Just got back from HKL’s annual general assembly in Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s primary port and resort town. It took five cramped, sweaty hours in a packed bus to get there, but it was good to get away from Phnom Penh for a bit.
Below: bathroom break, Cambodian-style. Wander into a dry rice field in full view of the bus and do your thing.
Sihanoukville isn’t anything special, but it’s less humid and has beaches, which counts for a lot. The first day was seven hours of powerpoint presentations in incomprehensible Khmer, but the banquet afterwards was excellent. Steaming mountains of rice, delicious fish, strange crustaceans and mollusks from the Gulf of Thailand, dragonfruit & papaya for dessert. Servers brought pitcher after pitcher of Angkor beer, which everyone drank with huge ice cubes. Cambodians love toasting, clinking glasses every couple minutes or so. This is probably why they drink their beer watered-down. I preferred mine ice-free, which made things difficult as the night wore on. There was the usual Khmer dancing, and as anticipated I was nothing but a clown.
Day 2 was a free day, and most people went to Ochheuteal Beach, myself included. The sun hid behind the clouds most of the day, but the water was warm and the sand soft. Vendors hawking everything from seashell trinkets to swim trunks wandered the beach.
The most popular beach food is fresh-caught squid, skewered and grilled and served with chili sauce. Surprisingly good. We also feasted on mango and raw peanuts. And plenty of Angkor. I didn’t get a chance to take a bunch of photos, but here are some of what I captured:
These kids were selling some deep-fried pastries I’m sure would get me sick. Very friendly though.
My stomach wasn’t prepared for this stuff.
Two options for mangoes: green or ripe. Green mangos are a little on the bitter side and are served with salt and spicy peppers. I prefer the ripe ones.
This girl was scouring the area collecting empty cans of Angkor and coke. She would watch you until you finished, then take the can to her mom, who had a sack filled with cans. Sometimes she would find a little coke or sprite at the bottom and drink it. I took a couple shots of her and showed her the results on the LCD screen. Other shots here.