After two days in Phnom Penh, it was time for another bus, to the south-coast of Cambodia, an area called Sihanoukville. This place is most famous for being a bit of a party area and having a beautiful island nearby called Koh Rong, the problem with that is that the tourists have supposedly taken over Koh Rong and basically ruined it.
Every single person we have spoken to since we set off who has been to Koh Rong got sick from being there, it seems to be a bit of a known thing throughout the backpacker world, this is because all the sewerage runs straight out in to the sea on the main bay so people get sick from swimming in the sea or from the questionable food there, for this reason alone, we decided to skip Koh Rong and find something a little quieter.
We headed to Otres Beach, which is actually now in three parts, the two built-up beach areas at either end of the long beautiful beach, with nothing on the shoreline in between but sand and a dirt road. In the middle, a little away from the sea, there is the small Otres Village. The affordable places to stay (still expensive) seemed to be in the village so we went to there, we booked a couple of nights at a place but stayed there for four because we decided to skip Koh Rong.
It was not like a village we expected to see in Cambodia, or anywhere in Asia really, it is basically a hippy village almost completely filled with foreigners, not really the authentic Cambodian experience but a relaxed placed to spend a few days and lay on the white-sand beach.
After four days of doing almost nothing, except a repeat of the previous day, which normally included some time spent on the beach, a few cans of beer (that can win you more free beer) and occasionally a glass of cheap-ish wine and a beautiful sunset, we decided it was time to go and do something again and headed off for a town called Kampot, a couple of hours in-land.
On the last night was the weekly Otres Market, which was a good night, a big open-air market with decent food, some beer, live music and a great (only slightly less hippy) atmosphere, so we spent a couple of hours here to finish a weird few days in Otres. An enjoyable experience but I think we both agree we probably wouldn’t return.