A lazy kind of beach

Trip Start Jan 11, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Flag of Cambodia  ,
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

we decided that as awesome as the jungle camp sounded as an experience, what we really were craving was a super chilled out beach experience, so we opted for lazy beach bungalows. the most eventful part of the boat ride was when they floated our luggage out to the boat (that was moored just offshore) in a big cooler, and we swam out after it to climb on board. the next 2 hours were smooth sailing (thankfully - no seasickness!), so smooth that the young Cambodian driving it looked like he might fall asleep at any moment, like his crew mate already was. our first views of the island were not disappointing - lush forested hills sloping down to meet the turquoise sea, and a golden stretch of sand that we were heading towards.

now, the website offered "a long stretch of squeaky clean sand set in a beautiful bay surrounded by tropical jungle" and perhaps i should be fair: the sand may have been clean, it was just the garbage that was dirty. i guess there are probably fewer and fewer beaches in the world where garbage doesn't wash up with the tide and sea shells - perhaps humans had better clean up their act or start getting used to a new idea of what beautiful is (one that includes styrofoam bits and plastic bags?)

but apart from this, it really was a little slice of paradise. our wooden bungalow had 2 big double beds and lots of shelves for storage, and its own en suite - would have fit 4 easily but with 2 it was luxury. the windows were just squares in the walls with wooden panels that slid closed if it was threatening rain, but it made for perfectly unobstructed views of the ocean that was just 15 metres from our porch, and the mosquito nets protected us from any undesirables at night. our most exciting moment came when our big resident gecko jumped from a roof rafter ONTO our mosquito net to try to catch a moth, while we were inside playing cards! our porch had 2 hammocks, so we could both read, relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery. it was also really wonderful to be able to walk out to the ocean without having to go through anyone else's space. the common area/restaurant had plenty of comfy chairs and hammocks too, fairly tasty food, lots of games to play, and great views of the sunset each night.

on our second night, one of the English owners had a party for his sister, who had been visiting but was leaving the following day. we were treated to a really tasty spread of bbq'ed fish and chicken, salads, vegetable curry and a very unique Khmer dish that i cannot remember the name of, but roughly translates into "minced pork egg fish cheese" (i saw this on a menu later and i think it must be the same thing) - it reminded gordon a bit of haggis and really did have a cheesy sort of taste, although our hosts assured us there was no cheese in it, only fish, egg and pork...?! that night we stayed up later than usual chatting with Damien and Sara, a lovely couple from London, and even went for a late night swim to show them the bioluminescent plankton - this time with snorkel masks! it wasn't as intense as at Otres beach, but it was still magical.

we ventured out on a mission through the jungle to other side of the island, where we heard there was a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. we were thwarted the first attempt by a fairly wide stream that i was reluctant to wade through until we double checked this was the right way and was safe to wade through (it was, we did), but in the end it wasn't The Beach either, so we headed back to our pretty good one and enjoyed the jungle time - we saw some really big, beautiful tropical birds that we think might have been a type of hornbill. we also went snorkelling one morning and saw some more parrot fish, cleaner fish, a big boxfish, and many other beautiful fish.

other than that, we mostly lazed about, played scrabble and cards, read, swam, watched the amazing skies and relaxed! we ended up staying an extra day and were really sad to say goodbye.

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Where I stayed
Lazy Beach
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