Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Feb 22nd, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Just a post and some photos on Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Lukerb is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:35 AM
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Thanks. An interesting post and some excellent photos. Can quite understand why you didn't like Sihanoukville. I haven't been but it sounds (and looks) a lot like some parts of Phnom Penh. I loved PP for the energy, noise and urban grittiness (which probably means i'd like Sihanoukville) while my wife hated it for the dirt and hassle. Each to his own - I find trip reports quite refreshing when they are honest if the writer dislikes a place.
libero7 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Yes the photos are great and the section you were in is certainly not that great or interesting. Why you were droped off here is strange if yiou were on a bus tour of the area. Sihanoukville is is known as a beach town but you never got close to one of their several ones. If you paid a lot for this tour you were taken. What cruise line were you on so we can warn passengers about this. And since you had a visa why could you not exit the passenger terminal on your own.
Scotters is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 04:53 PM
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I agree with Scotters - that doesn't look much like the Sihanoukville I saw, but maybe that's the risk when you're on a cruise. I arrived by land (on an Intrepid tour), stayed in a nice guesthouse, and spent a day snorkeling. I actually thought the place was a bit too touristy. And from everything I hear Siem Reap is now totally touristy.
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:07 AM
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Hi there!

I was on Holland America for this particular stop. I honestly think that the only reason they stopped there was to pick up passengers who had taken an excursion to Siem Reap a few days before. These people paid $2500 per person for that 3 day luxury and there were 36 of them that took it. On top of which, HAL charges us $45 dollars for a $10 visa. All in all, they probably made a couple of hundred thousand just stopping there. From what I can tell, other cruise lines are doing the same and some are not even offering excursions around Sihanoukville.

I had a combination of boat, land and on my own over the months. So, some of the places I visited, I didn't have control over. Even with a Visa, the authorities would not let us leave the port by ourselves. I usually like a bit of dirt and grit, since that can add to the "reality" of a country. However, this destination, at least in the city, was not geared towards doing anything, other than walking a few blocks in each direction.

I try to be really honest in my reports. I often find that half the people agree and half disagree with my thoughts, which is normal and perfectly understandable. People have different experiences, depending on whether their on tours (land or sea) or with friends, or on their own. A good tour guide can route people in the right directions and prepare them for issues and cultural difference. Also, when you're own your own, it seems that you sort of slip in under the radar, rather than being a part of a large group that is coming to town. The reactions by local are generally different.

Thanks so much for reading and the compliments. I'm always glad I've had the chance to experience a place, even if I don't particularly enjoy it.
Lukerb is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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I really appreciate honest reports! I'm not always complimentary in mine, lol. I just didn't want people to simply write Sihanoukville off, when you can have a better experience there - although personally I preferred Kompot.

The price for the Siem Reap side trip is just mind blowing!!
thursdaysd is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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"Thursdaysd", completely understandable and agreeable.
Lukerb is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM
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If you are unfamiliar with the name "Sihanouk" in Cambodia, which is like "Kennedy" or "Lincoln" in the USA, you must be young or blissfully unaware. 2nd, the most distressing item in your photos is the placement of a huge roadside advertsiing sign base - they are cropping up in forest-like crowds in every Asian country right now - hideous, truly hideous. A mention that S.R. is "Touristy"? Let's see now? What other industry is there in SR? I was just there two weeks ago and I don't think there were 600 tourists in all of Ankor.
merckxxx is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 02:59 PM
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At 38, yes, young...but hardly blissfully unaware. LOL There were lots of people who had never heard of Sihanoukville on this particular trip and their ages were quite a bit older than mine. However, education and discovery is my whole reason to travel. So if I learn something new, then I've done something right.

Yes, I agree, the constant onslaught of advertising everywhere in Asia, is distressing. The additions of KFC and McDonald's everywhere is even somewhat worse.

I haven't been to Siem Reap yet, so I imagine you're referring to the comment that "thursdaysd" made. After being in and living in overly touristy places around the world, I guess I am used to it.
Lukerb is offline  

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