We were quite sad to say goodbye to Phnom Penh, it was a fantastic first destination for Cambodia and welcomed us perfectly. We had great accommodation called B52 hostel. It was in a great location and the staff were so very helpful and welcoming. With plenty of bars and restaurants, we were spoilt for choice for food.
The day we left Phnom Penh we booked a bus ticket via our hostel for $9 per person, the receptionist offered us to travel VIP – but being on a budget and being typical backpackers, we opted for the cheapest form of travel. It really was the cheapest bus ticket we could have gotten, it was awful! What should have been a 4.5-hour journey actually took us about 7 hours. The driver stopped every 30/45 minutes, picking up his friends on the way. It got to the point the bus was so full that there were people just sitting on the floor of the bus, and children had to sit on strangers’ laps – luckily, we had a seat to ourselves and we didn’t have to sit on anyone’s laps.
We finally arrived and it was raining very hard, typical. We sat in a cafe and got an ice cream and had a drink. The hostel was a 30-minute walk, we attempted to walk it but after carrying our heavy bags, it slightly raining & then uphill, we gave up and said that we would jump in a tuk-tuk for $2 for both of us. We arrived at our hostel and it gave off an extreme ‘backpacking’ vibe – it was great! It was full of a variety of different nationalities and I’d say we managed to fit in quite well.
We checked ourselves in and went into our room which was very basic, but it did the job. Although we had no hot water…again, we are getting quite used to cold showers now so it wasn’t a big deal. We settled ourselves in and then went out for some dinner – I tried my first Pad Thai dish and it was delightful, James, however, had Fish & Chips – not so adventurous it seems. We wandered around and explored our new ‘home’ for the next few days and we really liked it, it was a lovely beach just 5-minute walk away. When we were finished being Dora The Explorer’s we went back to our hotel and had a good night sleep.
Our First Full day in Sihanoukville we wandered down to the beach and found some sunbeds part of a restaurant, the worker came out and tried to charge us $4 for 2 sunbeds, we managed to barter with him and only got it down to $3 – but every little helps I suppose. When we were looking around for somewhere to lounge we got chatting to an American lady and she said that she paid $5 for 1 sunbed – she got totally scammed! Always be careful when searching for sunbeds, the prices aren’t competitive and completely vary, so don’t always just take the first one you see, and especially don’t accept the first price they offer.
We settled ourselves on our loungers and enjoyed our surroundings until there was a nasty black cloud above us. “Oh, it’s okay it will blow over” we said. We were so wrong, suddenly it just came down like there was no tomorrow, we ran for shelter but was more bothered that we just paid $3 to lay on sun loungers for about 30 minutes.
Eventually, it died down but there was no chance of us getting any more sun that day so we ran to a cafe that we liked the look of and chilled in there with a smoothie each feeling totally sorry for ourselves. Despite being a failure of a day, time still went so quickly and it was still enjoyable.
The evening came around again and we went to get some dinner. After we had finished we went to see the ‘fireworks’ which were invisible. there were no fireworks. So instead we sat in a restaurant on the beach and enjoyed a happy hour beer for 75¢.
After indulging in a cheap beer we then headed back to the hostel where we decided to get some shut-eye ready for the following day of travel.