Almost sixty years ago a French-Cambodian construction endeavor carved a camp out of the jungle and started building Cambodia’s first deep-sea port at the Gulf of Thailand. After the Vietnamese further restricted Cambodia’s access to the Mekong river, this port provided Cambodia with a sea port for international trade. In the 1960s the booming port was named Sihanoukville, after the ruling Prime Minister and Prince of Cambodia “Norodom Sihanouk”. Its white-sand beaches soon drew Cambodia’s upper class, spawned the first Angkor beer brewery and the modernist seven-story Independence Hotel.
After a five hour bus ride on a bumpy road from Phnom Penh we arrived in Sihanoukville and headed straight to Serendipity Beach:
The sun was already setting and we enjoyed some cool beer right at the ocean front:
The location proved really nice and we decided to have dinner here as well:
Next day we started exploring the town but temperatures rose quickly and we soon decided to continue exploring in the evening and instead head to the beach.
We found a nice spot and spread out our towels. The beach was visited by about just as many tourists as Cambodians. But sizzling in the sun we noticed that while the Cambodians did not only lie at the beach fully dressed, they even went swimming in their outfits. Passing us we felt their stares as they rubbernecked and weren’t quite sure if it was our white skin or Tini’s decollete they kept admiring. After a swim and refreshing in the water we decided to abandon our beach visit.
Instead we relocated our sunbathing to the poolside at our hotel. This proved much more relaxing and we had enough time to read, plan and snooze away the afternoon without being constantly observed.
This behavior somewhat surprise us as the neighboring Thailand is much more relaxed in this respect and we weren’t the only tourists on this very touristy beach.
In the evening we continued wondering around the town at much more comfortable temperatures. The next day we sallied and headed on to Kampot.This entry was posted in Asia, WorldMap