16.10.11 - Sihanoukville Day 3 - Serendipity Beach, Reef Resort & Australia v's New Zealand
So this morning I decided to check out after the manager of the previous hotel at Victory Beach was so kind to me and allowed me to change my booking with Agoda, the great thing also is that i've already been reimbursed too!! get in!!
I'd planned to start the day heading to the post office to courier some things home but realising that today is Sunday I instantly knew that the post office would be closed today - to be sure I called the reception and they confirmed my suspicians. Oh well i thought. I'll send the items I have home at the airport in Bangkok instead. At least this'll be slightly more chance of getting there too and actually from what i'd heard it'd be cheaper than sending from Cambodia too.
So this morning i checked out and whilst i was checking out a man and his wife were doing the same thing. We ended up sharing a tuk tuk over to Serendipity Beach together and off to Reef Resort I headed. This was one of the other nice hotels in the Sihanoukville Travelers Guide that had a good write up, and also the guy in the tuk tuk this morning said they'd visited there yesterday as it got good reviews on Trip Advisor yesterday - So I instantly knew it'd be a half decent choice.
As I walked into the hotel I got a very warm welcome from the staff and everyone that was sitting in the bar area (the communal area) was full of smiles too. I checked the room out which was gorgeous. Spacious, a big bed, lovely bathroom again and a balcony which overlooks the pool, a clean pool at that. Brilliant, this is the place for me.
I checked in, dropped my things back into the room i'd been shown and immediately headed out the shop right next door to enquire about the PADI diving course. The previous day on the boat had instantly made up my mind that i wanted to do the beginners course here. It takes three days to get your certificate. Damn It I thought. If only i'd headed straight here rather than to Vicotry Beach first. i'd have been able to do the 3 day course, AND take in the coast of Sihanoukville for 2 days too!!! instead, I enquired about the introduction to diving course that they run. It is a whole day thing where they collect you from your hotel at 7am and you return at 7pm. They take you out on a boat and put you straight into shallow waters to learn the basics. You then do some theory work on the boat... learning all the important stuff, commands etc then at the end of the course you do a proper dive 30 mtrs deep. All this for the bargain price of $75. Excellent.... I really wanted to book it there and then, but since they go out every day I figured i'd think about it first and then make my decision after talking with the group this very afternoon at the rubgy, since they were divers and get thier thoughts.
After sorting out my options for the diving, i headed over to a travel agency to organise my trip back from Sihanoukville Cambodia, back to Bangkok, Thailand. Turns out the journey only takes 12 hours by bus, so to save myself £100 on a flight from Pnomh Penh (which I was going to do) I decided that i'd endure the 12 hour bus journey instead. Oh and it was only going to cost me $23 too!!! Bargain. The Border crossing is all sorted for you too, so you litereately just follow the guide across the border, get stamped out of Cambodia and then back into Thailand and you're done. Back onto the bus you get and Bangkok bound you head. Simple. So lets hope by the time the 19th comes, it really will be this simple too. My flight on the 20th doesn't leave until 5.30pm for New Zealand so If i do come across any problems along the way, then at least I have over 24 hours to sort something else out. This is my philosophy anyways. ;-)
After sorting out the important things upon my arrival, I decided to head to none other than the beach. It was fairly easy to work out which way to the beach it was. Lined down the street were guesthouses followed by restaurants, followed by little shops, dives schools, cafes and hotels. SO much better than Victory Beach already. There is life here!! YAY.
Since being in SE Asia, i've been after a snide pair of Haviana's since they're so comfortable and apart from my walking shoes i've worn nothing. In one of the little shops there were a red pair that i really liked. I tried them on and since they were just $5 I bought them. Beats paying £18 at home. My day was getting better and better already and i'd only just arrived.
The beach in actual fact wasn't as nice as the one at Victory. It was longer but not deeper, however all the same there were actually people on it. I took a short stroll along, checking out everything that was here and naturally took some lovely photos too. It was scorching hot today too. I think where it had rained in the afternoon yesterdy the skies had cleared for today. I was sweating like a P.I.G. As the pool at the resort looked SO inviting I decided to head back upto the hotel and chill out around the pool..... without question taking a few dips in and out too before having to meet the boat lot at The Big Easy bar before the rugby at 2.30pm.
turns out that the bar was actually right next door to the resort that I was staying at so that meant I was able to chill out and sunbathe right up until the last minute before having to meet the others. As i arrived they were already there, front row seats at that too. Beers were just $1 and a big pither which you can get 10 pints from were just $7.50!!! I could sense that no matter who won the rugby, tonight might be a lil bit messy, lol - wicked!
It was good fun watching the rugby with the others. Since Tarrin was Kiwi and both Natalie and Bruce were Aussie there was loads of banter and i actually learnt a bit about rugby too. The atmosphere in the pub was wicked. It was packed out and eveyone was in great spirits. The kiwi's won of course, and that meant that i'd be in NZ for the final. I was so excited!!! Never been interested in rugby in my life and here i was after watching my first ever game on the TV, preparing myself for the final in NZ in a few days time.
We all stuck around for hours after the game, drinking beer and having a giggle. Again, proper chilling.. lying out on the large sofas all getting to know one another. It was a great day which seemed to go so quickly. With all the cheap beer flowing and not having anything to eat since breakfast I was starving. I'd been told about the fabulous $3 seafood bbq on the beach too so i'd suggested to everyone about heading on down there and all grabbing some food together. Unfortunately Sam and Tarrin were booked onto a night bus bound for Vietnam at middnight, and Gary had already left at this point which was a shame, but instead Natalie, Bruce and I headed down for the beach to make the most of the BBQ. As we chose the restaurant we wanted to eat at, all of which offered the same thing really but each with different seats, we found the one with the comfiest looking sofas, plopped our feet in the sand with the sea lapping up against our feet and had a feast fit for kings and queens. The platter consister of seafood being fresh calamaries, barracuda fillets, king prawns, tiger prawns, salad, jacket potatoes and garlic bread. We order slightly more than the standard bbq you get for $3, but all that food including one beer and two mojitos my third of the bill was just $10!!! It was gorgeous!!!!
As we sat back and chilled in the dark, listening to the sound of the waves, chatting away to each other and looking up at the stars from time to time many of the little Cambodian children would come by the table and ask if we wanted any bracelets made. One little guy was so cute that I asked him to make me an anklet of red, white and blue - which ironicly are also the colours which represent Cambodia too. It kept the kids quiet for a while and they're so grateful for the money that actually we wasn't bothered by any of the others after that. We were able to sit back, relax, let our dinner go down and sip on our cocktails. It was lovely!
After quite a few to drink and feeling a little bit tipsy I decided to head back and get some shut eye. Yet again i'd had another wicked day. My first day at Serendipity Beach did not disspoint, finished off with getting to Skype Danny and Caroline and Scott ;-)