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We are enjoying every moment as we can now see an end to the bliss. Last days at the beach, then we cross over back into Thailand.

FRIDAY 21ST MARCH 2014 (DAY 202)

Breakfast again was taken at our hotel. It's not very exciting, but it's cheap and it's close by and today we seemed to be very lazy first up. Breakfast lingered on well into the morning. The day was a little overcast but still warm, however it was still after 12 before we ventured across the dirt track to the beach for a swim.

As usual the water was lovely and warm, at the same time being refreshing and cooling. We were not alone in the water today as floating all around us were thousands of little jelly fish type creatures. Only small the size of an ice cube and actually once you held one out of the water in your hand it looked like a little thin wormish creature trapped in a jelly ice cube (see photo). Not sure if these little things bite or sting we did not stay in the water very long - it was a little creepy swimming with them too. When I showed a little Cambodian girl on the beach one of these little animals she said to say away from them as they bite and make you itch, lucky we did not seem to have been biten during our swim amongst them.

Lazying on the sun beds belonging to a resort, that we were just using until we were told to move on or purchase a very expensive bottle of water to stay, the beach hawkers pounced on us. These sometimes annoying women and young girls make offers of massage, pedicure and threading. (For the uninitiated: threading is where they remove the hairs from your legs, thighs, underarms, bikini line - anywhere really - with a cotton threat that is twisted snapping off the hairs at skin level). Lucky for this bunch of vultures - I mean hawkers - as my 3 lady friends did want some de-hairing. A price was agreed on and the hair snapping off begun, I opted to keep all my hair, although perhaps I was due for a little of a less hirsute look, but the whole process does not appeal to me. I just happy to keep my hairy bits as they were and I was happy I was not down wind from all the hairs being snapped off and flying into the air belonging to my companions. I just lay on the sun bed enjoying the clouded over sun shine and listening to the thunder that was rolling in. Did I say thunder?? Yes thunder - maybe rain was coming.

When the de-hairing was complete, Lyn suggested we go for a ride to the next beach down Otres 2 to find some lunch and have a look around. It was only a 10 minute ride up the road to #2 and we did a drive by past the newly built resorts looking for a place to stop and eat. Our decision was hurried along by the fact it was starting to rain and quite heavily and we needed to find shelter. Just as a place was found, and we were just a little damped by the shower we ran through, the heavens opened up and it absolutely bucketed down. Of course with this heavy rain the power went off which made our lunch selection an easy one - baguettes with chicken and salad it was as this did not require any cooking.

The rain pelted down for a good 45 minutes and we sat eating, hoping it would ease. Although we were not far from home, it would be impossible to ride back in the heavy rain. Eventually about an hour later it did ease off quite a lot and we managed to get on the bike and ride it back to the hotel. However it was still raining a little so we were all drenched by the time we arrived at our rooms. Hot showers were welcomed, and we had a good laugh about our rainy experience. This is the first rain we have in weeks. I think the last time it rained was back around xmas in El Nido, so we have had a pretty good run of it.

By 5.30pm although everything outside was still soggy and the dirt road now muddy the sky was clear and the threat of rain total over and gone. We headed out up the beach just before 6pm to watch the sunset and locate some happy hour cocktails. Managed to find success on both counts. Sunset was beautiful and we returned to the Bamboo Shack (first place we'd eaten at when we arrived at Otres) where we discovered the cocktails of the trip! It was called Special Bamboo Shack and consisted of coconut shake (this was the place that boasted the best in Cambodia and we agreed) a shot of dark rum and a shot of Baileys. Yes it was good, one of the most expensive we have paid for at US$3 (usually US$3.50 but discounted 50c for happy hour). It was so good we had to have 2.

Dinner here was good also, Lyn and I had the prawn amok (same as I had for lunch here last time). Again one of the best amoks of the trip, Robyn had fish amok and Dolly had spag bol. By the end of it we were all completely stuffed, full to the brim. Good value though, 8 cocktails (2 each) and a great meal for a total of US$41.50 - amazing.

Waddling back along the beach to our hotel, the water was still very warm. I looked up into the sky which was full of bright stars, which meant the sky is clear and tomorrow will be another lovely sunny day.


As we still had some bread and cheese left over from we used the sandwich toaster for breakfast. This looks like the last time this will be on any use as it has been broken in my pack and I really am not going to carry it any further.

Last day for the motor bike hire so we rode into Sihanoukville bus station to price a ticket to Koh Kong where we can cross the border into Thailand. I had also priced a ticket from near our guesthouse so we could compare. Bus ticket only was US$8 each and tuk tuk to get us there was US$10, and to buy a transfer/bus ticket combo was US$10 - saving US$2!!!

Our ride continued out past the port and through an rustic fishing village which smelt like, you guessed it fish. We stopped at a pristine white beach where we were the only occupants. The water crystal clear, calm and warm, we all went in for one of our last swims.

After the swim we turned back and returned to Independence Beach to have lunch at the same restaurant we had loved the other day. Lyn and I went for a swim before the food was served and the sea had a bit of wave action happening here. Actually a lot of wave action, with big enough waves to body surf if you had the ability - we clearly didn't. Rough enough that Lyn got dumped a beauty on the way out. Funny how the other beach was flat as a pancake, yet here the surf was up.

Our food was served and it was as good as the other day. It started to rain during our meal, not a down pour like yesterday, but enough for everyone to come scrambling up from the beach to take shelter. The rain did not last very long and after we'd finished eating it was dry to ride again. It was time to get the hire bikes back so we returned to Otres Beach and the Bamboo Shack for their delicious coconut shake. Yes by far the best in Cambodia just like they boast on the blackboard.

Our passports returned we walked back down to our end of the beach. Around sunset Dolly, Lyn and I walked across to the beach to have a last massage. We only paid US$5 so did not get a full hour but it was enough, and what a magnificent location.

We managed to work out our money so none of us had to draw out any more US dollars from the atm. Putting aside what was owed at the guesthouse, we had enough for dinner. Again after a big lunch we just had a cheap local meal at a tin shed on the track. We had passed this place dozens of times in the last few days and it was always full. Now see why, the food was ok and it was very cheap.

Our last night in Cambodia.

SUNDAY 23RD MARCH 2014 (DAY 204)

Up early this morning, Lyn was bashing on the door at 7am. We are crossing the border today, leaving Cambodia for Thailand. Quick breakfast of baguette and bacon from the hotel before our transfer pick up at 8am. A quick pack of my backpack involved just everything being stuffed in. As soon as we get to Bangkok everything is going to the washing lady. After almost a month of hand washing clothes nothing is really clean - all needs a good machine wash. I had a little more room in mine as I am leaving the broken sandwich toaster behind. Sad to see it go, but really it was not a practical thing to be carrying anyway.

Our pick up was in a car, not tuk tuk as expected, so it was nice comfy drive to Sihanoukville town to the bus stop. The driver spoke very good english as was a very cheerful and chatty young man.
Only had to wait about 10 minutes before our multi coloured air con coach arrived. After stowing our luggage we took our seats and the bus departed dead on time at 8.45am. However, it only drove the 3 minutes to the bus station and stopped. No idea how long it was going to linger here, but happy when the engine started up again at 9am and we were on our way.

Last glimpses of Cambodia as we headed west towards the border. A quick 15 minute toilet stop at about 10.30 where we tried some sweet potato chips. I had seen the young girls out the back near the kitchen slicing the potatoes and presumed they were to be made into chips. Cheap enough at 3000 riel = 75c for a packet, but thinking they were sprinkled with salt had a taste bud surprise when they were actually sprinkled with sugar. Bit of a weird thing, expecting a savoury taste and getting a sweet one.

A few hours driving through the countryside, the road was pretty bad in places. It was obvious there was work being done as we drove on rough dirt stretches of about 100 metres and then back on tarmac. The road used to be there cause we saw it piled up along side our track.

Early afternoon and a 5 minute stop at Koh Kong town where we were told to stay on the bus if we wanted to go to the border. Only anther 10 minutes and we were there. Sharks, sharks, sharks everywhere. They boarded the bus and immediately started the hassle to show us to the border, to the immigration office and to Thailand, all of which were blatantly obvious just 50 meters in front of where the bus stopped. I had read about these sharks and were not having a bar of them, we were quite capable of finding our own way to Thailand and as there were hardly an people crossing here the line was short, except the locals who seem to think they don't need to line up behind us and just push in at the counter window. Well only one got away with that, they may not understand English but the understand sign language get to the end of the line and an angry face.

The sharks also tried to sell us minivan tickets to Trat for 250 baht = $8.80 each but I thought it must be just as easy to buy them over the border once in Thailand.

Stamped out of Cambodia, we walked the 100 metres through no mans land and I gave our last 600 riel = 15c to a busker who only had one leg.

It was about 2.30pm when we entered into Thailand, which was as painless as usual. Just fill out a form and we are given a 15 day visa.

Minivans were lined up and the price to get to Trat was only 120 baht = $4 less than half of what the sharks were asking. We just had to wait about 20 minutes for it to fill up and we were on our way. Trat is only 100km about an hours drive, we had a driver with a death wish for all of us, very bad.
Conveniently dropped at the bus station, I straight away purchased our coach tickets to go to Bangkok tomorrow. We wanted to break up the trip, that's the only reason we are staying the night in Trat, had a day up our sleeve so decided to do it.

Songtaew driver tried to rip us off to get to the centre, but I told him 20 baht = 70c each and then he did not want to start driving until we had paid him the 80 baht. You never pay taxi's upfront, never. We remained seated in his vehicle and told him to start driving, finally he relented. Crabby old bastard. He took us to POP guesthouse where we paid 600 baht = $21 for air con, hot water, flat screen tv, fridge and two double beds x 2.

It was about 4 by now so we ate at POP's and it was not the most exciting meal. Not a good entrance meal back into Thailand, it had me missing Cambodian amok already.

A bit of a relax and we went out again at 6.30 for a walk to the night market. It was a bit of a non event also, but had a nice noodle soup for dinner for only 30 baht = $1.05 each.

On the walk home, Lyn saw a hat she could just not live without for just 110 baht = $4.
How the hell she is going to get it home we have no idea, will have to wear it on the plane as it is massive (see photo).

Watched a few movies on tv back in our room.


Posted by Cindy Bruin 21:41 Archived in Cambodia

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