Published: March 2nd 2012March 2nd 2012
After a pretty full-on few days in Phnom Pehn, we were really looking forward to hitting the beach at Sihanoukville and having our ‘holiday within a holiday’ that we have every so often. We checked out of Europe Guesthouse in PP on Weds morning and Seng, the owner, sorted our transport to the bus station. The bus ride was about 5hrs with a 15min stop half way, only $4 each so couldn’t complain.
When we arrived in Sihanoukville, we tried a couple of guesthouses which were all full but luckily there was a room free at ‘Hoohaa’ for $10 a night, which was basic, but fine for what we needed. We went for a stroll around Serendipity and Ochheuteal beach and found our bearings, had a couple of drinks on the beach and hoped the clouds would disappear sharpish as we had planned the next few days as ‘tan time‘! In the evening Darren wasn’t feeling too good so we just took it easy and chilled out at the guesthouse.
5 months in and it finally hit! I was woken up in the middle of the night to Darren vomiting, diarrhea, fever and the shakes.
Initially we thought it was food poisoning as it lasted 2 days then calmed down, but when he ate again for the first time it all went much much worse and we headed to the emergency clinic who prescribed antibiotics to treat a parasite. The next 4 days were spent in the pokey room we had literally watching TV and reading. In a way it worked out ok though, as the weather was so bad for those 4 days, it rained and rained like we’d never seen anywhere, proper monsoon weather.. So even if Darren had been well, we couldn’t have gone sunbathing anyway
Feb - my birthday!!! Fortunately Darren was feeling a lot better, and we checked out of our box room with cold shower and huge spiders at Hoohaa, and checked into The Coolabah Hotel closer to the beach (I had no idea where we were going and was sooo excited when we arrived!). When we arrived, they gave us our complimentary drink and showed us to our amazing room for the night, it was lush! As a birthday treat Darren had booked me in for an hour full body massage, Indian head massage, manicure
and facial, it was absolute bliss! For the rest of the afternoon we lazed around the pool, drinking cocktails (well I did - Darren was on medication so couldn’t!) and relaxing.
At night, we decided to eat in the hotel as the menu looked amazing. I ordered Lobster thermidore which cost the same as two nights accommodation (but it was my birthday so that’s my excuse) and wine, and hot chocolate brownies with ice cream, yeah I totally over indulged, it had to be done! Darren had tuna butties haha. We tried to go out for a couple of drinks but the combination of having over 2 hours of treatments done in the afternoon, too much food, and too much booze, meant that we were in bed at 9pm - rock and roll indeed! But an absolutely amazing birthday that I’ll certainly never forget.
The next day we checked into our new place..Siddartha for $15 a night, right on beach road. We decided to check out the famous Otres Beach as we‘d heard it was a nice change from Ochheuteal Beach where you get constantly hassled by people offering everything from massage, bracelets, sunglasses, threading (which I actually
had done by a girl and it was great!) fruit, drugs etc you get the picture! We paid the tuk tuk driver $5 to take us there, which we found out later was too much and the trip was a bumpy one! It took around 15 minutes to get there down a dirt track and we got dropped off at the start of the 3km strip near Bamboo Shack. We walked through to the beachfront really excited to see a pristine beach and were gob smacked….. It was worse than Ochheuteal beach, really narrow, really busy and with rubbish all over the place! And there were still the meithering locals everywhere who we were trying to escape! We were gutted! Nevertheless we grabbed a couple of sunbeds at a ’happy herb pizza’ bar and chilled out for the day. We did make it further down the beach to go and see if it was much better, but all in all we were really disappointed. We had read about this place from other travellers who had been here just last year and said it was really quiet, so word must have gotten round fast and people have all jumped on the
So, we had been in Sihanoukville 8 days and Darren had hardly drank, but thank the lord, he finished his anti-biotics and felt better. We chilled out on Ochheuteal Beach throughout the day, watching the volleyball competition at Sessions Bar (a great bar run by Jimbo and Dave, two lads from Halifax and Chester - highly recommended!) and decided to have a seafood bbq for tea, which was amazing! At night, we started off at the top of Beach Road, in Monkey Republic, having a few beers, then went to Utopia, which is where we bumped into our friend from Saigon, Janek and some of his friends. Daniel the owner of ‘Hoohaa’ where we stayed was also in there, smashed as he had been on the booze cruise. And we also bumped into Joni and Shaun from Canada who we did the Laos tour with - funny how everyone does the same trip in a different order! The rest of the night basically consisted of dancing, watching beer pong, and drinking. We got in around 3am, but was fuming at 6am, when we were woken by some people banging on our door, and even opening our room window
shouting for their friends.. I know we’ve been just as loud coming in sometimes and have probably annoyed so many people.. But it still drives you mad when it happens to you.
For our last day in Sihanoukville, we decided to chill on the beach again (the tans coming along now..haha) Darren loved it, when a Cambodian girl asked him whilst in the sea if he had a girlfriend, to which he replied wife and the girl tutted haha and then we headed over to Victory Beach for the sunset. Its only $4 to get to Victory Beach, and totally worth it. We got dropped off at the famous Airport nightclub that has an actual airplane in its club. We walked across the beach, which was a lot nicer than Ochheuteal and Otres beach (gutting to find out on our last day) and stopped at the Victory Beach Hotel for a nice meal on the beach while the sun set.
We wanted to get the sleeper bus to Siem Reap to save us a nights accommodation, but it was fully booked for the next three days so we decided to head back to Phnom Pehn for the night
and go to Siem Reap the following day as we didn’t fancy doing the trip during the day in one go (around 13 hours). The bus journey wasn’t great, we tried to get some sleep but the bus was totally overcrowded with people sat on tiny plastic stools along the middle walkway, and entire families taking just two seats (there were 2 adults and 4 children on the seats opposite us). Babies crying, toddlers vomiting right in front of us, and air con that was useless meant we were knackered after the 6 hour trip so we did what Phnom Pehn is great for and just sat at a bar on the riverside and watched the world go by!
Looking forward to getting to Siem Reap, spending maybe 5 days there - gives us chance to do some laundry! We left about half of our clothes with the villagers at our homestay for them to use as we no longer needed them, so we are in desperate need of a laundry day! The thought of having our own washing machine back in less than three weeks fills me with joy - sad but true! And the thought of being
able to wear clean clothes and not have to sniff them first to see if they’ll ’last another day’ - is really gross, but also true!!!
Next stop Siem Reap and the famous Angkor temples, can’t wait!
TTFN folks xxxxx
There are more photos below