After we bid farewell to family and friends in Vancouver and left the North American winter behind, we had a busy 4 days of travel ahead of us. We first flew to Hong Kong, where we spent a night (we literally arrived at the hotel at 10pm and headed off to the airport at 6am the next morning), then flew on to Bangkok, where we spent another night. In Bangkok, we also said good bye to our 2 main backpacks for the next couple of weeks and took only our new little roll-away case and our day bags with us for yet another 2 consecutive days of travel in order to get to our ‘final holiday destination’.
So Where Are We?
From the onset, we’d envisioned a final destination where we’d just relax and have an easy time. We’d been making a list of our favourites as we’ve been going along as we figured that in order to be ‘easy’, it’d have to be a place that we’ve been before. While we’d considered Bali and the Thai islands, due to factors like 1) it’s high season now in those places 2) visa costs and departure taxes (which put Bali out of the running and 3) accessibility, we chose to return to Sihanoukville, Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand to spend our final 2 weeks of this amazing year-long trip.
YES, and then some. We got lucky at the Cambodian border at Poipet and only got charged $20 USD each for the both of us. The kids were gratis as it was stated on their last visas for which we were nevertheless charged (read ripped off) $20 USD for at the time.
And even though it’s high season now, the nice people at Aqua Resort, where we’d stayed last time, gave us the same rate as before—a double room with AC, satellite television, WiFi and a swimming pool for $20 USD per night. We wouldn’t be able to get that rate in either Bali or in Thailand.
The beach seems even cleaner than we remembered it too and the water is definitely calmer—generally flat as a tack, especially in the mornings. The weather’s been perfect, with warm but not too hot temperatures and plenty of sunshine. We’re glad to see the familiar faces of the staff at our favourite beach shack, Co Co Hut. And many of our favourite beach vendors are still around too. Unfortunately the BBQ squids are not as big at the moment as in April-- oh well. There’s still 0.50 cent draft beers and $2 USD cocktails though!
We hired a motorbike for the day intent on finding Ottres Beach, which is fast becoming the ‘in’ place to be. (Last time, we didn’t quite make it there.) And we could see why.
|The road at Ottres Beach|
Compared to Occheuteal Beach, which is somewhat commercial with its seemingly endless row of beach shacks, all side by side, the scene at Ottres Beach is a bit more spacious. There are still restaurants with sun loungers on the shore and here you can also rent bungalows right on the beach too in some parts. But there is more room between the properties and the properties are less homogenous and more unique in structure and decor. The feel is a lot like you’d find on a Thai island such as Koh Phangan. Not surprisingly, there were a lot of foreign tourists here and sun loungers are hot property!
So that’s what we’ve been up to. And we've been doing lots of thinking and planning too, but more on that next time! Until then, hope you enjoy our pretty pictures taken with our new camera that we bought ourselves for Christmas!