20/02/2018 – 22/02/2018
Koh Rong Samloem is the little sister of Koh Rong, and my last stop on my Cambodia trip. You can read about Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Koh Rong to see where I previously went. The island is a lot more relaxed than Koh Rong, and had no wifi or signal and I loved having the opportunity for a digital detox!
I arrived on the boat transfer from the main island and checked into my hostel – Old Souls on M’pay bay. It was one of the coolest places I’ve ever stayed at, absolutely everything was up-cycled. You know sometimes you just get to a place and you think ‘this is my kinda place’? Yeah, I got a good impression of the island immediately, it had everything I wanted from Koh Rong but didn’t get. I didn’t do much on the first day, but I guess a place like this is for not doing much. We just had dinner and drinks and went to this pub quiz at the Yellow Moon, which I guess is the place to go because it’s the only place that stays open, and they have a bonfire at the beach after.
On my second day I woke up early and went to the beach. I don’t think it’s actually the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to but there was something so amazing about it that it was one of my favourites. There are no hotels or shops or anything on it so it was so tranquil, and no other people at that time. The water was so warm and clear and I saw so many fish. This huge one that skipped across the water next to me! I’m not usually one for swimming in the sea for a long time but it was so shallow and calm that you could swim out for miles.
Then I met up with the people I’d met on Koh Rong and we went to Clearwater Bay. To get there we had to walk along the beach so we had a break and swam in the shore and it was so warm it was like bath water. There were also thousands of these tiny fish that kept biting us! Which only slightly freaked me out. Then we continued our walk through the sea – it’s actually that shallow – followed by a hike through the woods. The walk was fine, albeit a lot longer than we thought!
It was all worth it when we came out of the clearing into Clearwater Bay and it was insane. The sand is so white and fine that it squeaks under your feet and the sea was unreal. It was the perfect beach to relax on for the last proper day of my holiday. We went to Driftwood, the only place for food on the beach. Just a heads up, the staff there are the rudest people I’ve ever encountered! But all is well when you’re on a beautiful beach like this one. After a suitable amount of time lazing on the beach we negotiated a boat back to M’Pay because we didn’t fancy doing the walk again.
That evening we went to a Turkish restaurant; I nearly cried with joy when I saw they had falafel and hummus. Then we went swimming with the luminescent plankton again which was even more magical than the first time.
My time on Koh Rong Samloem was over way too soon, I definitely could have stayed there an extra few days and as I said it was my favourite place in Cambodia, even if I was only there for a short time. I could have gotten used to staying in a corrugated iron shack on the beach. Sadly it was back to work!
If you want to see more photos of my travels you can check out my Flickr