Published: September 17th 2007September 17th 2007
As a veteran of hungover bus journeys, I managed to get some kip and my ipod passed the time I was awake. Paul, on the other hand, wasn't enjoying the ride at all, and insisted that the remaining long journeys were done after a good night's sleep and no alcohol.
We arrived in Sihanoukville in the afternoon, and the handy guide we yoinked from the last guesthouse told us that the place to be was up by Weather Station Hill. So we got a couple of motos from the bus station to a hotel called 'Mealy Chenda Guesthouse'. Whilst the guesthouse was OK, with air-con and a T.V., noone else was there! After settling in, we headed to the nearest beach, called Victory Beach. On the way there, we saw nothing bus hotel developments, and a lot of rubble. The beach itself wasn't that great either.
That night, still hungover, we decided to chill in our room in front of the TV, and the latest premiership action. At about 10pm, we ventured to the bar to get some water, which we found to be shut, so we headed to the strip of bars just up the road, which were inhabited by old westerners and lots of young Cambodian girls who were literally screaming at Paul and myself as we walked by, being the only young western males, it would seem, in the whole area. We hastily made it back for the last game of the evening, and the safety of our hotel room.
After an overdue lie in, we decided to check out the next beach along, called 'Hawaii Beach', however there were no girls in grass skirts with coconut bikinis. Although you had to walk through a absolutely massive half built hotel resort to get there, this beach was pretty cool, and we had a seafood lunch at a restaurant on the beach. We were pretty much the only foreign tourists on the beach, although there were loads of Cambodian children playing in the sea and around the wooden pier. After lunch we went for a dip, and Paul got roped into buying some chocolate crisps(!) from one of the kids.
We decided that night, to visit the other side of town, that we hoped would be more lively, and a bit more backpackery. And it was, so we decided to move to Serendipity Beach the next day. The beach here has a strip of bars and guesthouses on a road running towards the beach, and another load of bars actually on the beachfront offering all kinds of massages, manicures etc. whilst you sunbathe.
Paul and I checked into the 'Monkey Republic' hostel, which had cheap beer, decent food, and most importantly a TV room with a PS2 and Pro Evo! We played a few games and I have to say I wasn't on form, and got punished by Paul, as he'll be quick to remind me for months to come. At night, the bars along the beachfront get pretty lively, and there are the typical fireshows on the beach, with cheap buckets and beer promotions. I can imagine that this place would be pumping in the high season.
The next couple of days were spent chilling on the beach, reading and (not) doing an immensely hard Suduko puzzle that Paul got me started on and I still haven't finished yet. There was a place opposite where we were staying called 'Utopia' that offered free accommodation. As our place was only 2 bucks a night each for a comfy bed and our own bathroom we decided to stay where we were. But the food at this place was really nice, and happy hour beer prices were 25 cents, just over 10p, so we went there a few times. Paul's luck had clearly been all used up on his Pro Evo success, so I caned him at pool a few times in this bar.
After spending an extra day than planned in Sihanoukville, we booked the bus for Siem Reap the next day, and decided to bust it all the way up there in one go, about 12 hours, without drinking the night before.