After an emotional couple of days in the capital we were looking forward to a bit of relaxation in Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s beach resort. The timing of this worked out perfectly as we headed to Sihanouk during the Khmer New Year. This meant everywhere was a lot busier so we had to be a bit more organised and book our transport and accommodation in advance but apparently all the cities are empty during this time as everyone goes to be with their families. A lot of Khmer families take a holiday to Sihanouk during this time so it had quite a nice local feel to it. This time we used the Mekong Express for the journey. They were brilliant. The minivan had amazing air conditioning and was spacious. They didn’t insist on filling up the aisles the bags or additional fold out seats! Also, the journey only took 3 and a half hours!
We had researched Sihanoukville before we went and read about several different areas and beaches. Our first hotel was The Fitness Resort near Victory Beach. After a drive around Sihanoukville dropping other travellers off at their hotels we soon realised that Serendipity Beach was the place to be. The bus drivers couldn’t find our hotel and had to leave us with a local tuk tuk driver…who also didn’t know where it was. Eventually, after a lot of driving round and after a call to the hotel we found it. It was in the middle of nowhere and not in a particularly nice area. We booked the Fitness Resort because we thought it might be cool to do a bit of gym work but the gym equipment was very outdated and occupied by sweaty topless bodybuilders. As we settled into our bungalow I had a bit of a strop and suggested trying to find somewhere else to stay but Dan was his ever positive self. He looked at the map and suggested we took a walk to find Victory Beach. We set out down the road and within a few minutes the heavens opened and it absolutely poured. We hadn’t gone far but it was the sort of rain that soaked you within a minute so we turned back. The walking plan was abandoned so we decided to get a tuk tuk back to the Serendipity Beach area.
We spent the whole afternoon and evening at the beach. There is a bar/restaurant on Serendipity Beach Road called So where a lot of travellers seem to go. They have books and games so we spent a few hours whilst it was overcast eating lunch and playing scrabble. By mid afternoon the sun was back out and the sky was blue so we headed to the beach. There was also a great seafood restaurant next door. There are also restaurants and bars lining the beach. The first few you come to are quite touristy but as you get further down the beach there was a much more local feel. As usual there were lots of people selling street food including a lot of squid/shrimps on sticks.
We had an absolutely terrible night’s sleep at The Fitness Resort. The bungalow was absolutely boiling, full of mosquitoes and the lights gave up! The owner brought us some things to burn to deter the mosquitoes that filled the room with smoke so all our stuff smelt of bonfire smoke for the rest of the trip. As if this wasn’t enough, there were rats running around in the roof and around the outside of the bungalow!
We also stayed at Coolabah which is by Serendipity Beach. This hotel is great. A bit pricier than some of the other options but it was really nice to have air con, a fridge and even blackout curtains!
Has anyone stayed in any of the other resorts in Sihanouk?