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Sihanoukville for solo woman?

  • curstilace

    Joined Travelfish
    26th June, 2007
    Posts: 8

    Would you recommend Sihanoukville for a 26-yo woman traveling alone? I was thinking of stopping there for about 5 days to hang out and learn to dive. Have heard some good things and not so good things about it though.

    I would go to one of the Thai islands but they're out of the way from my main destinations which are Laos and Cambodia.

    I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!! xx

    #1 Posted: 30/6/2009 - 13:25

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  • curstilace

    Joined Travelfish
    26th June, 2007
    Posts: 8

    By the way, I'm in the region for 27 days, flying in and out of Bangkok. I've already been to some of islands of Southern Thailand as well as the Perhentians, just never got a chance to dive.

    I will be grateful of any suggestions of how I could visit Laos (esp. 4000 islands, Vientiane), Angkor, and dive all in one trip! Ko Chang seems expensive...

    Thanks again!

    #2 Posted: 30/6/2009 - 14:41

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    curstilace

    To my mind, being a woman doesn't come into the equation. You have your own inbuilt 'protection' radar, and Sihanoukville will be no different to anywhere else (despite what your mum might say).

    If you have any interest in the Angkorian structures, Siem Reap is a day from PP (which is a day from Sihanoukville). Try (if you can) to spend 3 days looking at temples, and at least a day (preferably within the 3) adventuring on Tonle Sap (the lifeblood of the Angkorian empire).

    Go to:

    http://www.talesofasia.com/cambodia-siemreap-guide-other.htm

    and scroll down to look especially at "Kompong Khleang".

    - - -

    4000 islands means a trip north from PP. And at least a day of bus travel. It's another couple of (long) days travel to Vientiane through Pakse.

    Alternately, you can go from Siem Reap to Trat and across to Ko Chang . Yes, Ko Chang will be expensive after Cambodia, but it does depend on what you want to do. If it's more diving, yes, the pennies will flow fast, but if it's island life, it's not that expensive.

    In some respects, and given that heading north from PP to Vietiane is both time consuming & expensive (due to travel costs), and there are no beaches in this neck of the woods, my feeling is that a deviation to Siem Reap, and then back down to the coast (there are other places besides Ko Chang) may be more your style.

    Cheers

    #3 Posted: 30/6/2009 - 19:26

  • idreamofdur-
    ian

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    It's OK... I spent about a week there on my own (I'm female, was about 22 at the time) and was fine. You should, of course, follow the usual precautions like avoiding quiet roads after dark and keeping a close eye on your valuables. There are lots of other travelers in Sihanoukville so you should have no problem making friends and finding a group to stick with when you go out at night.

    My main concern is that it's a lousy place to learn to dive!! I haven't heard anything explicitly bad about the diving there, but nor have I ever heard anything good about it... is it cheap at least? Have you looked into the smaller islands near Ko Chang like Ko Wai? I looooved it there, but that was about 4 years ago...

    #4 Posted: 30/6/2009 - 22:12

  • curstilace

    Joined Travelfish
    26th June, 2007
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the replies!!

    I really hadn't given much thought to visiting Tonle Sap, but Kompong Khleang looks really interesting. I did plan on spending about 4 days in Siem Reap , so maybe I'll have time to visit it.

    I've been searching about diving in Cambodia, but 1st-hand reviews have been hard to come by. It seems that the islands off Sihanoukville have some amazing sealife, just not as diverse or abundant as Thailand. And not as well-known, apparently!

    The Dive Shop charges $330 and includes accomodation on one of the islands. EcoSea charges $315 and includes accomodation on the island, meals, and a free fun dive. Do you think those prices are reasonable?

    And I'll be going in August... will the rainy season doom my trip before it starts?

    Oh, and here is a very rough plan...

    Bangkok - Siem Reap - PP - Sihanoukville - PP - Kratie - Don Dhet -Pakse - Vientiane - Bangkok

    Too ambitious? I'm sure I need to purge places off this list, I just need to work myself up to doing so.

    #5 Posted: 2/7/2009 - 10:02

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6

    curstilace

    I'm not a dive person, so won't reply...

    But, wet weather can really increase turbidity.

    Assuming others offer negative advice re: diving, you may need to rethink.

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 2/7/2009 - 10:13

  • swag

    Click here to learn more about swag
    Joined Travelfish
    28th March, 2007
    Location Australia
    Posts: 329
    Total reviews: 6

    Hi Cursti, in regards to your diving question bad news. Although I,ve not used them the diving I have done with people in Thailand has come up with Scuba Nation as the most professional and accredited,i.e Padi certified etc in Snooky.They close between end June and Mid Sept due to rough seas and very poor visibility.Might want to rethink the whole diving thing at that time of year.The worst you could do is learn with a dodgy operator in unsafe conditions.Google their website for more info.
    regards
    swag

    #7 Posted: 2/7/2009 - 13:24

  • curstilace

    Joined Travelfish
    26th June, 2007
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the input. I've decided to just skip the diving all together. In spite of that I'm still looking forward to being able to see more of Cambodia and Laos and at a more relaxed pace!

    #8 Posted: 3/7/2009 - 13:39

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