After an eventful bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, we were glad to find the tuk tuk driver from our guesthouse waiting for us at the bus stop. We could sit back and relax for a moment while he drove us through the crazy traffic to Eighty8 Guesthouse, our home for the next three days and nights. We paid $26 per night, a little more than usual, but since we’d be spending my birthday here, a refreshing pool was a must!
Eighty8 Guesthouse (or Eighty8 Backpackers) is a young, hip guesthouse with a nice large bar (with a pool table), a swimming pool (no beach chairs) and a bulletin board full of tours, services and tips. We liked our room with private bathroom (no soap dispenser), fan and airconditioning with remote. There’s no fridge and no TV in the room, but we usually don’t use them anyway, except for cooling our water, so no big deal. The WiFi connection was good, both in our room and in the bar at the side of the pool. It’s a little annoying you have to log in every time, but luckily the login and password are as easy as they get.
They’ll clean (probably just tidy) your room everyday, so you won’t run out of toilet paper. We tried throwing our towels on the floor to get new ones, but apparently it doesn’t work like that at Eighty8 Guesthouse. Our used towels just hung from the rack when we got back. We guess you just have to ask for fresh towels at the reception. You get two towels (and a remote for the airconditioning) at the reception when you check in, and there were two towels on the bed in our room. They didn’t explain why and there are places you can’t bring towels from your room to the pool, so I went to ask for towels once when we were hanging out by the pool. The girl at the reception was a bit reluctant, so I’m not sure if that’s the way to go, although I got the towels anyway. So probably two of the four towels you get are for showering and two for when you go to the pool.
Breakfast is not included, but you can get it at the Eighty8 bar for $1.25 to $2.50. We tried and liked the omelet, toast and banana cake. We have lunched and dined in the bar as well. You can read about it in our next blogpost. They have a laundry service for $2.50 per kg, which is the most expensive we’ve encountered up until now. We made use of it anyway and had to pay $6.25 for having the largest part of our clothes washed. We could pick up the clothes 24 hours later and they made me check at the reception if everything was there. While putting on some of those clean clothes, we noticed they’d put a small thread through every piece of clothing. It was a bit of a struggle to get them out, but I guess it’s a safe way to know which clothes belong together.
The guesthouse offers a wide range of tours. They work together with a number of tuk tuk drivers, strategically positioned in front of the guesthouse. For example, we told the receptionist we wanted to do the tour to S-21 and the Killing Fields, she led us to a tuk tuk driver and off we went. After the tour you have to pay the driver the fixed price, put up on the bulletin board at the reception. It’s probably better to just make a deal with a tuk tuk driver on the side of the road in order to negotiate a better price, but it was convenient.
The staff was friendly, expect for when we wanted to make use of their bus ticket service to get to Siem Reap. They will arrange the bus tickets for you for a number of destinations, with different bus companies. We asked twice to book our drive to Siem Reap a fews days beforehand, but they wouldn’t do it. They said it would be OK if we just booked the day before leaving. Brecht specifically asked if the bus with our preferred company wouldn’t be full. They assured it is was no problem. Until we wanted to book the bus the day before: “Sorry, that bus is full.”. That was a bit frustrating and did cost them half a star in our rating.
Except for the bus booking fiasco, we were very pleased with our stay at Eighty8 Guesthouse in Phnom Penh. The room was clean, the food and drinks at the bar were good and we enjoyed the swimming pool. We played a game of volleyball in the pool with two French guys one afternoon. It was quite exhausting and I’m embarrassed to say we lost with a scandalous final score. Definitely a fun guesthouse, with themed evenings in the bar every day.