Monday, February 8, 2016

Islands around Sihanoukville


My first island tour was with "Boat on the Rocks" that took me to three islands for just $15 which included a full omelet breakfast and a barracuda lunch on Koh Russei Island plus it included snorkel equipment. We snorkeled at the first and last of the three islands---Koh Charluh and Koh Tres.

Long Beach on Koh Rong


The coral was beautiful, but the water was a bit cloudy from the high seas recently


Some of our passengers stayed on Koh Russei in these primitively bungalows just up the tree line from the clean sandy beach and beautiful calm waters.

We also enjoyed just hanging out in the many hammocks strung up in the trees along the tree line.

Our little tender that took us from our boat to the shore for lunch looked pretty marginal, especially with some of the heftier guys.



This was a really good bargain tour, especially with the barracuda with Cole slaw and rice for lunch.

The next island trip was to Koh Rong. Instead of staying overnight on Koh Rong, I decided to take the speed ferry over there which is about an hour distance. The boat left at 9am and cost $20 USD round trip with a return at 4PM.

Shortly after leaving we began to run into heavy seas with water spraying over the boat.

At the Koh Rong dock I could see lots of the guesthouses, restaurants and bars clustered here in the Koh Toch beach area.

I decided to hike over to the other side of the island right away and unfortunately it was not a well marked trail. I climbed up to the top of the trail which was about 500 feet and then down to Long Beach. The trail down was very steep with lots of boulder hopping. Fortunately in this area people had hung empty water bottles to mark the trail.

Long Beach was a really spectacular white sand and beautiful blue waters that darkened as it got deeper. Along the sparsely populated beach, I came across clusters of backpackers that were camping out.

From where the trail came out, it was about a mile before I came to the Coconut Blvd Restaurant and Bungalows. I stopped for lunch of fish Amok---a curry and vegetable stew with rice and a couple of beers for about $8.


I then headed back since the ferryboat back to Koh Toch was not leaving until 3 PM and I thought I would miss my speed boat ferry that left at 4pm.

Heading up in the warm weather and steep Boulder hopping slowed me down quite a bit. Once I got on top, the trail was fairly easy. Unfortunately I took a wrong turn and ended up going too far north.


To get back for the ferry, I decided to head down the dry river bed, but this too was slow going. I ended up getting down to the adjacent beach to Koh Toch to the north. By the time I got back to Koh Toch at 4:30pm, I had missed my speed boat. Fortunately the other speedboat company boat that left at 4:30 was just leaving so I first flashed my return ticket for the yellow boat, but that did not work. I then handed the boat purser a $10 bill and that did the trick as the last customer to board. I was relieved not to have to spend the night there and was looking forward to a nice shower and some clean clothes.



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