Whilst we’ve been travelling, accommodation and food are probably our single largest bills. Finding cheap accommodation big enough for two adults and two young children isn’t always easy. The less we spend the longer we can extend our travels. We easily spend $5-1000 per month in most places.
‘Great!’, we have a house-sit for 2 months in Sihanoukville, saving us $500 USD per month (by Cambodian standards). How wrong could we be!
It was essentially a disaster. From the end of June to end of September is the rainy season in southern Cambodia and it’s not unusual for the rain to pour down for four to five days on end. It also doesn’t help that the property we were in had no A/C and flooded three times including the ceiling collapsing in two of the rooms we didn’t use. Yes, it was that bad!
I honestly don’t know why people live in such a place, other than to escape civilization because of some secret they have. Many of the people we met had some very interesting story to tell :‑X
We became experts in many different cafes & would recommend the following:
Starfish bakery – they even do free Khmer lessons every Saturday afternoon.
Enocafe – Best coffee & pizza in Sihanoukville
The Bavarian – Best German food in Sihanoukville.
Hugo – I loved this place, run by a couple of Czech gents – the beer & food is cheap & wholesome!
You and Me restaurant – great local food & expat hangout
The Sandan – part of a non-profit charity chain. Expensive but nice for a special occasion
Waterhouse café (Otres)
There are some Vegan options, but I really don’t do cardboard food so can’t recommend them. I’m sure others have a better opinion than I. These were:
As a treat get to Sokha beach resort, where you will be spoilt, but at $20 each for a day pass it is expensive. You can sit in and use the restaurant for afternoon tea and dinner for free though.
Otres beach is the main attraction, but the build-up of rubbish, which isn’t helped by the fact that the refuse company stopped removing waste whilst we were there, is making it worse. I believe it has been rectified, but it’s easy to throw rubbish over a wall, hoping n-one will notice.
Living in a basic hut with a fan can be great fun, as you can see from our Koh Rong trip, but some of the places on Otres are far too small.
Koh Rong & Koh Rong Sanloem
The main attraction for Sihanoukville must be the islands of Koh Rong and its baby sister, Koh Rong Sanloem.
We only stayed on Sanloem for four days & it more than made up for the remainder of the time spent in ‘Snooky’.
I managed to get a couple of dives in Koh Rong Sanloem, but it’s not recommended as the visibility is so poor you can hardly see anything. Even when visibility is good, there’s not much to see as it’s been overfished, like so many places in Asia.
It’s definitely worth staying there for longer to explore the island and the many bars.
One of the highlights is the bio-luminescent algae in the water. As you swim, the trails of your arms and legs light up. One of those rare activities that a photo is almost impossible to capture.
We will still look for housesits but be more careful about the conditions we are prepared to accept.