At this point it’s 2 months into my travels and I have not had one single warm beach day. It’s time, I’ve earned this!!!!
My new travel companions for Sihanoukville (a beach town) and Koh Rong (Southern island of Cambodia) are Maarten and Elke – who are friends from Belgium. We met in the Downtown Siem Reap hostel and when I found out they were going Sihanoukville the following day, as I was planning to, I just invited myself along with them. Sorry guys!! …they got used to me eventually! 😉
The night before we left ‘disaster’ struck… I realised I had left debit card number 2 in an ATM that day. Arggghhh!!! But when a receipt comes out of a machine BEFORE a card it’s an easy mistake to make. So annoying but there was nothing I could do. Thinking ahead of travelling I had planned for this kind of thing to happen – I brought along 4 cards in total (3 debits and 1 credit) but I never expected to happen – I figured I’d get robbed, not that I’d be stupid enough to leave them behind. Pay attention Anne!!
So after another dodgy double bed night bus for 12 hours we arrived in Sihanoukville (which I like to pronounce Snook-ville). On arrival to the Led Zepher Hostel I randomly bumped into Jake, Rich and Niels. Small world…too small! It was nice to say a quick hello.
As we looked out on to Serenity Beach, the main beach strip in Sihanoukville I thought to myself…is that it? It was a very dirty touristy beach, a strip of bars and locals selling bracelets, food and threading. Also at the same time I could see groups of young party kids on the pier catching the boat to Koh Rong (my next destination), this wasn’t the relaxing beach I was hoping for. But we’ll make it work somehow. In Sihanoukville there are 3 more beaches, we’d been recommended Otres Beach so we walked about 45 minutes over a hill and found paradise.
And I enjoyed these for 5 for a dollar… beautiful!
That night I had another heart attack. My last hope, the last debit card was not working – the chip is broken. I had $30 left and there was not going to be an ATM on Koh Rong. I just have the credit card left… if I lose it please expect me on the next plane home hanging my head in shame.
So what is there to do in Sihanoukville on a Saturday night? There were a few parties going on in celebration of the full moon but we had heard about ‘Otres Market’ a live music event… we didn’t realise it was a 20 minute tuk tuk drive away but it was well worth it. It was like a mini festival with a variety of food stalls, hand made jewellery, treats and music.
The next day we were off too Koh Rong via a 40 minute boat. On arrival we were given a really helpful talk about the island… there are no vehicles on the island – only boats and buffalo. Also there’s no electricity from 1am to 8am and there is just one nurse on the island and no hospital so don’t do anything stupid. You can’t prebook accommodation so you have to walk up the beach to find something and no one pressures you into staying with them. We went for a bungalow hut called Happy Beach Huts on night one of $30 between 3 as we wanted something a bit quieter up the beach and a $12 room the second night at 3 Brothers. 3 Brothers was actually a lot better – it had a huge balcony for people to socialise and was above a cheap $2 restaurant and $1 fruit shake shop that we took full advantage of!!
After a day of relaxing on the beach we trekked over the island to the otherside to Long Beach, one of the top 10 beaches in the world (apparently). It was well worth the bumpy journey…it was a massive stretch of beach and less than 10 people on it when we got there – the sea was a beautiful turquoise colour and it was just heaven for the day. I really needed this!!! It was good just to clear my head for a bit and chill out. There are boat trips back to the main beach (as it’s not advised to trek at night) so we were able to stay and watch the sunset.
I could have happily stayed a few more days in Koh Rong, especially with my two favourite Belgiums. They made it so much fun!!! But I had a birthday girl to suprise in Phnom Pehn. But overall it was an amazing 3 nights and I am officially tangoed!