Sponsored by Imodium
The Vietnamese Border crossing was exciting. We had paid the admin office two dollars to take care of our paperwork. We had read that this is a swizz, and that it's really easy to do it yourself. At the admin office near the border we stopped for a coffee while we filled out some forms attached the passport photo, paid our entry fee 25$ USD and waved goodbye to our passports.
We were told to get back on the bus and that someone would meet us at the border with our passports. All of this was quite unnerving, but one thing we have learned traveling around SE Asia is that there ARE systems in place. They are crude, often rudimentary systems and nothing like the computer wizardry we have in the west. But the systems work. So we just went along with it and hopped on the bus.
Once at the Vietnam border Ha Tien, we shuffle through the gate on foot (the bus is not allowed to cross) trying to look for our "girl" who was looking after our group. That two dollars we paid was money well spent there is no way we would have been able to manage this on our own. Lots of different windows, lots of different stamps to get. No clue what to do. No one speaking a word if English.
We got talking to a British couple who recognized me from the beach on Phu quoc they had been at this border for 5 hours waiting to get through, they had been picked up earlier than us and were still waiting.
I think we got lucky with our travel agent choice - GREEN TRAVEL, LONG BEACH, PHU QUOC.
We sailed through.
Pic - Vietnam to Cambodia border crossing.
On the other side in Cambodia there was a new bus waiting for us to take us to Sihanoukville.
Several unexpected stops, unexpected bus changes and a flat battery later we arrived in Sihanouville.
We'd booked a decent hotel as after my sea sickness on Phu Quoc I thought I might be in a bad way due to the ferry crossing but thankfully it was smooth and I was not seasick.
Sharing a mini van with the strangers for five hours on the road with some pretty horrific hole in the floor toilet experiences (and no hand sanitiser) wasn't particularly pleasant. I must have picked up a tummy bug and we both caught the flu. By the time we arrived in Sihanouville we were feeling pretty ropey.
Luckily we had used out agoda reward points to book into a three star hotel so we could have some comfort, we spent two days mostly in the room just trying to get over feeling crappy. It was wonderful to have western luxuries like hot power shower and swimming pool and be insect/creature free - especially after the rustic bungalows on phu quoc and the toad incident.
Another country means another currency.
The currency here is the Cambodian Riel (KHR) but everything is quoted in US dollar. When you pay with dollar you get dollar change as much as possible but then the small change is in KHR.
It is confusing, and you are never 100% sure of your change. Plus you need two purses!
Sihanoukville is a proper holiday spot. Cocktail bars, BBQs and all the things one expects in a resort. The beach area is a shit hole. Hastily constructed shacks knocking out cheap buckets of booze to "gap year" twenty something's, and no one doing any cleaning. It's filthy.
High street Sihanoukville.
We decided to head to the next resort Otres beach as it gets great reviews and is supposed to be stunning, we opted for Otres two as it's supposed to be quieter.
When we got there the whole strip where our bungalows were located was a construction zone.
This is a side effect of visiting a burgeoning up and coming area. Yes, it is relatively unspoiled and yes, you are seeing it first but for me personally it'd rather visit a resort that's already got an infrastructure. Oh, and maybe Tarmac.
The roads are still red dust so you get thrown about in a tuk tuk and the funniest thing happened to us our tuk tuk got stuck in the dust and we had to get out and push. I like to think it was our overweight rucksacks and not our overweight western arses that caused this fracas!
The beach is absolutely gorgeous with white soft sand and warm ocean.
Pic - Otres 2 Beach
Two sleepless nights due to construction and still feeling full of flu we decide to head back to the three star hotel in Sihanoukville and lick our wounds. Sod the expense, we need to get well for the journey home.
We found a great restaurant specialising in local Khmer dishes. We tried AMOK - fish curry, LOK LAK - beef in a kind of gravy sauce, caramelised pork with ginger and prawns with Kampot pepper and lime. Really nice dishes and great to have some big flavour after the Vietnamese food, which we both thought was very bland.
Pic - Amok - mild fish curry served in a banana leaf
Just been going for gentle strolls at night staying close by the hotel as we are conserving energy for the journey home.
Pic pool view
I've had the shits for three days now. My Poo has taken on an iridescent quality.
Think baby food, purée pumpkin Flavour.
What? Over sharing? Ok I'll stop.
Hopefully it's a harmless parasite that will eats all my tummy flab without any nasty side effects and I will look tanned and slim by the time we get home!