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Published: December 25th 2016
Initially I planned on spending Christmas and NYE on Koh Rong because there's a full moon party. I'm glad I decided last minute to visit earlier because I discovered it wasn't what I thought it would be. It's an incredibly beautiful island, white sand beaches and crystal clear water...BUT there's far too many hotels/bars along the beach front which really ruins it, not to mention the amount of litter! Caused mostly be the tourists on the island!
All the bad aspects of travelling SE Asia on one island. Most of the bars and hotels are owned by westerners, with tourists working for accommodation on the island. This to me is ridiculous and must only be hurting the Cambodian economy. Instead of locals being employed, there's westerners working for free just to save $5 a night!
This also leads to very poor service, because obviously (and I don't blame them for this) the tourists don't give a fuck about the job.
One night we ate in a restaurant, and the manager was either really stoned or just a moron, but it was like he'd never been in a restaurant before. Some of the things on the menu weren't available, which is fair enough when you're on an island, but he had to go back to the kitchen like three times because he kept forgetting what was available by the time he got to us.
Anyway, rant over.
All of this commotion is on one side of the island, if you go to the other side it looked really quiet and chilled, and maybe more what I wanted.
On the first day we decided to have a walk to Long Beach, 45 minutes through the jungle. Just follow the red paint and sandals tied to trees...easy enough. Nope. I managed to continue my streak of getting lost in jungles, third time this year.
We took a wrong turn right at the start and got lost for about two hours, every path we followed led to a dead end! And we never actually made it to the beach.
So we walked back and settled for main beach, which has far too many people on it. It would've been beautiful if humans hadn't done what we do best and destroyed the natural beauty.
Koh Rong is one of the only places in the world where you can see bio-luminescence all year round. It's caused by plankton glowing in the water when you move the water in the dark. So the next day we did a boat trip for $8. Firstly we sailed out to a little “island” in the bay of Koh Rong and snorkelled, luckily this wasn't the main reason for the trip because it was massively underwhelming.
After that we sailed to Long Beach and fished for about an hour to catch the fish we BBQ'd for dinner...everyone was catching fish so it seemed really easy, but I dislike fishing so I just sat back and drank beers.
Long Beach was nice..there was only one resort with another one in the process of being built. A company has a 99 year lease on the island and plan to build all over it, and presumably turn it into Cambodia's Koh Phi Phi (Thailand) which is basically what I imagine Magaluf to be like. The same “Brits abroad” running around...I hop it never gets that bad but surely it's inevitable.
Nightfall came and the plankton was out...It was really cool swimming through it. It's like little stars surrounding you everytime you move.
Not content with my experience snorkelling with the plankton the following night I did a night dive. Which was even more amazing, the deeper you go the brighter the plankton! Aside from the plankton the dive wasn't so great, but it was definitely worth it! Even if it was the most expensive dive I've done.
Having lounged around on the beach for a few days I realised that all I do in Australia, except getting fired, is lounging around on the beach. So I decided it was time to do some real travelling and see some stuff.
A guy I'd shared my dorm with was leaving for Battambang the following night, so I booked the boat ticket and prepared to leave!
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