Traveling by land is always more comfortable than traveling by sea or by air. I believe that boats, ferries, speed boats and other watercraft will always result in an unpleasant journey, like I had when I traveled in Thailand. Thus, I decided that I would avoid sea travel if there are still other options to choose from.
Traveling by plane is undoubtedly fast and sometimes cheap, but what if the country you are traveling to doesn't have reliable airline companies? It wouldn't be a smart idea to put your precious vacation at risk.
So when I traveled around Cambodia, I chose buses as my main form of transportation, even though I really hate riding on the bus. Was it really that bad? Yes, it was. It wasn't because the bus company was bad or the driver was mad, but because I get motion sickness and always feel nauseated if I sit on the bus for more than 2 hours.
The first hour of my trip was fine. I tried to lie back on the chair and sucked on a peppermint candy while thinking positively and optimistically that everything would be fine. Yet, that time, I was so unlucky. The bus moved slowly with constant starting and stopping, disrupting my tummy and causing dizziness. At the same time, I also had to contend with my cramped seat, a stuffy atmosphere because the bus didn’t have good AC, jerky vibrations, and the annoying voices of my chatterbox neighbors that kept talking throughout the journey. Those factors just contributed to my sickness!
I prayed to God and constantly checked my location through Google Maps, just to make sure that we moved closer to the destination. Eventually, I succeeded in overcoming my sickness and arrived at my destination without suffering from the side effects of motion sickness.
The journey was awful, but all the sacrifice paid off very well. In spite of its size, Sihanoukville turned out to be so much more than I had ever expected or imagined about this city. To put it baldly, Sihanoukville was a hidden and unknown paradise. I used to think that this city was just full of crowds and a bunch of motorcycles and cars with stouthearted and intrepid drivers behind the wheels, but I was totally mistaken.
The drivers were so prudent, the road was good (except the road to some of the beaches), the prices of things were okay, and the people were friendly! And the beaches were exquisite!
Here are my brief reviews of the beaches:
Otres Beach 1
Frankly, I didn’t have any idea where to go or which beach I should visit. That’s why I asked the receptionist at the front desk and she suggested that we should go to Sokha Beach. Unfortunately, our tuk-tuk driver from the hotel disagreed and tried to convince us to go to Otres. As we were so credulous, we nodded our heads and agreed to pay 6 dollars for that journey to Otres Beach without any more complaints nor questions.
At first glance, this beach was not so different from any other beaches in the world, especially in Asia. You couldn't directly see the beach as it was hidden by the restaurants and hostels that stretched along the coastline, but it was not that hard to find a way to go through it.
Don’t ever imagine or even hope to see a big sandy area on this beach so you can build your own sandcastle like in the movies. The gap between the restaurant and the water was no more than 3 meters. To tackle this kind of problem, they creatively arranged beach chairs along the seashore in front of the restaurants. So anytime you pick a chair, the waiters will offer you a menu and ask you to order. As an educated person, I bet you wouldn’t refuse them and would buy one or two bottles of beer instead.
I used to think that this kind of settlement was not so comfortable, but I have changed my mind as often as a girl changes her clothes. I do think that it is REALLY comfortable, because I didn’t need to walk far, far away just to swim. I just needed to stretch my legs for about 1-2 meters and then feel the water. There were almost no waves. The water drops off gradually, so it’s safe for people like me who don't know how to swim well.
This beach was entirely different from Otres Beach, even though these three beaches (Serendipity Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, and Otres Beach) were separated only by the rocks. It was a struggle for me to find a good place to swim and sunbathe. As it was located not so far from the ferry port, the water was contaminated by rubbish and other substances that can cause discomfort when you swim. However, you can easily find all kinds of restaurants or cafes in this area.
The name of the beach referred to the name of an opulent hotel that stands in front of it, hiding the beach from sight. Our ingenious tuk-tuk driver found the way to the beach easily and dropped us off close to the entrance. There were not so many people on the beach, and I could count on one hand the number of people who were sitting in the shade. The sand was balmy, the waves just didn’t exist, the water was clear, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the beach was just IMPECCABLE!