Two really full and heavy stops in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh left us mentally and physically exhausted and in need of the proverbial "vacation from vacation" and so we hopped a bus south, to the coast, to seek some sun and sand in Cambodia's home of both; Sihanoukville. It's a strange little town really, but I guess typical of an SE Asian resort town but, of course, with its own little Cambodian flair.
We got into town and found our way to the hotel easy enough and then decided we couldn't be bothered to do much more stressful than sitting on the roof deck with a deck of cards and a few cold Angkor cans. About half way through a competitive game of Gin Rummy we realized we were in for a fantastic sunset as we were facing due West, staring out over the ocean. It was amazing; maybe the best in SE Asia.
That evening we took a walk down the beach which is a gauntlet of restaurants all with tables in the sand and ALL with aggressive touts doing their best to get us into their little stretch of paradise. We finally picked one and sat down to enjoy a beach side meal. Quickly we realized that, yes, we were still in Cambodia as the firework selling kids and beggars were onto us immediately. As we've commented, it is a heartbreaking but realistic aspect of visiting Cambodia: the poverty is palpable. We had a decent enough dinner before making our way home for the evening.
In the morning we headed out to handle a few errands; namely purchasing our Visa for Vietnam which was pretty easy, but a bit expensive as our plans forced I'd to buy a three month visa which put us back almost $200! We killed the rest of the day wandering town before pulling up to Big Easy restaurant for dinner. After we went across the way to the big bar in town just to check it out where we we watched some fire dancers going nuts with there flaming balls and staffs.
In the morning we packed up and checked out of our room and stashed our stuff downstairs as we didn't leave until about 9 pm on the overnight bus to Ho Chi Minh City. We busied ourselves by picking up some cards and a few other things including getting our iPad loaded with some entertainment from the local establishment which sold music, movies and TV shows loaded onto your device. We ended up with 7 movies and all of Season 8 of Entourage for like $12 which was awesome. Not that we condone piracy, but it was a massive trip ahead of us!
That evening we rolled back down to the ocean front to grab a quick bite and an awesome "happy shake" before going back to grab our stuff and hop on the bus. Next stop Vietnam!