Days 160-162 – Koh Rong Samloem

The next stop on the Savelli Cambodian Adventure was the south coast. We’d read that some of the coastline and islands were still relatively untouched, alikened to Thailand many years ago. So we said a sad goodbye to Siem Reap and hopped on our Cambodian Angkor airlines flight to Sihanoukville. 

From there we hopped on a ferry to Koh Rong Samloen, the little sister of party island Koh Rong. A very small island, there are no cars so our hotel picked us up from the ferry in a longboat to take us all of 30m down Saracen Bay to the One Resort, our home for the next few days. Despite being right on the beach, it also boasted a wonderful infinity pool so hopes were high. The bungalows were quite basic, probably not quite the 4* we were expecting given the lack of hot water, but the views more than made up for it.

We spent our first day making the most of the pool and had dinner at the hotel next door. The whole bay consists of one resort after another, but in a very charming and subtle way. Not big buildings, but wooden shacks, bungalows, old pipes turned into rooms and little concrete fairy houses. Our neighbouring resort were these little houses, run by a Belgian guy with a great menu. Ruth and Dani had wonderful red snapper with ginger each evening we went there, whereas I had pizza each evening (apparently an Italian once said their pizza is better than in Italy…!!!). The owner also explained to us that the island just 10 years ago had only two resorts on it, one on each side. It now has at least a couple dozen. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

Our next day I awoke with a terrible pain in my back so spent a stiff hour or so before our in house masseuse could work his magic, and honest to God, it was the best massage I’ve ever had. He also cracked my neck at a very odd angle which I could immediately feel the benefit of. To anyone who ever goes to Koh Rong Samloen, make sure you get a massage by the Australian guy at the One Resort! 

After a lazy morning we set off for an easy 45 minute walk to Lazy Beach on the opposite side of the island. Totally different to our side, the whole beach only has one resort, hardly any boats, a dozen people and the most beautiful waters (at one point I was the only person in the ocean).

From there we spent a wonderful afternoon playing games, eating and finally enjoying the sunset (although Katie did break one of our bats for batnball, bringing the total of broken bats to 6 in as many months).

The following day we had another lazy morning, where I attempted to scuba dive only to be told I was too late to book, and then spent the afternoon on a long boat that took us around the island to some snorkelling spots. The waters were very clear but there wasn’t huge amounts to see other than some huge sea urchins and a few fish. We spent half an hour wandering around the cute fishing village of M’PaiBei (i.e. waiting for KT’s dad to finish examining the piles of rubbish) before heading home for another quiet evening. 

Although not huge amounts to do on the island, it was amazing to just relax for a few days and enjoy the heavenly scenery which was beautiful. Just what we needed before heading to Phnon Penh for the final stop on the Savelli Adventure. 

The only downside was the trash. It’s become so evident during our time in Cambodia that there is a harsh lack of education when it comes to the environment. Trash was being burnt right behind our bungalows, and bearing in mind how hot it can be, the risk of forest fire is quite high at the best of times, without open fire to add to it. There was trash everywhere; we even got a taxi driver once we were back in the mainland who took an A4 piece of paper from his pocket and just threw it out of the window. Very sad sight to see.

Anyway, we had a wonderful few days there, and can only recommend it. Next stop, the capital.

Bye for now x

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