A Random Motorbike Ride in Sihanoukville

I’m not sure how to properly write it, but it sounds like “dah lengh”, literally means “go play” and is a Khmer phrase used to mean go out to see friends or go sightseeing. At any rate, it’s something we frequently do in the afternoon. Last Sunday, we decided to take a motorbike ride out to Wat Otres. We knew it was closed, but it was the chosen destination because it’s outside of town.

Not long after we got on to the last stretch of dirt road before Wat Otres, a voice called out from the side of the road. A friend of Sopheak’s just happened to be visiting some friends of hers who lived in a stilt house there. As usual, a group of men was gathered together at a table drinking and a group of women was gathered together gossiping. In between, children, dogs and, in this case, lots of ducklings freely mingled.

I stayed for a few minutes, but wanted to “dah lengh” myself, so I took the motorbike and wandered down a little dirt track, where I met these water buffaloes. These must be the cruisiest animals in the world. Give them some grass and a puddle of muddy water and they’re perfectly content.

I moved on to Wat Otres, but with the wind and overcast skies, it wasn’t very photogenic, so I contented myself with this photograph of a new Buddha they’ve set up under one of the sacred trees in the Wat.

By the time I finished my little ride, Sopheak was ready to go home, but we had to make a pit stop at this place that fixes tyres. Strategically located just after the turnoff from Ochheuteal Beach to the far end of Ochheuteal and on to Otres, the guy does a roaring trade. In fact, one of my earliest memories of my life in Sihanoukville is from the day after my arrival in 2006. I had just rented a motorbike and headed out in this direction when I got a flat tyre. Fortunately for me, I blew the tyre almost right outside this shop. Otherwise I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do.

As you can see, he uses an old fashioned method of fixing flats. It took about 20 minutes, but cost all of 75 cents.

And that was our random motorbike ride in Sihanoukville. I think I’ll go on another one now.