Travel Report: Foster Apartments, Siem Reap.
Foster Apartments Siem Reap
Jan-March 2020. Back on the 24th of January Sladja and I were super excited! After three weeks living in a tiny room at a cheap-as-chips guesthouse, we were finally moving into our own apartment!
Actually, the place belonged to my old teaching buddy Jonathon, who’d been living here for a couple of years. With plans to travel The Middle East, he was looking for someone to cover his rent while he was away. After a brief visit to check the place out, I could barely bite his hand off fast enough.
Foster Apartments is located on the rough and ready but strangely trendy Sala Kamreuk Road. Here, I figured, we’d have the space and comfort to fully embrace our lives working online in Siem Reap. Right from day one I was struck by how well-kept the joint is, especially the spotless ground floor courtyard with its lovingly tended plants, bushes and flowers.
Foster Apartments, Siem Reap.
It certainly felt good to have so much space after three weeks in a box room. While simple in design and somewhat sparsely furnished, our apartment had everything we needed. This is the living room, where I set up a workstation for my nightly classes. In the daytime, the thick grey curtains do a decent job of keeping out the furious afternoon sunshine.
The kitchen is a bit rickety, but functional enough. In addition to the fridge and washing machine, there’s loads of counter space and a large stove area with several hobs. Being able to cook for ourselves felt wonderful! Across the road there’s a little shop where we went to replace our drinking water containers. They’re just $1 apiece when you return the empty one.
92 Sala Kamreuk Road, Siem Reap.
In our sleeping quarters, I loved how the bed took up over half the room. This, in my book, is everything a bedroom should be. A large, wall-mounted TV meanwhile was perfect for our month-long Martin Scorsese marathon. Yup, that’s 26 consecutive studio films from 1967’s Who’s That Knocking at My Door, right through to The Irishman in 2019. Great fun.
However, our favourite thing about life at Foster Apartments was the balcony. We had a large wooden table and umbrella with sweeping, rooftop views across the countryside. Perfect for home-cooked al fresco breakfasts.
Our time spent out here was usually soundtracked by birdsong or buddhist chanting from a nearby temple. On occasion, we’d glimpse one of the shy, scampering lizards that live in the roof.
Sunset at Foster Apartments really is something else! We used to come out here with beers to watch the melting colours and listen to the crickets.
Foster Apartments, Siem Reap.
Those first few weeks in Foster Apartments were decent. We spent most of our days developing Leighton Travels. When our stomachs rumbled, we had some of our favourite Siem Reap cafes and restaurants right on our doorstep. In fact, it was during this period that we laid the foundations for what would become our extensive guide, Where to Eat and Drink in Siem Reap.
However, it wasn’t long before it all went wrong. In an unprecedented string of bad luck, our Foster Apartments experience rapidly began to sour. Firstly, we spent a tense evening chasing down a manic mouse that ran (and crapped) all over the place until we eventually caught it.
Another evening, the pan on the kitchen hob slipped, pouring boiling oil over one of my fingers. As a result, I now know first hand just how much fun it is to have a second degree burn! A few days later, Sladja slipped on a puddle of water left on the building’s main staircase. The janitor had been watering the plants and not cleaned up after himself. She was left with a large hematoma just above her buttocks.
The crippling heat!
Freak accidents and unwanted visitors aside, the thing that actually made us call time on life at Foster Apartments was the crippling heat. As February gave way to March, daily temperatures became absolutely stifling. Before long, we realised that our single air con unit, coupled with the apartment’s open plan design, just wasn’t cutting it. Even with an additional large fan pointed right at us, it was borderline unbearable.
Then came the power cuts. Oh lord, the power cuts. They lasted for hours, leaving me to teach classes by torchlight on shaky 4G. I’m sure neither of us will forget lying awake in bed at 2am sweating buckets.
It was around the time that COVID-19 joined the party that Sladja and I woke up one day and realised we needed a new place to figure things out. Somewhere with air con that was worth a damn. A place with a generator for the power outages. And, if possible, a swimming pool we could jump into whenever we pleased.
Despite how it all ended up, I’ll aways look back fondly on our time at Foster Apartments. The landlord was a friendly and fair guy who always tried to help us with any problems. Furthermore, from what I understand, the apartments here vary with regards to space, design, air con units, etc. Hence I appreciate our experience was not necessarily a typical one.
I do think that if we’d wanted to stay here long term, we could have made it work with a bit of investment. But the way everything turned out, it just wasn’t meant to be. In the current climate, I gather the apartments are now going from $300 a month. As ever in Cambodia, everything is negotiable. To enquire, get in touch with the landlord, Mr. Sophourn, on 012 954 696.
For more on accommodation in the city, take a look at my guide on Where to Stay in Siem Reap.
For a look at Siem Reap’s excellent cafe, restaurant and bar scene, check out my detailed guide on Where to Eat and Drink Siem Reap.
You can also read my exhaustive overview of What to See and Do in Siem Reap.
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