The first time Braydon and I were on Otres Beach we didn’t end up heading out to Koh Rong, but instead headed to Kampot (which we loved!). This time around, however, we had heard so many good things about it we couldn’t avoid checking it out. The best way I can think of describing it is the Thai islands as I can only imagine they were before tourism blew up. A pier, a strip of beach with local shops, restaurants, guesthouses and bungalows about sums up the main portion of the island. There’s enough going on that you couldn’t be bored, but there really is next to nothing reminiscent of the big resorts and tourist industry of Thailand. In short, it’s glorious. We stayed at Monkey Island bungalows, in a large bungalow set just back off of the beach.
It was a great spot to chill out and read or nap on the deck. I, personally, loved watching the grass for little geckos and other lizards that would wander through our “yard”. This little guy was a regular, and unless you caught him moving, he would completely disappear into the leaves.
The island offers a beautiful balance of activities to fill your time and a space worthy of ultimate relaxation. We spent a couple days just hanging around on the beach; going for swims, playing cards, and enjoying the odd cocktail took up a fair bit of time. We also wandered down past the end of the main beach off to “yellow sand” beach and spent a day alternating between laying on the beach, snorkeling, and playing frisbee. There was some neat snorkeling off of the beach, and I loved just watching the fish and other life interact in the water.
We also managed to fit a scuba diving day into our, erm, “busy” schedule, which was fantastic. We dove with the Cambodian Dive Centre, which is based off of Koh Rong Samloem. On our boat over from Koh Rong to Koh Rong Samloem we were lucky enough to see two dolphins jumping out of the water–quite the way to start the day. We did two dives with that day, our group containing only Braydon, Ali, myself, and our dive leader, Steve. We had some of the best diving I’ve experienced yet on the trip, seeing an incredibly amount of life that I hadn’t seen before.
Our last big activity day involved renting kayaks and paddling out to a tiny island just off of Koh Rong. We paddled out with some snacks, water, and snorkels, and spent a few hours snorkeling around and exploring the island.
We had some amazing snorkeling off of that little island, including seeing some massive urchins and a group of about 10 pink anemone fish living in a large anemone.
Lastly, a random highlight from the week was sitting having lunch and looking up to see a massive water buffalo walking down the beach. Bonus: apparently Google’s “auto-awesome” decided that this picture needed some falling snow to make it really pop. So I leave you with a water buffalo walking along the beach. While it’s “snowing”.