The Cambodian aesthetic, at least when it comes to buildings they think will appeal to Westerners, involves fluorescent lighting, cold, white tiles, and ceilings high enough to make make Yao Ming look petite. Still, austere-but-comfortable hotels can sometimes be a welcome respite from dusty streets, squat toilets, and markets lined with hanging raw meat.
Mekong Hotel, in Kampong Cham, lacks any semblance of atmosphere. Still, this lumbering building along the Mekong River offers large, clean rooms with air conditioning, hot water, views of the water, and a close proximity to the Western bars and restaurants. For masochistic, prideful backpackers and volunteer workers who don't like to treat themselves but find themselves in the quiet Cambodian city, at $12 a night, it's a stealth way to sneak in a little comfort.