Sihanoukville City thoughts – won’t be going back

Morning slow down in Otres Village happens most every day to me now. I leave for an iced latte at Arny’s coffee shop and talk with the folks there for awhile and just watch the comings and going. Then to the little coffee shack down the street for a second. Then its back to my bungalow for some time. There’s nothing really to rush out for or to see that is time sensitive. Nothing really happens on a day to day basis in Otres that makes one wish for things to speed up.

I did sign up for a day tour a week from Friday of Sihanoukville just to say I did one. I see a few Wats, a waterfall and a fishing village. Then I leave for the week in Vietnam at the resort.

The sandals I had bought the Yucatans which I believed would be the next best thing to walk in after my Merrells turned out to be blister machines on these poor old feet. I tried for a few days wearing them and my feet were in agony. I can only gather since I see other people wearing them the sizing was off or something or perhaps my feet just prefer the Moabs. So I decided to order another pair and have them shipped to Cambodia along with some socks. I could just wait and see if I could find some kind of walking shoes in Siem Reap but the Merrell’s are a known quality. I’d rather spend the bucks and have them shipped than have to deal with something unknown. Many things are easily bought here. I can find t shirts in my size in the markets no problem. I can find underwear. I have never seen socks and the shoes run in various sizes and are not the actual makers. The last part I really don’t care about. I have a North Face Surge backpack which I got in Saigon for $15 USD which normally costs about 4 times that much. Nothing has happened to it at all and its very sturdy and a nice under the seat carry on bag. So buying some things I am good with. Shoes though are different to me. I walk a lot and this last few days with the sandals has not been so nice to my poor old feet. After yesterday I trashed them because I was fed up with the constant blisters and sores on my feet they cause. I don’t think I will go there again.

I also went into Sihanoukville yesterday for a few hours. Its kind of a depressing place. There is a lot of development of hotels and shopping and casinos going on by Chinese companies. A lot of Chinese cruising in SUVs with blueprints. I don’t mean to sound demeaning but I think the unchecked development is not going to mean anything positive at all for Khmer people there. I don’t see any infrastructure projects to improve roads or stuff at all. The roads there are messed up affairs too. Not meant for heavy construction vehicles. I won’t be going back to the downtown except on the tour. I try to remain fair and open minded but it really got to me seeing how the area was developed. In all fairness, the Cambodian government should tell the development firms for every 1 casino or hotel you have to do 3 public works projects that benefit the local population. Will that happen? No. Too late for that kind of thing. I believe the unchecked development precedent has been set.

More on Ordering from the States if you are interested…

If you happen to come my way, you may want to get a mail forwarding service that will take off the responsibility of ex wives, children or other frustrated family members to check your mail. I say this because Amazon does not ship to Cambodia directly so you have to figure out a way to get it done. I really recommend a bigger solution which is to get something like US Global Mail. No affiliate link or adds on this site; just a recommendation. The reason you want this service is to stop frustrating family or ex-wives and to also assist with getting you things you need to wherever you are in the world. US Global Mail has a whole bunch of ex-pat mail services but the ones I highly recommend are package forwarding, mail management and forwarding, and scanning of mail you do not want forwarded into PDF. I ask them to collapse the shipments into one box and send all mail and whatever I ordered in a single box. They ship through Fedex and UPS. For me UPS works the best here in Cambodia. You get the stuff in about 5 to 7 days and the package does not appear to be tampered with at all.

All of this may cost more and you may demur and think you can find the things here. I would say about 95% you can. I have found my size in t shirts and underwear and shorts and all kinds of stuff. Shoes to me are particularly important. I’d rather pay the freight than think I can find the stuff here.

Final Say on Sandals, Clothing, and other stuff…

I don’t know the final say on these Yucatan sandals. I see lots of people wearing them barefooted so I can only imagine I got the wrong size or something or my feet and sandals simply do not match up well. I would say you should walk around for awhile in any shoes you bring on an adventure like this one but realize you are gonna have to replace things sooner or later. Some things you can find. Others you may be hard pressed to find in markets in Vietnam or Cambodia. Then there’s the question of sizes. The only place thus far to find t shirts that fit was in the markets in Phnom Penh. Vietnam does not stock large enough sizes for western men by and large. I paid $3 USD for each t shirt that has a logo of beer and Cambodia on it ;-). If they last 6 months I figure I got my money’s worth.

Anyways, that’s the deal for today. Its Thursday. Beautiful day out so will go walking a bit later.Gonna go back to my Merrells and socks! I’d like a bit of comfort after the days of hell with the Sandals.