A small taste of the Cambodian coast and food...
Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 25 of 41 › view all entries
August 8th, 2008 – by: semiperipatetic
Built as the main port of Cambodia and once a resort for the Khmer aristocracy, the town suffered just like everything else during the years of the Khmer Rouge. In the past 10 years, the government has been trying to create a Cambodian alternative to the hectic seaside resorts of Thailand.
Four hours down the road from Phnom Penh and after witnessing some beautiful Cambodian countryside (combined with some not so beautiful weather) we reach Sihanoukville.
We were quite dissapointed to say the least, also because the beaches would not compare to the ones of Malaysia or Vietnam and most of the bars were empty. Given such dissapointment, the expected thing to do would be to move on quickly. However, we ended up extending our stay by 3 nights and had a really good time. We hired mopeds, which I discovered is the thing to do in any small-sized town. You are free to go wherever you want, you dont have to negotiate deals with moto drivers and it ends up being a lot cheaper.
We roamed the streets of Sihanoukville during the day, and chilled out at the bars at night. We met a couple of travellers who had decided to make Sihanoukville their home for a few months or years, which made us realised that it may not have much going for itself as a place but there are interesting people to meet there and it is quite a peaceful town to relax for a while.
I was also surprised to discover a Greek restaurant across the street from our hotel that made delicious BBQ served with a portion of tzatziki. More importantly, the place had free table tennis and pool. Oh, and all the staff of course knew the full range of Greek swearing...
After 5 days we decided that it was time to move on. Leaving Sihanoukville I wished I had given the coast a real chance and ventured to one of the smaller towns to the west.
On our way to Vietnam, we took the ferry acrross the mighty Mekong and also witnessed some of the more acquired Cambodian delicacies. While waiting for the ferry, all the cars were surrounded by local sellers offering typical Cambodian snacks: crickets, grasshopers and what looked to me like deep fried cockroaches.
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