To visit Sihanoukville or not to visit Sihanoukville? This was our question. After such a chilled out, blissful time in Kampot, it was hard to decide if we wanted to visit Sihanoukville OR go further afield to the island of Koh Rong Samloen OR do both. In the end we settled on staying at Otres Beach 2, the beach as far away from the seedy town of Sihanoukville as we could manage.
We arrived in Otres Beach after a hellish one and a half hour mini bus ride from Kampot. (Note: standard bus companies do not run big buses between the two, mini bus is the way to go for US$5 a pop). Tim was feeling particularly ill during the trip and it wasn’t until we got to our (very basic) beach front bungalow that the poor guy was sick. Like, food poisoning sick. It then became my mission to find us an affordable room with air conditioning, hot water and a comfortable bed STAT. I ran up the road popping into hotels/guesthouses/bungalows saying – ‘How much for an air conditioned room like right now, tonight, ASAP!?’ I eventually found a place to stay, jumped in a tuk tuk and like a knight in shining armour rode my white horse (read: red tuk tuk) to pick up my sick husband and our bags.
Like food poisoning goes, Tim was sick for about 24 hours, a bit queezy for the following 24 hours, but made a full recovery and was able to enjoy our time at Otres Beach. Otres Beach 2 is very undeveloped. The road is still a dirt track with many, many potholes to dodge and during off season it is very quiet. It should be noted that there seems to be a bit of construction work going on at the moment and it wouldn’t surprise me if we went back in five years to a very different, built up beach, but for now – it remains quite a sleepy destination.
There are sunbeds lining the beach, the water is as warm as a bath, there are many happy hours to chose from and there aren’t as many touts as you would find at the beaches closer to Sihanoukville. It is a great place to relax and unwind. We spent most of our time chilling out by the ocean, watching sunsets and having early nights.
Now, we’re not sure if it was because we were there in off season OR because its a tourist destination, but the food was pretty awful. The best we could find was the little wood fired pizza place run by Italians just across from Mary’s Beach Bungalows.
If escaping the crowds and having a more low key beach break is what you’re after – Otres Beach 2 is for you. In terms of accommodation, I can recommend Mary’s Beach Bungalows. A fair price and after staying in some of the places we have, it was like 6 star luxury to us!