Having been travelling in South Asia for 6 weeks we thought it was about time we went to the beach! An overnight sleeper bus and a short taxi drive ferried us to our destination - Otres beach just outside of Sihnoukville on the south coast. We checked into a bamboo stilted bungalow complete with en-suite and hammocked balcony. A thirty second walk and we were on a tropical beach, white sand, palm trees, turquoise ocean, you know the deal!
Having sampled the warmth of the ocean and taste of the food we decided we would make Otres home for a least a few days. We snagged ourself some sun loungers outside the very accommodating and aptly named bamboo shack and sampled some of the finer things in life. A leg treading for Emily and a minor deforestation on Martins lower back, a couple of food rubs and a pedicure later we were looking the part. We walked sun kissed to serendipity beach to dip our toes into the local party scene, alas it was low season and we were greeted by a thousand deck chairs with only a hundred occupants. A nice meal watching the sunset and an evening stroll along the gently lapping shoreline ending the day nicely.
We were up early the following day having booked a snorkelling island tour. The self named "Mr Bong" was to be our guide, an eccentric little fellow who fancied himself as Otres' answer to Bob Marley. Accompanying us were about 10 other tourists of German, Russian and English origin (A regular little WWII crew!) We anchored about 25 metres from the shore of the first island and with less than fit for purpose snorkelling gear flopped into the sea. Through misty goggles we were greeted by colourful fish, spiney sea urchins and a multitude of gentle swirling coral.
Back on the boat we headed to Bamboo Island, on the north side of the island the water was a still as a mill pond and the colour of jade. We floated on the water or lounged on the beach while our host (in between rolling joints) prepared a barbecue of chicken and barracuda. After lunch we explored the island and discovered some hidden gems, empty bungalows on deserted beaches, if only we knew we would have stumbled across such a place we would have arrived luggage in tow and settled in for the night! Back on the boat we anchored at another island and did very little apart from throw ourselves repeatedly off the front of the boat. An hour later we tackled the beach front waves and landed with a bump back at Otres.
A delicious Italian meal and a night cap (or 3) later we were tucked up in bed ready for the early start. Phnom Penh here we come!