Monday, 16 January 2012
Day 5 in Snookyville 16th January 2012
Where is everyone?
Today, it's going to be the Snake House as marked on the map. A quick google suggests Snake House is terminology used in the USA for a Jail. The Sihanoukville Snake House is a snake and crocodile centre, just need to find it! The route meanders close to the shore so might as well walk on the beach, get some breeze. A short cut seems to be through this resort complex, one side complete whilst the other is incomplete with nothing much going on. A smart complex, with apartments to buy or rent, all empty with 1 or 2 exceptions and a few locals who work on-site seem to be in residence. The beach is empty to, although evidence of past activity exists, old shacks, a few glass bottles strewn around - an eery situation. abandoned compounds lay just meters back, this particular one has what I would guess at is a landing area for a couple of helicopters, further evidence that this area was once a thriving playground. An old sign indicates this is Hawaii Beach Resort - a future resurrection project perhaps. There is plenty of building going on, former resorts being restored and resurrected with foreign investment leading the charge - a big Russian influence here I am told. Unfortunately, people are not coming, not yet anyway. Resorts, complexes and the smarter hotels are mostly empty, some laying empty for a while it seems.
Snake House then, but the map isn't giving me the picture I need - typical. The locals tell me to head down this rough, dusty track and keep straight. It's that red dust the same kind I found in India, and gets in the throat. It's hot, no breeze and the track is a long one, but there it is, the Snake House. I need a drink before looking around here. They have a crocodile in the restaurant, I can sit next to it and have my drink - well almost. Thankfully it's on a chain and looks rather sleepy, as if it's already eaten recently, so I feel quite safe. Through into the garden area reveals several glass boxes housing snakes, cages with parrots, a pit with crocodiles and then more snakes, everywhere - all in glass boxes I hasten to add!. Cobras, Pythons, green snakes, white snakes, all the snake varieties to be found in Cambodia are here. It's possible to get close, very close to a few of the most venomous snakes on the planet - defiantly not for people with a nervous disposition! The cobras will spit, some will strike without any warning - quite alarming the first time when attempting a close up photo. A fascinating couple of hours can be spent here, free with a purchase from the restaurant or bar, otherwise it's $3. Some tables are fixed so that customers can eat with a python sliding around beneath - a unique idea! A coffee here costs $2.20, a sandwich is around $2 whilst meals are expensive. It seems there is a Russian influence here also.
Next....Vietnamese Consulate and $45, a bus ticket to Siem Reap and a flight ticket down to saigon.