Ok, well I've writen this blog once and the computer decided that it wasn't good enough or something, because it decided to delete it all, anyway.
So Sinhoukville, what can one say about Sinhoukville and our time there. First thing to say is that this entire blog is coming from my extensive memory bank. The first of the leaks in this bank, is my lack of memory of exactly how long we were in Sihanoukville, I believe it was a week, but no one came be sure, well not until Jade's dairy is checked!!! The second leak in the memory bank is my inability to separate the days while we were there, the majority of days took a similar course and are therefore fairly hard to define from one another!!! I shall give one blog as the out line of a weeks activities in this most enjoyable of places!!!
The majority of days would entail us rising from bed at a relatively late hour, making our way down to the sun loungers on the beach, getting breakfast served to us from one of the many bar/restaurants on the beach front, spending an undefined amount of time in the very hot sea, attempting to stop the local sales persons from taking our money, in both the literal (stealing) and the umm unliteral?? (selling us things). Although we personally didn't have any problems with theft here, we've heard of a number of stories from travels who have!!!
The exceptions to this daily routine were; when I got myself a terrible sunburn, namely on my upper thighs and had a local women (a massuse, not just any old women) spread Aloe Vera over my burns for free, so long as I promised to pay for a massage from her later on. When I didn't go to the beach during the day and instead wasted my time doing so little I can't specify any other activity other than watching a dodgy American teen film on our TV, when Jade and Linnea went on a banana boat (while I wasn't there, I wasn't too pleased!!!). When Jade and Linnea made friends/enemies with some of the local sellers, namely a homosexual boy and his friend, who I think hadn't quite come out of the closet yet!!. When we bought silly amounts of string bracelets. When I entered a volleyball tournament with some of the guys from Phnom Penh (we met up with them on our second day in Sihanoukville), and we did horrifically. We all, according to each others personal recollection, were very good at Volleyball in Vang Vieng in Laos, however without any alcoholic stimulus it turns out none of us could play, although we did manage to scrap through the first round in what was a terrible displace of sport!!!
Nights however were when most of our activity happened while in Sihanoukville. As a group, ourselves the guys from Phnom Penh, and a couple of other people along the way, got ourselves into a nightly routine. Some nights had slight variations, butthe majority of our time was spent in three bars. Utopia, our meeting place, would be where the night started. After getting dinner seperatly (the guys were staying in a different guest house) we would meet in Utopia and either have a few drinking games based around a tower of beer, with it's own tap for us to pour, or some communal bucket drinking would ensue, a bucket would generally consist of Samsung (Whiskey/Rum, don't ask me how those two spirits can have a / between them!!), Redbull and Coke or Sprite, and would be served in a small beach bucket. Olly's favourite line when we were deciding whether to go out on a night or not would be, "We'll go to Utopia and decide over a bucket".
The second bar/club would be Nap House, it was down on the beach, it would generally get quite a big crowd and had half the bar space devoted to dancing. This would be our main dancing venue. The third bar, was a small bar on the beach, I don't remember it's actual name because that was irrelevent, our name for the place was Eddie's Bar. There was a number of bars on the beach that never really seemed to get any customers except for perhaps the odd one or two, therefore Eddie took it apon himself to find us a bar in which we could play our own music, ie his music and maybe get a few drinks. He managed to find a bar that would aloow him to do so if he bought 15 other people with him, considering our group was about 15 people strong we didn't have a problem with this, and we had some awesome times dancing to Eddie's music (he did think he was Paul Van Dyke (a fairly famous DJ), he was probably more of a Dick Van Dyke, but he played good music), chatting to the one or two guys working the bar or generally being in the bar!!! The one night that really wasn't anything like the above was one of our few chilled nights, when we went and watched 'Old School' at the local cinema, run by an English guy, this is what a cinema should be like, large chilled out padded chairs and sofas, nice air con, snacks, soft drinks, beer, all available to buy and consume, it was the perfect place to relax.
There was one day that was probably the biggest variation on any other in Sihanoukville and that was Cambodian New Year. There'd been a fairly big build up to it, if not in reality then at least in our heads, as we'd spoken to numerous people about where we should be for it and the like. When the day came it was unbelievable, an awesome day, consisting, of a lot of alcohol, a lot of water and a lot of talc. We started off early to get on a booze cruise, now I know that sounds like alads/lasses holiday to Magaluf, and well it basically was the same, but without your token louts, just all us friendly travellers!!! There were two boats heading out, both were completely full, a mix of Europeans and North Americans, the only locals insight were running the show!!! We were dropped at a beach, after about an hour ride!!! It was beautiful and we stayed there basically all day. We drunk, swam, got stung by the huge amount of jelly fish there, ate, sun bathed, and kicked balls about, listened to music and not much else. Then we all got back on the boats, thinking we were heading home, but instead we went to another beach, this place had a bar, but wasn't as nice but it did have a volleyball court out the back. We, this time with an alcohol boost got a game going involving a couple of local boys that lived there, and we proved that we weren't all as shocking at the sport as our other attempt had suggested. After our game the boats were heading back, as it started to turn dark. Back in Sihanoukville, some of us showered and got dinner, others skipped the washing part. We spent more time in Utopia than ever before as there were double the amount of people there now, and people had got the water buckets out to throw on people. Right I'll explain this, it is the done thing over in this part of the world on their new year to have a big water fight, I hear Koh San Road in Bangkok was one huge water fight!!! and the Talc, which we'd seen a lot of the booze cruise, over every one that is, is the other part of the water fight. Water and Talc, like a 16 year olds last day at school, but more fun.
So everyone started getting soaked in Utopia, so when it started raining over the dance floor there, we'd given up caring. We then headed to Nap House where the water fight was really going on, in Utopia it was based manyly around our group, but in Nap House the locals were going crazy with it. At one point it escalated to ice buckets, which made things interesting!!! Then on to Eddies bar, there were alot more people there that night, not just from our group, but Eddie of course was still the dj. At one point I saw that the bar staff were struggling to cope, when I say struggling, I mean one guy didn't get any drinks if they weren't in his arm range from a seated position, and the other guy was rushed off his feet. So I offered to help, of course I was paid with free booze, but this was not my motive!!!! So we had an awesome night, the group split up so many time I couldn't tell you the details of Jade or Linnea's night except the fact that I'm certain I soaked them both with a bucket of water, a friendly gesture no more!!!
And there is Sihanoukville, a place with a bad reputation, but a place where we had some amazing fun, with some great people!!!