Sihanoukville….or has the locals say….Snook……..
Arriving in Sihanoukville hot and in need of a shower and some fresh clothes is exactly what we did after dumping our gear in our room.
All freshened up we head off for a wonder around town to see if we could get a sim card for the phone, we found a free standing ‘smart’ stall we had seen a few sign boards around and figured it must be a big phone server here!
It was going to cost $5 for the sim and thought $10 worth of data should be enough…for the moment anyway, then after telling the guy that we have an IPhone 5 he said he didn’t have a sim card small enough to fit, and would have to cut it to size but can’t do it here! (in Thailand and Malaysia they used scissors with no problems)… ok that was fine, the ‘smart’ guy gave us the option of either going to the Smart office or calling back to the mobile street set up tomorrow…we opted to return tomorrow, so off we go in search of a drink, we head in the direction Occheuteal Beach and Serendipity Beaches..
‘You want a massage’ ‘you want a drink’ or ‘something to eat’ is what we heard most of the way, we saw an aussie guy letting a puppy lick off his plate in one restaurant…! yuk we just walked on by before we settled on a small bar on a rocky part of the beach, with our thirsts quenched we then decide to go head back to the guest house via the main beach and hoping to find some where to a have meal…the beach was littered with grass umbrellas, rental chairs and little drink huts plus a few bigger restaurants, and karoke bars which were packed with loud tourists and locals.
It was a bit to noisy for us (we being old and all that…lol) we decided to check out some of the restaurant’s near to where we were staying, it didn’t take long before we were seated at a table and enjoying a beer and a delicious meal.
Next day we ‘thought’ we should really wash the bike as it was covered in thick red dust…. maybe later!!!
First though we needed to go and get the sim card sorted, before we could head off for the day, we walked back to where the mobile Smart stall was… only to find it wasn’t open yet! Damn it means we have to walk back to get the bike and go in search of the Smart shop…
The Streets in Sihanoukville are mostly in a good condition. However, the traffic in the city does not follow rules and the enforcement of bad driver/riders is poor, most motor bikers here don’t use helmets and you quickly learn that they use any lane of the street, most of them do not use mirrors and it is common to see motorbikes with more than two passengers on some motorbikes we have seen whole families on one scooter…mum, dad 3 kids and the shopping…..!!
• Any way back to the ‘Smart’ story, we had a rough idea where it was and after a short ride around we found it, we park up next to the security guy (just about every shop has one) head in and decide we don’t want the $5 tourist sim as it works out quite a bit more in usage etc plus it only lasts 2 weeks and we were going to be in Cambodia for longer, so we settled on what the locals use, the sim cost $2 and you can add on what you like for usage, but we need to show a passport to do this… oh no!…we didn’t bring them, ok back to the guest house to pick up Clive’s passport,they then didn’t long to get the phone all sorted.
We go in search of Otres beach, we did find another quiet beach (not sure of its name) even though it was quite a nice spot with white sandy beaches the sea just wasn’t really inviting…. We ask a local where Otres beach was and he said it was about 2kms down the road, so back on the bike again we head down a dirt track and there it was a beautiful beach lined with small restaurant’s and quaint holiday huts and a long stretch of clean white sands and glimmering clear seas.
We quickly park the bike up grab our towels and make our way to the beach front, we get shown to a couple of sun lounges order some drinks then into the beautiful warm waters, wow another piece if paradise found even though there were a few tourists here it didn’t feel overcrowded… it was ‘just right’ as a little girl with gold locks once said!.
There was a guy circling around with a parachute and a moter strapped to his back….
The locals came around offering to paint your toes nails (with all this sand…really?) give you a massage, do some ‘threading’ (hair removal) on your legs, armpits, eyebrows…where ever!
So after another exhausting day of relaxing it was time to head back to the guesthouse, shower then out for dinner…so we head off to where we had a drink by the beach on our first day of arriving, order a drink and browse the menu and order, the meal was nice but nothing special, as we were just finishing our drinks a cute little puppy starts running around and begging for food from the other diners, we didn’t really think much of this until the owner of the puppy, came out and picked the puppy up and letting the pup lick his face…Do you know where I’m going with this? We have just eaten in the same place where we saw this Aussie guy let his dog lick his plate…OMG…suddenly feeling queasy and looking at each other, but not saying a word (we new what we were both thinking) we find out he is the owner of this place…how many plates has this dog licked? Needless to say we will not be going back to that place again?
Next morning after once again Clive said ‘we really should wash the bike’ it was a serious thought for about a minute!
In a car park of a hotel (not ours) we saw a group of locals dressed up as dragons doing a ‘dance’ it was to celebrate the Chinese New Year, the show was very impressive, boy they must get so hot in those costumes! The ‘show’ travels around some of the larger hotels for their guests to watch, but anyone one can go and watch.They climb this huge pole with costumes on as well…
Dragon dancers on there way to there next venue…
Back on the bike we head off to explore ‘Snook’ (as the locals say)
Riding around we find a few more beautiful beaches Sokha Beach being one of them which is owned by the Sokha Hotel, unfortunately there is a guard to stop locals form entering the beach area Cambodia really does have a beautiful coastline…. we have also noticed that unlike the Thai people, Cambodian’s love to swim and sit on the beach!
Snook doesn’t really have a lot of history so no historical places for us to visit, we did find out It was founded in 1960 after independence from France as a port, in order to communicate the city with international trade.
The construction of the port began in 1955 and most of the families of the builders remained near the port, effectively It was founded in 1960 after independence from France as a port, in order to communicate the city with international trade.
During the Vietnam War, it became an intensive military port first in the service of National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and after 1970, with the regime of General Lon Nol, at the service of the United States.
With the success of the Khmer Rouge guerrillas in April 1975, the port was the last place to be evacuated by the US army.
After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, the port of Sihanoukville recovered with the opening of markets in 1999, and the port became one of the main spots of economic growth of Cambodia.
On our last night in Snook we decided to eat at our Guest house as they were doing a BBQ…it was delicious we opted for grilled chicken served with potatoes, salad and an unknown sauce to pour over you meal, the chicken was so tender…the Cambodians sure know how to put on a good feast, better than an Aussie BBQ? It sure came close.
After breakfast we loaded up the ‘dirty’ bike and said our goodbyes to the wonderful family that had made us feel so welcome for the last few days… now off to kampot…