With some regrets I was leaving the Victory Hill area in Sihanoukville and moving downtown to Ochheuteal beach. Ochheuteal beach 10 years ago was up and coming and more the place to be. Back then the girl friendly budget hotel for mongers was the Golden Sands which had been fully booked. This time around I had managed to book a room in the Golden Sands Hotel, which was where I was now heading.
Victory Hill to Ochheuteal
Come midday and it has not stopped raining all morning. Im not confident the Aussies Tuk Tuk driver from the night before in the DragonFly will come and pick me up from my hotel the Harbour lights. So I get the manager of the Harbour lights to call up a taxi to take me and my luggage to the Golden Sands hotel near to Ochheuteal beach. Then they both turn up at the same time in cars due to the bad weather.
I apologise to the hotel and take my original Tuk Tuk driver. The Tuk Tuk driver is pretty desperate to show me around. He reckons he take me to some good looking girls, massage etc. I feel he is more telling me what I want to hear.
I take the Tuk Tuk drivers number and say I will call him later for a brothel tour, he has my number too. Im now telling him what he wants to hear. I like to discover things for myself first. Doing a Tuk Tuk patrol would be the last resort.
Golden Sands Hotel
Check into the Golden Sands hotel and my room is OK, seen better days and will need spraying with mosquito repellent, which you can buy from the local stores nearby. My room overlooks the swimming pool below which looks impressive. Just need the weather to improve now. Feels like the rain is here to stay.
I was staying in the Golden Sands Hotel for 4 nights with a total cost of $147.52. By all accounts the Golden Sands is a girl friendly hotel and is next door to two beer bar complexes and a 2 minute walk from Ochheuteal beach so conveniently located.
I have a club sandwich and beer in the hotel restaurant waiting for a break in the rain. I am trying to ignore a large group of loud, rude and fat Indian sex tourists sharing the restaurant, something I would not have to experience on Victory Hill. Still regretting leaving Victory Hill, but this whole mission is more about Reconnaissance, I need to give mongering in the Ochheuteal beach area of Sihanoukville a run for its money.
There is a break in the rain and I take a wander outside. It is obvious as I look around the Ochheuteal beach area, it has undergone rapid development over the last 10 years since I was last in Sihanoukville.
Actual Ochheuteal beach is now alot more crowded out. The beach area is a bit dirty now, busy with mostly Asians and a few western tourists even on a wet rainy day.
It might be wet and cloudy but its warm and humid and the sea is warm too. Here is a snap from almost the same spot 10 years ago. Not looking through rose tinted glasses?
Where the huts and deck chairs end, it suddenly gets alot less busy with tourists and more natural and deserted. Looks like a good stretch of the beach for my morning walk.
I stop off in one of the huts for something to eat. All day breakfast, the food has been reheated and I am constantly swatting at flies who want some lunch too. The beer is not cold either. Not good, I am a little depressed with the decline of Ochheuteal beach not its rise as a major tourist attraction.
I guess when the tourists keep coming and handing over money you can begin to neglect the reason why they started coming in the first place.
I guess once I would have had Ochheuteal beach down as one of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches I had ever been lucky enough to visit along with Sokha.
Not anymore though, that title is long gone, dont think any of the locals really care as long as the dollars keep coming in. At points I could smell rotting flesh, I dread to think of the rat run behind the huts. Obvious signs of pollution from all the nearby buildings. Now you cannot blame that on sex tourism.
One of the Cambodian waiters in the beach side hut I was sat in trying to fight off the flies asks how old I was? When I tell him, he remarks ‘Old’ When I am ready to leave he jumps up and wants to help me out of my seat. ‘I aint that fucking old!’ I exclaim. Misguided charity maybe, just to add insult to injury. I would not be eating from the beach side huts again.
I return to the Golden Sands hotel for a little kip and to prepare for my first night out around Ochheuteal beach. Hopefully that would be more productive, the wet and overcast weather was not helping the situation. So far a mostly a miserable first day out around Ochheuteal beach. Maybe I am getting too old for this, or just for Ochheuteal beach.
Ochheuteal Pub Street
Start the evening out checking out Pub street. Pub Street is a little beer bar complex behind the Golden Sands hotel. Nothing like the Pub Street in Siem Reap, just a collection of 10 beer bars down one little soi.
I tried pub street a few nights during my stay at Ochheuteal Beach. Pub street never got busy, there is a handful of Khmer bar girls available, most below average. I got friendly with one nice Cambodian bar girl down Pub Street who I nearly bar fine, not sure why I never did.
A very friendly bar girl, aged 28, excellent English, wanted to fuck too. Almost wife material, not a bad or rotten spoilt bar girl. Maybe she was just not sexy enough for me.
Sihanoukville Beer Bars
I head over to the other bar area the Sihanoukville beer bar complex, much larger a good 30 or so bars. Finding it hard though to notice any cute bar girls.
After all its coming to meet cute bar girls which is the passion that drives a monger. One bar girl comes and sits with me with a big scab on her lip, probably Herpes. I then have something to eat in the Irish Rover restaurant in the middle of the Sihanoukville beer bar complex. The food here is excellent and not expensive.
A few expats eat in the Irish Rover regularly and I get chatting to a retired American with some interesting stories to tell and he passes on a few tips. Its good for a travelling monger to make friends with expats who have much information and experience to part with. Usually if you are keen listener, people love to talk into a eager ear.
The Sihanoukville beer bars had promise, the expats regularly bar fined from here and said different nights bring out different bar girls, sometimes new ones who are sweet and almost innocent. Just not tonight though. The US expat tells me the Dolphin bar on the beachfront is a good bar late at night, good for meeting freelancers but watch your wallet.
Dolphin Beach Bar
I head back down to Ochhuetael beach to the Dolphin bar. Sure enough its alot more lively, just getting going. Lots of younger traveller types out on a gap year maybe. Quite a few western girls who look quite easy, maybe with a daddy complex?
If the young guys wear a dress and dance on the bar, they get some beers for free. Not bad I guess making a fool of yourself for the amusement of others when you got no money but want to party. Beer is served in cheap plastic cups which I hate drinking out of.
There was a few Cambodian freelancers about, but mostly overweight and mature. Not paying for that. Dont know why just dont feel comfortable in these party places. People drink too much and just feel like a fish out of water. Cannot really judge a venue on one night, one time frame, so the jury is out on the Dolphin bar?
I had not given up yet. A motocycle driver takes me to Blue Mountain road in downtown Sihanoukville. Out of both recommendation and nostalgia. A tiny shadow of its former self is Blue Mountain now. There were 3 or 4 massage parlours at the bottom of the road cum brothels. Each had 3 or 4 girls available.
A couple of the massage girls were not bad, one or two could have been Vietnamese but most looked Cambodian. Most were below average looking. Not enough to tip the scales for me and get my wallet and cock out. Cheap Charlie territory though at $30 for 1 hour massage and full sex, no barfine to pay here.
Ochheutael V Victory Hill
I had now done my reconnaissance of the Ochheutael beach bar area and beyond. I call it a night and head back to the Golden Sands hotel. Secretly I was pining to return to bar street and the bar girls on Victory Hill. In Sihanoukville now for an old monger it seemed Victory Hill was more the place to be. Ochheutael beach may hold more interest if you are younger and want to party into the early hours of the morning.