The Arunras Hotel and Restaurant (39Eo Sereypheap Street, tel. +855 11 427 919) is a good choice for the budget traveller and although the meals were fairly standard and the clean rooms quite basic, the value for money here was excellent, at around USD10 per night for a double room. This well-established hotel was also perfect for being in the middle of downtown Kampong Thom.
The Vimean Sovann Guesthouse (National Road 6) is another long-established venue in town, close to the Suntuk silk farm and other central Kampong Thom sights. For only USD10 per night we had a room you could have played football in and immaculately clean towels and linen. With the buses and tuk-tuks to nearby temples only a short walk away, this great-value guesthouse was among our favourite budget options.
After seeking some out-of-town accommodation, we found the serene, pastoral residence of Khmer Homestay south of Kampong Thom on Highway 6. This family-run accommodation set in acres of gorgeous Cambodian farmland has an amiable, inviting atmosphere and we were pleased to hear that our presence also supported the local community. We stayed in stilt cabins, met the cheerful locals and even took a ride in a pony and cart. This is a blissful escape on the outskirts of Kampong Thom starting from USD17 per night (we recommend staying for at least three!)
Rooms with a river-view are not hard to find here. Currently in vogue is Sambor Village (Democrat Street, tel. +855 17 924 612), named as Kampong Thom’s first and only boutique hotel, which sits on the Stung Sen only 600 metres from the town centre. We lounged next to a pristine pool in a tropical, scented garden and slept in a colonial-style bungalow with all the mod-cons for only USD40 per night. As well as scoffing a generous breakfast each day, we also enjoyed reasonably priced, flavoursome food for lunch and dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Another luxurious option we loved was the Glorious Hotel and Spa (National Road 6, Phum Balang Khang Lech). Aptly named and a steal at USD36 a night, this place provided us with an impressive pool, speedy wifi and a very modern room. Head to the restaurant for an extensive menu of tasty Khmer cuisine and don’t miss the fragrant noodle soup.
Restaurants & Cafes
Beyond the hotel restaurants of Kampong Thom, we found two contrasting places to enjoy something to eat. One was the Western-style Love Café and Pizza (Krong Stueng Saen, tel. +855 17 916 219), which served fantastic pizza, burgers and a luscious homemade ice cream.
Down by the river, traditional Khmer cuisine was abundant at the characterful market, with especially delectable food available early in the morning. We found stalls serving sour soups and barbecued meats well into the night, and felt as though we’d had a truly authentic and vibrant Cambodian experience.
Even as you leave town on the northward road to Siem Reap you will discover somewhere to enjoy a decent meal. We descended on a waterside restaurant dubiously named the Prey Pros Rest Area, a restaurant on stilts that offers a range of dishes at reasonable prices. Judging by the adjoining gift shop and coach-filled car park, it was clear this is a typical stop for tour buses. We paid for six meals plus drinks for less than USD30 and then chilled out in the hammocks on the nearby decks, which in all frankness sums up a typical day in Kampong Thom: relaxed to the point of being horizontal.