A night in total darkness on Koh Rong Island, at the edge of the jungle

 

I walked into the water, guided more by the noise of the waves that cracked loudly on the shore, I began to shake my hands in the terribly warm water and I screamed with joy. There were millions of phosphorescent stars around me that transposed me into a fairy tale 🙂

 

Hello there Koh Rong, beautiful Cambodian island!

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I dreamed about this island for many days, I knew where I wanted to stay, I knew what I wanted to do and what places I wanted to see, I almost knew also what I wanted to eat and dreamed with open eyes about the turquoise waters I was going to indulge my feet in.

 

How we got to Koh Rong

After a night spent on Otres 2, Sihanoukvile beach, about which I wrote here, we woke up excited, ready for new adventures on the sea, the island, the jungle. We left the bulky luggage at the reception desk of the complex where we were accommodated, we took with us just a few things we needed and crawl them into two backpacks, threw them back, and left with a tuk-tuk to the little Sihanoukville port . For a fee of $ 20 per person, we boarded a fast boat, Speed ​​Ferry Cambodia, and an hour later we were in Koh Rong, the distance we made being 25 km. There are several quick boats going from here to the island, depending on the beach you chose to go, you can choose one of them. The price is roughly the same and all goes to fixed hours. You can also get a private boat to go there specially for you, but for that you have to take out of your pocket between 100-150 USD.

 

What we found there

Relaxation. That’s what we saw as soon as we touched the white and fine sand of the island. We descended into a world of palm trees, terraces built directly on the sand, slices of mango exposed for sale on a distance as you gazed and people standing in the hammocks, looking disturbed only by the loudly tourists who searched for something. We stopped for a few seconds, trying to locate the bungalow area where we were supposed to get, then we realized that we would be walking about 15 minutes to get there. And that would not have been a problem if there was an alley sheltered by some trees that would give you some shade.

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The distance between the bay and the bungalows was quite large, so although we started going to the destination very happy, it would take very little time for that state of mind to change, especially until we got in direct contact with the hot sand and the hot sun. So we started walking alternating between the trees at the edge of the jungle area and the hot sand side. Through water was excluded, due to the heavy heat and the luggage we were traveling with in the back. The whole road was a real adventure, and it all culminated when Dan asked me what I put in his backpack that is so hard. He had only 7 kg: laptop, cables, chargers, extension cables, external batteries, so all were his. He did not believe until he unloaded his bag 🙂

 

Where we stayed

We’ve come to Tree House Bungalow exhausted from the difficult walk through the sand and very thirsty. As soon as they saw us, the employees took over to show us the place of accommodation. I looked at the boy at the bar and whispered with the last powers to give us two beers… cold. This was the beginning 🙂

The staff, very friendly, warned us not to leave valuable things in the room and we suddenly scared: fuck, there are thieves, in this lost island where everything is perfect, how can anyone come to steal? A nice employee has sensed my perplexity and told me very naturally that monkeys are actually going through the rooms and scouring things that are apparently useful to them, and if they find nothing to eat, they reward their effort anyway and leave with cameras , clothes, and whatever looks interesting for them. Ha! Now let’s see what we will do 🙂

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 We paid $ 50 for a night, a fairly expensive price for Cambodia, then we reached the bungalow and after a brief inspection, we concluded that not only our valuable items would not be safe, but ourselves too 🙂 Through the holes from the rooftop we could easily have a whole family of monkeys enter the room and kidnap us 🙂 not to mention about the always present gecko that were everywhere. But all these small details remained insignificant in front of the landscape that opened directly from our house. On the terrace I had a hammock in which I could not wait to throw myself, in front of us was the beach that we descended directly from the bungalow, and behind the cottage the jungle began. I was living a dream.

We did not have hot water, and the cold water was running by a program that even the receptionists did not know, but what did we need? We had the most beautiful and warm water 3 meters away from us. We did not have internet or air conditioning but we had the jungle above our heads and it was cool enough and anyway we had electricity with long breaks so… welcome to paradise!

 

How did we spent our time

We took some valuable items to the reception safe, then we went to explore the surroundings. We had to get to White Beach, and the road up there was through the jungle. One more brave than the other, we ventured among strange noises, exotic birds singing, monkeys, trees of various shapes, and we reached the beach that I longed to see. A dream.

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We tried to go as far as we could, the beach was very long, and Dan showed signs of anxiety, fatigue and especially dehydration :-). We took some pictures and we came back. We checked things if they were intact and we got into sleep.

We woke up with terrible hunger and we decided it was time to test the culinary delights that the island could give us, so I pulled the phones from the charging and went out the door when Dan realized the phone batteries were almost discharged because we did not check that there was no electricity in the meantime. We were amused and took the things as they are, deciding to enjoy what nature gives us.

For the evening meal, we could go back to the area where the boat left us when we arrived on the island, that was the center of Koh Rong’s fun, but we preferred to eat at our restaurant, especially since it had begun to get darker and we were tired, so we ordered food right on the beach. Besides, we wanted to stay in silence.

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Prices on the island are slightly higher than on Otres beach, but it’s understandable given the conditions of transport, preparation and storage of food. For example, for a portion of fried rice we paid $ 2.5, and for a traditional Amok khmer, I gave $ 5. Besides, this is the biggest price I paid for any dish on this island.

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Outside it was dark when we finished eating and electricity was still not on. With the phones almost unloaded, we took some pictures, then we dropped on two comfortable chairs and let the time pass in our favor. In fact, there, I felt that time passed very slowly and let you deposit your memories.

On the whole beach in front of the bungalows there were only the two of us, a few waiters and their children, who were very well-behaved.

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It was unrealistically beautiful: silence, stars, waves, noises from the jungle behind us, and… we suddenly remember: plankton!!!! Without thinking too much, we stripped off and went into the water, guided more by the noise of the waves that were crashing to the shore. We started shaking our hands in the terribly warm water and yelling with joy. Around us were millions of phosphorescent stars that transposed us into a fairy tale 🙂

We played in the water for a long time, and the fact that no light was seen from nowhere made our show complete. On the shore, the few employees were amused by us that we were enjoying all like two children, we were splashing with water and admiring the shimmering stars that shed our skin. It was fascinating! It was the only moment of my life when I was happy that I was in total darkness.

We stood outside until midnight. Meanwhile, we got hungry again, ordered a portion of fried rice and went to sleep, but not before Dan took another break in the hammock by the door, and I would look for the gecko on the walls with a lantern as tired as we were.

I think I’ve been sleeping for two hours, and suddenly there have been some loud noises coming from the roof and the bungalow terrace. There were overlapping boxes, bags in which someone banged, and bold jumps between tree branches. I looked scared on the window and saw many monkeys looking for food in every corner. Dan was deeply asleep and I began to knock in the walls of the house in order to remove the monkeys, once more because I wanted to see the sun rise.

I managed to get them out of our patio, but they went to the bungalow near us, and there they raged. Our neighbors had forgotten a lot of things on the balcony and they took everything they could and threw them away, whether they took them as a souvenir when they returned to the jungle.

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I put my camera on and, with the last battery backups, I took some pictures and I enjoyed the silence again, this time by the tranquility of a gorgeous morning.

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We left this island with nostalgia and promise to come back.

Tips

  • if you want to spend the night until late, look for accommodation in the central area of ​​the island, we preferred a quiet one
  • if you reach the area, buy mosquitoes solution, buy local products, do not leave with them from home
  • take with you an external battery for mobile phones
  • it’s very important to have cash with you, there are a few currency exchange houses, but the course is not great
  • bring a lantern, this will be useful because the current stops very often
  • eat local dishes, are delicious, but you will also find pizza and European food
  • eat a lot of mango, this fruit is divine throughout Asia
  • walk on White Beach, it’s a delight all over the beach
  • if you are into snorkeling and scuba diving, there are many centers that offer equipment and day trips for these experiences.
  • swimming at night with planktons, is sensational
  • wake up in the morning for a spectacular sunrise
  • enter the local atmosphere

Did you have any experience like this? If not, would you like to spend an evening in such a place? I would love to hear your opinions and impressions. 

I’ll leave you with more pictures here.

 

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