Where to start with Lazy Beach?? Well, I think the clue is in the name!
I stayed at Lazy Beach for 5 nights in March and it couldn’t have been more relaxing!
The jumping off point for the islands is Sihanoukville, a town which has gone through immense changes recently. Having once been what would have been classed as a sleepy backpacker haven, it was transformed into a casino hell of grand proportions. However, this boom only lasted a few years, but in those few years the town was transformed into something unrecognisable from its former self.
Shells of half finished buildings litter the skyline and the streets, well what streets??!
Needless to say it is not somewhere you want to stop if you don’t have to!
The islands on the hand are very much worth having to pass through it to get to them!
Lazy Beach came onto our radar a few years ago, when we had been staying on the other side of the island at Saracen Bay. We heard that the sunset was great from Lazy, so off we trotted. And we were not disappointed!! Ever since then it had been in our minds and this trip gave us the excuse to go back and stay there.
Getting to Lazy Beach, means getting to Sihanoukville, which will usually be by bus or taxi, although you can also fly if you wish. Alternatively there is a train from Phnom Penh, which does sound like fun if you have the time. By all accounts it can take up to 10 hours!
From Sihanoukville, you can catch either Lazy Beach’s own boat which runs at 1pm and takes about 2-2.5 hours, or you can catch one of the speedboats which will drop you on Saracen Bay and you will then walk over to their side of the island. The walk takes about half an hour on a path through the jungle interior (Lazy Beach will send over their tractor to pick up your bags. So no hiking through the jungle needed with them!).
We opted for their own boat as it would take us directly to Lazy Beach, and I love a boat ride, a few hours watching the scenery, fantastic I thought!
I should have known though, from our previous experience of crossing this expanse of water on our last trip there!
Once we had motored out of the relative safety near land, things got decidedly bumpy!! I like a nice calm sea, once I start getting tossed around I start to panic slightly and laugh..I seem to do that when I’m nervous!!
I looked around the boat and the captain seemed very relaxed as did the rest of the crew/passengers…well if they’re not worried, I thought!
After a few hours we rounded a headland and there it was, Lazy Beach in all its glory. We we were back!
We scrambled off the boat, (trying not to fall into the sea!) onto the slightly precarious jetty and were greeted warmly by Josh, one of the owners. He showed us up to the bar area to check in.
It was all very relaxed and he explained how things worked there:
‘You don’t need any money, we keep a tally of the food and drink you buy and you just pay us at the end.’ Great! That all sounds easy!
‘There is a metal safety box in your room. This is to keep your electronics in as there have been thefts around here.’ Errr, ok.
‘So, as you won’t need money or your passports or anything, we recommend giving them to us and we’ll wrap them up and keep them in our safe for you.’ Hmm, I’m not totally on board with that! I really am never keen to hand over my precious belongings, namely my passport and bank cards.
‘Oh and also hand over any food you have, we will keep that for you behind the bar too. Please don’t keep any food or drink, except water, in your room at all, otherwise you will have visitors!’ Ok, I know keeping food in a wooden bungalow isn’t the best idea, but this sounds quite serious! We had been warned!
So, as Josh explained these do’s and don’ts, in a slight state of shock I did hand over my purse and travel wallet to him, which contained my those precious items, passport and bank cards, wondering if I would see them again!
Josh gathered them up and taped them all securely together, writing our bungalow number on them. I then gathered together the packets of M&M’s I’d bought with me (I eat way too many M&Ms when I’m away!!) and a few other snacks I had and laid them on the bar. They were stuffed into a bag and handed back to put into the kitchen.
Right, this has unsettled me slightly, but it’ll be fine (and it really was, I didn’t have to worry one bit!) I reassured myself, lets just go and see what the room is like.
We were handed our room key and told to follow the sandy path that ran from the side of the bar/restaurant building.
I’d forgotten how difficult it is to walk on fine sand and I stumbled down the path behind my partner, sweating rather a lot!
We were in bungalow 14, halfway down the path and a fair distance from the main building. As we were walking I was praying that ours would be a front row hut, please, please, please!
When we reached our bungalow, I was bowled over!
Yes, it was front row.
Yes, it had a magnificent sea view.
And yes, the sea was literally about 10 steps from the hut!
It couldn’t get better!!! And then we went inside…
They are wooden bungalows, we knew it would be rustic so we weren’t expecting much.
But this hut had…a lounge area!! Hahaha, we were not expecting that, beach bungalows have come a long way since my first travelling days!
I was quite impressed, the hut was large and clean. There were two huge beds, both with mosquito nets, the lounge area with two sofas, a shelf and a small bathroom off the room.
There were also gaps in the floor that I knew would let in creepy crawlies and other local wildlife. I tried not to think about that.
Instead, I turned around and let my draw drop at the view out of our front window!
‘Oh yes! I am going to enjoy this a lot,’ I thought.
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