Sihanoukville – Definitely not Serendipity
With another Asian city on the horizon we faced another “4 hour” bus journey. With our bus booked we headed to reception with confidence that we would be basking in the south coast sun shortly. We were wrong. They had booked us on the 9:30 to Siem Reap so had to wait until 11:30 and ended up on a bit of a rank bus. The best bit of the journey was stopping off and having noodles on the way.
After 6 hours on the bus we were dropped off where there were several tuk tuk drivers waiting. Here we chatted to a dutch lad named Stephen who got a tuk tuk with us. After some previous research we headed to Otres beach…as it was supposedly more relaxed. However we got there and were not initially impressed as it was a bit of a dirt track with some random places dotted around. Coupled with this Stephen was sat at the front of the tuk tuk with Shell’s bag which coincidently fell off the tuk tuk and under its wheels not once, but twice! Oh Stephen we laughed…actually Shell didn’t laugh that much but she did mask her anger towards Stephen surprisingly well.
We got to Serendipity beach and spent a while looking for cheap but nice accommodation…which was sparse. So settled for a place that had big rooms but was quite near the front of the beach…which they assured us would be quite quiet due to it being low season (they lied).
That evening we headed out to the beach front with Stephen and had a BBQ meal by the beach with a few beers whilst getting harassed by local children who wanted us to buy their bracelets. The kids were so charming that if we said no thanks they would say “why?” and if we then said that “we already have some thank you”, they would reply with “they are sh**”. Furthermore they would then give you a punch if you didn’t buy one, and we had been advised by our Aussie friend Elliot in Chiang Mai that you should give them a shove or a nudge back to deter them. Knowing my potential for sloppyness and not wanting to hit a small child with excessive force I just gave them an evil stare and shouted “no!” which did the trick for most of them.
After the meal we went for a few drinks which actually turned into a massive session of shots, beer and mixers. The beach front got quite rowdy past midnight but we didn’t care because we were loving it…until we got home that was.
Stumbling through the door of our room I went about trying to sleep whilst my head was spinning which I successfully did. Shell however had other plans and I was awoken to hearing her clearing her throat (being sick) in the bathroom. I battled through as long as I could but unfortunately upon Shell’s arrival to the bed I had to give in and make a break for the bathroom. Being in a new room has its up and downs, one of the most frustrating is not knowing where the light switches are or indeed the bathroom is. So I made my way towards where I hoped the bathroom was, but could not find the light…so my first small bout of sickness was destined for the bathroom door. After I had gotten through the door I headed towards what I thought was the toilet…unfortunately I was mistaken and was presented with a bathtub (not nice I know). Upon searching for the toilet for a third time (lucky for some!) I didn’t quite make it and made a mess of the floor. Finally I reached my preferred destination and had the toilet in front of me. Shell helped me clear up and we headed to bed aware that we had agreed to meet Stephen the next morning to get motorcycles out the head day to explore the area.
Our alarm didn’t go off and we were running 1 hour late. I tentatively headed to reception where we agreed to get mopeds out and saw Stephen walking passed. We got mopeds out (Shell stayed in bed) and went exploring. As Stephen had already rented his bike he had been exploring and saw a derelict building site he wanted to explore further….we went there and I witnessed him rummage around the site trying to get in to old buildings which I thought was a bit odd. Upon leaving the derelict site a local pointed at my bike and said something in Cambodian, after a bit of too’ing and fro’ing we both came to the conclusion that I had a flat tire. Devastated with the news I headed back to the hotel and sent Stephen off packing after he had shouted at the man on reception saying he must give me a new bike as it must had been punctured prior to us leaving. Equipped with the knowledge that derelict buildings sites possibly can damage tyres I agreed with the man on reception to give him a tenner and that he would get it fixed to save me getting ripped off at a garage as is warned in many of the guide books.
We didn’t meet up with Stephen again, not because he wasn’t nice but purely for the bad moments we associated with him. Plus he was leaving the next day.
Serendipity beach isn’t the most relaxing place in the world. It’s good for a party but for the next few nights we didn’t fancy drinking so headed back to Otres beach where we wished we had actually stayed as it had a nice vibe and we weren’t bothered as much by abusive children.