What a dramatic sleepless time we had in Otres!
Driving through Sihanoukville, I could tell Lewis was thinking the same as me, ‘oh god we’ve come to another busy city’. As we got off the bus there were surprisingly no tuk tuks which was nice and the bus company ‘Mekong Express’ provide a transportation service via mini bus to your hostel. Winner winner chicken dinner, saved us a few bucks and a battle with a tuk tuk driver! To be fair, it was the least they could do after our nightmare journey down to the coast! The driver seemed to have a death wish, with the pair of us wincing every time the driver tried to overtake on a blind bend, to find a truck was coming the other way, or nearly hitting a cow that was crossing the road, it was amazing we made it there alive.
We were staying in a village called Otres, (thanks to advice from a friend) which is a very bumpy 15/20 minute drive from Sihanoukville and thank god we were, it was much calmer than the city and had much prettier beaches. It was dark when we were dropped off outside our hostel (I can’t really call it a hostel, it was more like a campsite with bamboo huts) but it was a mini tropical paradise. We were so excited when we arrived, ‘what a cool secluded slice of heaven we have ourselves here’ we both thought.
We settled our belongings and sussed out the hut before venturing off into the village to find some food. We found this really cool bar on the beach called ‘Mom’s Cafe’ that played indie/rock music and was packed with other young travellers playing pool, smoking weed, drinking and chilling. The food was ok but the booze was cheap, $1 (£0.80) for a pint!
Later that night after walking along the beach, we casually strolled back to our hut which was slightly off the beaten track to avoid any of the bar noise. As usual, Lewis entered first on bug patrol before me to make sure there were no spiders… he really is a keeper 💜.
We had just got ourselves comfy, lying there thinking how peaceful it was listening to the crickets and frogs when 🎶Doush, 🎶Doush, 🎶Doush… very loud music started blaring across the village. ‘What the actual f**k?’. The whole of Otres must have heard that music! It was so loud and on occasion some awful singer would start howling like a bag of cats down the microphone. I laid there thinking ‘hopefully this will stop by 2am, this is a village after all, just try and sleep’… NOPE, ALL. NIGHT. LONG… this dreadful repetitive beat didn’t stop playing until sunrise! We then had peace and quiet for about 30 minutes until the frickin’ cockerels started! So much for our peaceful bamboo hut experience. We both woke up exhausted after a very disturbed sleep. It was still amazing though, the hut was so cool that I would still go back even knowing about the dreadful loud music.
We spent the day chilling on the beach at Mom’s Cafe where we had breakfast, lunch, dinner, 3 coconuts, a large bottle of water and 2 beers for $13! Bargain or what? It was a very chilled day with a million and one Cambodians walking the length of the beach trying to force things upon us. Some lady started plucking Lewis’ back hairs even though he kept saying no, ‘you look like monkey’ she kept saying, it was highly entertaining.
I was completely in panic mode at this point. ‘Why the f**k has this happened to me? Of all people, why couldn’t this have happened when I had the nice toilet?’ I felt like crying, I felt so disgusting and dread to think how much disease and bacteria was lingering in that toilet. I wasn’t on there long, I got off as soon as I could, went back to the sunbed on the beach, showed Lewis the picture of the toilet and said, ‘I’m off, I need to go back to the hut, I need a clean loo’. Looking back I now know that this wasn’t Traveler’s Thaiarrhea, it could in fact get much worse, but more on that in a couple of posts time.
That nasty toilet made me feel ill all afternoon, despite having a shower I still felt dirty. How can an eatery let their toilets get so messy, the bar was run by westerners too! What a bunch of filthy animals. It then got me thinking, ‘where are the staff washing their hands after being on the toilet?’ I didn’t eat much more there after that!
After the sunset, which by the way are amazing over here, we walked back to our hut to go to sleep. This time there was no music, just blissful silence! We both fell asleep and had a good few hours until we were woken by our next door neighbours. They were laughing and joking and their voices were quite loud. Lewis lifted his sleepy head and glanced over at me before putting it back on the pillow to go back to sleep. It then went quiet for about 1 minute until the real show started. The female was moaning, Lewis turned his head to look at me again, ‘no way, they are not?’ I said, she got louder and louder and louder, until she was practically screaming. We were in hysterics, I couldn’t stop laughing! Eventually she said in her American accent, ‘OMG Brad, you didn’t, on my belly’… in hysterics, we took that as a sign that it was over and we could go back to sleep. We both rolled over and closed our eyes to go back to the land of nod, when it started all over again! ‘F**k off, are they serious?’ I said laughing. By this point we were wide awake as the female was screaming a running commentary of what was going on. This happened about 4 times, they were going until about 4.30am! We were hysterical. Upon check out, we left a note outside their door that said – hope you had a good night, I believe you woke the whole campsite up ;)!
That morning we were catching a boat to Koh TaKiev Island for 2 nights. We were originally going to Koh Rong Island which is much bigger and has a big party vibe. After the long nights of noisy neighbours in Otres and the busy hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Bangkok, we decided we didn’t want to party, we wanted some peace and quiet… oh god, maybe we are getting old after all? So we decided to head for Crusoe Camping Island on Koh TaKiev.I was very nervous all morning about this, I knew it was going to be a basic site which only meant one thing… non existent toilets and bucket showers but Lewis kept telling me to stop worrying. Easier said than done. I couldn’t stop wandering what I would do if I needed the loo, I didn’t want a repeat of Mom’s Cafe! Lewis doesn’t understand, he can pee standing up (so envious), but there wasn’t much I could do, the boat was booked and we were leaving.
Paradise (I hoped) here we come!