guide/driver for Angkor

Old Jan 9th, 2003, 08:34 AM
  #1  
david
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guide/driver for Angkor

should we try to arrange ahead of time or is it easy to deal with once we get there?
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 10:26 AM
  #2  
Marilyn
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Easy to deal with once you get there, but if you arrange it in advance your driver will pick you up at the airport. You can do it through your hotel, or search this forum for a number of specific recommendations. The going rate is $20/day for air con car and driver, but driver is not an official guide. A good book (I recommend Dawn Rooney) will enable you to self-guide quite easily.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 12:11 PM
  #3  
david
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Thanks for your reply. I have been trying to arrange through the hotel (Hotel Grand D'Angkor) but they have not responded to my e-mails. I suppose I could hire someone at the airport and pick up a guide if we want one at the hotel. I've been reading Dawn Rooney's book, it seems very thorough.
 
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 05:58 PM
  #4  
Kristina
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Both are easy, but if you want to be assued of a great guide who speaks and understand English well, you might want to consider booking ahead a specific person.
My husband and I went to Cambodia last summer and in advance, I booked a guide that was highly recommended by many others on this forum.
Her name is Ponheary Ly and you can reach her via email at [email protected]
You can also read out our time there, about Ponheary and see lots of photos on our website at
http://www.wired2theworld.com
Dawn Rooney's book is very good, but nothing beats a personal interaction.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2003, 05:10 AM
  #5  
Elaine
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We stayed at Hotel Grand D'Ankor. We also had trouble getting them to repsond to email. When I sent the email to the Raffles website, not to the hotel itself and said I was having trouble getting thru they forwarded it and I had great service. They had me picked up and a guide and driver for my 3 days there. I liked the driver, but was not thrilled with the guide. But you kinda take potluck unless you arrange the guide yourself. The woman recommended a previous reponse sounds very good. You really do need a guide. The sites are very large. She could also recommend a car and driver and make the arrangement. We did not know that you had to pay everything in US dollars. We do not travel with much cash so we had the hotel pay the car and driver. It was worth the extra 5% they charged. A big $15 total.
IMPORTANT !!!! CAMBODIA IS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY DEVISTATED BY ENDLESS HORRIBLE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL WAR. THERE IS NO INFRASTRUCTER. I DO NOT KNOW HOW THEY WILL HANDLE THE WAVES OF TOURISTS THEY EXPECT WITH THE MANY NEW HOTELS THEY ARE BUILDING.
WE WENT TO SEE THE FLOATING VILLAGES. iT IS REALLY JUST POOR, POOR PEOPLE LIVING ON SMALL BOATS WITH NO FACILITIES. THE RIVER WHICH IS GETTING LOWER SINCE IT IS THE DRY SEASON IS THE SEWER. THE STENCH IS TERRIBLE. I SHOWERED TWICE, CHANGED CLOTHES BUT COULD STILL SMELL IT. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING I WOULD HAVE GONE TO SEE IF I HAD KNOWN WHAT IT WAS. I WANTED TO GO BIRDWATCHING!!!!! I ALSO TOLD THE CONCERIEGE AT THE HOTEL THAT GUESTS SHOULD KNOW IN ADVANCE WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO SEE. ANOTHER GUEST TOLD ME THAT SHE HAS BEEN TO INDIA 6 TIMES AND THAT THIS WAS WORSE THAN INDIA. BE WARNED.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2003, 11:52 AM
  #6  
Marilyn
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Elaine, we spent a lovely afternoon on the lake crusing through the floating villages. I guess it depends on the time of year, because the Tonle Sap expands to triple its size during the rainy season. When were you there?

David, I do not agree that you must have a guide. It's really up to you. We have been there several times and mostly prefer to self-guide. Everyone has their own style of travel.

IMPORTANT: Cambodia DOES run on US dollars. Your first clue to this is that you must pay for your entry visa upon landing with US$20. There are NO ATM's. Take lots of 1-dollar bills -- they will come in very handy. We used our credit card wherever we could and took cash for the rest.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2003, 05:44 PM
  #7  
Elaine
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Marilyn, We were there last week.
 
Old Jan 12th, 2003, 07:55 PM
  #8  
Marilyn
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Elaine, wow, we were there only about 6 weeks earlier in 2001 (late Nov.) I can't imagine what it's like in spring and summer. Ugh.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 08:08 AM
  #9  
david
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Thanks for all of your help. I finally got in touch with the hotel and arranged for them to meet us at the airport with our car and guide. They initially wanted to meet us with a limousine for $33 and then pick up our car/guide at the hotel but I thought that was stupid. One e-mail later they cancelled the limo and agreed to have our tour guide and driver meet us at the airport.
 
Old Jan 13th, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #10  
Elaine
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David, We had a great meal at the hotel at the "fancy" restaurant. Well worth the difference in price from the others. But..our meal may have been a practice for the dinner the next evening for the Prince and Italian delegation. Either way, it really was better than the meals in any of the other restaurants at the hotel. It was difficult to get a reservation at the "fancy" restaurant. The first night they were full, the second night we ate there, the third night again we could not get a table. So, you might reserve asap and then decide what you want to do.
You will have a great time.
Elaine
 
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 07:59 PM
  #11  
bob
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just across the river (creek) from the right hand side of the grand hotel is a great restaurant, al fresco....not world class but the best meal we had out of a hotel in siem reap...name: La Noria...highly reccommended to us and us to you
 
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 09:19 PM
  #12  
stephen
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I was going to make a point of recommending the restaurant at La Noria and then scrolled down and saw that somebody already had. Best food in town, we thought. Don't miss Banteay Srei temple.
 
Old Jan 18th, 2003, 05:01 PM
  #13  
Caren
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And let me say, that I was in Siem Riep a week and a half ago (1/7-10), heard that La Noria was good-and maybe it was, however, when I asked what fresh fish they had, and they told me snakehead, I took a pass-just like I did at another restaurant in Siem Riep that told me the same thing. Snakehead fish, in case you didn't follow what was happening in the state of Md. last summer, is a predator fish from Asia that eats mammals, and can actually survive out of water on land for a few hours. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a permanent ban on this fish being brought into the US=but for someone who doesn't eat meat, the idea of eating such a fish was distinctly unappetizing to me-so be forewarned if that makes you a bit queasy too. They catch the snakehead in the Tonle Sap River, not, I would surmise, the cleanest river in the world!
 
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