After a terrible two nights at the Freelance Bar and Hotel in Sihanoukville, we breathed a massive sigh of relief when Mushroom Point on Otres gave us a room for the night. For three nights I got to stay in a giant mushroom-shaped, palm thatched, beach hut bungalow just meters from the shoreline. I had read about Mushroom Point back in Australia and written it on my list of places I wanted to stay but when it came to booking online, they were all full up! Luckily for us, Mushroom Point is split into two sections. The first set of dorms and bungalows can be booked online and then there is another four bungalows across the road, right on the beach that operate on a first come, first serve basis. Once you have scored one for the night it’s then yours for as long as you want to stay. It was a bit pricier than the hostels in town but it was SO unquestionably worth it. They even have a tightrope for you to try your hand at! I had a few goes and did surprisingly well…. then I fell, very ungracefully into a heap on the sand with my dress round my armpits and my bum in the air. Would you expect anything less!?
Everything at Mushroom Point is shaped like a mushroom, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, the lights, the furniture, even the bar! While this could be very tacky, it has been pulled of excellently, with class and creativity. The bungalows are open to the elements insofar as they aren’t water tight, the roof kind of floats on top of the walls and they’re on stilts. There’s a fan on the ceiling and the super comfy double bed is draped with a mozzie net making this the best place to sleep ever. It’s a bit like camping as you are essentially outside, the wash facilities are limited to a small dribble of cold water and the supply of electricity isn’t too reliable but it’s far more comfortable and to my liking than anywhere else I’ve stayed in Asia so far. The cost may have been three times that of some other hostels, but again, $15 is a small price to pay for my idea of luxury. By the time you also factor in daily transport from town to Otres and back, the fact that if you are staying in town you have to leave Otres by sunset or end up stranded and the excellent and memorable time you will have, it’s such a bargain!
On our first day Rich and I treated our selves to a couple of mojitos and an hour long, full body massage for $7. Again, a bit pricey but what’s $7 when you get to lie on paradise beach with not a care in the world while some lovely lady rubs your back and all you have to do is relax and sip a delicious cocktail?! Obviously, the budget does not allow for this every day, or even every week, but when it did happen, I enjoyed it all the more.
Otres Beach it’s self is the furthest removed beach from downtown, about $5 in a tuk tuk. There is only one dirt road to get there and the best way is by motorbike. Otres is the quietest beach in Sihanoukville but facilities are plentiful, depending on what you are looking for. If you are looking to relax, eat, drink, swim and relax some more then Otres is the place for you. However, if you are looking for lively night life, you might be better off at one of the other many beaches Sihanoukville has to offer. For me, the hugely increased number of child vendors and general busyness of the other beaches would spoil the atmosphere that Otres has managed to hold captive.