Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sihanoukville part 2

So now I am in Siem Reap. Yet again my bus trip was a bit disasterous. I have decided that I am completely utterly, totally incapable of sleeping on anything other than a bed -regardless of what medication (or dosage) I take. On this matter I am yet to be proven wrong. Ah well. My bus trip started out on a bad note as the bus came early and left without me from my guesthouse while I was collecting my bags. So, in a rush I employed the services of a local scooter rider who quickly zoomed me out to the bus station with me on the back thinking "bus please be there please be there please be there please be there....."

After some confusion over seats, we all settled in to try and get some sleep. Emphasis on try. As I had predicted, it was a normal bus with seats that could go back about 40%. I tried everything in my power to sleep and managed to get a little bit at least. I ended up lying on the floor and probably got the most sleep while doing that. When we arrived to phnom Penh at about midnight the bus filled up with new passengers (it had previously been about 60% full). The remaining 6hour drive was one of minimal bouts of sleep and lots of not sleeping. I joined forces with the 4 boys that joined the back seat upon arrival at Siem Reap to organise accommodation and some people to share a tuk-tuk with today while exploring some of the temples.

Anyway, back to Sihanoukville. Unfortunately we didn't experience a huge amount of sunshine while I was there, it was quite cloudy and rained a few times. The beach itself is nothing to particularly write home about (but of course I'm australian and biased as we have the best beaches in the world!!), particularly because it was filthy. There are few rubbish bins and all the rubbish, cigarette buts and who knows what else gets chucked into the ocean so the water is not at all clean (resulting in my infected foot).

I cannot even begin to explain how much you get hassled there, I have seen nothing like it in terms of how rude the hagglers are, and how insistent. The girls in particular. It is extremely obvious (not to mention disturbing) that the sex-trade is still up and running. It was a common experience to see older men with quite young khmer women. The girls selling things on the street (bracelets, massages, manicures) were very crude and suggestive with what they would say. They could not only swear in english, but in french, swedish and who knows how many other languages. Very sad. Everyone speaks excellent english.

On my first night there, me and my swiss mates all got on the back of a scooter for the 300m journey we wanted to take - just to prove that we could do it too!! I've had lots of scooter rides while i've been here in asia. Some where I've been driving, others where I've been driven. I think I've forgotten to mention them previously though. Most of the time when your on a scooter you are helmetless wearing minimal clothing so if anything happens, you'll probably come off second best. Ah well, I'm young which means I'm invincible right??!!! :)

My last afternoon in sihanoukville was quite fun and a bit adventurous. Sam an Australian guy who has been working as a volunteer in Phnom Penh, Garrett a Canadian guy doing a bit of soul-searching and i had been hanging out for and decided to get a tuk-tuk into town where we first wandered the markets. It was fun times, one of them was just saying I wonder if you can buy bb guns here when we immediately discovered some and played around with those for a while. Garrett decided to try and catch the 2pm bus to phnom penh (which he missed) so sam and i hired ourselves a motorbike from the guesthouse and set out on exploring the surrounds of sihanoukville. We wandered blindly (at high speeds) and directionlessly around the dirt tracks and stumbled upon otres beach where we cooled down ith a coconut to drink. We saw lots of Cambodians working, found some wild monkeys by the side of the road, and made lots and lots of cambodian people smile by honking the horn unnecessarily everytime we passed by someone (on a vehicle or foot). I was wearing a helmet this time (but it was two fingers too big)

Another thing that is interesting about Sihanoukville is its extremely lenient view on drug usage (its worse than vang vieng). It is the first time in any country anywhere that I (on my own, as a girl) have been offered drugs. Usually its the guys that get offered them. Drug dealers freely roam the beach, show you what you have and offer it. creepy.

Today I got up very early (slept through my alarm unfortunately and was woken by banging on my door) to get the sunrise for Angkor Wat. Unfortunatley it was quite a cloudy morning so the sunrise itself wasn't all that good. I'll have to do it again (I have a 3 day pass) and hopefully get a better day. I'll write about the temples next time!

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