Monday 12th November
So we woke early for a our pick up for 7.30 am, stood outside waiting for our lift, all the local kids were going off to school on the back of the mopeds, older ladies outside the guehothouse on the paths cooking for their family breakfast, bananas being loaded off the vans for the market. Everyone is up so early say round 5ish, so nice to just stand and watch
Got in an 8 seater which took us to the bus station. Off we went, bad traffic, Monday morning traffic again. Decent coach this time, aircon worked....Lovely
our journey is suppose to take 4 hours so we shall see, normally have to add a couple of hours onto that. Driving down to the coast it gets a lot more remote, loads of lush green jungles, little shack houses along the way.
Got speaking to a guy on the coach from Canada called Jay, he has a bar "bad canada" on Ortres beach saying its a lush beach, more relaxed then the one we are staying at. Decided we would share a tuk tuk on arrival to save a bit of cash
and yes our estimate was right.... 6 hours, but it was a pleasant journey to be fair.
We arrived at Panda Guesthouse
it was opposite the Golden Lion
roundabout near Serendipity Beach
. The guy Patrick at reception (owner) seem really helpful and nice. Got into our room and it had no window which was a bit odd and just a fan this time, going to see how we can cope without aircon, $8 a night for the both of us was a bargain
and you get two bottles of water a day. So we are booked in for the next 3 Nights.
Patrick was saying about him owning the guesthouse with his wife who was up in Phnom Penh at the mo, so we reckon he has a Cambodian bride
they've had it only two months so its still up and running. They have a dog called foxy who is Thai.
We needed cash and the closest Canadia bank was in the town back where we had from came from so he sorted a tuk tuk from outside to take us, he wanted $5 but he got it down to $3 for us. Driving around the place
is very quiet, so much more relaxed then any other places we've been so far and we are in the most built up part of Sihanoukville. Our location is spot on mind, just off the end off beach road which has loads of bars and restaurants and you can see the beach from the top of the road, literally like 5 minutes walk down the hill.... Perfect for us because all we want to do is just chill for the next couple days, loose these strap marks and get a full body tan
So we headed down to the beach to catch some rays
beaming hot today. As you approach the beach you get collared lady after lady saying "Massage Madam?...." So K says "no thank you" politly ...."Pedicure Madam".... no thank you.... "Ohhhh madam hair on leg, I thread...." Haha K was only saying last night I have to shave my leg hair for the beach in the morning and they've spotted it straight away, haha. Need to get that sorted as soon as we get back, haha.
Sat on a lounger and you get them free if you buy a drink from the
beach bar, trying to relax and again lady after lady.... "Hello massage madam?...." No thank you, "pedicure manicure madam?...." No thank you.... "Ohhhh hair on leg, I thread?...." NO, leave my bloody leg hair alone I'm shaving it off tonight, hahaha.
They were even wanting to thread Dom's chest hair, haha. Then you get "buy bracelets?", "buy fruit?", "buy fresh lobster?", "buy donut?", "by squid?", "buy crab?", "buy sunglasses?", "hairband?", they all walk around with it on there heads, great tekkers mind, but we said no thank you to everything, but we can see us giving in in a couple of days!!
Had a little dunk in the sea but there are loads of jelly fish which you have to dodge else they will sting you, nasty!!
Went back to the room to get ready, so strange without a window and because we don't have air on just a fan it's pretty hot in there. K was in the shower and we had a power cut, the shower still worked but the lights and the fan went out so Dom had to get a torch so she could finish off in there, the room was like a
sweat box because the fan wasnt on and no window.
We managed to make it out looking ok.. Haha. Went to a place down beach road called Sokhom
, which is a restaurant and guesthouse. We had seen it earlier in the day and the menu seemed decent but ridiculouslily cheap so thought we would give it a go. Dom had n BBQ sweet and sour chicken with rice and K had beef in oyster sauce with rice and the meal it's self came to $5 which is like £3, it's was so good and for the price it made it better
Decided on staying out for a few beers and for 75cent you can't really say no. A stray dog started drinking out of this massive plant pot near us, cute he was then he headed over to our table and sat next to K, she looked at him and turned her back on him and started crying
aww she said all he want was abit of attention and a smooth and I've just turned my back on him, he walked off
Think it's the beer that's making her emotional but we haven't had our rabies
injection so touching the strays is a bit dodgy! Didn't mention she cried over a tuk tuk man in Siem Reap because she felt sorry for him
that was after a few beers to, haha.
We noticed a frog on the floor behind both of our chairs so we were like right be careful we don't put our chair back on to it, so kept an eye on it then the lads on the table said frog, K looked by them and said off there's two then one by us, looked behind and that was the one, must have hopped pretty quick over there, we were all laughing about the frog then they joined us on our table for drinks. They were from Sweden, Marcus, Marme and Kelle all about 21, just decided to come on a lads travel for a month to South East Asia
They said to us about a guy they met got robbed down the beach the night before, thats all we wanted to hear :-/ but he was alone about 4am, so we guess you just have to be careful. We drank up to about midnight and our bill was only about
$15/£10 we couldn't believe it and were all pretty smashed, drank the fridge dry of Angkor beer, haha. Mad that we got speaking over a frog, haha. They headed down to the beach but we went back, were pretty titled from travelling in the day.
Tuesday 13th November
We slept really well, guessing its because we don't have a window and its pitch black when the lights are off, weird, you wake up and haven't got a clue what time it is until you look at you're phone.
K had really bad sunburn from the day before so we headed off to find a higher factor sun cream as we only had factor 20, we don't want that head to swell again like it did at Benicasim festival, haha. Thought we saw a supermarket yesterday when we were on our way to the town, it wasn't very far from us so went to look for it, we walked quite a way down the road and we said we thought it was closer then this, so said we will get something from the shops by the beach so headed back and there was this cow on
the path, we were getting closer to it then went to pass it and it's two front legs heeled like a horse and his head swung towards Dom's body and went to knock him off the path on to the road, K absolutely shit herself and screamed, so we crossed over the road then the cow just belted it up the road, stupid thing, haha.
Went down to the beach and the water was a bit rougher today, loads of ladies hassling you for pedicure and manicure, one lady said to K "pedicure Madame?...." No thank you... "But I see you everyday with the same colour" haha, we just walked off saying no thank you. Got town to the loungers and again people hassling, this time Dom ended up having a pedicure because of his ongoing toe problems, they reckoned they could sort it. Dom wasn't convinced!! But hey, they started cutting away, two of them, really nice ladies, funny. Unbelievably they took the toenail clean off with no pain, also sorted a few other of Dom's nail issues out, as well as getting the scrub out to get rid of hard skin, all for around £6, worth every
penny!! Spent the rest of the day at the beach relaxing.
On the way back to the guesthouse we stopped off and got our overnight bus ticket to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, cost us $18 each, which was the best price we found having looked in various travel agents. Arrived at the guesthouse and we were about to sort our visa out for Vietnam, luckily we got talking to the owner, Patrick, who informed us that you can't them online, you have to go to the Vietnamese Embassy in the town and get it there, for $45 each, a bit more expensive than we were expecting, but had to be done. Apparently you can only get it online vif you are flying in to Vietnam.
Made the decision to book in the guesthouse for a further three nights and give Crusoe Island
a miss as although it was only $5 per night, with everything else involved it would have been too much, potentially. We were about to get ready for the evening and then the lights went out again, so we went to get some crisps, sat outside eating them on a bench outside the shop, then a man
and his kid come along looking through bins for food, so sad to see, so instead of giving the guy money, we give his little boy the rest of our crisps, he was made up, big smile on his face, bless him!
Went for food in Cafe Mango
tonight, a French run Italian restaurant, the menu had a strong Italian influence anyway. Dom had pizza and K had meatball spaghetti. Again, begging kids coming up to your table saying "yum yum" basically wanting your food, it's always hard to ignore them, but after time you are able to, even if you do feel bad. We decided not to drink for the first time since we've been away, it's a hard decision when it's cheaper than soft drinks!! The restaurant has a resident dog, a puppy called Jasmin, so cute!
Wednesday 14th November
Happy birthday Dad! (Petherick)
Got up and headed straight to the Embassy to get our visa's. Patrick got us a tuk tuk, he has mates rates with the drivers, luckily we already had our classic passport photos done in Bangkok, so this one less thing to do. We got there and it
was pretty straight forward, just fill out an A4 sheet and give them your photo and $45, then five minutes and its done.
Went for breakfast at the local (Sokhom), we went there a lot as its really cheap, then headed down to the beach. K stayed under the umbrella because of her sunburn, two Australian girls sat next to us with a Cambodian lady, who started doing one of their nails. Then another Cambodian lady come over and sat on the lounger and started yelling at the other, then she started shouting at the one Austrailian girl who was waiting for her nails to be done. Basically the girl had said yes to a maybe later or a pinky promise that she would have this lady to do hers but then got someone else to do it, it was all kicking off yelling in Cambodian, haha, so loud they were, the one women's face was so evil, haha, then this man beside them said "can you just move away" to this Cambodian lady who was kicking off then she yells back at him and said "no you move this is my country " hahaha, it was so funny,
she eventually walked off and we said its suppose to be a relaxing experience and it all went crazy. K has pinky promised or said yes to maybe later a few times now to the beach sellers but after this argument there won't be no pinky promises from now on, haha.
Got back to the guesthouse and Patrick had more table and chairs in and is started to do a food menu, gradually building the place up. We met his wife Lanai who is Cambodian like we thought
she seems really nice too.
Went for food in the local, calling it the local now as we seem to go there every day, K had chicken noodles and Dom had sesame chicken kebabs and rice, such a bargain in here
Had a quiet one again tonight just went back to the guest house and chilled out at the bar area, Patrick had some friends over he seemed to be getting very drunk, haha. Nice the bar area but they play the same cd over and over again haha no a lot of people around in there really they tend to go out, probably because of the cd
and the fact they, until now, haven't done, or advertised food, haha.
Thursday 15th November
Today we set the alarm as we are off to Otres beach
suppose to be lush and a lot more relaxed then the one by us. Had breakfast at the guesthouse as it was just a bit more convieient for us, then Patrick called ove a tuk tuk, he's great like that. 10/15 minutes drive in the tuk tuk along the dusty roads passing little shack houses along the way we reached Otres beach. We arranged for the tuk tuk man to collect us at 4pm. It's not built up around here at all cows running around on the road, we walked through a beach bar that seperates the beach from the road. The beach is absolutely beautiful, with little fishing boats in the water it was quite overcast but the water was so flat and clear, much nicer then ours (Serendipity) and less touristy but you still get the beach sellers, haha.
We sat down on some loungers and the lobster sellers came along, "Hello lobster?.." we decided as it was early we would try some, we were thinking
maybe $5 for one but we said we wil try and knock him down to $3, so we said how much and he said 10 for $5, waaaat, we defiantly didn't want 10 so had 6, blydi lush they were, she put pepper and lime on them.. yuuuum
they were small ones though, having 6 sounds a lot but they went as big as you would get in a restaurant. Saw we were eating them the cutest dog came over and just sat next to our lounger, we are getting use to the dogs now and K is actually not crying over them when they are next to us, haha.
You get a group of little kids who look around the age of 4-10, really poor who go up and down the beach collecting the cans and bottles, aww so cute, but so sad as you think of what were doing at the age and they are out working from that age
Had a swim in the sea, seemed to be no jelly fish up around this beach which was great, annoying trying to dodge those things. Dom bought some donut from a seller, he'd been
eying them up for days, $1 for three. Just chilled out then got picked up at 4, dropped back to the gustehouse. Went in and got ready for food, started hammering down and went to the local when it started easing off. But it continued to drizzle all night.
Friday 16th November
Started the day with breakfast down the local, scrambled egg baguette only $1.50 each. Got to the beach and one of the sellers we've seen a lot, Song, was asking us where we were yesterday, they never forget a face, haha. She wanted to do K's nails, but K asked if she could do her leg hair instead, via the threading technique they use, looks like it hurts mind!! So she got on with it, but had to negotiate the price down first, from $15 to $8, took about 40 minutes and killed, especially around the back of the legs!! Started to rain so went in to one of the beech bars and had some chips, soon cleared up and we stayed until at the beach until sunset, which was really nice.
Headed back and collected our washing on the way, decided to pay
for the laundry as its always under a $1 per kg, and it's hassle washing your own stuff in the sink, well, K was doing all that not Dom!!
Headed down the beach for food tonight, thought we would venture out from the local. K had been a bit wary of the beach by night after hearing about someone getting robbed, but it seemed pretty relaxed. Dom had BBQ chicken and chips, K went all out with Barracuda with jacket potato and salad, lusn it was, and all for $3 each!! In the evening they put all the tables and chairs near the sea, putting the loungers away, it's a real nice feel down there, very relaxing. With candles on the table, the candles were held by sand in a recycled water bottle, cut in half. Had a few beers and headed back, just got in before the heavens opened, very lucky!!
Saturday 17th November
Woke at 10am, sleeping in a lot lately, it's hard when there is no window in your room as you have no idea of the time!! Went in to the town to get money out, again free at Canadia bank. Then
went for breakfast at Cafe Mango, Dom had an American breakfast and K had full english. A bit more expensive than anywhere else here, but really good food. Say expensive, that's comparing it with other very cheap places and general backpacker prices, it's still cheap!
Headed for the beach and it rained for almost two hours, sat in The Moon Shack
where we ate last night. There was what looked to be a family of Cambodians eating lunch, they looked to be from the city and on a beach break. As soon as theled tarted leaving the table, with food left, a few local kids weI and and started eating from their plates, so sad to see. Sun come back out and K ended up buying some squid from a beach seller, she ate it bit wasn't fussed on it.
Headed back down the beach in the evening and stopped off at the first bar, cant remember the name, had the same as last night, but wasn't too good. Tasted of ash, think they need to clean their BBQ!! Went and watched Newcastle lose to Swansea at a bar called The Big Easy
, there where six Geordies in there, always the same
no matter where you are in the world!
Sunday 18th November
Checked out at 11 and put our bags behind the bar, went down to the local for breakfast. Found some new loungers down the beach today, silk ones, you always find the best things on your last day! Sea was really rough today but the sun was out! K started playing on the iPad, here favourite game, bubble pop, this attracted the attention of some local kids. One boy was sat with her for ages, bless him, then a group of girls come around and the one was playing on it, with K's help, turns out she was a natural. I bet they would have even been in heaven if we were playing angry birds, because that's all the local kids seem to where, angry birds clothing.
A little boy that we seen selling bracelets a few nights ago come up to us shouting 29 and 30, our ages, bless him, he remembered from a few days ago. K felt sorry for him as he's really young and quiet, she got talking to him and he said he gets dropped down the beach by his
parents everyday to sell bracelets get on money for his family, and he stays there all day. He sits and says "buy onnnnne please" with his little sad face. Even though we had already had loads of bands, K give in, he had lush ones on him and she wished she got them all from him in the end.
We seen a guy walking the tiniest dog, said got talking to him and he said his friend had found it a couple night ago and asked a guy how much to take it and he said just have it for free, so tiny, she is taking it to Phnom Penh for its jabs and flying it back to the UK, we put some water in a half chip carton for it to drink and it was half the size of it, bless
Dom burnt to a crisp today!!
Got back and had to shower in the communal shower, heading down to the local for food before we set off on the night coach. It was a bit early so thought we might just go down to the beach and see the sunset again, found this really
cool little bar right on the end of the pier, hadn't noticed it before so sat with a beer and watched it set
Stuffed our faces with chilli beef, chicken curry, rice, chips, garlic bread and our very last Angkor beer
Said goodbye to Lanai, Patrick wasn't there.
really grown to like this place, like any where it takes a while to settle in and we've been here for one week now, feel sad to leave
At first you get annoyed by how many people try and sell you things but we've always been polite and said no thank you, some people are just so rude to them, as the days go on you begin to make friends with these people and realise how poor they are and will do any thing to make money for there family.
Crazy to think that some of the kids on the beach are out working what looks of the ages of 2/4 years collecting cans and bottles then on to bracelet and fruit, to help there family, it's sad, we just don't no how lucky we are !!
Next stop Vietnam.... Tips
Private fan room $8
Western breakfast $1.50/$3
Western food $3/6
Local food $2
Water 50cent although you can get refills in Monkey Republic, beach road for 1000 Reil
Don't pinky promise any of the beach sellers..haha
Bus to Ho Chi Minh $18 says its a sleeper but it ain't !!!!
Ortres beach is great, more relaxed then Serendipity
Have to apply for Visa to Vietnam in the town and not online, apparently they don't except it at the boarder, only online if thou are flying, it's $45 and you need one passport photo.
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