Sihanoukville - Hmmm?
Trip Start Jan 13, 2009
70Trip End May 17, 2009
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Pulled into town last night -had booked a hostel room online and it is fine. They did not have a single room available last night so I got a room with five perfectly made beds - just for me. Looked like a scene from the Madeline books - the French orphanage.
Last night I thought I booked a day tour to three islands to snorkel.....went to the lobby and seems that between the five guys I spoke to last night - I thought between the six of us I had mimed well enough to portray my desire to snorkel....seems not
I plan to take another boat tour tomorrow - to the National Park about 20 km from here, then make a plan to get to Vietnam. The Brits have whetted my appetite for Borneo - seems like everyone who is anyone has been this season and the reviews are that it is still wild and remote. Maybe I shall add it to my itinerary.
The three islands were fabulous, the water of the South china Seas clear and turquoise, the weather started out a little iffy - big black clouds. It actually rained here yesterday for an hour just before I arrived, First rain in 3-4 months so I think welcomed
Update - met Allan and Sally for dinner and drinks - very nice people - Sally is a costumer for the theatre in London and Allan is an Arborist - we sat out on the Beach late into the evening then they walked me back to my GH. This is a place with a negative undercurrent.
Next day (yesterday) booked a trip to and through Ream National Park. Drove about 40 minutes then caught a boat through mangrove swamps - saw a few birds and then to a few amazing secluded beaches - pure white sand and beautiful warm water - did a little body surfing and it was glorious. They really do have amazing beaches here - they are quite small by world standards but stunning nonetheless.
On this trip I met a new friend - Hilary from Australia who was a tourist traveling through these parts a few years ago with one of her 4 sons. She was drawn back to the country and has established a home for girls who have been trafficked - rescued girls who are awaiting trial or trying to reintegrate back into their families. For the most part it was their families who sold them to the sex traffickers so it is very complicated - they range from 8 to 14 and are in all stages of physical and emotional health. Her home, which she set up with her sister in law is supported by a number of churches in Australia and Hilary travels to Cambodia every three months or so checking on things and developing new programs
Hilary and I spent the afternoon/ evening on the beach - chatting up the beach kids (street kids) and she had her legs 'threaded'- like the eyebrow thing but the kids do your full legs for 5 bucks. They also gave us bracelets and fruit and were fun company - they have great English and are pretty smart - poor, hungry and smart.
I saw Hilary's hotel - she was escaping PP for a little rest and relaxation and I was so taken with the pool and the Internet wifi, I decided to splurge ($30) and stay a night and spend the day poolside, doing the research on the next leg (Vietnam) and how to get there from here. Here is a bit isolated so I think I will have to backtrack to PP or take my chances at a remote border where there are lots of bad stories about mafia motos and corruption. Still deciding.
While body surfing in the National Park I met an old Austrian guy who told me a troubling story about a situation he saw ofn the public beach here three days ago. Seems a single woman was sunbathing a little bit away from the crowd at 4 pm in the afternoon - and this beach is crowded - some boys went up to her and hit her across the head with a rock, knocking her unconscious and stole her bag. A Canadian girl ran to this Austrian guy for help - took an hour for the ambulance to come and they had no idea who she was, where she was from etc etc. The street kids told us they caught the guys.....still....I think this town is creepy and dark this way. I would not recommend it.
I am hoping the upload of pictures works - I still don't have it down pat - seem to do it different each time.
Love from the road,