Sihanoukville

creative commons / John Einar Sandvand

creative commons / John Einar Sandvand

The Mekong Express bus takes us to Sihanoukville. We arrive rested since the van was so nice. The hotel immediately impressed us as the van pulls up. Maybe one of the best for the money we had on the trip. It had a sea view and a big pool. We planned on going to a certain restaurant but it was closed with so many out of town to return to their home to vote in the election the next day. We ended up eating next door at a great Cambodian bbq place and had Cambodian seafood bbq. Huge portions and cheap prices. Fifty cent drafts. We go down to the beach and walk up and down looking at the bars right on the beach. They all have happy hour deal that seem to go all night. Happy days! We settle on a place called Muesli’s and get into the papasan chairs right on the beach near the softly crashing waves. There are lots of people shooting fireworks they have bought off locals that comb the beaches selling everything from fireworks to massages. It is a nice laid back atmosphere with the waves crashing and the fireworks popping. “Buckets” of drinks are on the menu for three to five dollars and have about half a bottle of liquor in them along with mixers. This will be a common size of beverage for the rest of Cambodia and Thailand. We have a couple of buckets and enjoy the atmosphere until it all dies down. We try another place just to get some pizza and a beer but it was awful so we finished and went home.

creative commons / Magalie L'Abbé

creative commons / Magalie L’Abbé

The buffet breakfast that is included at the Golden Sand Hotel is good. Not a ton of vegetarian options but they do have an omelet bar so that is a nice surprise. We walk to Otres Beach early in the day. It is a 5 km walk along the beach and over a rocky point that has bungalows. It was Sunday and Cambodian Election Day so there were tons of locals all down the beach. We walk all of Otres and it was quit dead because it was election time so bars were not supposed to serve alcohol. We found a place with hammocks and spend time between hanging in the hammocks and going into the sea. We say jokingly how everything was “jobbigt” and we posted on fb the quote about how sand gets everywhere. It was an amazing day. We eat lunch before we go. On the way back we pick up walking sticks and meet an Austrian couple on the way home. We talked with them the way home and showed them where the atm was and said we hoped to see them again. We had a dip in the humongous pool. For dinner we went back for more seafood bbq. It was so good we got extra shrimp. After dinner we check out a small cinema place where you rent private rooms by the hour to watch movies. The place was Top Cat cinemas but the rooms were hot and the tv didn’t actually work so we decided to just go down to the beach again and we go back to muesli’s and she falls asleep on the papasan chairs and I play on Facebook and the internet while sipping on a “Mekong Bucket”.

creative commons / ilya

creative commons / ilya

Next day we walk the other way along the coast to Victory Beach and it takes about three hours with the exploring along the way. It was a ghost town. We finally get a tuk tuk back and her name gets called out by the Dutch girls from Phnom Penh that are just arriving and we wave at them as they ride by in their tuk tuk. A few minutes later her name gets called out again by the Austrian couple and we grab a bite with them. The food is bland there at G.B.T. but after we all go take a swim in our pool. I also get a coconut that they sell at the front door of the hotel. It’s a refreshing drink and after he splits it and I eat the coconut out of it too with the spoon cut from the side of the coconut shell. Later that night we meet the the Austrians at Meuslis and get food there. Karin has ‘amok’ (a Cambodian dish) and I have ‘tom yam’ soup (Thai shrimp soup). After a bunch of drinks we go to JJ’s, which is a party bar, and get one dollar buckets and party there. Then around two we all get tired of it all and go home.

creative commons / RStacker

creative commons / RStacker

Next day we slept late because of the hangover and it was raining all day until about two in the afternoon and the sun comes out so we go to the pool then after about two hours it rains again. So we go in and that night we went to Sandan Restaurant for dinner. They help train local teenagers to be servers. We walk around and see the Dutch girls from before and chat with them. We take it easy that night since we are tired but we also have a snorkeling trip booked the next day.

Next day we wake up and have breakfast and get picked up to go snorkeling. We get on the boat with lots of other tourist and we chat. The first stop was raining and so we don’t get off the boat. Second stop it clears up and we get of the boat and on Bamboo Island for a few hours. We have grilled fish for lunch on the beach. We swim and nap on the beach most of the day. We get back on the boat and stop at another island and get out and snorkel some. We get home about four thirty. We get home and shower up for dinner. We go to ‘So….’ for an early bird dinner special and it is great. After dinner we walk around and have chocolate banana shakes at the beach. I also have a ginger honey tea. Then we go home.

Next day we get breakfast and get picked up for our ten plus hour bus trip to Siem Reap. The bus takes us back through Phnom Penh before dropping us in Siem Reap!

Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s beach town. Since I was here last it has built up a lot but all for good I think. There are tons of hotels and restaurants to choose from and other beaches besides Serenity beach if you want a day away from the busy area. Serenity beach is great fun at night and all in all she and I both thought it was one of the highlights of the trip!