Việt Nam and Cambodia: Phú Quốc Island, Otres 2 Beach and Koh Rong Saloem.
In 2013 I spent most of the year travelling all around the world. In one of my trips I stopped over in the SE of Asia: First in Cambodia (Or Kampuchea as they like to call it there) and later went to the beautiful island of Phú Quốc (Việt Nam) to visit my old good friend Joel Lopez who happened to be there at the time with his kids and wife. Then I moved to Japan. But thats another story.
Cambodia and Việt Nam are so close and yet so different countries. The different language (cambodian and vietnamese have no links whatsoever), the local customs, ethnicity, etc… everything changes completely. For example, you see in Cambodia houses on stilts which is something more uncommon in Việt Nam. In Cambodia man wears turbans and beach wraps as trousers while in Việt Nam the classic straw hats called ‘Non la’ (that you have seen in many movies). Vietnamese people seemed to me very very hard working, fast and very focused on business, while in Cambodia things were pretty much more relaxed, more laid back lets say ….and not that this is a bad thing to be honest! Ethnically Vietnamese people looks very SE asian while Cambodians are more closer to Thailand and looked completely different than their neighbours. Even the food was very very different. And not to mention Cambodian-Khmer writing!
While both countries had their historic issues and border disputes, nowadays everybody seems to want to live in peace. They had very hard times on the past and I don’t blame them for that.
Otres 2 beach its on the outskirts of Sihanoukville which is a busy coastal Cambodian city. Sihanoukville wasn’t our scene really (lets put it that way) so thats why we decided to stayed in Otres 2 instead in a great beautiful beach with our friend Ouk Sreyka the owner of Castaways bungalows. You can visit their Facebook here: Ouk Sreyka the owner of Castaways bungalows
Phú Quốc Island used to belong to Cambodia but according to the locals and If I did understand correctly, it seems that some Cambodian king gave the island to Việt Nam (Much to Cambodian people despair) as a a kind of present. But make no mistake, once you get in Phú Quốc you realise you are in Việt Nam, there is no doubt!
Phú Quốc is also very popular for its fish sauce and the black pepper. The island is beautiful and has stunning beaches but I could tell the place was going to change very soon as they were building brand new roads and also an International airport. Fingers crossed the place doesn’t looses its original purity.
I will never forget my days there and I am hoping to go back very soon.
You can also see a below a video I did for my Friend Joel of our staying in the 3 mentioned places. I didn’t have a proper video cameras, just a point and shoot photo camera, so I hope you forgive the shakiness of some parts of the video.
Hope you enjoy it.