A bit of rest & relaxation
Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
34Trip End Jul 23, 2011
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Sihanoukville, a beach resort in Southern Cambodia, has all the markings of an exotic beach destination with pale sandy beaches lined with bars and restaurants, clear blue waters, and sun shining all day long...When we first had a look around our first impressions were not all that. The town is a bit shabby (with the usual rubbish dumped around, especially next to food markets like all the other towns we have seen), sparse supermarkets and there are some very dark roads to walk around that could make you feel a little vulnerable. This did not put us off though, we needed to explore it more. Most of the restaurants offer BBQ meals at cheap prices and beer was on 50 cents a glass. We tried one, they all looked pretty much the same, and ordered a seafood BBQ and a steak one too (another one we tried is the coca-cola ribs...delicious!). They were pretty good especially the seafood. So at least the food is good...
The next morning we checked out the beachfront less than 100 metres from our hotel. The beach (as with all the beaches we found later) was quite narrow with uncrowded beds, soft chairs and restaurants tempting you in with comfy chairs and refreshing drinks. The sand was clean and the sea was shallow and crystal clear. There are a few children and women selling bits and bobs but they generally don't pester you if you say no thanks. We sat at a table facing the sea and were immediately flocked by the kids...As one girl chatted to me about my favourite colour, my name and where I’m from which apparently receives a 'lovely jubbly’ reply if you are English she asked me if I would buy one of her woven charms and bracelets. I declined, so she said that if I changed my mind I should find her and made me do a ‘pinky promise’ and she made me a friendship bracelet.
Waffle was being subjected to the same tactics...a boy asked him the similar stuff including what is his favourite football team, and after Waffle said Liverpool FC the kid said ‘ahh...Scousers!’. He also received the ‘pinky promise’. We didn’t feel harassed really, it was nice to chat with them and we also found out that the money that they make helps pay for their schooling so over the course of a couple of days our ‘pinky promises’ were adhered to.
This caused a bit of an upset from a teenage and very camp Cambodian boy...he sat beside me and said that he had saw us first but did not want to disturb us while we ate so we should buy from him! I told him no he was just too late and started to chat to me about my wooden necklace I had on and said it was very beautiful...he tried again to sell stuff and Waffle said no thanks...the teenager flopped his hand and cocked his head high in the air at him and said ‘I wasn’t talking to you...monkey!’. He eventually left in a bit of a girlie hissy fit and joined his other friends on the beach. One of his friends had earlier been holding a French guys hand who was sitting next to us and told him ‘I would do anything for you (with a wink), I love you long time...’ Guess we had to hear it sometime on this trip!
A middle aged man lying on his belly was offered a back massage which he accepted. After the massage the lady pulled out a load of thread and wound it around here finger. We knew what was coming but the poor guy lying there all chilled and relaxed hadn’t got a clue. Life for him must have felt pretty sweet until she smiled at us and proceeded to pull the threads across his hairy back. She was providing hair removal by ‘threading’, basically rolling the threads across the skin grabs the hairs and pulls them out sharply. I wished I had got my camera in hand as his face changed from bliss to excruciating agony along with surprise...priceless! He insisted that she didn’t carry on and she laughed and smiled at us wickedly.
These little episodes were welcomed as it is so quiet and chilled here it is good to break it up a bit with some light entertainment. ‘Snookyville’ as it is sometimes called is warming to us quickly. Days just mingle together and you could easily loose time just drifting off on the quiet sun drenched beach. Our days have been lazing around the swimming pool or the beach, swimming and playing pool so we decided on a tuk-tuk ride around the town to visit the other beaches and sites still in keeping with the lazy frame of mind we are in.
He took us to all the other beaches, a Wat and a few monuments. He stopped the tuk-tuk to show us some monkeys that were on the other side of the road. I think they live on the grounds of a big hotel and are fed regular at this point, they seemed quite tame. He continued on to another beach. Some beaches are filled with chairs and some with just a few but they were all quiet and uncrowded. Walking around just didn’t seem viable in this heat, the breeze flowing on the tuk-tuk ride made it worthwhile. Although, the untarmaced roads are rust coloured dirt tracks offering quite a bumpy ride at times.
After moving out of our first hotel we chose to stay in a really basic bungalow for just $8 per night. We lasted one night...no air conditioning, bed sheets like sandpaper and a couple of cockroaches lurking in the bathroom made us upgrade back to a proper hotel (call ourselves backpackers...poor effort on our part I know). We are currently enjoying the pool and are going to stay here for a few more days doing absolutely nothing before we head off to Siem Reap and one of my things to see before I die – Angkor Wat. Aside from the questionable food hygiene in some places and if you ignore the rubbish dumped around and the bars that offer ‘friendly girls’, Snookyville has still got charm, the tranquillity you feel all day long has got to be good for your health. The lazing cattle sitting by the roadside have got it all worked out...you just don’t do that much here! In a few days we may set off again but there isn’t a rush...
(click here to see some more photos of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville)