beautiful Serendipity Beach
That evening, Lauren and I decided to go to Independence beach to catch the sunset. When we got there the beach was empty except for Cambodian families that were picnicking in the cool evening air. We walked along the beach, taking in the sound of the crashing waves and the sun descending through the golden clouds. It was just beautiful. It reminded me a lot of sunsets in Hawaii that I love so much, and yet it was so different. We walked barefoot in the sand away from the families till we were alone on the beach and in our thoughts. There was just an overwhelming sense of peace and tranquility in the moment, and the sunset was so beautiful, I think it requires a few photos, though none have truly done it justice.
On our last day, we decided to check out another beach, called Sokha Beach. Sokha Beach is more excluded, due to the fact that the Sokha company (something to do with petroleum) bought probably the nicest portion of the beach, built an expensive resort just dripping with opulence on it, and now charges too much if you want to come and use the beach. But we wanted to see what it would be like without the crowds (read: beggars). To get to the beach, Lauren and I took the road less traveled, and by that I mean we climbed up and down and over rocks, all along the water's edge till we reached the beach. It was a little frightening at times trusting my slippery flip flops, but it was so spontaneous and fun. As we reached the end, we ran into some local kids fishing in the pools for crabs.
The beach was nice, but it seemed so out of place in Cambodia. We found ourselves missing the crowds of women and their incessantly insisting children. Even stranger still, was that right next to Sokha resort stood a shantytown, probably illegally right on the beach. Such are the contrasts of Cambodia: extreme opulence and extreme poverty; foreign oasis and low living conditions of the locals. We longed for the people and simplicity of Serendipity Beach.
Sihanoukville was lovely. It was a bit touristy for my liking, but we had fun and I would love to go back. I loved being able to swim in the ocean and the breezes that came with it; a welcome respite from the humidity of the inland cities.