I arrived to Phnom Penh and my hostel didn't exist

Ako som prišla do Phnom Penhu a môj hostel už neexistoval

I usually try to avoid coming to new places late evening. The later the hour, the more limits and complications it brings. But sometimes you have no choice. I arrived to capital of Cambodia – Phnom Penh by bus from Vietnam. It wasn’t really late, about 8 PM, but it was getting dark around six.

I went directly to hostel. I found the address, but couldn’t see any sign, or light inside. Nothing. I was walking up and down the street, looking into map, my backpack was dragging me down, the sweat was pouring down on me. No hostel.

I decided to ask the lady sitting in front of the mini-market.

“That hostel doesn’t exist.”

“How come? I have paid reservation.”

“It was closed approximately 2 months ago. When did you book it?”

“Well, 2 months ago.” (it was my first big trip as solo traveller, I booked almost everything in advance)

She offered me a chair and asked how much money I am willing to pay for accommodation.

As less as possible.

She called her friend, but his hostel was full. Then she gave me wi-fi password to search for something else. I was browsing few seconds and one name took my attention. I remembered this hostel, it was one of the options. 5 minutes walking. I’m going.

I took my backpack, cordially thanked the lady for help and walked out to streets of Phnom Penh.

There are several lessons to be learned from this:

  1. It is not recommended to book anything in advance in some countries or areas in the world. Southeast Asia is one of them.
  2. Ask for help from locals, they are willing to help.
  3. And the last is my travel rule: Do not panic, there is always a solution.

P.S.: How did it end with unrealized hostel reservation?

The price for one night was $8. Yes, ridiculous amount, but why don‘t get it back when it didn’t serve it’s purpose? It cost me one e-mail to booking.com. They send me money back within few weeks.

Lucky Traveller.

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