Blogspot @ Head-over-Heels

The travel blog for the backpackers guide to the world


Posted by | Evil Kristos | February 27, 2010 | No Comments

Once there was a pretty big lake in the very heart of Phnom Penh. It is almost gone but not for natural reasons. The entire area was sold out to a Korean investor who immediately started land filling the lake. You can still recognise the old shore. All they did at this stage was filling most of the lake with sand. It is reduced to a crescent of water. Form where I sit there isn’t much more than 50 meters of lake left. It is a crying shame but a lot of money changed hands (1 Billion USD from what they say).

Cambodia is a poor country and so are the politicians. I guess there is nothing one can say except that it is a sad sight. The same happens everywhere. Can we do something about it? Technically we could stay away but we would punish the wrong people. Phnom Penh – lake or not – is a cool place. If it wasn’t so incredibly hot I would love this place. Unfortunately I was not cut out for these conditions.

I spent a rather unpleasant night in Number 9 guest house. To call the room basic would be given it credit it doesn’t deserve. it wasn’t more than a wooden shack; incredibly hot, full of mosquitoes and – as I later discovered – something else.

I had trouble sleeping in the first place because of the heat. Despite using a mosquito net somehow they managed to get through to me. I was itchy, sweaty and outside some English piss heads were having a party. By 5.50 AM I could feel something was running over my foot. That was too much. I got up. At least outside it was refreshingly cool. Great room; it didn’t have a shower but instead a mouse (or rat I am not entirely sure). It was a bit too small for a rat but then people here are smaller as well.

I was so fed up I packed my stuff and waited for the staff to wake up. Most of them were sleeping in the comfy chairs in the restaurant. I checked out and left for the bus station.

For once I was lucky. The bus left for Sihanoukville within 5 minutes. I pretty much passed out immediately so I saw pretty nothing of the 4 hour drive.

The bus terminal of Sihanoukville was one of these typical Cambodian terminals; a dusty place with packs of greedy little Tuk Tuk drivers that are trying to rip you off. Based on the description in my guide book I had picked the Orchidèe Guest house on Ochheuteal Beach. It sounded allright. The Tuk Tuk driver wanted 6 Dollars for the ride so I told him to get lost. For 6 Dollars I walk there.

A moto driver (basically a scooter) offered to drive me for 2 bucks. That sounded more reasonable. I am not comfortable riding on the back of a scooter with a midget driving but it beats walking by a mile.

The Orchidée had only a large room for 40 USD. That sounded far too expensive so I went next door. A room there was only 20 Dollars; still expensive but it was quite a good room. Tired and exhausted I went for it.

Aircondition is such a blessing. After cooling down a little I went to the beach. Ochheuteal Beach is quite cool. It is about 3 kilometres long with fine white sand. The end close to the village was packed with restaurants and crowded with people. After a 10 minute walk I had the beach more or less to myself. I sat down and enjoyed the sun. From the sea came a gentle breeze; for the frst time in quite a while I felt like I was on holiday. May be it’s time for a little break.

Sihanoukville beach

Sihanoukville beach

Sihanoukville sunset

Sihanoukville sunset


Cute Parrot


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