Mushroom Point, Sihanoukville

To say that I’m not much of a backpacker would be a gross understatement. Nothing fills me with more dread than the thought of a sweaty, mud stained pack being shoved in the faces of unsuspecting fellow travellers, or the need to carry your own sheets for stays in dubious guesthouses, or, horror of horrors, a shared dorm room.

Shared. Dorm. Room. *shudder*.

I was forced to stay one night in Sihanoukville a few weeks ago, upon returning from an idyllic island a couple of hours from the coast. Sihanoukville! Paedophilia capital of Cambodia! It lives up to its reputation, and has very little going for it. A few vaguely sordid, ramshackle streets, with the best beaches roped off for luxury developments with all the charm of a discount supermarket.

This time I headed to Otres beach, the furthest from town and fairly quiet, if non-descript. It’s very clean and lined with some nicely designed beach bars, with lots of comfy chairs for lounging about in, and not as many vendors harassing you for bracelets/drugs/pineapples/massages. I’m really selling this, aren’t I?

Mushroom Point has been described by the internets, repeatedly, as a smurf village. That sounds far more sinister than it actually is. It’s a charming little compound of circular huts topped with tall straw roofs.

I stayed in Mushroom 7, with its own private bathroom in a separate shroom.

Even though the place is run by an assortment of Europeans in white dreads and rather glassy expressions, everything is spotlessly clean, efficiently run and very well maintained. The food was tasty and generous, and my onwards tuk tuk and bus ticket organised flawlessly.

There are some lovely design touches throughout, and with the hammocks, books and movie screenings in the lounge area near the entrance this makes for a very peaceful and mellow place to hang out, backpack or no.

Bungalows are $25, and dorm rooms (ew ew ew!) $7.

Where: Mushroom Point, at the very end of Otres beach, Sihanoukville

Website: The website is under construction, but there’s a facebook page.

Tip: Don’t look up if you don’t like giant spiders.





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