Monday, 10 March 2014

Sunny Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is just a five hour bus ride from Phnom Pehn and again all fairly painless, we had pre booked the sister guesthouse of the one in the capital which was also called "Sunday" only after we booked it though did we realise it wasnt so close to the beach so we cancelled and took a cheaper one "GBT" which was literally two minutes walk to the beach, it was ideal.

We ended up staying four nights and our days were spent lazing around the beach in the many bars on offer. There are a lot of kids selling bracelets on the beach and we again asked the usual question "do you go to school" they all replied yes but I didn't believe them all, I hoped some were telling the truth though. In any case we decided to be friendly as there's no doubt they have it pretty rough and the best thing we could offer was our time. We spent many an hour playing pool and we were propositioned by some of the nippers that if we win we get a free bracelet, if we lose we have to buy one. It sounded fun so we agreed, after a while though they started to get very annoying so we had to tell them to clear off, we bumped into them later however and they apologized so all was ok.

One of the best bars on the beach was "The Dolphin Shack" there are a lot of westerners working there and in fact almost every bar on the strip has a sign looking for western staff, if I'd come here earlier in my travels I would have almost certainly taken one, we spent a good couple of nights partying here and it was great. On one of the other evenings we hit the local casino with a budget of around $10 in mind, they offered us free alcohol and we all ended up winning a small amount of money. When we started winning suddenly the free alcohol stopped, although it was only around $30-$40 between us that we won I don't think they were so happy. On another evening we went to a nearby club/bar called Utopia where they had a late happy hour deal (25 cents for a beer!) we caught the last ten minutes of it and ordered as many as we could physically fit on the table so everyone could just help themselves. They had good music and a swimming pool in the middle, it was superb.

On our final day we headed to the quieter (Otres) beach it was beautiful and very relaxing we spent the day mostly playing pool and chilling in hammocks and chairs. Tomorrow we head to "Koh Rong" an island just three hours away we have heard it is spectacular and cant wait.

Sihanoukville was a pretty cool place but coupled with that it appeared to have a very dark side, the number of huge billboards and signs up everywhere relating to child trafficking and prostitution gave me the chills but its good to see at least there are organizations attempting to help these vulnerable people.

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