Otres Beach & Koh Rong Samloem

After our day at the killing fields the day before, we felt like we had taken all that Pheon Phen had to offer us.
We were now heading to the coast of Cambodia. The journey down wasn’t too bad, however I stupidly hadn’t moved some money from my rucksack (also my padlock broke) and when we arrived to the next destination I realised it had gone. The Bus Scamming Bastards. It was only about £20, but they still had a good little rummage through my things to find it. I wish my dirty laundry had been in there as well. Our home for the next few days would be Otres beach in Sihanoukville. Sihanoukville, is made up of a few beaches, Otres being at the furthest end. The other beaches are bit busier and have a bigger party scene, and as we are incredibly boring and prefer to sleep without the sound of terrible EDM blasting on repeat we wanted to stay a bit further out.
After doing the whole routine of checking in and dumping our bags. We decided to go for a wonder along the beach.  We spotted a bar that had just started its Happy Hour. What great timing. We enjoyed a beer or three while watching the Sun Set.  It was incredible, equally as beautiful as the sunset on Kho Tao.
Our time in Otres was very lazy. We spent our days on the beach and enjoying cold beer to cool down.  We didn’t feel like doing a great deal, which was ideal as there wasn’t that much to do. One of the days we decided to head out on a boat trip you get to visit 3 different islands. The boat seemed pretty tiny, so we thought it would only be about 10/12 of us on there. The lack of space didn’t seem to matter to the people trying to sell tickets, so managed to get over 20 of on it in total. We’ve learnt that health and safety means nothing out here. I was pretty gutted our underwater camera had broken, as we missed out on some good photos while we were snorkelling.  There wasn’t too much to see. Not as good as the snorkelling in Koh Tao. The best part of the day was when we got to visit Koh Ta Kiev. It’s incredibly beautiful. The water was crystal clear. It was very chilled and laid back there. I wish that we had stayed over. I’m still kicking myself for not staying there while we had the opportunity. It wasn’t the most epic boat trip, but as it included breakfast, lunch and all soft drinks. It was fair for what we paid. After getting off the boat we noticed that again it would soon be happy hour in the bars along the beach, so had to stop by before heading back to the room.

Not far from the coast of Sihanoukville are two islands called Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. Sam had read about Koh Rong awhile back, when we first decided to travelling. So we had been looking forward to visiting for ages. The more we spoke to people along the way, the more worried we were about visiting. People said it wasn’t very clean and we had heard horror stories of people getting hook worm. They said it was still beautiful, but it had become very dirty and was very similar to Phi Phi. A party island. It was becoming very developed, but rubbish was just being piled in the water. So we decided to visit the quieter Koh Rong Samloem. There are a few private resorts on the island, but apart from these there are two different points you can visit.  We chose to go to M’pay Bay. Which is a tiny village with only a handful of places to stay. Of which only 1 or 2 have Wifi.
The place we were staying was right on the beach front. We had a basic room with shared toilet. The walls didn’t fully go to the celling. We had a room at the front that had huge shutters instead of walls. So there were huge gaps. Anyone sat outside could see in our room. So we tried to cover them the best we could with our towels.  It was very rustic. It was pretty hard to sleep that night, in our sand filled bed, with the sound of conversations from the other rooms around us, their music, then doors slamming and creaking and then the sun coming though the gaps in the shutters in the morning.
We were feeling kind of gutted we didn’t try out Koh Rong or go to the other side of this island. I’m still glad we went as it’s probably going to be so built up in a few years that it will be unrecognisable.

On our last day on the island we decided to head to a beach a bit further along from the village we were in. We noticed a sign for a place called crystal bay. It sounded beautiful and about 3km trek away. So we headed off to find the bay. We were walking/trekking for a good while before I started to fanasise about what I would do when we reached the bay. Would I jump in the water first, or order  a cold beer? Just as I’d  stopped imaging my self downing  the cold refreshing beer we reached what some would call the end of the line. A bared wire fence. Seriously!? Sam said not to fear as he had heard someone from our guesthouse loudly telling a story that involved a barbed wire fence. Surely this was the said fence. So we decided to carefully climb though it.

By this point we had definitely gone over 3k. We had a look on Google maps and realised we were only just over half way to the next cove. Lots of walking later we reached a very remote village. I honestly felt like Richard in Alex Garlands  the beach ; when he walks though the pot field for the first time. We felt like we probably shouldn’t be there.
After another fence climb and a walk through a field of wild cows, we finally reached the water! Where we were greated with, well nothing! We had ended up by a port used by local fisherman. No ice cold beer or crystal bays in sight. Only tiny local fishing boats and what looked like an old abandoned school. We had somehow walked to other side of the island!! We literally had no other option than to walk all the way we had just come. Back past the scary village from beach, back past the wild cows and back through the barbed wire fence. Around 3 hours after we had set off we were back where we had started. Just as we put our towels down to relax the sky opened and the rain began to fall….

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