After a dusty bus ride, we arrived in the beach town of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia. I had heard rumors about the ‘happy’ pizza and beach-bum mentality but otherwise didn’t know what to expect from the town. I was looking forward to some much-needed relaxation, as the high heat was starting to get to me.
We went to the harbor and boarded a rough looking boat and head off to explore some nearby islands. Upon arriving at a private beach, I asked where the washroom was and the guide pointed me down the beach so a few of us decided to take a wander in search of an outhouse.
Upon following some rough signage into the jungle, we stumbled across a small settlement of what could be compared to that found in the movie “The Beach”. Unfortunately, Leonardo DiCaprio wasn’t one of the guys running the place, but their setup was impressive none the less. They had tree houses, a bar, a private section of beach, a few outhouses and all the basic necessities. It was amazing to see some real, legitimate folks living off the grid.
We spent the rest of the day was enjoyed laying on the beach and swimming in the warm waters before heading back to the mainland. In the evening a few of us went out to explore the nightlife of the town and stumbled across a local birthday party. They happily invited us to join them in drinking and dancing, which was a fun until the music ended, and we were told to hurry back to our hotel.
The following day we decided to join a scuba-diving group and spent the day doing some cheap drift-dives in the surrounding reef. The water wasn’t overly deep and the reef had a bit of recent hurricane damage, but it was an enjoyable day regardless.
Sihanoukville was worth a few days but not much more. The diving wasn’t as spectacular as other areas I’ve been but the costs were low for a few days of sun and sand.