Cambodia – Koh Rong

– DECEMBER 17-19, 2015

We hopped a 5 hour bus from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, then boarded a speed boat ferry to hit the island of Koh Rong.  Phnom Penh wasn’t really anything special (as compared to the other places we have been over the past 10 months) but the children of Cambodia are something special.  They always have a smile and a big wave for tourists, yet don’t ask for anything back in return (no begging, etc).

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Leaving Phnom Penh and the awesome children for the island of Koh Rong.

After we arrived at Sihanoukville, we bought tickets for the speed ferry and rode a shuttle bus to the dock.  The first sailing was cancelled due to a storm that had just hit the area the day before.  Fortunately, we were able to board the next sailing 3 hours later and rode the speed ferry to the island of Koh Rong.

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Koh Rong – on the speedboat with the stormy rocky waves.

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Koh Rong – A great map of Koh Rong painted on a wall just off the docks.

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Koh Rong – A big storm was just starting the day before we arrived. The beach was all washed up by the ocean tides.

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Koh Rong – A big storm was just starting the day before we arrived. The beach was all washed up by the ocean tides.

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Koh Rong – Here they apparently also like to wash their roosters.

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Koh Rong – A morning breakfast and iced coffee start to the morning.

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Koh Rong – Our suite was complete shit. The walls had only small reeds, so you could see through them to the next unit and hear everything that went on.

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Koh Rong – Next door was a construction site where no safety practises were in play. Cutting rebar with a wood saw and no eye protection….wise indeed.

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Koh Rong – Next door was a construction site where no safety practises were in play. Flip flops and mixing concrete on the floor with varying mixture ratios. No standards.

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Koh Rong – A one hour hike from the east side of the island to the west side of the island went over some rocky terrain.

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Koh Rong – A one hour hike from the east side of the island to the west side of the island went over some rocky terrain.

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Koh Rong – The start of Long Beach was under construction for a new 4 star hotel and trash all over the beach. Its sad that the local Cambodians do not try to keep their country beautiful. Young Cambodians routinely throw plastic bottles and trash onto the streets wherever they feel like.

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Koh Rong – The start of Long Beach was under construction for a new 4 star hotel and trash all over the beach. Its sad that the local Cambodians do not try to keep their country beautiful. Young Cambodians routinely throw plastic bottles and trash onto the streets wherever they feel like.

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Koh Rong – After we walked past the construction and trash beach, we came across this small restaurant/bar that had nothing else on either side of a 30 minute walk. It was quiet, cheap, and the beach/ocean was clean. Beautiful.

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Koh Rong – After we walked past the construction and trash beach, we came across this small restaurant/bar that had nothing else on either side of a 30 minute walk. It was quiet, cheap, and the beach/ocean was clean. Beautiful.

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Koh Rong – After we walked past the construction and trash beach, we came across this small restaurant/bar that had nothing else on either side of a 30 minute walk. It was quiet, cheap, and the beach/ocean was clean. Beautiful.

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Koh Rong – The beach had pippies in the sand that keep the sand white…just like in Fraser Island in Australia.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

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Koh Rong – The Long Beach Sunset.

The next day we hooked up with a Brit who has lived on the island for the past 23 months.  He is trying to establish an adventure tourism business but the locals don’t take kindly to outsiders trying to steal their customers.  He charged a low price for a day tour, but when we arrived at 9am it changed to a 11am start due to the weather.  Then when we arrived at 11am for the new start time it changed again to 1pm due to a broken engine on the boat.  When we arrived at 1pm he was just starting to buy supplies for the tour, so my confidence in this guy was slipping quickly.  He did discount the price due to the lost time though.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – Our guide is in the center of the picture…he’s the guy smoking a joint and giving the middle finger. Not professional at all.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – The same boat drivers who worked on the motor also used their hands to cut up this fruit. Yeah…no way was I going to touch it. No standards of cleanliness or infection control here. I know its an island in an undeveloped nation, but with the tour being run by an English guy I would have expected a higher standard.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We used their fishing techniques to catch our shore lunch.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We used their fishing techniques to catch our shore lunch.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We used their fishing techniques to catch our shore lunch.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We used their fishing techniques to catch our shore lunch.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We used their fishing techniques to catch our shore lunch.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – As fresh as you could ask for.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We stopped for lunch on a beach coconut farm, but it was littered with trash.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – We stopped for lunch on a beach coconut farm, but it was littered with trash.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – Our shore lunch, but the chicken was severely undercooked and the fish was pretty much raw as well. The food was terrible…it felt like this was his first time doing a tour like this. He took no ownership for the problems on this trip.

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – snorkelling views

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – sunset

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – sunset

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – sunset

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – sunset

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Koh Rong – Boat Tour – sunset

The next day we checked out of the hotel and rode the speed boat ferry back to the mainland.  We stayed overnight in a very quiet hotel for the night to catch up on sleep (the island hotel was so horrible we got no sleep in three nights.  We had paper thin walls, construction on three sides, and a chicken farm on our other side with roosters that crowed all day long).  This mainland hotel was exactly what we needed.

The morning came and we took a tuk tuk to the pick-up spot for the bus.  Here we magically found a guy on a motor cycle who was selling Banana Bread!!!!  One of my favorite things in the world and we haven’t seen it for almost a year…I was going to shed a tear.  We bought four mini-loaves and snacked on them as we drove to the border on our way to Thailand.

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Road back to Thailand – We found Banana Bread!!!!

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Road back to Thailand – In Cambodia a back van door doesn’t define the usable space, but instead is merely a rain cover for additional storage by use of wood planks & rope to extend out another 4 feet.

We crossed at the southern Cambodia/Thailand crossing this time, so it was a better than our last encounter.  The main reason being that Canadians do not need to buy a visa to enter Thailand, so there was no need to try to scam the tourists.

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The inside of our mini-bus from the Cambodia/Thailand border. This driver was absolutely nuts! No wonder Thailand roads are considered among the most dangerous in the world.

We are back in Bangkok now to start spending the next 30 days in Thailand.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.