We came to Koh Rong, the most partying island of the country, not only because of recommendations, not only for being a 10 of an island in Cambodia but also because of our dear Lonely Planet and Mr. Google spoke very well about it.
We had to check by ourselves if this island was the paradise we were promised.
After our not so good experience with “BusHotel”, which I invite you to read clicking HERE, that took us from Siem Riep to Sihadoukville, we dreamed about stepping on the island.
Our boat left late, but we learned that Cambodians live and work at their own pace, with no stress, starting always later than sooner. Whilst we waited some clouds arrived at the bay, threatening with rain, but luckily enough it was just a small drizzle.
Less than an hour it took till we arrived in Koh Rong island. Our first impression was “Wow, this was totally worth it!”.
We had to go to SokSan in Long Beach, place ubicated on the other side of the island to where you can only get by boat or a walking route through the jungle, like any Tarzan would do, going between branches and climbing in some points. This was never an option as we only wanted to make it to the hostel and relax after the long journey we had made from Siem Riep.
We were offered several TaxiBoat to SokSan for around 25 US dollars, which felt like a total rip off as this was a single ticket. We failed to negotiate a cheaper price and finally, we had to cancel our booking in the east of the island and stick around. We had a beach, nice ambient, cool people and it wasn’t so bad.
We booked a hostel for a couple of nights, got into our bikinis, grabbed our towels and chilled at the beach for a few days. A few days in which the only reason you can go barefoot is because your hostel is just across the beach, not because a temple sign bans you.
There was barely any people so we quickly found a spot for our towels and we refreshed in the shore of that turquoise sea. As we laid on our towels we heard the first thunder and the falling drops of another drizzle, we left for lunch somewhere covered just in case. We were back when we thought there wasn’t risk of another drizzle and the sky cleared up, the second attempt. Drizzled one more time after 10 minutes. Someone was messing with us, I’m sure.
Until our third attempt, we couldn’t enjoy a nap in a hammock, between two palm trees at the beach, and finally with no rain.
After a freezing shower (there’s no hot water) to clear the sand off ourselves, from places I don’t even want to mention as you can imagine, we left for dinner. We didn’t need to walk too much as on the bar next to the hostel we found a very good offer.
There’s no way to get lost, it’s only streets near the shore, hostels with bars which offer food throughout the day. As the sun goes down they switch subwoofers on and you have clubs ready. All in one, no need to walk too far.
I really miss Thai food and Thai people. At least people manage to speak English there. Here they have the same answers for everything, “Yes” or “Ok”:
-Is this spicy?
-What’s in this dish?
And this happens with all questions. You end up mad and asking for the basics that you find on the menu just in case.
After dinner, it kept thundering and lighting without stop although it wasn’t raining. I was worried sick as I felt the worst was yet to come.
Suddenly it began to rain and in less than five minutes, the Universal Flood started. Water, wind, more water, thunder, lightning… At first, the locals kept calm and this made us relax until we saw them running mad and screaming in their language. We then realised this was serious.
In about 20 minutes everything was flooded, water was a few inches above the sand and all bars and hostels gave shelter to all locals and tourists, although almost all of them had leaks.
Music was over and the barbecues became soup.
We left to our rooms after such a spectacle.
The morning after we woke up without a cloud in the sky, so we had to make the most out of it.
We crossed through the jungle. You can’t imagine what I mean by crossing the jungle. Imagine our situation: 34ºC with barely any breeze of fresh air and with a very hard landscape to cross, which left you breathless, surrounded by trees, branches, bushes, rocks and everything you can imagine. It took us an hour through rocks and buses. We saw no monkeys or snakes as we had been warned and thank that, I would have asked a monkey for water or beer if I had seen one!
What we found on the other side was worth it. A heavenly beach, almost empty, white sand and with a clearer water than the previous beaches.
Cambodia gave us a weather break. We spent the day under the sun, lying on sun beds, trees, sand… where we ended up as burnt as a crisp. I looked like a British tourist in the middle of August so you can imagine!
We were a witness to a beautiful sunset which gave us orange and purple skies under a sleeping sea.
A February evening hard to forget.