South West Cambodia

Mar 11

Sexy Sihanoukville aka Sexville

Day 71 – 23rd May to Day 75 – 27th May

Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s version of a beach holiday resort, with its white sandy beaches, tropical islands and late night bars it’s easy to see why. Built in the 1950’s it was Cambodia’s first and only deep water port, designed to make them less reliant on Vietnam’s ports. It has now grown pretty large and is constantly ex-panding. The lure of the beautiful beaches and cheap beer (the Angkor brewery is just outside of town) at $0.50 brings the tourists flocking in, and in turn the working girls as well…hence the nickname sexville. We got a little lost coming into town but I’m happy we did otherwise we would never come across a very small airport. Which, according to the sign offers “Fashionable Disco Flights”, why would you ever get any other type of flight again?

Als bro, Nick, had recommended that we stay in the Monkey Republic where you can stay in your own bungalow only a short walk from the beach (or an even shorter drive I should add) for only $3.00 each. Perfect. Monkey Republic is a really cool guest house built mainly of bamboo with various levels here there and everywhere. It has a pool table, two movie rooms (if that’s your thing), a bar with a fine selection of cheap booze and great food.

We rolled in grabbed a super refreshing, super cheap Angkor beer. Dumped our stuff in the bungalow and headed straight down the beach and oh man, what a beach. White sands as far as the eye could see, crystal clear water, and even fun inflatable objects to play on in the water (yes I am a large child). The only downside was it was hot, really stonking hot, hence it was very important to always have cold Angkor nearby otherwise risk overheating.

There are four main beaches around Sihanoukville; Serendipity, Occheuteal, Independence and Sokha beach. Occheuteall beach is supposed to be the best all-rounder but Monkey Republic is closest to Serendipity beach so we spent most of our time there maxing and relaxing, or at least trying to. There are loads of kids running around getting up to all sorts of mischief. Namely shooting BB guns at us and for some reason group attacking one of the other English guys which was most entertaining. There are literally hundreds of locals trying to sell stuff to you. From lobsters and braclets to massages, haircuts and fireworks. Obviously we had to buy a few fireworks which turned out to be a mistake as someone fired one at me a burnt a perfect hole in my new t-shirt and back, highly entertaining for everyone but me of course.

The first night there we hooked up with three pretty cool English lads staying in the bungalow next to us. We had a few giraffe pitchers before heading down to the local bar on the beach JJ’s, a place they promised with endless fun. By gum they weren’t lying with local lads blowing fire and spinning fire sticks, good tunes (as good as you’re gonna get in Cambodia), a great location, and free shots and beer bongs whenever the bar staff thought the place needed living up bit.

One of the English guys was very horny so we thought it a good idea to feed him some Viagra one night. We got the chef at The Monkey Republic to lace his burger with it (what a hero), put some in his beer, mashed some into his Jaegermeister. By the end of the night I was just feeding them straight to him saying they were crazy Finnish stomach pills. We screwed him over good and proper. Then, the evil bastards that they are, turned on me. Fair play to them, they planned and executed it to perfection. They all went to possibly the best burger joint in Cambodia and laced yet another burger. Then Als and one of the dudes came back with delicious burgers and made me feel very envious. Soon after they arrived Rob turned up with a spare burger and offered it around. Being a sucker for a burger I wolfed it down and soon found myself in Viagra land…nuff said!

Whilst in Sihanoukville we also went to check out the Snake House, which house’s Cambodia’s largest collection of snakes and birds and a few crocodiles as well. There truly are some weird and wonderful snakes in the world and all of them give me the heebi jeebies, I am not a snake fan. There were crap loads crocodiles but we had just missed feeding time. Crocodiles don’t really do much unless there’s food around; they just lie around occasionally hissing at each other. Still it was cool seeing that many crocodiles close up. The snake house is well worth a trip if you’re in town.

Mar 11

Kep & Kampot

Day 70 – 22nd May to Day 71 – 23nd May

The thought of getting on the road with our new Baja’s was very exciting. Finally we had a couple of bikes that were awesome. Compared to the Minsk’s they were more powerful, more suited to off road madness, had a working speedo (digital I might add), working lights (even with a high beam!) it was going to be amazing.

Our next destination was Kep on the South West coast and to be honest it was a bit of a boring drive. The road was almost straight the whole entire way and the bikes ran like a dream. Which on one hand was awesome but on the other hand quite boring with no challenges to face. The other problem with the Baja’s were that they had saddles of steel and numb bum came a distinct problem after only 40 mins of riding.

There was a couple of things different on the road in Cambodia compared to Vietnam. One was the quality of the roads, while its true Vietnam has the odd deadly pot hole or two (that I fell victim to) the majority of the roads are in good condition. Cambodia on the other hand was very different although currently it seems the whole road system in Cambodia is being upgraded, it just depends on how far they’ve got by the time you get there. Some roads are tarmaced and beautiful, others have been flattened and have a loose layer of gravel on top whilst others are still just a dirt track through the jungle. The road to Kep was flattened but covered in deadly loose gravel. Secondly, there is a significant increase in the number of temples dotted around and also the turnings of the road (usally small paths) have these ornate arches which I still don’t understand the purpose of. Thirdly, whilst driving through Cambodia you come across a lot of political houses. They seem like  every other house on the street but they have a big sign outside appending them to a certain party such as the Cambodians People Party or Funcinpen. Fourthly and finally Cambodia seems to have a lot of large imposing building, often in the middle of nowhere, and looking very empty, with large, very official, looking and sounding signs such as the ‘Department of Transport’ or ‘Department of Economic Growth’.

We were taking it pretty easy so it took us 2 hours or so to get down to Kep and man my butt was hurting. When we got down the whether was pretty poor and not much seemed to be going on so we grabbed a beer and decided to push on straight to Kampot. Its a shame the whether wasn’t better because the beaches looked amazing but c’est la vie. We left Kep but made sure we got some photos of the larger than life crab that we came across.

The road to Kampot was slightly more interesting and we had some amazing views, we also came arcoss a massive trailer loaded with people and goods pulled by a tiny scooter. Kampot was significantly larger than Kep and we managed to get lost for a while. Its quite a quiet sleepy town full of charm and sits on the banks of a river, we stayed in a cool guest house overlooking it. Kampot is famous for its pepper and we went out that night to sample as many peppery dishes as possible, I can tell you the pepper is pretty damn good. Apart from a jungle trek or two there wasn’t much else to do so we left the next day for Sihanoukville via Bokor national park.

Bokor national park is home to the Bokor Hill station, built in the 1920’s by the French as a holiday resort. It is now totally abandoned and apparently more like a ghost town. Unfortunately Als and I didn’t get to see it as the road up there was closed. We could have done a two hour trek to check it out but unfortunately we had all our stuff loaded on the bikes and no safe place to store it, nothing to do with the fact we both hate walking. We did get to drive along the edge of the park and it did look amazing, a proper tropical jungle. Next time we’re in town we’ll defiantly have to check it out.