Sihanoukville – An Unavoidable Stop Over pt1

10th June 2015

About a year ago Lee and I came home from work and ran up to each other shouting ‘have you seen Emma’s photos!’ a friend of ours had just put up the most beautiful photos of an island called Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia. We decided that we had to check it out for ourselves.

As we started researching we realised that with the bus times and boat times it was inevitable that we would have to spend one night in Sihanoukville before catching the boat to Koh Rong Samloem. To begin with we were both happy about this since we love seeing as many places as possible. That was until I started researching the place. To say the reviews were bad is an understatement. People seemed to hate this little town. “oh well” we thought “how bad can it really be!” . The answer is that the term ‘so-so’ has been invented for this little place.

We arrived mid-day and we were instantly harassed for about twenty minutes while we walked to our hotel . People aggressively wanted us to get into their trams/tuk tuk/taxis. When we eventually arrived at our hotel we were pleasantly surprised. It looked really nice , despite being quite cheap and having awful reviews (but still the best reviews we could find).

It was at this point we discovered that we’d made an error with our planning and we had to spend two days in Sihanoukville. I can’t say I was happy but I was excited to make our own opinion of this little town. We walked for a little bit and found a lovely restaurant on the road. The people were nice , the food was cheap and the portions were plentiful…but most importantly …the beer was cheap. We returned to our hotel happy and upbeat for the next day. That’s when the hotel started to show it’s true colors. We tried to open our door but it refused to budge. We pushed a bit harder, both having individual ‘you must be doing it wrong’ turns. That’s when we noticed the door had obviously been kicked open a few times. Due to poor locks we basically had to break into our own hotel room. Once we huffed and puffed our way in we sat on the bed and I grabbed two glasses to pour ourselves a well deserved class of diet coke….this is when the inside of the glass seemed to be moving in front of my eyes. I refocused since I had had one beer at dinner…inside the glass were a million ants. This is when we started to look around the room and realise it was swarmed with them. The more our eyes adjusted , the more we saw. We jumped up and ran to the reception desk. The staff seem to clock off at a certain time so we were stuck in the ant room. Lee cleared them up the best he could and I headed to the bathroom. I wasn’t feeling great .

Not feeling great turned into my insides trying to escape…very quickly and very aggressively. This , as everyone knows, is not the best feeling when on holiday. But in Asia it seems inevitable. I let my body attack and finally felt slightly human enough to leave the bathroom. Being ill is an awful feeling and at that moment I didn’t think it could get much worse…that was until I flushed the toilet. Watching¬† the toilet water starting to go up instead of down puts dread into a human like nothing else.¬† I won’t go into too much detail here in case you are sitting down reading this with a lovely breakfast but to say ‘it was the worst of times’ in that bathroom probably wouldn’t sum it up. Lee and I have been together a long time but the things we’ve both had to deal with on this trip has matured our relationship extremely quickly…and luckily made us laugh a hell of a lot. Leaving that bathroom to face Lee and explain the horrors that awaited behind the door was not my favourite moment. Cleaning it up because I refused to let him enter the bathroom was yet another of my least happy memories.

When the ants, toilet and door were all distant memories and we settled down to sleep I was secretly dreading the next day and wishing with all my might that we could just leave for our island paradise the second the sun shone.

Sihanoukville – 1

Us – 0

(Luckily there are no photos to accompany this post !)