Well I’m going to fast forward in time from my last post and bypass some experiences best forgotten: Bangkok with it’s theft and expense, Siem Reap almost bedridden with sickness for a week, going to Phnom Phen only to find the government is filling in the lake, it’s already substantially smaller than it was the year before. But anyways, onward to good things: Sihananoukville
I arrived Monday afternoon after only a few hrs in a relatively comfortable bus from Phnom Penh. It’d only been about 4 hrs including the rest & “get made to feel guilty by kids selling fruit” stop of a half hr and I was feeling pretty good. A moto driver immediately came up to me offering his services and after assuring me that we could transport all my gear (to which I was initially dubious as with all my photo & laptop gear I was carrying 4 bags) we were off. I knew I wanted to stay near Serendipity beach as the guide book told me that there’s two main beach areas for budget m in Sihanoukville, one is the backpacker central which is the grubby beach just in from the port and the other is the much nicer and less crowded serendipity beach. I knew which of them I wanted.
I was brought to a guesthouse a block from the beach and after being shown the large, clean room with private bathroom, furniture beyond just a bed and even cable tv for $6 a night I was sold. Anyways after check in I wandered up the beach and although it was a far cry from the wide surf beaches of back home it was nevertheless also a far cry from Phuket. It was relatively clean and the water, depending on how the light hit it could even be called clear. I threw a meal down my neck and went for a wander. Up by the end in by the headland I found a nest of bungalows all with balconies with their own hammocks looking out to the sea. After enquiring the price and finding out the double bed ones were 15$ I immediately made a reservation for the following night. That night I enjoyed a couple 50cent happy hour pints of beer and then after happy hour finished at tad a few more @ $1 a pint. Stumbling back to my guesthouse a block away from the beach was only a few mins walking but I couldn’t help but think the the next night I’d be swinging on a hammock listening to the ocean.
And I was. Been here for a few days now. Food in the restaurants up and down the little cove here is generally brilliant and though more expensive than other places in Cambodia it’s still cheaper than you’d pay for the equivalent western meal in Thailand. I go to sleep and wake up with the sound of the ocean lapping the shore. Not a single day has been too hot in fact the weather has been beautiful. Mild to hottish days, thankfully lacking the humidity of back home, quenched by afternoon/evening rain storms and lightning shows. My only wish was that the water was a little clearer and cooler, you can’t jump in the ocean in the middle of the day to cool off a tad as it’s just very warm, no coolness or feeling of refreshment to it at all.
There’s only one way into this little beach headland and you have to walk up the beach to get here. That means that everything I need, including internet and a range of restaurants is available before I hit a road, means no dealing with tuk tuk or moto drivers that ever seem to be hounding you for rides as in most other SE Asian locations. Also for the most part there’s nobody trying to talk you into their shops or sell you things. The odd kid comes past with the morning paper or selling bracelets and stuff but they are quick to move on when they see you aren’t interested. It’s definitely a low stress place to stay.
It means I get to kick back in this little bungalow and really relax, check the net when I want to and eat when I want to without bracing myself for the string of “Atay Akun”s (no thank yous) that I’d have to deliver in the other Cambodian locations I’ve stayed at. And when I’m not doing that or wandering around the headland path for a view of the sun going down I’m in my bungalow doing some editing, or some writting, or reading a book swinging in the hammock with the sound of the ocean in the background.
All in all a very peacefull and serene place and a great one, I think to get lost for a little while…
From my balcony: