"AIRPLANES, HOTEL AND PLACES" saraguev's Profile
I don't know why I couldn't find the name of this small Cambodian town in Virtual Tourist. Maybe is a new post, maybe is under a different name.
Most of the tourist that visit Cambodia head to Siem Reap, and little by little many of them are visiting the beaches. I went to Sihanoukville December 2008, and I found a very small town, with nothing to do at all, developing as many other places in Asia or Latin America, and very good if you want to take a rest in the beach.
There are plenty of guest houses, small hotels, one very good hotel, two supermarkets, some internet places, a lot of tuk tuks, and sadly, a lot of litter specially in the bus station.
Without any doubt the best hotel in Sihanoukville. A little bit expensive if you compare it with other options in the town, but in this case you pay for a very good hotel, with private and very clean beaches.
I went to other beaches specially to Occheuteal Beach (the next to Sokha beach), and I found it noisy, full of tourists, vendors, and definitely not a good environment for kids.
In Sokha a buffet breakfast cost US$15 per person, the lunch US$20, and dinner US$25. They also have the menu option in the Lotus restaurant inside the hotel. If you think that dinner is expensive, you can try to have dinner outiside. In Ocheauteal beach there is a big restaurant, the Sea Side Restaurant where you can find good food, generous dishes and a very good price. You can go there by tuk tuk (US$2- US$3) or using the shuttle bus of Sokha Beach (2 times a day).
If you go with kids, this hotel is the place. In Cambodia, sadly, the sexual tourism looking for children is a reality and if you look carefully you will see foreign adults approaching kids in ways that they will never intent in their own country.
There are no planes for Sihanoukville at the moment. So I took a bus. You can also go by car (around US$40). There are many bus companies but I choose the Mekong Express after hearing many comments of another travelers. The buses are good enough for the standards, have toilet, and an assistant that provides wet towels, and a bottle of water for the journey.
The landscape is monotonous, but if you are interested in developing countries, soon you will find outside Phnom Penh a lot of factories, and land to be developed. In the middle of the journey, that lasts 5 hours aprox, the bus will stop, giving you a very nice opportunity to make a good picture of locals. This "unexpected" stop has one meaning: make offerings to different gods for a save journey. You are not allowed to get off the bus unless you want to go the bathroom outside. Just take a seat opposite to the driver side and you will see it from your window.
There are only two buses from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Around 7:45 in the morning, and at 14:30. If you take the bus in the afternoon, please be aware that you will get Sihanouk around 19:00 and that the bus station there is completly dark. The day I traveled, neither the driver or his assistant had a light to help the passangers to look for their luggage. It is a chaos. Plus, you will have a lot of taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers approaching you to take you to the hotel. Even the staff of Mekong Express will check the tag of your baggage, the scene is confusing enough. My advice: take a small lamp with you just in case, and make a good research of the hotel you want to stay in advance. I payed for a taxi from Sihanoukville bus station to Sokha Beach Hotel US$5 dollars.
On the day of departure, remember that the bus station is very rustic and that if it rains you won't have any place to sit or cover. Take care of your belongings as in every place of the world, and just wait until the bus departs.
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