On Koh Rong Sanloem an English hippy girl described Sihanoukville to me as her idea of hell, and I am very inclined to agree.
Me, Dylan, Amanda and James returned from the islands and being required to stay a night there we headed to the Big Easy hostel. Oh man, whilst the layout and the food were good it was packed full of the kind of English people I spend my time at home avoiding. A girl crying in the dorm over boys with her mates, a couple having a shouting match at 10pm, people turning the lights on after others have gone to sleep, people unable to comprehend that there mate is not coming out and asking him literally 50 or so times and then 2 people getting frisky in the room at 5am and then walking around it naked….honestly, I don’t want to see all that.
The town itself is basically just full of drunk or hungover tourists wandering around in their swimwear. It may as well be some horrible European beach resort.
On the plus side I did catch up with a friend at Mick n Craig’s which was nice and chill and after went for tasty pizza at Rainy Seasons Pizza with the gang.
Next up I decided to throw away all geographical logic and head to Kratie with Amanda and Dylan. They were off to Laos next so one last place with them! It’s a 10 hour bus ride there so first night we just took it easy after arriving.
The second day we went for the main event, the reason to go to Kratie, Irrawaddy River Dolphin’s!!!! You travel by tuk tuk for maybe 30 to 40 minutes to the spot, where you pay of a boat to take you out. We pretty much saw Dolphins appear straight away which was awesome, and then the boat too us around a small part of the river for about an hour where we spotted many more as they popped up and down. They are very endangered, I thin between 80 to 90 left in Cambodia, so it was pretty special to see them.
Asides from that we didn’t do much else in Kratie apart from watch the sunset over the Mekong, which was lovely, and eat food at Tokae restaurant which seems to be the popular one for the backpacker and western tourist crowd.
So having traveled all the way from Da Lat with Amanda and Dylan with only a couple days break apart it was time to say farewell to them! I look forward to catching them again in the future!
My next port of call was Koh Kong, which required doing the reverse of the journey to Sihanoukville and staying a night there. I elected to go to Mick n Craigs and basically hide all evening in a private room rather than a face a dorm room again in that city! Hopped on a bus first thing in the morning and headed for Koh Kong, a much quieter place.
Asides from the litter that plagues all of Cambodia, and a few of the Pattaya crowd doing visa runs from Thailand, Koh Kong is a pretty pleasant little sleepy town. There’s not much to do in the town itself, rally it’s to be used as a base to explore the surrounding area. I stayed at Ritty’s guesthouse, he has a reputation as being reliable for trips in the area. First night I just chilled out and then on the second day I took a boat trip to Koh Kong island which was great.
I was om the trip with an Israeli guy and a German couple (all older than me). We were taken by 2 locals by boat for about 2 hours to reach Koh Kong island, where we were the only people in sight, apart from the local fishing boats! We didn’t see another soul on the island, it was amazing!
We spent about 3 and a half hours on the beach, including a BBQ dinner the 2 guides made for us. I had vegetables, rice and fruit, the other’s also had fish.
I spent most of the time walking on the beach, it was very peaceful, and I found one area with lots of fish so that was cool standing in the water watching them swim all around my legs. Also spotted a lot of crabs on the rocks!
The boat ride back was a bit tough as the sea was pretty rough. We stopped in the national park in the area to see the Mangrove Forest, which was really cool. The tree roots are pretty fascinating.
I left Cambodia the next day by taking a tuk tuk to the border point at Cham Yeam and exiting for Thailand.
I have mixed feelings about Cambodia, some of it was really awesome but in other parts the vibe sucked. The Temples of Angkor, Bats of Battambang, Kratie Dolphins, pretty islands, Kep and a abandoned mansion in Bokor …all incredible, made the visit to the country really worth it! But I won’t miss the negative vibe I felt in some areas, the Cambodian tuk tuk mafia, the rubbish everywhere, the dodgy food, a couple of real bad hostels or that really annoying aspect of the travel crowd that for some reason was far more concentrated here than anywhere else I’ve been. So Cambodia, you were great but it was definitely time to move on!