Cambodia was one of the strangest and most beautiful countries I have traveled to in south-east Asia. I liked it a lot as it’s absolutely unpredictable, full of stunning, historic places and very sad landscapes of poverty. I really need to tell you about Sihanoukville.
How to get from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong island?
Sihanoukville is a place you need to reach when you want to go to Koh Rong Island or Koh Rong Sanloem. It takes 45 minute to get to Koh Rong island which is located about 25 kilometers from Sihanoukville. The are plenty of boats and ferries going to both islands. We chose the fast boat (on the picture) which goes directly to Koh Rong. But the Speed Ferry Cambodia also goes directly to Koh Rong Sanloem. I also heard that some boats take you to Koh Rong through Koh Rong Sanloem island. The fast boat is comfortable, well organized and provides seats to all passengers. The English young lady is a speaker who also delivers you drinks on request. 🙂
Sihanoukville bars and nightlife.
Before getting to Koh Rong we decide to stay one day to travel around this quite big city. What we’ve seen was one of the greatest stories within this country. Sihanoukville smells like a very strange city. If you are looking to party this should be your direction. Together with nice beaches, cheap accommodation and hundreds of bars with music the city will give you a lot of fun. The bear is very cheap, sometimes it event costs 50 cents. On the south part of the Sihanoukville province there is Ochheuteal beach and on the southern end of it lies most famous Otres beach, beyond the Phnom Som Nak Sdach (
Getting to Sihanoukville.
When we got there we were exhausted and dying for a beer. As usually we took a walk through the city looking for a place to stay overnight. The bar next to the harbor was looking nice, we saw some people sitting inside and came inside to ask them for directions. One of them was a Belgian guy, drinking whiskey and beer at the same time. The other white guy seems to be very self confident holding beer in his hand. After a short talk you can hear poeple’s life stories 🙂 The Belgian guy told us he lives in Sihanoukville and stays in a relationship with a Cambodian girl, who just went to visit her parents and will be back in few days. So he felt very lonely and landed in a bar..feeling absolutely absolved for having couple of drinks 🙂 he really was a story teller! The other guy turned to be German. He was a Cambodian resident since long time – surprisingly he was a policeman there! After he found out we are looking for a place to stay he immediately said that he will take us to one of the cheapest backpackers places in Sihanoukville. Well I hesitated but on the other hand it was 10 o’clock in the morning, the place was very touristic, so what could happen!? To be honest – I just felt nothing wrong will happen. Imagine my face when the policeman got into his motorcycle and said jump in girl! Me and Michael gave us a look when he added – Ohh come on, don’t be scared, I’m a policeman! He took me to a quite nice hostel and came back for Michael and our luggages.
Exploring Sihanoukville on a motorbike.
The rest of the day we were sightseeing the city on motorbikes. This city is really strange. We were heading the huge round in the middle of the center when a local policeman on a motorbike stopped us asking for a driving license. In Cambodia you need to have local driving license! Of course none of the tourists have it. And obviously it’s a paradox among hundreds of motorbike rentals where nobody cares about your driving license. The chat lasted around a minute when a policeman just shouted – one dollar!!
We were thrilled by this situation and in that moment we had no idea what to think and what to do! We just uncertainly took out one dollar banknote. He immediately took it and waving his baton he showed us to go. We could’t believe this! We just manage to leave the place when another motorbike policeman appeared in front of us. I was shocked and confused! On the beginning he said something and then we heard – one dollar!! We took out the banknote and he just grabbed it!! 🙂 After letting us go we were stopped by a third motorbike policeman and just shouted – come on! it’s a third time we’ve been stopped during three minutes! He just looked at our irritated faces and let us go without saying anything 🙂 Generally there is not much to see in Sihanoukville. The truth is we were strongly waiting for Koh Rong diving adventure. Anyone in Sihanoukville should just go to one of this amazing islands.