29.10.2012 92 °F
Hello from a sunny Sihanoukville,
Back to Sihanoukville as I had enough of the city life and since the volunteering didn't work out there was no reason why I shouldn't be spending some quality time on the water. The bus ride from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville took about 6 hours, but it was a quick 6 hours as the scenery is amazing and pictures are constantly being taken. No toilet on the bus and the air conditioning isn't all that good, but who really cares. In fact, I would prefer we had no toilet as we stopped at a few rest stops that were very interesting. I sat next to a tiny Khmer child the whole voyage so the entertainment on the bus was paramount. She couldn't have been older than 12, but was dressed in farming type clothes and was very tiny. I broke the ice and the constant stares she was giving me by offering to share an ear phone so she could listen to music. I gave her a sampling of songs ranging from Jamiriqui to Grateful Dead and then DMX with a teaser of Mos Def. Needless to say she liked my selection and was very entertained. I showed her the trick where you split your two middle fingers together and turn your hands to make one continuous long finger and then wiggle it back and forth. A huge smile came across her face and for the duration of the journey she would proudly show off her knew learned skill many many times over. It felt good to bring a smile to this child's face during the bus ride as I could tell life wasn't very easy for her.
Bus adventure aside, I got into Sihanoukville and checked into a familiar hostel right off of Serendipity beach. Stayed for a night or two at this guesthouse when I heard about another place I should check out called Mushroom point, which is about a 15 minute Tuk-tuk drive from Serendipity. Its a way quieter beach and only a hand full of laid back woman vendors trying to offer you everything from massages to lobster tails. The mushroom point only has 7 or 8 bungalows and a central beach bar, where everything is shaped like a mushroom, and they are all on stilts. It's kind of like a mushroom village directly on the beach. Actually, that's exactly what it is, a mushroom village on the beach I mean on the beach to the point where the water is heard all night long and you can almost spit out of your mushroom hut into the water. Stayed there a few nights at a whopping $20 per night and met up with another US couple who was planning on going to an island about 2.5 hours boat ride away called Koh Rong. Jumped on the 7:00 am boat next morning and by 11:00 am I was sitting on an island drinking a .75 Angkor beer with a Slovenian couple and a chick from Holland.
Koh Rong is hard to describe. It's the second largest island of Cambodia and like I had mentioned it was only a short boat ride from the mainland. It consists of maybe a 5 or 6 different little guesthouses, bungalows, and even tree houses to choose from. There is no power so everything is run off of generators and all supplies are brought in daily by boat. Electricity is cut off after 9:00 pm accept for the local watering hole right down the beach from the piers. Seems the main industry on the island outside of selling massive amounts of booze to the younger British crowd is a diving center. I stayed in a small hut literally built on the water at the end of a pier where you could see the blue/green water through the floor boards of my room. I dropped my passport on the floor of my room and was concerned it would fall through the wooden slats and down into the water. The place had 4 rooms, each room having a bed, mosquito net, and a wicker shelf. The main room is probably 12 ft x 12 ft wide and that's where you sit and eat, as its also a restaurant. In the back is a very small "kitchen" and off of that is the owners room, which is adjacent to a communal bathroom. It contained a squat toilet and to flush one must pour water from a bucket down the hole in the floor. Interestingly enough the splash could be heard on the water below, which makes one think. I will leave the rest to the imagination, but if I wanted the traditional/familiar amenities of the Western World then I wouldn't be traveling. Stayed on the island for just a night as I ran out of money and there is obviously no ATM there. Plus I felt one night was enough for me as I needed to get back to Sihanoukville and sort a few things out
After I wrap up this blog entry it's off by way of motobike to the Vietnam embassy to obtain my visa. Hang out here in S-ville for a day or two more and then off to Vietnam later in the week. Even the bus is exciting as it's not like I'm taking it 8 hours south from Baltimore to Charlotte by way of "scenic" I-95. Planning on making the trip down with the same US couple and am definitely enjoying traveling with other kind and like-minded people. It's nice to fly solo, but also nice to have friends on your side if things get thick or just overall confusing. That's all I got on this end and be good to yourselves.
And I live while I'm Young,