Saturday, October 24, 2009

15th to 22nd October - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville was a welcome relief from the constant ream of cities we'd found ourselves in. It was a beach resort, a little touristy but with enough local flavour to make it a pleasant experience.

We had a long journey, we'd already booked a ticket on the crap bus from Siem Reap back to Phnom Penh so we had to get another bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. We chose a different and much better bus company called Paramount. All in all it was a 12 hour trip.

We got to Sihanoukville and stayed at a hotel called Beach Road. It was lovely and had a great pool. The hotels we've stayed at in Cambodia have all been really good. We were pretty tired that night and went across to a place called Monkey Republic for dinner. Low and Behold..... I bumped into Simon again. We also met up with some of Lena's friends that night went off to a place called Utopia for a few drinks. It was good fun.

The next day was spent having a dip in the pool and then we explored the town. It's very much driven towards tourists and you can tell that in about 5 years time it's probably going to be ruined and look like a tacky Ibiza... I truly hope not. It would be a real shame.

We also went out to seek a place for a massage and happened upon this little shack that was pretty cheap. An hour of pain later (I still have the bruises on my legs) and we realised that cheap is not always good.... Ouch.

We went to Monkey Republic again that night to meet Simon and also met a kiwi guy called Dan who was travelling alone. We ended up going to Utopia again which seemed like the late night place to go in Serendipity Beach. Again it was a good laugh.

The next day we planned to go to a place called The Airport which is a club with a plane inside it. Very odd. Lena and I also booked a trip to Koh Rung for the next day. We spent the day exploring Sihanoukville downtown. It wasn't worth the trip.. Really dull and nothing to see to be honest. Although we did bump into this really cute kid and his mum. He must have been just over 1 year old and he looked at us so I waved hello. His mum beckoned us over so I got down on my haunches and said hello to the little fella. He then pursed his mouth into a kiss and closed his eyes. It was sweet. All the watching locals were laughing.

That night we went to Airport Club via Victory Beach. Oh my god, Victory Beach was terrible. It was a street full of brothel bars. We left pretty quickly. We did see one worrying episode while we were there though. This grey haired guy, I think he was German from his accent went to one of the bars and was saying hello to all of the girls. He then pulled out a knife and started waving it around them... It was pretty scary so we made a quick exit. Airport Club was bizarre... it really has got a plane inside it... A little crazy. Again, we didn't stop for long. I think the best part of Sihanoukville is around Serendipity Beach. The other places are just a little to Red Light District for my liking. It's an unfortunately all too familiar sight in SE Asia....

The next day we went to Lazy Beach, a resort on Koh Rung island for some relaxation. It's pretty cool, you have to swim out to the boat that takes you to the island. It was pretty rough seas and the journey was like a rollercoaster ride. The boat was tipping from side to side and we were glad to anchor up ojust off Lazy Beach. The same drill applied and we had to swim from the boat to the beach. It was good fun and the water was warm and clear.

We spent three days doing nothing but relaxing at Lazy Beach. I would recommend it to everyone. It's such a beautiful island. Chris, one of the owners, is a great guy and the food is excellent. We were on the island with 8 others and we all got on really well. The gecko's they have on the Island are huge though. You find them on your wall when you get back from the bar.

I was sad to leave Lazy Beach but we had to head back to Phnom Penh. I had to get a flight to Bangkok the next day and Lena was flying back to Melbourne. It was great travelling around with Lena, she's such a laugh. I really have met some wonderful people and made some excellent friends on my trip. I'm very lucky to have had the chance to spend time with them all.

We got a great welcome back at Me Mates Place in Phnom Penh and spent a night there. I left Cambodia wishing I had more time there. It was an amazing place with such wonderful people. I'd definitely like to go back.

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