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Tuesday, 24 April, 2012 06:32

Sihanoukville (spelled Sihanouk Ville locally) 24 April 2012, Cambodia

Journey to Sihanoukville

The boards at Sorya Bus Station or the tickets booths selling bus tickets at Sisowath Quay (which still leave from Sorya Bus Station) will tell you the journey to Sihanoukville take 4 hours.  First bus to Sihanoukville leave Phnom Penh at 7am.  Last bus back to PP leaves Sihanoukville at 5.30pm.

Brutally frank:

My journey to Sihanoukville took 5.5 hours.  Gasp! Perhaps because we were really crawling to get out of the city in the morning. The journey back to PP took 4 hours 15 mins.  During the journey, you get one toilet/ meal break. Don’t expect a fancy restaurant.  It’s just a couple of stalls selling local food.  If your bus is a double-decker, there may be a lavatory on board.  Single deck, please forget it and hold it in.

The Cambodian highway is basically a 2-lane affair (one lane in your direction; one land in opposite direction).  It doesn’t feel so much a highway as a country road.  It reminded me of driving in Malaysia before the North-South highway was built.

The countryside, depending on the light, can really look quite pretty. Have your camera ready.

The bus driver will overtake even when he can’t see what’s coming up ahead eg going up a slope, round a bend etc.  OMG!!! Insurance is advised.

The locals will tell the driver where they want to get off and the driver will stop at their desired spot.  A Caucasian girl tried to get the driver to stop in PP city on the way back but he didn’t.  He stopped in the city, however, for the locals to get off.  Read: follow the program if you are a foreigner.

The Sorya bus station in Sihanoukville is some distance away from the beaches.  Locals tell you it’s 1 km away. It sure feels more than that.  Tuk-tuks and motos wait at the bus station for buses to arrive.  No problem getting transport to beach.  I paid US$1 from bus station to Ochheuteal Beach on a moto.



Ochheuteal Beach

Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanoukville’s longest and most popular beach, is a 3-kilometre stretch of fine sand lined with casuarina trees.  The roads behind the beach have a great selection of hotels and guesthouses, though none is right on the sand.  There are seafood restaurants, beach umbrellas, deck chairs and tables, tubes, fun boat rides, freshwater showers and toilets.


Brutally frank:

Pay 500 riel for the public toilet; 1000 riel for shower.   

Guidebooks often tell you to try local seafood, the cheapest in Cambodia, and suggest that you plonk down on a deck chair facing the beach and order some seafood.  It is quite cheap.

Brutally frank:

While the seafood is affordable, it can be quite challenging to struggle to eat while one arm is busy swatting flies away. If there are strong gusts of wind, sand gets in your food.

The squid was ok.  The sauce did it for me.  The noodles were fried with vegetables.  Kind of plain.  It needed some protein in me to push the flavour up.

Angkor beer is one of the beers made in Cambodia, the others being Cambodia beer and Kingdom beer.  If you buy a can at a mini-mart, it will cost you around US$0.60.  At the Sihanoukville beaches, it is probably around US$1 or US$1.50.

Brutally frank:

Angkor beer tasted all right.  It lacked a certain je ne sais quoi to stand out.



Serendipity Beach

At the northern end of Ochheuteal Beach is Serendipity Beach, which beside restaurants, also has pubs, spas, cafes, travel offices offering day trips, boat trips etc.

Brutally frank:

Ochheuteal Beach seems more geared towards locals.  It was 90% locals, 10% foreigners.  The reverse is true for Serendipity Beach.

The sky is simply incredible.  

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