27.08.2013 - 30.08.2013 32 °C
We have spent the last four nights on the Cambodian Island Koh Rong. After our first day of sunbathing and relaxing by the sea we awoke the next day to find that it was absolutely pouring and it did for most of our time on the island. It is well and truely monsoon season and the rain in the tropics is not like the cold wet drizzle we are used to in England. It seems to come in sheets of hot, heavy downpours coupled with strong wind. Surprisingly the rain has not effected the relaxing island retreat we were determined to have.
Most of our days have been sat either laid on our balcony hammock reading and drinking or sat downstairs in our guesthouse cafe watching the sea and rain, reading and drinking. It has been very laid back and quite nice to sit on a dry comfy chair watching the storms at sea. There was a puppy called fudge to keep us company and the occasional kitten.
A few times in the afternoon it has brightened up and we have gone for a swim. The sea is beautiful on Koh Rong, the cleanest and bluest we have ever been in. It is calm and must have a high salt content as we enjoyed floating around and swimming.
The only downside to the beach is the sand flies. Since Langkawi when Chelsea got covered in sandfly bites we have been cautious but they are surprisingly resilient on Koh Rong. No matter if we put repellent on or not we seemed to be getting bit, until we couldn't stand it any longer. We have both left the island with at least twenty or thirty bites each.
On our last day after the rain had eased up late afternoon we decided to go on an explore. We walked the full length of the cove and clambered over the rocky outcrop at the end which revealed another cove of yellow sand. We walked along, past some bungalows built into trees and walked all the way down to the other end of the beach. At the end was another rocky outcrop, a boat and a cluster of men sat around huge piles of litter. We decided to walk back at this point.
We really like Koh Rong. At the pier that ferrys tourists to and from the island is the main cluster of places to eat and stay but this is the least pretty area. We went in low season so a lot of building work was being done but it was still very dirty, a lot of piles of rubbish, uncleared building materials and general litter everywhere. Further down the beach it gets less developed, sparser and cleaner. About half way down is a resort called Monkey Island. This we think is the best place to eat and drink on the beach. Inexpensive food and a friendly atmosphere meant that every night at sunset, sometimes before we ventured down here, ate good food and drank way too many cans of Klang! They also have a friendly pack of dogs who love attention and Liam fell for one in particular called Poppy.
After five fun days in Koh Rong we were sad to leave and slightly hungover packed our bags ready for the 10am ferry back to the mainland. We paid our running tab, said bye to our new fluffy friends (were not talking about the rats running around our rooms) and caught the ferry. The boat ride takes two and a half hours and the upper deck is bare, everyone just lays out over each other and falls asleep.
When we arrived back in Sihanoukville we decided to book our bus straight to Seim Reip for that night. We booked a sleeper bus which set off at 7pm and spent the rest of the day in a cafe, eating and drinking and reading. We were picked up at 7pm by a minibus which then took us to a main road and dropped us off with a load of locals on the side of the street. Two big buses came, one was crap and one looked amazing. Guess which one we were on......... For the first time ever we were on the good one! It was to our surprise a hotel bus. Inside there were small booths big enough for two people, curtained off. Inside the booths were lights, plug sockets, a tv and air con. It was a smooth journey which brought us to Seim Reip at 7am. We are very excited about being in Seim Reip and visiting the temples of Angkor and can't wait to get sightseeing.