SIHANOUKVILLE, CAMBODIA

From Siem Reap we took a night bus to Sihanoukville, with a surprise stopover in Phnom Penh.  The hotel we got dropped off at was at the end of the beach strip.  Fresh smoothies, lounge chairs and jumping into the ocean were the extent of our day.  We spent the evening watching the sunset, drinking a cold beer, and tasting fresh calamari – which was a lot “juicier” than I had anticipated. 

The next day, we did the same thing - smoothies, fresh fruit, sun, and swimming.  That evening we headed out to dinner and walked back along the beach.  Originally, we had the impression Sihanoukville was a sleepy city. We couldn’t have been more wrong.  Sihanoukville has two personalities; there’s a sleepy side and a party side.  At the other end of Serendipity beach there are dozens of bars with good music, small tables with candles, papasan chairs and hammocks on the beach. We sat down in papasans and were having a drink when it began to pour, so we ran into the bar.  When the rain stopped a lightening show started.  I’ve never seen one like it.  The sky was lit up with streaks of lightening in every direction. It was mesmerizing.

We continued walking down Serendipity beach and were handed a flyer for a special… 25-cent beers. We stopped in and had one because three beers, with a tip, for $1 was quite literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. We continued walking back to our hotel along the beach, stopping in at different bars when it began to pour. We met dozens of expats who were there to work in exchange for room and board or just passing through. We were invited to a party on one of the nearby islands – it sounded like quite the adventure to get there. You take a raft or inner tube out with your friends and pull yourself on a rope to get there. We decided to skip it because it started pouring again and taking a raft in the waves with lightning didn’t sound ideal at the time. Plus, we had to get the bus the next morning, even if we were tempted to skip it.