Sihanoukville, Cambodia

14 Aug

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Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Our journey from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville meant an all-day travel day as we needed first to take a bus to Phnom Penh where we transferred to the afternoon bus to Sihanoukville, arriving at our hotel  in the evening. We had made a hotel reservation in advance as we wanted to be sure to stay someplace close to the sea.

We had a very late dinner at our hotel and ate looking out at the street, watching as the nightlife slowly moved from shooting pool to karaoke and dancing. After a full day of travel we weren’t up for a big night on the town and instead opted to enjoy a few brews on our patio before heading to bed.

The next morning we woke up to a grey overcast sky but optimistically dressed for the beach, stopping first at a French bakery next door for some coffee and breakfast. After our meal, J.J. and I walked up the road en route to a nearby travel agency to look into the boating day trips we’d read about. Halfway there I got a splitting headache which quickly morphed into a full-blown migraine with an aura. (A migraine with an aura is the worst headache pain you could image with the added symptom of not being able to see properly. This in turn has the effect of nausea and vomiting.) Not exactly how I envisioned my first day of Cambodian beach time. Unfortunately my headache didn’t let up for close to 72 hours, the longest I’ve ever experienced, and so I was mostly confined to the darkness and silence of our hotel room.

J.J. made the most of it, walking around town and stopping in at the local casino to place a few bets (he came out even for those wondering). There, he met a British couple, Troy and Olivia, on an 18-month trip which would end with a year of working and travelling around Australia. More on these 2 crazy kids later.

Luckily, I was feeling a bit better by J.J.’s birthday and we were able to spend the day together. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating and we had to occupy our time with indoor activities such as catching up on movies (he watched, it still hurt my head) and walking around town. I was very disappointed that I had been unable to plan anything big in terms of celebrating his birthday but managed to surprise him with a bottle of champagne and a card. At least it’s not a gift he’s got to carry around I guess, but champagne and a card pales in comparison to his past 2 birthdays in my opinion.

The next morning the sun was shining, my head was no longer throbbing and we jumped at the chance to spend our last day in Cambodia on the beach. I have to say that after being utterly and completely spoiled by some of the best beaches in the world in Brazil, Australia and Indonesia, I was a little disappointed by the local Sihanoukville beach, Serendipity. The water was a sort of murky brown colour and every 100 meters or so, as we walked the length of the beach, water from a rusty pipe, presumably from a sewer system, would flow down the sand and into the ocean. (I’m told the island tours visit beautiful beaches and Google Images would support that. Unfortunately with my migraine and the rain this wasn’t an option for us.) The beach is lined with cafes and restaurants, each with a number of chairs laid out on the sand. Employees of these establishments kept rushing out to us pleading for us to have a drink or some food and sit in their chairs. We chose a dive with comfortably chairs, one in the sun for me and one completely shaded for JJ where we got lost in our books over a local brew to the soundtrack of the waves washing higher and higher up the beach.

After the sunset we headed back to our hotel to clean up for dinner, which we ate just a few doors down in the direction of the beach. While feeling better, I still wasn’t 100% and we made it an early night knowing we had a long 13-hour journey the following morning to Saigain (HCMC), Vietnam.

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  1. Sihanoukville, Cambodia « down & around | Tour Cambodia - August 14, 2012

    […] the original post: Sihanoukville, Cambodia « down & around Useful […]

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