March 31, 2018
February 9, 2018
We decided to spend the last few days of our stay in Cambodia at the beach, to also see this side of the country. And also, honestly, because who wouldn’t want to spend a few days on white sand beaches with crystal clear water? So we were for 2 days in the city of Sihanoukville and for 3 days on the Rong Island.
After a 5-hour bus ride from Phnom Penh, we arrived in Sihanoukville, on Cambodia’s sea coast. As the Lonely Planet puts it, Sihanoukville “would never win first prize in a pretty-town competition”. I couldn’t agree more. The city itself is only remarkable for the increasing number of casinos it houses, and the rapid construction of mammoth hotels on the seashore. Rich Chinese investors are driving the development of the city, despite most Cambodians not liking it. You have to get a bit out of the city to reach the nice beaches, but, once you’re there, you can almost forget about the hustle and bustle of the smog-filled city.
Koh Rong (Rong Island) is just a 45-minute boat ride away from Sihanoukville, but it feels like a world away: it’s quiet, relaxed, and amazingly beautiful – all things which Sihanoukville is not. It has the remote white sand beaches that you imagine on the tropical island of your dreams and the (almost) unspoiled nature of a tropical paradise.
We booked a bungalow on one of the less populated beaches, which had only 1 or 2 resorts, some tent camps, and a set of bungalow houses like ours spread over a few kilometers of beach. That meant we had peace and quiet, and not much else to do than hang around at the beach during the day. Not that I am complaining – who would complain about spending 3 days on a perfect beach, every now and then going swimming in the sea, and every now and then moving from a sundeck chair, to a hammock, to a swing, and then back again?