From the city life in Phnom Penh I took a mini bus to the south coast and headed to the city of Sihanoukville. The bus journey was an uneventful 8 hours with a lunch stop in-between and about an hour before the sun was due to set I had arrived. My stay for the next few nights was not in Sihanoukville itself but a short tuk tuk ride away further along the coast for more beach time at Otres. This was on a recommendation from my friend Scott. The plans were originally to only spend a night here but I soon extended that stay on arrival.
I had arrived at Boho Hostel no more than 15 minutes later, checked in and headed straight for the beach to catch a glimpse of the sun as it started to set in the distance. It was certainly a better beach than the one in town with a lot less people and no sellers walking up and down. The right choice had definitely been made. I planned to take some time out and chill for a few days whilst enjoying a few beers and that’s exactly what happened.
The hostel itself is run by a French girl Emma and her boyfriend Joseph from England. A guy called Henry was out here working as well. Devin and I took a seat at the bar and spent the night laughing, joking and talking sports with all the guys at Boho. It was such a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, certainly one of the best hostels I had stayed in.
Feeling surprisingly fresh the next morning, considering the amount of beers that had been knocked back the night before I grabbed a quick breakfast and took a stroll to the main street and hired a scooter for the day to take a look around. It was only $5 for the day and the guy filled up the tank for $2.
I firstly took a casual ride along Otres Beach and stopped at the town centre in Sihanoukville for a little look around. After a little walk along the beach and brushing off the numerous people asking about shoe repairs, massages and jewellery I took a seat in a beach front café right on the sand and led back listening to the sounds of the waves crashing with a pot of tea. I had certainly settled into the relaxed beach life already.
From there I took the coastal road out of the town zipped all along the coast. I think I must have kept going for 30-40km stopped at all of the little beaches and coves along the way. There were a couple of huge Las Vegas style casinos that the Chinese had built (Mostly to launder money from what the residents told me) but aside from that the scenery all the way to where I stopped was absolutely spectacular.
I took the same coastal road back into town and to my hostel for a quick pitstop and bottle of water before continuing my journey in the opposite direction. On my maps I had seen a tiny little cove that was further up from Otres Beach and wanted to take the trip there and check it out. The roads started off with tarmac but as I turned off it became a dusty gravel track that would remain all of the way there.
I took my time a little on these roads, mainly because the landscape and scenery all around was more breaktaking that what I had seen earlier on that morning. The gravel track took me through a small village where the locals would wave and smile as you rode past them before I turned off at a crossroads, which led me down sweeping left and right hand bends. It was impossible not to stop every few km’s and snap pictures.
Finally as the road started to level out I had made it to the bottom of the track and came to the small beach at the bottom. To my surprise it had quite a few people on it playing in the sea and relaxing on the sand. My bottom was getting a little numb from sitting on the scooter for so long so I grabbed my water and took a walk along the waters edge.
Out of nowhere huge grey clouds had started to fill some areas of the clear blue sky. Not wanting to be trying to ride over this gravel and dust track in the wet I took a quicker pace this time and headed back to the main street by Otres Beach to return the scooter and in the end didn’t get charged for the gas. Whether I had used such a small amount as it was only $2 to fill the tank or he forgot but I only paid the $5 for the scooter. Any saving is a good saving.
Back at the hostel for what would be my last night in Otres I took a quick shower and packed my bag ready for the 6:45am pick up the next morning. Devin who had planned to leave that day was still in the hostel and had booked another night so on the recommendation of the guys at the hostel we grabbed dinner at Green Lantern Restaurant. The Thai curries there were out of this world and were the perfect sized portions. I opted for the Thai green curry and rice.
The remainder of the night was concluded back in the atmosphere of the hostel. It was to be my last night so we carried on from what we did the previous night and put on some tunes, played pool, chatted away with everyone and knocked back a few beers. On of the guys at the bar Henry was doing a DJ set and we were all asked to join but the start time of 4:30am would not have mixed well with my early morning start.
A couple of days on the coast was certainly what I needed and can’t recommend Otres Beach and Boho Hostel enough. I felt relaxed and refreshed the next morning, which was a good thing really as I had a long two-bus trip to Siem Reap that needed a change over at Phnom Penh. Siem Reap was to be my final stop in Cambodia before I made the trip north to Laos. It would also be where I would visit Angkor Wat something I had been looking forward to the entire trip.