Saturday, February 4, 2006

IHT Travel Lies

Sihanoukville Independence Beach

Sihanoukville Ochheteal Beach

Sihanoukville Otres Beach

Sihanoukville Serendipity Beach

Sihanoukville Victory Beach

Sihanoukville Sokha Beach

Do not believe any travel stories you read in the International Herald Tribune.

See the photos of the beaches of Sihanoukville above? Would you spend even a single nickel to visit any of these crudy, dirty, brown-sand beaches? Of course, you wouldn't, but you'd rather spend your time at Southeast Asian beaches which are truly beautiful, such as Boracay, El Nido, Ko Phi Phi, and Samui. Why would you be sucked into wasting your hard earned dollars on some third-rank beach resort in Cambodia?

I've been to Sihanoukville and was disgusted by the cattle that wandered the beach at sunset, shitting over everything. And the town has little more to offer than rundown guesthouses and low-rent brothels.

But then the IHT journalist was given a free trip to the beach resort, where he stayed at the four-star resort, and had nothing but wonderful things to say about his vacation. Travel writing at its worst.

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia "It's the next Goa, the new Phi Phi. If you love the cusp, or that fabulous moment when a destination morphs from backpackers bolthole into a new compass point for monied bohemians, make tracks for Sihanoukville now," insisted my friend in Bangkok, and the idea of a cheap farniente week at the beach sounded ideal after a lot of temple climbing in Angkor Wat.

The beach was even lovelier by day - basically empty and lapped by the warm, limpid aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Thailand. We quickly abandoned plans to explore Sihanoukville, which is often referred to as the "youngest" city in Cambodia since it was founded in the late '50s, in favor of a recurring triangle of idleness consisting of swimming, reading and napping, in exactly that order.

If this quiet beach town, popular with Cambodia's glamorous beau monde during the '60s before the country was devastated by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, is slated to become the next Phuket, the turning point came with the opening of the Sokha Beach Hotel in May 2004. This 188-room, four-star hotel brought world-class comforts (satellite television, air conditioning, room service) to a place that had only had cheap and decidedly rustic guesthouses (Sokha Beach Resort, Street 2 Thnou Sangkat 4, Mttapheap District, Sihanoukville; tel. 855 34 935 999, fax 855 34 935 008,

IHT Sihanoukville Travel Story Link

No comments:

Post a Comment