A Travellerspoint blog

Cambodia

Sihanoukville & Kampot, Cambodia

Sihanoukville Province, Cambodia

Crystal and I arrived in Sihanoukville from Siem Reap.

Footprints Hostel was recommended to me by another backpacker I met along the way. It was cheap and nasty and we had to wait hours after an overnight bus journey to check in. The owner of the hostel was some mean old hag from England (which I'm ashamed to admit), who clearly hated her job and spoke to the staff like trash. We got there about 5am and we tried to sleep on the long sofas that were just filthy and full of cat hair. We had to share with these bastard cats (which I actually became fond of), with their dirty arses on the couches, I'm surprised I didn't get pink eye lol.

The reason the hostel was so cheap was that we shared the room with 10 other people. That's 12 people in the same "room" as well as the hag's cats and 2 dogs. The reason 'room' was in inverted commas was that the hostel didn't exactly have walls. It was tarpauling over wooden beams!
It was windy, noisy, hot, water came in the 'walls', animals on the beds and bugs inside the holey mosquito nets! It was something of nightmares! At least the view was nice, positives!

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And as if that wasn't bad enough, there was a storm which lead to a power cut which meant none of the lights were working, no food and you couldn't even see the bugs anymore!! All of the boats were suspended so no one could get across to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem which was the reason why we were there in the first place! So we had to stay in the dump even longer! Because of the storm, the sewage came up and flooded the grounds all by the main reception bit in the hostel. It was so grim. But at least we had a bed. One of the guys was sleeping in a hammock practically over the pond, who couldn't sleep because he was getting wet from the rain and the bull frogs were too noisy. We had lit the way with candles and used phones as torches to get around the place until our batteries died. This went on for 2 nights!! Luckily, there was a pizza place with a wood oven across the way which is where we were able to get dinner. They had a family of puppies there who I absolutely adored! Their puppy teeth were razor sharp but I didn't even care as they were so fluffy and playful.

We went to the beach on the morning we arrived and booked a boat tour. On the tour we had music on the boat, went swimming (not Crystal this time), drinks, the skipper's dog and danced. We played volley ball on the beach and had a BBQ on the boat before visiting a private beach to watch the sun set.

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We came back to the beach at Sihanoukville where ladies walk round with baskets on their heads trying to sell you sarongs and fruit, kids trying to sell you bracelets and women try and get you to pay for beauty treatments you don't want, stroking your leg and saying oooh you hairy, you need our beauty treatment lol. One of the little kids came up to me and said, "you want bracelet?" I said "no thank you", she said to me "you have a boyfriend?" I said no, to which she looked up at me and said "you know why you have no boyfriend?" "because you have no bracelet" LOL. I didn't buy the bracelet though, as it encourages the children to stay out of school.

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It was bliss - but that was until we got back and a rotty came up to me on the beach. I petted her, she seemed friendly enough and rolled over wanting her tummy rubbed, so I did. She then turned on me and bit my hand! I washed the blood off in the sea but went into panic mode! I told Crystal what had happened and we went to find another health centre. LOL

After waiting only a short time I got to see a Dr and she said, you've had 5 rabies injections already, you're covered, you'll be ok. A sense of calm just washed over me. Thank God. Why does this always happen to me?!! At least I'm going to be ok.

A few days later we caught the boat over to Koh Samloem. We heard everyone was getting really sick at Koh Rong so we avoided it since I had the shits already since Indonesia lol. Apparently there was raw sewage going into the sea and there was needles on the beach. It could have been hearsay but I'd rather not experience that, thank you!

We couldn't stay at mad monkey hostel as it was fully booked unfortunately. We heard it was the place to go! We walked (Crystal hobbled) up the beach to a little hostel that had rooms left. The owner was a bit strange "joking" with us that we had to stay forever, erm, lol.

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We had some lovely dinners overlooking the sea and fresh fruit for breakfast. We had drinks at a small bar which was built around a tree. They were giving us lots of free shots and we had a few cocktails there. The staff were super friendly and wanted to get to know us. They even tried to teach us some Cambodian, even though it was only bad words.

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The next night we went to a Jungle Rave. It poured down but everyone still partied hard. It was all lit up, filled with giant tree house bars and decks at a secret location. It was so much fun.

The next day we went back to back to Sihanoukville to head to Kampot. Kampot is renown for its seafood so we went to find Crystal a decent restaurant so she could get some crabs (lol).

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After, we went to check out Arcadia a water park hostel! There were huge rickety flumes, a big bouncing blob that people jump on and you go flying up in the air, kayaking and all sorts.

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The hostel itself was wicked fun and the staff were all backpackers too, it was like a little family. There was great food and drinks served all day and night.
The first night I was there, I'd sat down to have some drinks and dinner and I felt this water dripping on me from the ceiling, so I moved. The same thing happened again in the next seat. I looked around and no one else seemed bothered by the leaky roof. I moved again.. and the same thing happened. I was looking around but couldn't work out what was going on. Then I saw something move under the table and it turned out to be the bar staff armed with water pistols!! They were taking the absolute piss! hahaha. They joked and said sorry, come sit at the bar and have a shot on the house. So I did. Then, out of no where, this massive spray of water came out the bar and a rubber snake dropped on my head from the ceiling! I was the butt of all the pranks and they got me so good! Everyone was laughing and said it was my initiation to Arcadia lol.

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That night, I was in bed and I felt something crawl on me... (no it wasn't the bar staff up to their old tricks again) then I saw it! It was bed bugs! I was so upset and felt violated. I went to sleep on a hammock in the communal area until morning so I could tell the staff and move beds. I had to wash all of my things on a hot wash and then tumble dried it all. I felt so dirty! They gave me an Arcadia T-shirt to change into.

They moved Crystal and I to our own private room in the staffing area. It was great, we had towels folded into swans on our beds, the room was a small cosy little hobbit house under the bar,it was a bit noisy but you can't have it all.
Crystal went off kayaking the following evening lol. I was so worried about her, bless her trying to paddle upstream, she didn't get too far and came back soon enough before it got dark.

The next day we booked a tour to the local Pepper Plantation. We got a tuk tuk to the local village all along dirt roads.
It was fantastic walking around the plantation, learning about their trade and tasting the pepper corns we just buy in a pot from Tesco.

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After, we visited a local village and went caving. We climbed across the river on a wooden beam bridge where we met the owner of the land and his two daughters who were adorable and very cheeky. The young girls picked flowers for us, held our hands to guide us the way and one of the girls tripped over on the stairs and hurt her foot so badly she couldn't walk. So I carried her up the really long flight of stone stairs. She was having me on though, when we got to the top she skipped off to see her dad lol. I felt like such a mug. The owner and another guy from our hostel climbed up the cliff using the vines instead of taking the stairs like me and Crystal with our poor broken feet and the girls. We met them at the top and climbed back down altogether to where a cave was. We all went on to explore the cave. We climbed up and around the cave, saw a shrine and an elephant shaped rock and we had to squeeze through a small gap to see the rest of the cave. Once we were through we had to slide down a 6 foot rock to get down to the lower level. You had to be super careful as there was a sheer drop if you miss the ledge!. I freaked out as I'm not very good with heights or small spaces but Crystal, the guy from the hostel and the owner encouraged me down. It's not like you can go back! There really was only one way and that was down. There were bats flying around the cave and when we got to the bottom there was some water which brought my anxiety to a whole new level. Luckily, we could see the light and it was only a short rock climb to get to the exit. The whole ordeal was actually terrifying and I'm not even being that dramatic. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!

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After we got out the cave we picked fresh mangoes from the trees and got back on the tuk tuk to head back to the hostel. Along the way we saw many of the locals heading back from the farms on their scooters with massive baskets either side, loaded with produce. It was so impressive! Sometimes you'd pass them and you would see women and children sitting on the top of whatever was being transported, not even holding on! It was insane!

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On our last day we went to visit Kampot. Kampot is renown for its seafood so we went to find Crystal a decent restaurant so she could get some crabs (lol), I went on to find the coach station after to make sure I knew where I was going so I wouldn't miss it.

I ended up meeting a tuk tuk driver who accompanied me for dinner who was chatting to me for ages about Cambodia which I found so interesting.

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Crystal came to meet me before I left and we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. I felt so sad to leave her! We both had a hug and a little cry.

Crystal went back to Arcadia for one more night then onto Phnom Penh before heading back to the UK. I went on my next adventure to Vietnam!

Posted by Travel__Tease 08:08 Archived in Cambodia Tagged boat beach dog cambodia kampot caving tuk sihanoukville bracelet bed_bugs arcadia powercut Comments (0)

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