Zipping Around Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 136 of 174 › view all entries
January 28th, 2010 – by: domnicella
We drove along to several different beaches, the first was at the end of a local residential area (Residential? Does zoning exist in southeast Asia?) and thus completely deserted. It wasn't particularly nice, but it was an empty beach with white sand and clear blue water -- something tells me it won't stay that way for much longer. From there we zipped back along the way we came, stopped at two markets, neither of which was very impressive, and picked up a bunch of bananas for the monkeys.
"Monkeys! Monkeys!" Uh, yeah, sure, we can go see monkeys. I mean yeah, monkeys are fun. I kind of wish they made easier pets. But I've become a bit wary of monkeys; they're one of the myriad tourist traps overly touted in southeast Asia to fleece travelers (see: elephant rides, cheap kitschy crap, and anything having to do with boats).
We drove up to a temple, nothing old or special or pleasing to the eye, just a common current-day temple. He starts clapping and screeching and making a fuss; I walk away to take a picture of the view (the temple was perched at the top of the hill) and give myself some breathing room away from the crazy monkey man making all the racket.
On my way back three darling children come racing out of one of the temple buildings, playing with some sort of toy cart thing. They see me and all start chirping "hello!" So I smile and say hello back and wave and keep walking. And they race right up to me, the youngest (a little girl, I doubt yet three) gives me a fistful of frangipani blossoms and immediately grasps my free hand, the oldest (a boy, maybe four or five) runs to my other side and clutches the hand holding the camera.
The dude claims to have found the monkeys, and gestures toward the temple. He opens the door, the kids running around, squealing and playing and racing all over the place, and then crosses and opens the doors on the other side. At first I saw a few. Maybe four or five. But then. Holy Hannah there were a lot of monkeys. I don't know how many. Easily more than a dozen. Maybe more than two dozen. There were A LOT of monkeys.
We took pictures, held hands, laughed, squealed, raced to and fro, had an absolutely gleeful, joyous time as only young children can do. I finally tore myself away from them and rode away on the back of the motorbike, turned around and waving and shouting goodbye over and over again, them bouncing and laughing and waving and shouting, and then racing to catch us at a different vantage point as the road wound down the hill and squealing some more.
From there we did a bunch of beaches, most just a blur of guesthouses and bungalows and the associated beachside bars and restaurants. We stopped at Otres beach, arguably the nicest beach in Sihanoukville, where I went for a swim and chowed down on a delicious spicy papaya salad. Dude kept protesting that I wouldn't like it or that it wasn't "good for tourist," I guess because it was spicy or made by a poor woman out of a makeshift street cart in the sand or both, but I didn't listen and it was terrific. Who wants overpriced average tourist food when there is cheap local food to be had?
He dropped me off shortly after 11am, and I spent the rest of the day zoning out on the internet and staying out of the blazing sun.
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