 50 rooms, but be selective as some are shabby.
Grand View Guesthouse (Map p79; 430766; St 93; r U5$4-10; (g) (B)) Thailand meets Vietnam, with boxy rooms a la Bangkok housed in a tall, skinny structure a la Saigon. Upper floors involve a real hike, but the views of the lake are unrivalled.
Other places worth a flutter among the many up here:
Same Same But Different (Map p79; 012 263332; 11 St 93; s/d/tr without bathroom US$2/3/4) More like same same but the same. Comfortable beds and an inviting lounge.
Floating Island (Map p79; 012 551227; 11 St 93; r US$5-9; (g)) Rooms are much like everywhere else, but there is a great double-decker terrace for a serious view of the sunset.
Simon's II Guesthouse (Map p79; 012 608892; St 93; r US$10-15) This big wedding cake of a villa is home to the smartest rooms near the lake, including satellite TV and a bathroom.
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