A Lucid Dream in South East Cambodia

A Lucid Dream in South East Cambodia

Am I in a lucid dream? I mean, would I be asking that question if I wasn’t? Either I’ve been tripping around South East Cambodia for the past few weeks, or I’m passed out on a couch…

It started in Sihanoukville. The place is a latrine for Chinese tourists. Dumplings go in, then dumplings come out – eventually washing up on the sand with the incoming tide. This beach is tessellated with eateries. A deck chair metropolis. Walls of terrified baby seafoods peer back from beyond the glass. Their death will come swiftly. And, in a way, I envy them.

Sihanoukville is like Bondi in Beijing.

A little further south I found Otres. It’s like Thailand ten years ago, they told me. Well, random people, if that is your real name, best take off your shirts – coz I’m calling you out. It’s less like The Beach and more like The Road.

The next stop was Kampot – a riparian rest that sleeps until noon. I went for a day trip and checked off the sites. First, a hill. Then, a waterfall. It was reminiscent of my mild incontinence. Later, the abandoned casino. It was a little eerie, and walking out with the shirt on my back felt wholly unfamiliar. Over-stimulated, I called it a day – but you could push on for the salt ponds and pepper farm. They’re a must-see for condiment zealots.

Now, until then, the trip had been blah. I craved deliverance, or just any sign of life. And then, suspiciously, as if by thought alone, I got one…

My last stop was Kep. If my tour were a family, then this place is the milkman’s son. It’s a cosseted district of guest houses and bungalows. It’s the first time I’ve thought ‘quaint’ in over a month, and I think that speaks volumes. Check out the yacht club. The pier is a true postcard at sunset.

Is it all too good to be true? Maybe. But, to be honest, I don’t really care. If Kep is a dream, then I’ll sleep a bit longer…