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Published: August 9th 2017
Geo: 10.6053, 103.531
Cambodia! The last country on the list and loop. We took a bus from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Phenh which ended up being delayed for a couple of hours, we jumped on a pretty nice bus but were the only foreigners on board. We got through the border with no problems and strolled in to Phnom Phenh by the close of day. We grabbed a hotel just up the road from the bus station as we decided to head to Sihanoukville the following day as we would return to Phnom Penh anyway.
The room wasn't the best but it was cheap to what we have been paying for over the last month in Vietnam.
I went to get money from the ATM and was issued U.S dollar bills and we quickly learned that U.S dollars are more commonly used than the Cambodian Riel. It didn't appear that Cambodia was a cheap as first thought, meals were more and even the prices of products in supermarkets were that of normal prices in Australia.
We caught the bus at 9am to Sihanoukville, for some beach and sun, a nice way to finish off the last week and a bit from a
couple of months of traveling and then to finish off the big trip in Angkor Wat.
The bus took about 4.5 hours where we had to catch a tuk tuk to the main beach area of Serendipity beach. There is plenty of accommodation so we grabbed a $6 per night room and set off for some much needed lunch. We spent the rest of the day lazying about, but we booked a three island tour for the next day and hoping for good weather.
The Island tour involves going to three islands with a bit of snorkeling and beach time and with breakfast and lunch included for $10. the weather didn't look too good for the following days so we were lucky to have a good day.
We were picked up at 8am and had a baguette for breakfast and set off on the boat towards the first island. There were only a few other people on our boat so it was nice and small with plenty of room to move on the boat. We stopped just off the shore of one of the islands and started off with some snorkeling. The snorkeling was great but not as good when we did
it in the beaches of Thailand. There weren't as many fish and the visibility wasn't the best either but some of the corals were quite cool and plenty of sea urchins to watch out for.
After 30 minutes it was off to Bamboo Island, an Island with beautiful beaches and also an opportunity to stay overnight.
We spent the most part relaxing on the Islands beaches from around 10.30 till 2pm which was great to be able to enjoy it more and relax.
The sand was nice and soft and the water was shimmering and clear with fishing boats in the distance as we sat and soaked in the quiet atmosphere while they prepared lunch.
I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lunch with fish (Barracuda) and coleslaw salad and baguette. We also got a bottle of coke and enjoyed some pineapple and dragon fruit afterwards.
After we had just under a few hours for relaxation so we took the path that led to the other side of the island to an equally beautiful beach. Here the water colour was magnificent as the clouds dispersed.
The island and beaches were beautiful and it was great that we had some time to enjoy it.
We set off around 2pm for the last island where we got to do some more snorkeling.
It was a great day and we both definitely caught the sun and improved our tans and the weather was perfect as it rained shortly after we arrived back to the guesthouse.
The next few days were pretty low key as we relaxed for the most part of the day. It rained during the late afternoon and sometimes pretty heavy which isn't what you want to see when there are beautiful beaches to relax on.
Sihanoukville is a popular place not only for tourists but expats alike. There are quite a few that are working in bars and NGO's. The choice of beach side restaurants are endless with very cheap drinks, especially during happy hour where a glass of beer can cost as little as 25 cents and where BBQ's are the popular dinner choice around served with a choice of two meats and chips and salad for $3. We decided to hit the night life of Sihanoukville and with plenty of people walking around giving out drinking flyers which include a free drink or shot which makes for a cheap night. It was a very
fun night out which in the end only cost us $8 for the whole night and we both had about 6 drinks each.
I loved watching the local guys fire twirling to the beats of the music and it was also funny to see Cambodian / Western relationships as they are usually older guys with young partners.
We relaxed for the most part of the next day and set off for the beach in the afternoon.
It was a Saturday so it was pretty busy and packed with tourists and locals lining the whole beach. We enjoyed a refreshing swim and soaked up the sun while collecting a shoebox worth of flyers from local bars and watched possibly one of the most glorious sunsets I have seen.
I really enjoyed Sihanoukville, it's definitely a lively place, stunning beaches, good nightlife and great food and sadly the last stretch of south east Asian coast we will see on our trip, well until next time....
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