Derleng Tours

Derleng Tours is a local tour company in Cambodia based out of Siem Reap. We found out about Derleng when we were about to book a room at the Kool Hotel for our stay in Siem Reap. They had an option for a three day, two nights package that included the lodging at the Kool Hotel and private tour guide and car touring the Siem Reap/Angkor area. I was very impressed and thankful for the excellent service they provided during our visit to Cambodia. Below is an excerpt of what I wrote about them in my review on TripAdvisor — the least I could do to thank them.

During the planning stage few months before the trip, I contacted Derleng Tours via email. They were very responsive and helpful in arranging our trip. When I also asked for information regarding transportation and tour guide for Phnom Penh, they responded with a customized package that included the transportation in Phnom Penh added. What I appreciate was that they gave us the option for a tour guide as we requested, but actually recommended that we wouldn’t take up that option. The reason was because their primary operation was in Siem Reap, and they didn’t have tour guide that they could recommend for in Phnom Penh. If we had insisted to get a tour guide, they could arrange one to come from Siem Reap to guide us in Phnom Penh, but the guide wouldn’t be as knowledgeable about Phnom Penh that they didn’t want to risk not meeting our expectations. I found this very customer focused, and gave the feeling that they’re looking out for our best interests and not trying to take advantage of the situation to up sell their service.

The drivers we had in Phnom Penh were very courteous and knew their way around. We had a little mishap during the start of our full day trip in Phnom Penh, but Derleng folks managed to resolve it when we called them very early in the morning. The day ended up to be memorable, and we had lunch with our driver that was a unique experience in itself.

Derleng also helped us arrange our transportation from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. We had wanted to travel by bus and I also asked if they could arrange our transit from the hotel to the bus station in Phnom Penh and from the bus station to hotel in Siem Reap. They responded with an offer to arrange the whole travel (I think pretty much at cost). They also suggested that we would go by van rather than bus; pretty much same pricing, but typically faster because vans are more nimble than buses in navigating the highway traffic. Again, they gave us the suggestion without being pushy, and we took up their suggestion (this was the experience I wrote about in several posts last week about the trip from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap).

The Siem Reap part of the trip was organized and executed flawlessly. Our tour guide, Chea Vanna, was very friendly and knowledgeable about the places we visited during our three-day stay in Siem Reap. I particularly enjoyed having discussions with him learning about Cambodian culture and what life is like there, and sharing about American and Indonesia culture and life in comparison. By the end of the three day excursion, we pretty much considered him and our driver as our new friends, more than just our tour guide and driver.

In the end, we had a wonderful experience visiting Cambodia, and Derleng Tours had a big part in making our trip smooth and memorable. I definitely would recommend them to anyone planning on going to Cambodia.

The photo below was taken on New Year’s morning at Angkor Wat. It was me, Kristi, and our guide Vanna.

New Year's morning at Angkor Wat

The Kool Hotel

The Kool Hotel is a boutique hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia, area located about 15-minute drive from downtown Siem Reap. We picked this hotel as our place to stay based on the reviews on TripAdvisor. We ended up booking our stay as part of a tour package arranged with Derleng Tours (which was located at The Kool Hotel itself).

The hotel is located on a quiet residential street off the main highway in Siem Reap. It’s far enough that you can enjoy quiet retreat if you need a break from the activities in and around the town, but close enough that you can get to the the market / Pub street area within minutes on the complimentary shuttle van or by tuk-tuk.

When we arrived at the hotel, we were welcomed by the front desk staff, and as our room was being prepared, we were served cool and refreshing pandan-infused ice tea, and warm towels to refresh ourselves after a long trip from Phnom Penh. We were escorted to our room not long after that. The room was nice and clean, though we found ours a bit small in size. But since we spent most of the time out and about, this wasn’t issue.

We also went to the on-site restaurant for lunch. It was pretty nice. They served both Khmer and western dishes. The food was quite tasty, and the staff was attentive. Near the restaurant area, there was a swimming pool. We didn’t use the facility, but during the day time we saw families with kids enjoying the pool.

The photo below was taken just outside or room. You can see the nice shade outside the rooms with trees and landscaping around. It provided nice oasis especially after you go out in the sun during the day.

The Kool Hotel