Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Day 105-109 – Sihanoukville

We had a really wonderful few days with Rob & Gilly on Otres beach in Sihanoukville. The best thing about it was how little we did. On the night of our arrival we checked into Moonlight Rock, a cool little place where very simple rooms [bed + net] were situated above the bar. It was back to basics and fine in its own way. Having dumped our stuff we trotted out to Dany’s for food, a restaurant / beach bar that became our favoured haunt for the duration. The beer was cold, cheap and good, the fish amok was delicious and they had puppies wandering around the place.

We sampled the beer, enjoyed a beach barbeque and sank a bottle of red that our companions had acquired for the occasion amongst much catching up.

The next day after some tasty breakfast Rob took a wander to source us alternative accommodation and scored a couple of bamboo chalets on a new build a few hundred yards up the beach. He really is quite the star when it comes to getting things done – I could learn a thing or three. Double beds, balcony with hammock, hot shower in tiled en-suite – all for a buck more a night – you couldn’t have asked for any more.

After relocation we hit the beach. I realised over the course of the day how much I enjoy beach time – for all the wonders of the journey so far nothing was more simple, peaceful, indulgent and relaxing as beach time – or certainly as beach time here anyway. I’ll be interested to see if it actually gets boring and I thoroughly intend to put the time in to find out.

That evening we ventured into town and Serendipity beach in search of a bite to eat, a fair few beers, and a hook-up with a number of friends Rob & Gilly had already made since their arrival nearly a week earlier. Harvin & Stanzi – Dutch friends out travelling, Laura & Barry – friends teaching in ‘Nam on a short break over Tet, and a whole host of others that I’d have to use Robs Blog [The Wandering Miltonian – the standard in travel blogging] to recall, so long is it since we were actually there.

Burgers and Pool in Monkey Republic, free drinks hiding from the rain in JJ’s [which smelt of vomit], more strange drinks served by an aging Korean couple in a bar they own on the seafront before finishing the evening amongst bodypaint and eternal happy hour in another bar watching Stanzi take all comers at Beer Pong.

Magnificently – aside from an unfortunate stomach bug that struck Gilly, Fi & eventually Rob – not much else other than wonderful relaxing good times happened for the rest of our time together.

We did, however, meet Lita, an 8-year old Cambodian girl whose sales pitch involves thrashing you at her own unique brand of pool, practicing her very good English, taking the mick out of you before eventually asking if you’d like a bracelet. We were all smitten with this little bundle of madness and all purchased from her, only for her to decide a little later on to give us each one for free as a friendship gift. I try to avoid buying things from the kids selling on the streets as ideally they should be in school and having fun, not out charming foreigners for a quick dollar. Lita swept us all up though and everything about her suggests she’s got a bright future. I hope that’s the case.