Cambodia pt 2: Sihanoukville
Off to Sihanoukville
So thiiiiis tiiiime, we ate happy pizza AND Valium before the overnight bus, and slept like babies. On arrival, the tuk tuks all take you to the same place: GBT guesthouse & restaurant. Coincidentally, yet unbeknownst to us, this was where two of our friends were staying (Mel and Dee). This is serendipity beach area, but we chose to look for a place at Otres beach. Serendipity beach is a bigger, touristy, party beach, whereas Otres is more of a chilled, relaxed, calm beach. We had heard good things about Otres beach so we made our way there and stayed at Wish You Were Here hostel.
Wish You Were Here
This place is sweet! So chill, really comfy, nice rooms & bungalows and the Aussie staff/owners are great. We knew immediately that this was a good place to stay. Totally our vibe. They have turntables so Ryker could practice his spinning, hammocks and cushions for lounging, and they serve some basic foods for anyone who needs a bite to eat (and they have Vegemite!) They don’t have a pool table though, which was one thing we would have LOVED, but there were tables next door, and across the street, so we got to play whenever we needed to. We actually ended up staying longer in Sihanoukville than expected: about a week and a half. And a few days in, Mel and Dee left GBT and joined us a WYWH.
I woke up this morning to Ryker and Max giving Rush and me a 30-minute warning that the boat was leaving. So, lazily, I pulled myself out of bed. Rush decided to hang back (he’s never been a morning person). When Ryker left, he told me to meet at Bamboo shack. By the time I left WYWH, I was asking people where to find Banana Shack, or bar…or something. Needless to say, I was pointed in the wrong direction. I eventually clued in, and ran up the beach just in time to see the boat motor away. Luckily I was able to scream at them loud enough to hear me, so they turned the boat around and grabbed me. Ryker and Gatty were overjoyed to see that I made it. I was happy too!
Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing time, but a bit of a let-down compared to what we were offered. They upped the price from $15 to $18 last minute, after everyone was already on board. It was supposedly ‘all-you-can-drink-beer’ but halfway through the cruise we ran out and had to pay for another flat (which we didn’t know we had to pay for). And there was no cliff jumping.
But we went snorkeling, picked up a sea anemone (one of those little spiky ball things with one eye), and enjoyed the swim. We went out to an island for lunch and set up a big BBQ. It was really nice. We met lots of people, and made some new friends. Then we fished and played in the water for a couple hours before going home.
The Bumble Bee Gang
Utopia Bar had $4/day motorbike rentals, so we got four. Not scooters either, manual Honda motorcycles: three yellow, one black. Hence, the Bumble Bee Gang. They were really fun bikes, but one night, on the way out to Serendipity beach, I hit a wet patch of mud and my bike slid out. I broke the mirror and speedometer. A couple scratches, but I was obviously fine, and rode the motorcycle for the rest of the night. It ended up costing me about $50 upon return. Gatty, however, was even less fortunate. He did nothing wrong and didn’t hit anything but his license plate fell off somewhere due to the bumpy roads and we never ended up finding it. Apparently the bikes and plates were Vietnamese and to obtain and register new ones in Cambodia they charged him $250. Best believe me when I tell you he was pissed. So drinks were in order this night.
Thus concludes the story of the Bumble Bee Gang.
Cambodia Experiences DJ Ramble
So Johnny, the owner at WYWH, had some turntables at the hostel and Ryker got to mess around for a bit. He was thrilled to DJ again. Anyways, he got invited to DJ at Oocha Bar at the end of Otres, and even had his name printed on some flyers. It was non-paying but still super cool. The bar itself didn’t have all that many people there, but we all went and supported him on his big night. The whole booze cruise team was there, plus some. Not trying to toot our own horn but we brought the party 🙂
Read DJ Rambles blog post here
Back in the String of Things
Another ‘must-mention’ was that there were two acoustic guitars here that I definitely took advantage of. I haven’t touched a guitar in three months and I was keen to pick one up again. I got to play all my faves and could even show Mel what I had learned since she bought me mine. I was able to nail the classics, but had to look up the tabs for ‘Behind Blue Eyes’, and ‘We Are the People’. Either way, it made me really happy. I played until my fingers hurt, then I played a little more.
Pickle Boss Turns 24
Woke up today, did some Facebooking in my room, and went downstairs. When I stepped out onto the road, Russia and Max pull up in a monster 250cc dirt-bike, a bottle of Tequila, a liter of Greygoose, and a bottle of booze with a snake AND scorpion inside. Happy freakin birthday Pec! So they laid out a shot of each, and sent me off on the dirt-bike. Holy crap it was fun ripping up and down the roads on that thing. So much power (keep in mind, I’m used to 100cc bikes). I got it up to 110km/h. What a rush! Gotta love Southeast Asia, I couldn’t do that anywhere in Canada.
Gatty and I took the bike out later that afternoon to hit some dirt jumps. I had hit them a little bit earlier in the day but this time around I guess I was a bit too overambitious and on my big jump, I sorta did a half a shifty, landed sideways and bailed. Nothing serious for me, but the bike didn’t fare quite as well. I broke the clutch in half, it was hanging on by a wire (literally) but could still be operated. Just not very easily. About five minutes later, Gatty attempts a little wheelie, probably not expecting it to have so much torque, and loses control of the bike. He landed on his feet at least, but the bike took off on its own and crashed about 20 feet away from him.
- Broken clutch
- Broken mirror and holder
- Bent exhaust pipe
- Broken front cage
We got some solid footage at least. But now we have to go and fix a dirt bike tomorrow. Here’s the ridiculous clip or our bails.
Bike Repair Day
So after a day like yesterday, a repair day like today was in order. Gatty and I got up early to get the search underway for Madog’s repair shop. Drove (in second gear) to the golden lions traffic circle and started asking randoms if they knew where it was. It took some time but we found it. We hit three different shops in total to get the bike fixed. Mirrors were $4, clutch was $5. Taking the front of the bike apart and welding the frame was $10. Bashing the exhaust pipe into a more circular shape was free. The bike actually looked pretty stellar.
While they were welding, Max got a sugarcane drink and I had a decent-tasting, cheap soup from a street vendor lady, and it had some gnarly intestines in it. They were super chewy and tasted like poison. To this day, I still don’t know what they were and I’ve never tasted anything like it since. But the bike got fixed up nicely and we returned to Otres beach in good spirits.
That night, however, I took Mel (our friend from home) for a ride on the bike, and the glue we attached the mirror with didn’t hold. The mirror fell off and I lost a piece on the dark dirt road. There was absolutely no chance of finding it. We decided to leave it and try our luck again in the morning.
Returning the Bike
So early the next morning, Gatty and I went looking for that little plastic piece on the long dirt road. We started empty-handed, and two hours later we returned empty-handed. After two hours of searching, we just didn’t care anymore and went to return the bike without it. The bike was in nice shape, and the owner charged me an extra $30 for the mirror holder. We were totally fine with that.
Afterward, we headed down to serendipity and walked down the busy beach. And holy crap was it busy! So many tourist families everywhere, burying their kids and themselves in the sand. And taking pictures. We must’ve walked through 20 families taking pictures of their damn family. It was crazy.
On the water, there were lots of inflatables and trampolines and stuff. Lots of stuff to do. We walked along until we found a cheap price for seadoo-ing (we bartered with like six guys along the way.)
Jet Skiing ($80: 2 Seadoos, 1 hour)
They weren’t very fast, but Ryker and Gatty’s was definitely more powerful than ours. We cruised around for about ten minutes and Russia and I bail off the jetski just as the guy pulls up on his jetski. Timing seriously couldn’t have been worse. And the seat broke off too. However, circumstances couldn’t have been better. He came out to give us a more powerful jetski! And this mother could rip! Russia and I alternated back and forth, spanking the hell out of the waves and actually getting some air. By the time we finished, our gooches were raw and our arms & hands were dead tired. But I don’t think the guy liked the way we were beating up their jetskis cause they called us in after about 45 minutes. They even changed the time on their phones, those sneaky bums. But we didn’t fuss, we had a great time nonetheless.
We grabbed dinner on the beach and were just hounded by little kids selling bracelets n things. Then they challenged us to a game of pool. If we win, we get a bracelet for free, if we lost, we had to buy two. We thought it would be a walk in the park, we play a lot of pool, but these kids were sharks! I had a tough time winning my game against the kid, and Ryker lost his game. It was intense.
I’ve never really been a big fan of gambling, but there was a casino up the street from the beach and we decided that we had to check it out. The best thing about it: the freebies. Just for being inside and gambling, you get buffet food (measly noodles and fruit), three pints of beer, and cigarettes for free. Win or lose. Which is good because I lost $40 the first night. Russia was up $80.
We went back a couple days later. They served free grilled cheese sandwiches. It was lovely. I made $10, Rush was down a bunch and Ryker was basically neutral. Until the end, that is. He plays roulette, and his erratic technique puts him up about $40. But he’s never really satisfied unless he wins big or loses it all. So he gets some chips traded and plays inside. He shared his chips with us and we all put down randomly on the table. As a joke, we put a small stack on zero. The lady gives it a spin… ZERO! We went nuts! We left the casino a couple hundred bucks richer, and in Cambodia, that’s a hefty sum. #Jagerbombs