|Photo credit to fellow traveller Rachel Chapman|
There are plenty of great, cheap places to eat here, and as with Siem Reap there are enough internationals here that everyone is catered to. For a great Panang curry, head to Angkor Beach Bar on Serenity beach, where Thai and Khmer meals start at $3 including rice. If you’re craving western food, Monkey Republic on Serendipity Road do fry-ups and toasties as well as burgers, pasta and all manner of other home comforts- with meals starting at $3 and seemingly endless drinks deals. Their veggie burgers are so glorious I’m still dreaming about them now.
Nightlife-wise, I’d be lying if I said I thought the bars here were anything special. But I’m not really a matching-vest-bar-crawl, competitive drinking sort of girl. If you just want to chill out and enjoy your stupidly cheap, questionable alcohol away from all the madness, you’ll be pleased to hear that the beach bars keep seating out on the sand late into the night, where you can relax away from the grime of the venues themselves. Smokey’s Bar at the Ochheuteal Guesthouse is also a good spot if you’re missing pub vibes in your downtime- there’s a pool table and comfy seating, as well as a decent selection of western booze.
|Koh Russey / Bamboo Island|
|Well there’s cleary no point wearing them properly, is there.|
If you’ve got time, take a boat over to Koh Rong, where you can stay and chill on the island overnight or for a few days rather than floating back to Sihanoukville itself right away. A return boat ticket is around $20, and you can book a beach bungalow that sleeps 3-5 people for between $30-$40. Whilst staying in the town itself is cheaper (with shared rooms starting at $2-$5 pppn depending on whether you want A/C or not) the beaches of Koh Rong are emptier and cleaner than those on the mainland, and universally considered to be worth the extra cash.
|Boats for jumping off of.|
As a final note, seeing as I’ve mentioned it, while you are here I would highly recommend not spending your money on questionable foreign narcotics that might render you a total vegetable for the day. However, having seen the state of some of my travel companions a full 12 hours after sharing a ‘happy’ pizza, I would at least suggest that if you’re going to burn time and money on being really confused and sweaty for a day of your trip, you don’t devour an entire product by yourself. Some of the goods just contain weed, some contain vast amounts of magic mushrooms – which you’re going to end up with is something of a lottery.
Admire the views, be wary of the booze, and when you’re travelling back to Phnom Penh or Siem Reap take a Giant Ibis bus instead of one of the cheaper ones… Do you want to travel on a bus with broken air conditioning and broken seats when it’s 40C outside? No, I expect you don’t. Sort your onward travel through your hostel or at giantibis.com