We arrived in Sihanoukville

We left around 9 am today from Phnom Penh and arrived in Sihanoukville around 2 pm. The trip was surprisingly pleasant, with only two close calls — one time our happy drive didn’t calculate the distance well and hit the brakes too close to a car in front of him, and the other time he had to flash his high beam onto oncoming traffic and everybody coming against us slowed down, to our relief.

Contrary to popular belief, driving in Cambodia has rules, or better yet, rule. Big trucks trump buses, buses trump cars, cars trump motorbike, motorbike trump pedestrians, who are in the lowest end of th totem pole. If I believed in reincarnation, being reborn as a pedestrian in Cambodia would definitely be a sign of bad karma!

The only unusual thing Naza encountered during the bus trip here was when we stop for a bathroom break and on the way to the women’s restroom, she had to do a quick turn around because some men were standing with their backs toward her going pee. Oops. I forgot to warn her that some bathrooms on the road had stalls for men outside. Well, I suppose I should tell her the she might see some guys doing that again — without a stall!

My faux paux of the day was probably funnier. I sat down to dring coconut water and this lady stood by the table and said something to me in Kmai. Naza came around and the lady simply stood there and kept staring at us. I thought she was a beggar so I went to the food stall and bought her a peeled mango. I gave it to her and she received it with a big smile but when that also said, “why are you giving this to me?” When we stopped at our final destination, the mystery was solved — she was one of our fellow passengers. Naza and I are still laughing about it.

Our good friends, Kevin and Jill Kane, recommended this place for us to stay here in Sihanoukville. It is called the Orchidee Guesthouse. This place is spotless. It smells clean and the rooms are small but beautiful. We are only five minutes walk from the beach. I can’t wait to get there.

I was here in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I can’t believe how much this place has gown, thanks to a lot of investment from China.

Well, let’s get to the beach and eat some fresh seafood!

Ivanildo C. Trindade