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Relaxing on the Beach in Cambodia

After kayaking out to see the dolphins in Kratie and diving into Cambodia’s turbulent past in Phnom Penh we were ready for some relaxing beach time.

Rumors of trash strewn and belligerent backpacker filled Sihounkville beaches had us looking for something else.

Otres Beach seemed like the ideal place. More secluded, yet easy to get to and with the modern day comforts of electricity and wifi.

We bumped along the road comfortably seated in our tourist filled minivan while it seems, some of the locals we passed did not have as good of seats.

Locals on the road

Locals spotted in Cambodia

Imagine riding like that for a few hours…

Upon arrival we checked into our bungalow – not as glamorous as it sounds and made entirely out of bamboo. It’s amazing what they can do with bamboo here in Asia.

our bungalow

As we made our way to the beach we discovered a Greek owned cafe where we chose to park ourselves for the next few days. With comfy chairs, delicious Greek dishes and refreshing smoothies we were ready to relax.

the beach chalet


greek chicken souvlaki

Our first night awarded us with an amazing sunset, the best we had seen on our trip thus far.


Think we were living in paradise?

Well I hate to complain but it wasn’t exactly the perfect  getaway.

Turns out I’m not the beach bum hammock swinger I once thought I was. First off those damn hammocks simply give me motion sickness. Ridiculous I know, but that vision I always had of myself calmly swinging away to a cool ocean breeze and a good book simply will never happen.

As for cool ocean breezes? You won’t find one of those in Cambodia. It was hot hot HOT day and night. The heat, the humidity, the blazing hot sun, who knows what was to blame but I was glistening with sweat 24/7.

Cool dip in the water to refresh yourself? Not possible here. Walking into the ocean here was comparable to stepping into a bathtub full of hot water.

As for a good night’s sleep? Not to be found in our bungalow. Regularly we were greeted with various critters in the room. At one point I stepped into the bathroom only to notice a six inch long cockroach doing his business in there. It was as if he was pleasantly reading a newspaper, only to look up at me and say “excuse me? I’m in here…”


Luckily the mosquito net draped over the bed was generously sized but unfortunately the air circulation in the room was nonexistent. There was one fan awkwardly positioned on the wall and that was not enough to bring the sauna of a room back to a comfortable temperature.

You generally associate beach holidays with being relaxing and leisurely, but in reality being under direct sunlight all day is actually incredibly draining and constantly sitting out in 100 degree weather for a few days straight is too. I guess it depends how you tolerate extreme heat. Me? Not so well. After a few days my mind started to reach a temper tantrum mode and I simply felt like I was in severe hot flash mode.

We met some people on the beach who had been there for months, just lounging around, tanning, swimming, reading. I don’t know if I would want to or even could stay there for that long, under those conditions.

All the beach holidays I have taken before this were always cut short earlier than I wanted, due to work, school, life, etc so it was always a pain to leave the beach and head back to reality.

But now that we were there for a few days and met others who stayed way longer it finally became clear to me that I’m not the beach bunny I once thought I was.

We spent 5 days on Otres Beach and while it was great to go swimming, lounge around by the water and sip smoothies while working on the computer, we were ready to move on and were happy to find a hotel in Kampot with strong air conditioning and a TV.

One thing I can’t say anything about were those sunsets – truly magical.


the beach

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8 Responses to Relaxing on the Beach in Cambodia

  1. This winter I’ll try to spend 3 months in Asia. I was in Thailand twice, but never try to visit neighboring countries. This year, I’ll visit Cambodia too in my trip in Asia. I hope, I’ll feel the same impressions in Cambodia like you. Thanks for full report.

    Alex Cardo July 12, 2013 at 8:08 AM Reply
  2. Hey guys, enjoying your blogs and all the fantastic logistics details. Would you mind sharing the name of the bungalow where you stayed? Also what month was it when you were in Cambodia – I am hoping it’s not always blistering hot over there…

    Jenia - House to Laos July 15, 2013 at 11:10 PM Reply
    • We were there in April, the bungalow was just called Ostres I believe, for Ostres beach.

      Dave and Vicky July 16, 2013 at 6:04 AM Reply
  3. Very nice article about Cambodia. Will aim to experience its simplicity in my future travel. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    Ria Dancel July 19, 2013 at 3:27 PM Reply
  4. Such a shame we missed each other. Otres beach is the best beach in Sihanoukville and you are right those sunsets are magical. Never stayed in one of those bungalows, but we are going to Koh Rong in a few weeks, so it will be interesting to see if we will have the same experience.

    TammyOnTheMove August 7, 2013 at 1:37 AM Reply
    • Have yet to see a sunset even resembling the ones on Otres Beach! Hope you enjoy your stay in Koh Rong – can’t wait to hear more about it!

      Vicky August 14, 2013 at 5:26 PM Reply

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