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Cycle Touring Routes   >  Cambodia  >  Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville  >  Day
Day 4
Kampot to Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Serendipity Beach
Kilometers 109   Miles 65.4
Road/Ride - The ride begins by crossing the bridge out of
Kampot on Hwy 3.   Easy exit just two blocks from our hotel
with no traffic.

We began this ride the earliest ever at 5:47 a.m. in
anticipation of the over 100 kilometers of riding, the group
of hills that come up at the last 25 kilometers, and to avoid
as much of the draining sun.

We don't regret the early morning.  It made for a very
pleasant quiet four hours of pedaling before the heat of the
day really hit us.

The entire ride is sealed.  There is a part where road work
is being completed, but the surface of the highway is in
perfect condition.  Newly laid hard parked gravel.

The shoulder width varies at times.  For the most part it is
sealed but when we got on Hwy 4 it became dirt or gravel
until we reached Sihanoukville.

Traffic on both roads, Highway 3 and Highway 4 was light.
The traffic on Highway 4 is mostly taxi station wagons with
their back door flipped open and packed with locals and
goods.

Hwy 3 is a narrow two-lane road that begins with a pebbly
surface that at times has a narrow smooth strip we could
pedal on.

At kilometer 21 we saw the first kilometer post and they
continued to pop up on the side of the road form this point
on announcing the next populated area.  

After kilometer 21 kilometer the road is smooth with
painted lines and a smooth paved shoulder.

Weather - Nice tailwind carried us along for quite awhile.   
The sun grew very hot at about 10:30 a.m.  Some shade
from the tree lined road.

Scenery along this ride is spectacular.  We pedaled in an
overcast shade as we passed the Bokor Hill Station in the
Elephant Mountain range with low lining clouds hanging
over the forested mountains and the rays of the sun
shinning through.  
Green fields, lush tropical surroundings as palm trees lined
the road.  
We crossed several bridges with beautiful scenery on both
sides.  Green fleets of fishing boats docked along the
shore, stilted dwellings and canoe anglers.

Food and water - The entire ride is populated with a string
of villages and a few bigger towns at decent intervals to
stock up on food and water.  Every populated area has at
least one make-shift open front vendor stall selling
beverages, including water, sugar cane juice and some
sort of snack or fruit.

After kilometer 50 we hit the intersection with highway 4
and the biggest town on this ride, Veal Rinh.  Lively open
market, several restaurants and shops line Hwy 4.  

The road on Highway 4 continues to be paved except for
the shoulder.  It's a wide gravel path or hard packed dirt.  
We pedaled on the highway and had no problems since
traffic is very light.

Accommodations along this ride - At kilometer 8 on Hwy 3
across the road from the entrance to Bokor Hill Station, it
looks like there is a new guesthouse being opened.
As we pedaled past the Ream National Park entrance and
we spotted a sign for a resort/restaurant.  Did not pedal in
that direction, so we are unsure what it looks like.  

Hills - We encountered the first group of significant climbs
in Cambodia as we got closer to Sihanoukville.

The first hill is not a major climb.   It comes up 23 kilometers
(13.8 miles) east of Sihanoukville.  It is a low grade, gradual
climb, that is only worth mentioning because the variation in
the road is noticeable.

15 kilometers (9 miles) east of Sihanoukville a more
significant hill comes up.  It is a gradual climb that lasts
about 2.7 kilometers with a pleasant down hill only to begin
to climb again at kilometer 11 (6.6 miles) east of
Sihanoukville.  This is a steeper climb that is about 1.5
kilometers long.

The next climb is after the gas station about 5 kilometers (3
miles) east of town and is barely a kilometer long.

The final climb is in the town of Sihanoukville and it begins
on the road toward the center of town and
Occheuteal/Sirendipity Beach.  It is a gradual climb.

Sihanoukville town is built on low hills that run along the Gulf
of Thailand.  The city has a scattered, disorganized feel.  

It is built around in three areas, the port area, the central
area and the beach area.  All three areas are developed
and have well-established commercial buildings with plenty
of restaurants, accommodations, internet, banks, shops
and all other necessities a tourists would need. The port
area near the weather station hill and the city center are the
more developed areas of the city.  The center of town is the
main focus of the city with the most banks, the central
market, restaurants and hotels situated in this area.  

The recent popularity of the beach areas, especially along
Occheuteal Beach, has resulted in a chaotic and
haphazard building of restaurants, bungalows and resorts
along the waters edge with no real formal planning.  The
road down to Occheuteal/Serendipity Beach is not sealed.  
It is an inclined rocky, sandy, dirt path that can be
challenging for a fully loaded bicycle to maneuver.
The more established hotels and restaurants on
Occheuteal Beach are on the paved road across the street
from the water.

Traffic in town is light and other than the mild up and down
hills throughout the city is a good place to pedal around.

The central market Psar Leu is north of the Golden Lions
traffic circle.  The market is covered and resembles a
tented city.  The cover holds in the heat making the stroll
through the market a sweaty and stuffy experience during
the heat of the day.  The market it well stocked with many
vendors stalls selling the typical items such as sundries,
clothes, shoes, dry goods, rice, bean, fresh fruit and
vegetables, tofu, meat and fish, snacks and bread.  

There are plenty of concrete poles outside the market to
lock up bikes or a motorbike taxi charges $1.00 round trip
from Serendipity Beach.

Just south of the market on the same side of the street is
the Samudera Market, a small supermarket that sells
western and Thai items such as peanut butter, cheap
sunblock, muesli, bread, cereals, etc. at very reasonable
prices.  We found a 50 SPF sunscreen for $2.00.  The
market also carries freshly made loafs of bread such as
rye, whole wheat, oats and multi-grain.    

The beach at Occheuteal Beach is lovely.  The turquoise
green water is warm and the shoreline offers lovely views of
the surrounding islands.  Most of the area long the shore is
covered with lounge chairs and umbrellas.  The sand along
the shore is scattered with rubbish and thievery is quite
common when belongings are left unattended while
swimming.  Vendors are known to be a bit too pesky in
their eagerness to sell and can become annoying at
times.   Putting these inconveniences aside the beach is a
nice place to hang out for a few days and relax.  There are
plenty of choices in bungalows and restaurants to make the
time here enjoyable.

Slept- Leng Meng Beach Bungalows
Location - On Occheuteal/Serendipity Beach down the dirt
path.  Bungalow location is right on the beach.
Cost - $25.00
Amenities - Small, brick connected bungalow.  The entire
bungalow is wallpapered in dark wood with a tile floor, two
twin beds, en suite bath with shower over western toilet.  
A/C, fan, TV with English channels, fridge and built-in
closet.  The first bungalow has a large window that looks
out on to the lush courtyard, restaurant/bar and has a partial
view of the beach.  The bungalow behind the first one
seems very dark and has no view.  

During the day we locked our bikes outside our bungalow
in the alleyway.  
Very tight quarters, but we were able to bring in the bikes at
night for safety.       

Other accommodations in town - The port area near the
Weather Station, the center of town and the beaches all
have accommodations.  

We pedaled by several accommodations in town and
checked out the Seaside Hotel on the main road across
Occheuteal/Serendipity Beach.  The hotel is a standard
three star establishment.  Rooms are well equipped with all
the amenities.  The least expensive rooms are located on
the first floor with a view of the lobby and go for $20.00.  
The better the view, the higher the price.  Buffet breakfast
was included.

We also checked out the Malibu Bungalows just a few
meters from our bungalows on Serendipity Beach.  The two
bungalows we saw had a view of the water, both smelled
musty and moldy, but were spacious and nicely furnished.  
Cost was $35.00 including a very meager buffet breakfast.