Exotic Experiences

Koh Rong is an island…an exotic island. It is located east of Cambodia and is quite a destination for tourists. It is an hour’s boat ride from Sihanoukville. There is not much to see there apart from experiencing the comfort and splendor of the natural beauty. The sea is crystal clear and there are coconut trees everywhere around you. Try to imagine what a tropical paradise island might look like. Koh Rong is exactly that. We are planning on staying here for two days. This is the part of our journey where there is less sightseeing and more relaxing.

After spending a day on the beach without doing much, we decided that we wanted to do something a bit more active. For that reason, we signed up for a tour of the island. The tour was multifaceted. First, we would go snorkeling. The location of our snorkeling adventure was a smaller island nearby Koh Rong. Before diving, our captain made it clear that losing our masks or snorkel would mean that we would have to pay for it. Nevertheless, astounded by the beauty of the reef surrounding the small island, we decided to dive immediately. We had roughly an hour to spend so we swam around the island in order to find a vintage point. After a while we saw a staircase leading to the top of the hill situated on the small island and we decided to follow it. To our surprise, at the very top of the island we found an old Buddhist shrine that was seemingly abandoned. It turned out the island was a religious site. We continued our trip and went on with the next activity, fishing. Every single one of the 16 tourists on the boat was given a fishing string and a piece of bait to attach on it. As you might imagine, it definitely took a while before some action was seen. In the end, only three people were able to catch three very small fish that were destined to be cooked in the upcoming lunch. So, after our relatively failed fishing endeavor we headed to Long Beach which is a 2-mile-long beach located at the other side of the island. There we had a quick barbeque. Our final destination was the highlight of the trip. We were about to witness illuminating plankton that colored vast areas of the sea surface! Or so we thought…. It turns out that the colored plankton was nothing like what we saw in the ads. They were sparse little organisms that lit up whenever you made an abrupt movement while swimming close to them. Not only that, but because it was night I lost my mask and snorkel when diving off the boat to swim with the plankton!

After having spent more two days on the island, we knew that we were ready to head back to civilization. Siem Reap was next!

Koh Rong Island beach (one of many)