SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia // From Siem Reap it took 8 hours by bus to reach Phnom Penh, the Capitol of Cambodia. We spent the night there and left at 9 o'clock the next morning to go to Sihanoukville and the southern beaches on another mini bus for 4 hours. This area which was once a peaceful beach town has overdeveloped in the past 5 to 10 years. We went as far south as we could to Otres Beach, where there is still lots of solitude and tranquility.
The thing about Sihanoukville is that we had nothing to actually do or accomplish here. In Tonsai and southern Thailand we wanted to rock climb and sail. In Siem Reap we wanted to explore the famous temples of Angkor Wat. There is not much to do in this quaint little town of Otres Beach except relax.
We ended up having a routine the last 4 days that became very enjoyable. It consisted of waking up early and having croissants with homemade mango jam at our bungalow restaurant. We would then head to the vast empty beach to play ukulele and build sand castles. Around 12 noon we would walk a quarter mile to Otres town and go to this Italian restaurant / coffee shop / bar. Here we would set up camp on one of their tables on the beach and spend the rest of the day till sundown drinking lattes, eating coconuts, ordering pizza, catching up on our journaling, and reading about Cambodia and the Vietnam War. We have really taken an interest in learning about the history of this country, as neither one of us knew much prior to visiting. We spent time reading a book we got at the War Museum on the biography of one of the guides while he was growing up in war torn Cambodia.
We really enjoyed our time visiting the Cambodian coast and can see why people tend to get stuck here for weeks or months just enjoying the laid back atmosphere. We saw rooms for $3 a day as well as bungalow rental for $120 a month. It was nice to have creative endeavors to enjoy and keep us busy while relaxing here. We bus back to Phnom Penh and plan on getting organized before making the long trip to Laos in the coming days.