We have just come back from Koh Rong after a relaxed five days on this beautiful island.
After three hours from Phnom Penh, we reached Sihanoukville, where we booked a ferry ticket and decided to wait with a beer. We were promptly descended upon by hordes of Cambodian women, offering foot massages, manicures, pedicures, bracelets, hair braids, leg waxing and probably more. By the time our boat arrived, Abby had acquired a hair braid and bracelet from the lovely Aley.
A packed and stuffy boat ride later, we were on the island, looking around at the stunning beach, turquoise sea and loud bar crawl promoters. Andrew and Richard left Abby on bag watch and went room hunting and scored a lovely bungalow at the Island Palace, for less then a dorm bed would cost in Auckland. Complete with hammock, it was time for some serious relaxation!
We decided that, as we were on the closest Cambodia had to a party island, it would be rude not to join in and initiate Richard in a traditional debauched backpacker bar crawl. Five bars, two new vests, a lot of dentists chair shots, dancing on the bar and some hazy recollections of getting home, we woke up with hangovers.
We spent the next couple of days chilling on the beach, eating bacon and egg baguettes for breakfast, drinking in the cocktails and view from the Skybar, enjoying some Barbeque, making friends with a Thai chef (the legendary Sigi, who cooks it all fresh in front of you while doling out important life advice and anecdotes) and watching the All Blacks win at the rugby. Go NZ!
We found time for a boat trip which, for a grand total of $8, took us to a snorkelling spot off a small neighbouring island, let us try our arm at handline fishing for our dinner (luckily others on the boat caught a fair amount, we had mixed success!), cooked us a Barbeque, took us to another beach for sunset, gave us a few beers and then threw us back in the water to snorkel in the dark with bioluminescent plankton, a truly magical sight. Not bad at all!
Our final day we spent on the beach, then back to Skybar for some carbonara and beers, before evening drinks on the pier. While there, a huge thunderstorm struck, literally! The pier got hit by lightning, the plugs exploded, and the crash of thunder was enough to deafen. Followed up by torrential rain, it was just an example of some of Asia’s enormous tropical storms!
Whilst we were all sad to leave paradise, for some it was time to return to reality. Our stories diverge here, and Andrew headed off to take Richard back to Bangkok then returning to Cambodia. Three days travel, five minibuses, a pick up truck, a big bus, a tuk tuk, a heady night on the Khao San Road and finally Cambodia border guard bribes later (the Gone Wrong of the title), he met up with Abby in Krong Koh Kong to find she had spent a relaxed two days on the beach and bars of Sihanoukville. Alright for some eh!? (Edit, Andrew: I think I’m richer for the experience so there.)