Sihanoukville, Cambodia – 7D6N

14 July 2015, Tuesday

Finally reached Sihanoukville around 6.00am after a gruelling sleepless bus ride. Damn my luck that it was pouring rain as we pulled into the bus station. I intended to walk from the station to the guesthouse (Backpacker Heaven) to save a bit of money. The tuktuk driver back at Siem Reap offered his brother’s services for USD6. That is way too pricey for a single backpacker’s budget.

So after alighting the bus, being harassed by tuktuk/ motorbike drivers, huddling together with other backpackers to avoid eye contact, feeling lost and helpless thanks to the rain, I finally caved in to a rainy motorbike ride for USD2. The guesthouse was about 1.2km away.

Le Backpacker Heaven.
Le Backpacker Heaven.

Obviously was way too early for check-in so after settling the paperwork, I washed up, charged my gadgets and surfed the net. The rain finally died down a little around 10++am and I decided to explore the town and grab some lunch.

Stayed at a pretty good location – lots of food places! I totally judged the local restaurants by their looks and settled on one which had children in it. Picked it because I decided to support the parents’ shop. And I must say, I picked a really good place! I ordered the Fish Amok (a classic Khmer Curry dish) and fell in love with it instantly.

Road leading to Heng Heng Restaurant. The cozy food place is up on the left.
Road leading to Heng Heng Restaurant. The cozy food place is on the left.

Hadn’t had Amok in years but hers was full of love and homemade goodness! I loved her food so much that I actually went back everyday during my stay in the town of Sihanoukville. Helps that it’s one of the cheaper eating spots as well.

View from my seat, accompanied by my new best friend - Fish Amok.
View from my seat at Heng Heng Restaurant; accompanied by my new best friend – Fish Amok (USD$1.75).

Wandered around the small town for awhile to kill time and checked into the room at 1.30pm. Was surprised that the rooms were big and spacious! Backpacker Heaven indeed.

8-bed mixed dorm. Nice and spacious! Loved that they had hot showers, provided towels and had air-con. All for USD5/night!
8-bed mixed dorm. Nice and spacious! Loved that they had hot showers, provided towels and had air-con. All for USD5/night!

Before I left for lunch, I was researching for other places to stay in Sihanoukville. After all, I was at a beach area which meant I had to go stay at the beach!

Sihanoukville has so many beaches though – Independence, Serendipity, Victory, Otres, etc. There’s also the island Koh Rong to stay in or go diving! I finally settled on Otres Beach cause reviews online said it was less touristy and nicer than the other tourist-populated beaches like Serendipity.

Decided to pamper myself and booked a private bungalow hut for two nights. More on that later!

So I asked the guesthouse if they had laundry services of which they did but it would take 2 DAYS to be done. 2 days! That’s too long! The reason why it’ll take so long is cause it was the monsoon season and clothes wouldn’t be able to dry with the gloomy weather.

The staff recommended me to another laundry place which could potentially be quicker. I went and they told me two days as well. I had no choice cause I was seriously running out of clean clothes to wear. Told them that I’d need it back by Thursday afternoon cause I would be leaving for Otres Beach; didn’t care if they were completely dry or not. All that mattered was I had clean clothes!

Decided to go exploring round the town after settling on my laundry. Googled for nice places to eat at and decided on The Starfish Bakery & Café. What pulled me to visit the place was that The Starfish Project was a NGO (non-profit organization) and they provide employment for people with disabilities.

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The Starfish Project Center which had a shop where sell handmade crafts and the café.
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Settled on a sandwich which sounded quite appealing. It was quite alright!
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Wanted to catch the sunset at the beach but it wasn’t that majestic.

15 July 2015, Wednesday

Had nothing much planned so I decided to do my own city walk and just walk aimlessly and endlessly. & because I checked in on Facebook that I was in Sihanoukville, two British friends that I met whilst volunteering at the elephant camp saw that I was there too and we decided to meet again after I reached Otres Beach!

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Beach!
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Tourism in progress.
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Wanted to cross the New Sihanoukville Bridge to an island Koh Puos but it was closed!!!
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Boooo. Can’t get to the island no more.
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Waterfall. It started to drizzle but thankfully I had an umbrella.
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Temple.

Found this place online and offline called Dao Of Life – a socially conscious business – which serves vegetarian and vegan food! I was indeed and need of some nutrition.

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Chill and zen; a hideout from the rain.
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Organic pancakes!

Headed back to the Backpacker Heaven to hide from the rest of the world and packed my stuff. I was going to stay at Otres Beach for the next few nights!


16 July 2015, Thursday

Collected my (wet) laundry – the lady did her best to make them as dry as she could which was really nice of her.

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Hopped on a pricey motorbike ride to Otres Beach as there was no other transportation.
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Heh heh heh.
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My cute li’l private hut! The bathroom’s beside it.
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Drying off my clothes.
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So pretty! I already love it.

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I would have stayed out a bit later to catch the sunset but the accommodation was about a 10 – 15 minute walk from the beach and quite a deep walk in. There wasn’t proper lighting along the streets and stray dogs were running around. I didn’t want to have any encounters with the dogs attacking me so I played it safe and went back early.


17 July 2015, Friday

Woke up to great weather and met the friends for lunch! Caught up, had a good chat, and they were asking about accommodation in Singapore for a night before they finally flew home.

Gears kicked in and I offered my place since I would be back home then! Walked with them back to Otres Beach and checked out the vibe there.

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Till August!
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Guys, they have fucking pizza!
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Thanks, Obama?
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Indulging in a very cheap cob of corn because that’s all I can afford.

18 July 2015, Saturday

Time to pack the bags and move. Spent too much money pampering myself the past two nights and it was time to go back to cheap accommodation at Otres Beach. I intended to slow walk with my backpack but the host was so sweet to send me there on a bike.

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But first, breakfast! His restaurant overlooked the mangroves.

Checked in at this place called Done Right which I booked on Hostels.com and hoo boy, NOTHING WAS RIGHT. For USD4/ night I honestly shouldn’t be complaining at the quality of life but I WAS MISERABLE IN THAT ROOM. I shall not whine about that place.

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Obviously over-pampered myself and now it was ‘back to the backpacker’s reality’.

Thank goodness I only booked two nights. It was time to head back to Thailand. Besides, I had plans to meet up with another friend I met while volunteering at the animal farm. Bangkok would be her last stop before heading back to America.

(Nothing much to post about for 19th. I was just wishing for the day to pass quickly.)


20 July 2015, Monday

Took an overnight sleeper bus to Bangkok. Yay, I love Thailand!

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Sleeping with a stranger.
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Quick, get me out of here!
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Crossing the Cambodian borders into Thai territory.

Made Marian wait for me for hours at the hostel which I was so apologetic for! Didn’t expect the journey to be delayed by hours.

Settled down, quickly headed out, and brought her round Bangkok since I’ve been there for too many times.

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Coconut ice cream!

Two more parts of my journey to go before I wrapped up the trip – Bangkok and Krabi.

Till then!


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