The Beach Peddlers
Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 37 of 94 › view all entries
The Sihanoukville beaches are much quieter than in recent years. The mile or more of Serendipity and Occheuteal have plenty of vacant padded sun chairs shaded by large umbrellas and ample open waters for swimming. With the airports in Thailand finally resuming operations, things should pick up. The expat business owners, as well as the locals, are hoping so anyway as business is way down.
The number of peddlers scouring the beach has not decreased, however, and you have to say "No" more often - I had already bought a krama, the Cambodian scarf worn by locals as a turban or as a facial shield against wind and dust.
Other peddlers pushed sun glasses, fruit and juices, braided bracelets, massages, or fresh sea food.
Beach beers are not so good - they don't sell fast, are not refrigerated overnight, and grow old, stale, and tinny so I usually secure one of the shaded beach chairs by buying a fruit drink from its establishment. To go with the iced drink, a fine snack - or meal in itself - is the fresh shrimp that the peddlers sell. I got eight of the hefty treats for $2 which seemed a bargain as she wanted $3 for ten. (The math was simple.) Garnished with a mixed blend of salt and pepper and squeezed lime, the shrimp were delicious. Regular customers are remembered and often treated to slightly larger portions each visit. I don't mind the lesser crowds or helping out a few of the peddlers on the beach - for me it is a rare tropical treat; for them, a grueling way of life.