Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Beach, Please!
We paid $10 for a bus ticket from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville with Phnom Penh Sorya. We were told it would take nine hours; it took twelve, and included a bus change in Phnom Penh. The bus station in Sihanoukville is a little far from the beaches and guesthouse areas, and the tuk-tuk drivers/taxi drivers are not open to negotiation. We arrived after dark and took a taxi for $8.
We stayed at Apple Guesthouse which was only a 2 minute walk to Ochheuteal beach ($8 fan room/$15 A/C). The best thing about it was Sister’s Cafe & Bakery. The breakfast was fresh and generously portioned, and the freshly baked bread was the best bread I’ve had in Southeast Asia. I highly recommend the chocolate chip pancakes. Make sure to order the French press coffee. It’s a little more expensive than the regular coffee, but much tastier and serves two people!
Sihanoukville is fantastic. It is relaxed and laid-back with satellite chairs on the beach, cheap beer, beautiful weather, and clean waters. The hawkers and beggars are a bit much after a while, and some can be quite persistent. The children are better sales people than I could ever be, and no doubt you will come home with a few things you never knew you needed. Make sure to bring a supply of small riel bills to hand out to various beggars that will break your heart (i.e. legless/armless/handless/blind. Even if you don’t want to give money, try turning down a mother with armfuls of children who falls to her knees and weeps while you eat your dinner.)
Experience an Hour on a Cambodian Beach in Just 5 Minutes
We had a few days of luxury and enjoyed BBQ tuna and barracuda on the beach ($3), cheap draft beer ($0.50), $2 buckets of Mekong whiskey, and swimming in the warm water before packing our bags and shipping out to the secluded island of Koh Rong.