Hey everyone, this is the second to last blog post in my Cambodia series 2019 is probably my favourite part of the trip. We got up quite early the next morning as we needed to travel from Kampot to Sihanoukville which is in the South of Cambodia. In order to catch a ferry from the mainland to the islands, we had to travel to the ferry terminals. This was probably one of the modes of travel that I wasn’t too sure on as I have been seasick in the past. This time I made sure to take my travel sickness tablets well in advance.
The ferry itself wasn’t too bad however, it was very hot and stuffy on the boat so I made sure to sit by an open window. The ferry ride was about 45 minutes from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong. When we got to Koh Rong we then took a smaller boat to our final destination which was Koh Rong Sanloem. The smaller boat was a lot better as it had no windows so there was lots of fresh air.
When we arrived on the island the boat stopped near the beach but in the sea which meant that we had to get off the boat into the water and carry our bags to the island. This was an interesting one seeing as we had all accumulated quite a few things by this point of the trip. However, we all made it to the island with all of our things. As soon as I got onto the island I knew that I was going to have a wonderful few days. It’s one of those places where you immediately feel happy and at peace as soon as you step foot on the sand.
We were staying at the Mad Monkey hostel which had two types of accommodation. One was dorms which accommodated up to twenty people and then the other was private dorms which accommodated up to four people in a room. As we were apart of a tour group we stayed in a private dorm that had its own bathroom, and two bunk beds. The beds weren’t that bad at all, I was on the top which wasn’t that bad as I don’t drink so getting up there late at night wasn’t a problem. As the dorms are open they each have a safe box for each person so that you can put anything personal inside that you want to keep safe. I put my camera and laptop inside because the door to our private dorm didn’t lock so I didn’t want to leave it to chance by leaving it in my bag.
Once we had put our bags in our room we then headed to the communal area which was a bar/restaurant/rest area all in one. I was quite hungry by this time so I had a mac and cheese with a side salad and a bottle of water. Cambodia isn’t the type of place where you should drink the water out of the tap so I always made sure to have bottled water. I also tried to always have water with me as it was very hot at times. The mac and cheese was quite good and I remember eating it all because I was hungry from travelling but also the heat.
In the afternoon I then headed over to the bar area which you walk along a pier to get to. This is where everyone hangs out in the afternoon because they do a happy hour or sometimes bar crawls. As I have mentioned before in a previous post Mad Monkey hostels are known for being a party hostel. I spent the afternoon there and made some new friends. That’s one good thing about solo travelling is that you are always meeting new people so if you don’t necessarily have much in common with the people on your tour you can make new friends wherever you go.
In the evening, we went to the communal area again to have some food. I decided on fish and chips as I thought that it was a safe bet and that it was also a reminder of home as well. After dinner, is when the drinking games usually start which is really fun to watch. What I really liked about these hostels is that the staff didn’t force you to take part they would simply go around and ask who would want to take part. I have been to places in the past where the employees have made a big deal out of someone not drinking so it was nice not to have that pressure. Once the drinking games were over and the bar had closed I went to bed because I was tired from travelling to the island in the morning and spending the afternoon in the sun.
We had one full day on the island and then two half days on either side. The next day was our full day which is when a lot of people decided to go snorkeling as it took up half a day. I would say that the hostel had about sixty people visiting it at the time that I went so there was always someone to talk to. I decided to take it easy this day and just spend a day around the complex. In the morning, I had a fruit bowl with muesli, yogurt, and honey with tea. I took the time to read some of my book as it was quiet because most people had gone snorkeling or were still asleep.
I spent the day lounging around and making new friends which I always like to do. In the afternoon I headed over to the bar and hung out with more people. I actually didn’t end up doing too much which was nice but also I forgot to put suncream on which I definitely paid for in the evening. In the afternoon, I sat on one of the beaches by myself for a bit as I wanted to take as much in and just live in the moment. It was one of the best ideas I had as you can really relax and take in the moment. I really wanted to reflect on my trip and also remember the beauty of the island. The water was crystal clear and the sand was so white it was something I had never really experienced before so I was so glad that I had gotten the chance to.
I don’t really remember much from the evening apart from waking up in the middle of the night feeling very unwell. The downside to being on an island is they have no aircon which makes sleeping quite difficult. Especially if you end up with heatstroke like I did, I was up for half of the night being sick outside. I had forgotten to top my suncream up and also to stay hydrated even though I was mostly in the shade but still managed to overheat. It’s definitely an experience I won’t forget and will remember to take better care of myself next time.
The next morning I wasn’t feeling that great after a bad night’s sleep and having heatstroke. I managed to eat something plain before taking my seasickness tablets as we were making the journey back to the main island. I later found out why I felt so ill as I got my period that day too which obviously didn’t go well with heatstroke. We then took the small boat back to Koh Rong before taking the ferry to Sihanoukville which was quite testing for me as I already didn’t feel well and as I had mentioned earlier in the blog post the ferry was very hot and claustrophobic. Luckily there was a space near the window which helped a lot and our tour guide sat next to me and kept me company.
When we got to Sihanoukville we all grabbed some snacks as we were going to be travelling for another four hours until we reached the capital Phnom Penh. We were travelling to Phnom Penh as that’s where most of us were flying out from. When we got back to the capital we stayed at the same hostel we stayed at before which was another Mad Monkey hostel. We went out for one last dinner together before I headed to the room to have a shower, pack, and prepare for an early wake-up call.
The next morning, I got up at 6:00 am as I had to be at the airport at 7:00 am because my flight was at 9:00 am. I took a tuk-tuk from the hostel to the airport which was an experience as I hadn’t been in one by myself on the trip so I was holding onto my bag for dear life. I then took a flight from Phnom Penh to Bangkok which was about an hour before taking a thirteen-hour flight from Bangkok to London Heathrow. The flights were absolutely fine but I was very tired from travelling and from the jetlag so when I got home I had a bath, ate some food, and then went to bed. As you can see from the photo above I bought a lot of souvenirs for my family, friends, and work colleagues which everyone loved.
I can’t believe how long it has taken me to finally finish these blog posts I had wanted to do them as soon as I had got back from my holiday last year however, this past year has been so busy I have been very slow on the blog post front. I am going to do a Cambodia trip round-up post with all of the details such as costs, places of accommodations etc…as I know that I would like to read something like that if I was going to visit Cambodia for the first time.