“Cambodia doesn’t like me.”
Rushing to the toilet for the 6th time (traveler’s diarrhoea. Was not fun), I thought to myself and made a mental note to book my bus to Vietnam as soon as possible. My Angkor Wat experience was ruined by China Chinese tourists’ disgusting behaviour; my companion and I took turn to get sick; Phnom Penh was so irritatingly hot that stepping out of the hotel was a true challenge; I had nervous breakdowns and wanted to go home.
Kampot and Kep were out of the question. I just wanted to get Koh Rong over and done with and leave Cambodia. Lying in bed, I booked my return bus ticket to Sihanoukville, got up, rushed to the toilet again and dragged my feet to pack my bags.
The next afternoon, I boarded the bus and made my way to Sihanoukville. Frankly, Sihanoukville itself was pretty underwhelming. A lot of people come to Sihanoukville to PARTAYYYY so if you are into PARTAYYYing I guess you will have some fun in the evening but I don’t like to PARTAYYYY so I went back to the hostel and rest after dinner with a nice girl I met at The Dao of Life (a vegan restaurant close to Serendipity pier, I recommend it!). The next morning, I was picked up by a mini van and boarded a very comfortable, air-conditioned speed boat and made my way to Koh Rong.
To get to Sihanoukville: Take a bus from Phnom Penh / Fly to Sihanoukville Airport
To get to Koh Rong: Check with your hostel to book with the right company that will drop you off at the closest beach. You can easily book your boat ticket the day before at one of the ticketing offices close to Serendipity Pier.
There is Koh Rong, and then there is Koh Rong Samloem. A quick search online and you will find out that both islands are notoriously famous for their lack of hygiene. A lot of websites recommended bringing all kinds of medicines for food poisoning, a lot of people advised drinking and washing only with bottled water, yada yada…
To be on the safe side, I decided to skip Koh Rong Samloem, as it is the less developed and hence even less hygienic island. Arriving at Sok San Beach, Koh Rong, I was welcome with this:
All of my sickness magically went away. I checked into my bungalow and smiled to myself when I realized that I have booked the most basic bungalow on the island – a roof, see through walls and floors made of wood, two beds, a toilet and a single light bulb.
All the Surat Thani memories came rushing. I dropped my bags and went to the balcony (oh yeah, I got a balcony, too), and this is my balcony view:
All the footsteps you see on the picture above were mine, hehe.
And here’s what I did over the next few days:
Life was good again. Koh Rong made up for everything I didn’t enjoy about Cambodia. Oh and about the hygiene issue? I was completely fine. I guess it helped that I brushed my teeth with bottled water, only ate at the restaurant operated by the same guy who owns the bungalows I stayed, and this authentic Italian restaurant operated by true Italians.
Authentic Italian cuisine + A killer view = A very, very happy me
It was the end of their high season so there were extremely little tourists on the beach. I walked everywhere (there’s only one main road on Sok San beach), read hundreds of pages, said hi to everyone, watched the sunsets, watch the night sky filled with stars, watch the sparkling planktons, fell asleep and woke up listening to the waves.
Thank you, Koh Rong.
5 hours of daily electricity, little to no Internet, crystal clear water, soft sands, the best lasagne ever, if you want to get away from it all, Koh Rong (Sok Son Beach, to be exact) is the right one for you.
- I booked my speed boat tickets with <email@example.com>
- I stayed at Sok San Beach Bungalows
- Eat at Sok San Beach Bungalows Restaurant, Eat Pray love Italian Restaurant
- Go at the end of April if you want less crowd though the weather could be too hot / rainy (it did not rain during my stay but boy was it hot)