Otres Beach and Halloween in Cambodia

(By Nate)

     We weren’t sure what to expect out of Otres Beach, all we knew was that it offered kite surfing. Monkey Maya lined us up with a taxi driver who was in the Cambodian Navy and very proud of it. Had it not been for sharing our Cab with Ellie (who had a ferry to catch) we would have taken him up on his offer to tour the naval base. We had a couple ideas of guesthouses we could stay at when we arrived at Otres but we hadn’t booked anything and didn’t end up staying at any of the ones we’d listed as possibilities. We got out of our cab and immediately found the Pat-Pat. With a good name, a pool and the ocean across the street it wasn’t a tough sell. After 4 nights with no A/C, we went straight to the room, closed the blinds and cranked the A/C and fan to full tilt. 


     Otres 1 & 2 are along a single mud packed red dirt road that runs parallel with the ocean. The two areas (Otres 1 and Otres 2) are separated by a half mile or so of undeveloped beach. Otres 1 is a half mile lon beach lined with bungalows, bars and lounge chairs all sandwiched between the ocean and the road. The other side of the road is lined with guesthouses, stores and bars.  No buildings on Otres 1 are more than two stories high. The beach is nice and if you’re ever thirsty, beer is never more than 100 paces away. 


        While it is still the rainy season, there doesn’t seem to be any wind; there’s plenty of afternoon  storms but no wind and we haven’t seen a single kite boarder. Looks like I’ll have to put off kite boarding for a bit.  I can’t say I’m too upset, given that my leg still has a fairly good lump/bruise from my earlier moto-mishap

           This is the first place we’ve been in Sihanoukville that actually has some other travelers, but it is still fairly deserted for the off-season. There were a handful of tourists at Victory Hill but it was mostly locals and ex-pats. They say the busy season is November to February. We’re not complaining by any means; it’s great having these places to ourselves. But because of that, we get approached by a lot of people (kids selling bracelets, women selling foods that they carry on their heads, guys selling sunglasses, boat tours and, as always, bored tuk-tuk drivers). For their sake, I really hope tourist season kicks in soon.


        We’d considered going to one of the nearby islands but the weather has been unpredictable and the beach has nice views of those islands. That’ll be good enough for us.  Our 4 days here mostly included going to Pat-Pat’s workout room, relaxing, walking on the beach and swimming.  We ate at a place with the clever name of ‘keepin’ it riel’ (riel is the Khmer currency – haha).

        The highlight of our time at Otres was Halloween night. McKayla used a few of her shawls, extra makeup and drawn on tattoos to become a gypsy.  I went into our med kit, found some gauze, wrapped my head and arm and told people I was hit by a tuk-tuk. I had the ‘no tuk tuk’ shirt from Siem Reap as a finishing touch.  A surprising number of people believed I was actually hit by a tuk-tuk. 


We had a great night meeting some new people and enjoying discounted drinks for having costumes. There was face painting going on at the ‘Wish you were here’ hostel and later we found fire twirlers on the beach at a bar called Ibiza. One of the fire twirlers was amazing, possibly the best I’d ever seen.  The second fire twirler was the comic relief.  That guy needed more practice before setting those things on fire. It was pretty hard to take your eyes off the talented guy but any time I did, the other guy would hit himself with a lit ball. This guy was harry too, less so afterward, but I can’t say I feel too bad for him. He was an overconfident drunk Californian, which made those burns a little bit funnier.  

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