After 3 days on what felt like a version of the movie The Beach, I’m back to civilisation. There were barely any cell service on the beach, and only electricity during evenings. I stayed at Driftwood hostel recommended by the manager at Boho hostel. This was the place to be if you rather stay away from the party scene. After a short 40 minute boat ride, I was the only passenger getting off at my stop. “Enjoy having the whole beach to yourself” said the guy unloading my backpack to the pier. I started looking around, my eyes were met with crystal clear water with a soft hue of blue. White, golden sand stretching as far as the eye could see. He was right, I had the whole beach to myself! Last time I saw something so beautiful was in my vaycay to the Maldives last summer. All I could see was two people swimming around the pier, but they were day-trippers. I walked further on, a 5 minute walk to the lounge/reception area. Below the lounge were 6 other guests chilling on the beach, in the hammocks or the swings in the water. The walk up to the lounge with 20kgs++ backpacks in total, made me realise I need to unload a ton of shit when I get back to Bangkok. In all fairness I’m carrying around a lot of tech, but still. It’s time to downsize my stuff. Heaving for air like a mad man trying to catch my breath, everyone working there greeted me with a smile and a friendly “I feel you”. Lola assigned me to bungalow 1, bed nr 10, and off I was, another 5 minutes to walk to the bungalows located at the end of the beach. There are so few guests here in the low season, every night there is a family dinner where everyone eats together. Which is such a nice thing, combine that with the lack of cell service, and you actually spend quality time with people who become close friends over the night. No distractions, just good ol’ conversations.
Since it’s monsoon season and all, there is no shortage of rain and Koh Rong Samloen were no exception. The first night when going back to the dorm, the rain came down so hard it felt like being whipped, but by thousands of raindrops. We got completely soaked, my book were almost destroyed, after 3 days it still hadn’t properly dried. I could wrangle my dress and underwear like it had just been soaked in water. It was like this almost all the time, raining non stop. It became depressing. We had this absolutely gorgeous beach which I only got to enjoy the day I arrived and the second day. Confined under a roof playing cards from morning to late afternoon. Cards is fun but when you play it for 3 days straight, you get bored and frustrated. The last day we went for a walk back and forth to the bungalows. Neither of us wanted to go upstairs, and the rain had stopped for a little while. We sat with our rain ponchos staring out into the vast ocean, admiring it’s beauty. Eva was the first to run into the water and swim in the rain. When the rain came down hard we still didn’t budge. The urge to run in the water grew stronger, so we said fuck it, threw off our clothes and ran into the cold ocean and swam under the rain. The water were so cold and the raindrops hurt, but maaan I felt so alive! And that feeling is a feeling I wanna keep having for the rest of my life.
The day we left the speedboat couldn’t come because of the bad weather, so we had to take the slow boat, which takes about 2,5 hours. During times of bad weather you might not be able to leave as the speedboats can’t always make it to the pier. But it’s monsoon season so you never know what you might get. Just bad luck I guess. But I can imagine this place being gorgeous during the dry season. Should you choose Driftwood, just bring a bunch of snacks from mainland, as everything is quite expensive here, with very few options. But beware, there are rats, so if you do bring snacks or food, don’t leave them in your room. Also bring strong mosquito repellent, the mosquitos were relentless and I have a whole bunch of new bites. I’m scratching like insane all over. This is the jungle after all, there will be huge spiders everywhere. The windows and doors to the bungalows is open at all times, bring a sleeping mask to calm them nerves during the night, and try not to look up in the ceiling. The first night I didn’t sleep very well, like with any other environment I don’t feel completely safe in. But there are no poisonous spiders or snakes here, so you should be good. Just throw on that swimsuit, and enjoy the fact that you have an entire beach to yourself.
In a short hour my pickup to Ho Chi Minh is here. I’m taking the night bus from Sihaounkville. The bus ride is 15-16 hours with a short stop in Phnom Penh. The bus is a sleeperbus apparently, so that’s a first. Hopefully I’ll get a full nights sleep but I highly doubt that. I’m gonna binge watch on shows, and eat my margarita pizza I just ordered, until I’m so tired my eyes can’t stay awake anymore. I would love to stay longer in Cambodia, but it’s actually really expensive compared to other asian countries, as the currency is in dollars. Wish me good luck, and yeah, Vietnam here I come!