The places by the lake are backpackery, obsessed with drugs and Angkor beer. OK for a chilled-out day drinking and watching the lake, but paper-thin walls and minimal security did not make me feel safe.
I certainly wouldn't recommend it to lone women. If anything goes wrong (and it did with me) you will have absolutely no help whatsoever.
Capitol Guesthouse looks awful from the outside but on the inside it's scrupulously clean, has cable TV, private bathroom, air conditioning, good security (proper walls!) and all for about $8-10.
It also runs buses to Ho Chi Minh City, Siem Reap etc so it's very well located. You'll get off the backpackers trail just that little bit and experience much better levels of comfort, security and hygiene. And it's just round the corner from possibly one of the best and friendliest restaurants in Cambodia - Mama's.
Several locations across Phnom Penh. Well known - ask any moto driver. If you get the bus from HCMC or Siem Reap, chances are you'll be dropped off right outside!
If you're staying for a couple of days, it's worth cultivating a regular moto driver (many guesthouses have a bunch of reputable guys).
Saves hassle, and can be great if you strike up a rapport, even better if they speak a bit of English.
Pay 2000 riel per journey (maybe 3000 at 3am), or negotiate a day rate.
Plus if you're planning on being out late, having a moto driver you trust who you can ring up on a mobile is worth the extra peace of mind.
Ask your guesthouse owner
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