Stay Another Day
Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
92Trip End Apr 22, 2011
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Where I stayed
Mealy Chenda Guest House
GTS Guest House
We arrived at the coast on an over cast day and took an expensive ride in a Tuk Tuk ($4 and that was down from $8) to our guest house. Mealy Chenda Guest House looked nice from the outside but showed signs of wear and tear as you when in. Our $10 room with fan, hot water and TV was clean and tidy but had a funny smell...... when I say that Gary raises his eyes. Mainly because he can't smell (the freak lost it about 5 years ago after a cold) so therefore doesn’t have to suffer the way I do and also because I complain about smells a lot....most of them coming from him!!! Anyway the room had an odd smell but not enough to make us move. A walk round the small town took all of 5 mins, which was enough time to realise that we have come to the seedy end of town. Most of the bars were girly bars, there was one called 'The Ping Pong Sports Bar’ but there was no sign of any table tennis being played. We had a drink and a meal in our own bar which was actually very pleasant with a view over the water and great music. The staff where friendly and Gary and I played cards at the bar.
We hit the beach the next morning. We are staying on Victory Beach and we have to walk down Weather Station Hill to get to the beach. There is a big Wind turbine at the top of the hill...hence the name. The beach was a delightful surprise, hardly anyone on it, free to use sun beds and cheap food and drinks. The sea looked clean and the beach was immaculate white sand. We settled down for the day enjoying some well earned rest time.
Having spent another night in the bar playing cards we decided we needed some life and more people around us. So the next morning we packed up and took another expensive tuk tuk to the other side of the peninsular to Serendipity beach. We tried a couple of Guest Houses before we ending up in one on the next beach along. This new guest house was 1 min walk to the Ochheuteal beach but more to the point it was in a busy town that had restaurants and lovely bars.....not a pole dancer in sight.
At lunch we met up with another English couple who we had previously met in Phnom Penh, they were probably our age and have a place in Spain but are travelling for a year. We had a chat with them and then headed down to brave the beach. Apparently the street sellers and beggars are a nightmare and don’t leave you alone. The beach wasn’t as clean and smart as Victory Beach and I am sure in high season it’s teaming with people, as there are hundreds of sun beds set up outside each beach bar. The sea is filled with inflatable climbing rocks and sun deck platforms. The water looked a dirty green and we saw the biggest jellyfish washed up ...... so no swimming for us. However it is approaching the rainy season and although the weather has been a bit overcast when the sun comes out it’s still very hot. Still the beach bars have comfy seats and the breeze was lovely coming in off the sea.
The beach sellers and the beggars weren’t too bad, in fact the Irish guys sitting next to us asked how come we didn’t get as much hassle as they did? We did seem to have a knack of being taken seriously when we said no. Maybe it’s because they can smell that we are seasoned travellers and leave us alone. There was a constant flow of sellers all day, you can get anything you every wanted and never have to leave your sun bed. Massage, pedicure, manicure, leg or back (in Gary’s case) plucking very cleverly with a piece of cotton, you can buy dressed lobster, fruit salad, doughnuts, hashish (little man comes round..... ‘you want smoke?’), bracelets, necklaces, boat trips, sunglasses (although you’re wearing a pair) and finally the beach favourite a sarong. Gary lost at Tic Tac Toe to a 8 year old boy and was made to buy two bracelets. Gary had his made in Man U colours with hope it brings us luck at the weekend.
We had a good day on the beach and after going back to the room and changing we went out to find ourselves some night life.....well actually just food, Gary had already had a number of beers with his new Irish mate at the beach. We found the food market and bumped into the other couple so sat and had a meal with them, and a few drinks (a half pint at 17p a glass).
In Phnom Penh Gary had wanted to try the shells, the name for the cockle or whelk like food cooked and sold at the side of the road. On the way back from the food market we found a lady selling some so Gary couldn’t resist. He was given a small bag of them, a tooth pick to pick them out and a chilly dip to give them a better taste. He said they tasted ok but a bit gritty.
Back to the beach the next day, some of the sellers recognised us from the day before so it was easier to say no to some stuff, however we did buy a big bag of fruit from a cheeky little girl and Gary bought 10 lobster (that’s what they called them but they looked more like crayfish) which the girl pealed and dressed for him. We didn’t mind buying anything because they were nice and friendly, all had a bit of cheek and left you alone if you said no more than once.
As we were both in holiday mode and had started to relax, it was time to hit the bars and have a cocktail or two. Ok Gary had beer (50c =33p) and I had a Mojito which was bliss and only a £1.50 in happy hour... bargain. We also had decided to stay another day here but then go straight to Vietnam. We had been recommended Kep and Rabbit Island but we are running out of time and there is a lot of ground to cover in Vietnam in only 3 weeks. So we will leave Cambodia on a high and come back another time and cover the coastal area.
So another day on the beach, which included a pedicure for me and Gary playing pool with one of the boys for a $1, Gary won and the kid gave him a bracelet. We have an early start in the morning so it was back to our room to pack and an alcohol free night, off the Vietnam tomorrow.