We’d briefly heard about the Cambodian Islands, they’ve only been accessible for the last 3 years or so. The word on the street & in the guide (less) books was that they are not massively developed, some totally uninhabited! Great for some Robinson Crusoe style play acting (I’m referring to the book not Tom Hanks and a ball) not to mention the possibilities of secluded passionate romance resulting in sand reaching parts of your body it shouldn’t ;-). (We should all live in hope – please tell me you do to?)
We chose the smaller of the two main Islands. Koh Rong Samloen a 45min speed ferry away. Our unrewarding 5 star experience did thankfully allow us to revise our original choice from the bigger of the two. This was due to hearing it had become over populated with spaced out back packers, not suitable for flash packers (thanks Billy) such as ourselves. Anyways – If my raver within wanted to make a surprise appearance we could always move Islands in a 10 minute hop for a bop.
I can’t speak for the KP but my expectations were high. Respect once more Cambodia, you delivered again, the expectations were surpassed. The island really was a tropical paradise, the sort Judith Charmers would present on ‘wish you were here’ in the 80’s. Pure white super fine sand, crystal clear waters, romantic $30 bungalows with running water, $1.50 beers, $4 cocktails and a fresh water fucking waterfall to top it all off. Not to mention top quality coral and a fair selection of fishy fishes, being fishy just at the peninsula around the corner. Fair do’s it was cracking.
The type of sand encountered I’ve only ever experienced once before, was at the Maldives. There it’s a $1000 a night, minimum. Where you share the experience with other 5 star wankers, drinking $40 cocktails! Fuck that for a game of soldiers again! The thought makes me want to spew, but we live and learn. How long this Island will remain affordable to the masses is anyone’s guess, my advice, come, and come fucking quickly.
Ok the reefs are bigger & better in the Maldives with sea life much more abundant. However 80% of the coral looks dead. It’s been bleached, global warming the named culprit, a rise of half a degree Celsius they say has resulted in boring coral, quite possibly dead, certainly not worth the entry fee. Not that the travel agents and their 10yr old photos portray that, so beware. Us though, right now. We weren’t expecting much at all, so are delighted with what we discovered. Masses of fishy fish fishes and a wide selection of lively colorful coral. Tidy darts indeed. I’m especially happy for the KP as it’s her third crack at snorkelling and the first time it’s been “fucking awesome” she also swore in Russian, but that’s too unlady like to print. My thoughts when we were in the water tho’ we’re “achoyenayaya-ya-ya” 🙂 My actual words later back at the bungalow were “Zay-e-Bal” as for the first time since I was 15yrs old, my fair ginger skin, got right proper fucking sunburnt. My back, for the search of better words is “on Fucking Fire!”
Thankfully my act of total stupidity is discovered only during our next mini adventure, not before. I say thankfully as we had a laugh n half, navigating the sometimes slippery rocks and relatively easy climb to the start of the fall. The KP once again proving her Trojan attributes and cracking on with it. Lesser birds would be reading a book on the beach!
Meanwhile we crack off a few shots whilst showering and maybe we make the most of the secluded location, with no sand in sight 🙂 I’m saying nowt!
Our bungalow neighbour from the Ukraine, followed our advice of clambering to the waterfall the following day. Her trip was cut short when she found one of these on her rucksack.
Thank fuck I only got sunburnt. I’m not too keen on our eight legged friends. The KP, she gets freaked out by ants. So the inevitable meeting we’ll no doubt have during our trip, should be eventful to say the least! I try to convince ourselves that thanks to the story and richard-seaman, we are now mentally prepared? Yeah right oh! Hopefully there’ll be some fair distance between us.
During the rest of the time on the Island we managed a five hour hike, along the beach and then through the forest to the Island’s Lighthouse with resident operational Artillery.
We don’t see any spiders on the way just army upon army of ants, as ever, all of them on some major mission. We also uncover evidence of life at the light house, not quite like Robinson Crusoe’s foot print discovery, but washing on a line. We are later told the Military are based here and for a dollar they’ll take you up the lighthouse. We didn’t see them which is a relief, I think we might have been more unsettled by men with guns, than if we met a serious creepy crawly.
The rest of the four days was spent drinking cocktails and lazing around, the break from wifi and 3G much welcomed. The place we stayed was owned by a big German with a rottweiler. His team of staff were all very efficient, friendly & helpful. The pick of the bunch was the guy with a huge infectious smile who in addition to ferrying guests about the Island & fixing anything mechanical, made the cocktails. Each one crafted superbly proving that cocktail creation is an art form, one which I have much admiration for.
The Whiskey Sour’s in particular were epic, as were my old stable the Long Island’s. Can’t comment on the Gin Fizz as we didn’t try them :-). The KP got addicted to the Bailey Shakes and tho’ a girly wurly choice, my mates we’re not here, so I said fuck it and had more than a few also. Though I would like to point out this was only so her addiction could be understood. It’s the first time I’ve seen her drink a cocktail for breakfast. Proving that she’s getting more Welsh by the minute.
So there you have it. It was superb and we loved every minute! Ok I admit that’s a big fat lie actually. The fact my ginger alert failed me for the first time in over 20 years, will not be forgotten in a hurry! I’m four days into the future and it’s still bastard painful.
When we are leaving the Island our heads are full of thoughts of Elephants, River Dolphins and Laos beer, the dream rolls on.