“Sour Sdey” Hello in Cambodian language (Khmer)
Surprise! surprise! it's me back again writing my adventures of a "Backpacker Granny"
Whilst I sit here on Otres beach Sihanoukville Cambodia with my computer in front of me and listen to the waves beating against the shore. I tell myself that I live in a wondrous world and that life is as good as it can get.
I have just returned from the spectacular paradisiacal island of Koh ta Kiev. A small haven at approximately 13 kilometers off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, in the Bay of Thailand. The island is 28 square kilometers and has only three basic resorts on the westward face that offer varied accommodation including treehouses, bungalows, tents, a dorm room or hammocks.
Sometimes when one travels it is easy to get a little tired of the tourist scene and we find ourselves dreaming of getting back to the rudimentary way of life and far from the maddening crowd. So when I heard about this incredible isle, I decided that a few days of being a "Castaway" would be pure bliss.
My very dear friend Charlie thought it sounded fantastic and much to my delight! decided that he would come with me, so we hastily reserved our tent at "Crusoe Island Resort" booked the boat to take us there, and before we knew it the day had arrived and we could embarked on a new adventure.. The journey took about 55 mins on the fishing boat.. Gosh I do so love those boats, but the getting on and off can be a bit traumatic for a little granny like me! specially as there is no such thing as a nice comfy plank to gracefully get on board .. far better described as a "seen better days" rusty little ladder, fortunately I had a hunky man with me, who maneuvered my luggage and gave me a mighty shove on my derrière to get me into the floating object. Oh and I forgot to mention that one has to wade through the water to reach said vessel ! That's great when nature has endowed you with being tall, but Holy Whatever, I am just a tiny little thing and the water usually comes almost to my waistline... So for every one of my petite friends, be warned all valuables should be stored above mid-drift level when alighting on a boat to the islands. I store them all in my bra.. at least it (the bra) gets filled with something!
OK! so after half drowning and looking like a soaked rat, with Charlie laughing his head off, we finally arrived to our destination. What can I say? Koh Ta Kiev is out of this world, and the only colour I can use to describe the breathtaking powdery beach is Maize yellow, which is bordered by pure unadulterated Tarzan jungle..
The first person we met was Liam, the owner of the resort who checked us in and filled us in on the necessary info about the island. it was then that we discovered that due to this being true rural living there were no bathrooms! no loos! no electricity! (apart from a generator for the bar and communal area). and obviously no internet! He also warned us that we wouldn't have to worry about spiders as although they could bite they weren't poisonous, but that the island had some pretty evil snakes so we should be careful ! Now at this point two major issues were forming in my head! firstly where was I going to go to the bathroom? and if I went into the jungle to rid myself of body waste, would I be bitten in a rather delicate part of my anatomy and to top it all ... DIE!!! I had this horrible vision of an article in the Daily Mail (which appears in Facebook) with all the sordid details of my passing away!
We were then sent off to select our abode. Actually the tents were pretty cool, and we finally settled on one that was actually elevated.. After dropping our bags and changing into bathing gear we decided to explore the surroundings. The main reason for immediately donning bikini, was I reckoned that if I was taken short, I could dash into the water and well... literally pee in the sea! while we are on this subject, it is these occasions, that I do think the male species have it so much easier than us poor females.. I mean, lets be honest, they just zip down, pop it out and hey ho .. whereas we have to lift up skirt, or pull down trousers, then drag away at our knick knicks, and if that isn't bad enough we also have to be very careful to keep all our clothes at knee level so they doesn't get sprayed and then... (Oh dear God what were you thinking of when you created us?) we have to squat with everything on show!!! Really not fair! I mean the situation.. not my butt.. as that actually is....
Enough said on that subject, so let me get back to telling you about Cambodia's best kept secret. Apart from three lovely yellow sand beaches that are shaded by an abundance of tropical trees, there are stunning coral reefs that really are excellent for snorkeling and diving. Narrow paths twist and turn through the jungle so if one is feeling venturesome, and would like to see some wildlife that according to the locals is inhabited by carnivorous pitcher plants and is also home to more than a 160 species of birds. I have to say we were enthralled and agreed that we never ever wanted to leave.
In the evening we met up with some other people who were also living the natural life and whilst we enjoyed really yummy food prepared by Liam's wife, we heard lots of crazy stories from our companions, including one guy who told us he had an enormous spider in his tent! Charlie and I looked at each other and we were very glad we had safely locked up our place.. another guy told us he was taking photos with his "Go-Pro" of hundreds of large red ants.. I always knew that GoPros were high-definition personal cameras, often used in extreme action video photography, oh well now they are great for fast moving ants!
That night we went to sleep listening to the magical sounds of the jungle, and listening to the music of the sea as it caressed the beaches.
The very next day we were up bright and early and guess what! ... We were washing, bathing and sneaky peeing in the ocean... Like naughty children but having so much fun... Oooooh and the water! wow it was so warm.. all I can say is that it was utter ecstasy ! OMG what did I just say? in the mist of my seventh heaven, I suddenly spied a barracuda! I guess you all know what a bucking bronco is.. well that was me as I scampered to get out of the sea...Charlie by this time was doubled up and laughingly informed me that my menacing little fish, was too small to eat me and that I was a raving lunatic! I wanted to thank him for telling me what I already knew about my state of mind! Ahaaa my revenge came when he spotted a big fat jelly fish spanning about 15 inches wide and within a hairsbreadth of where he was swimming.. ha ha ... ha, have you ever seen someone imitating a jumping dolphin?
The rest of the day we spent exploring the island, swimming in the sea, we even managed to visit a crazy distillery that is hidden in the jungle! some guy doing his own thing.. interesting! We then spent time lulling the time away in one of the many hammocks hanging along the beach... What a perfect Island and what a perfect time, spent with an incredible and wonderful friend.. Thank you so much for sharing this awe inspiring time with me.. Love you loads.
Sadly due to other commitments we had to leave the island the following day, and even sadder, hearsay tells that a Chinese company has bought the Island and there are plans to construct a 30 billion dollar casino and resort with a connecting bridge from the mainland directly to the island. They have already started to build a mega road and have destroyed a very large part of the jungle. This splendid paradise will just be one more that will be crucified for the sake of greed and money.
How lucky we were to experience its beauty before it disappears forever.
Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned;
Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
Useful information should you visit Koh Ta Kiev
Places to stay.
Coral Beach resort
Ten 103 Treehouse Bay
How to get there... When you book your accommodation the same resort will pick you up from Sihanoukville by boat and will also take you back when you need it. There is a small charge of between 10$ to 15$ return fare for the boat.
Please be advised that most products, food and drink are quiet a bit more expensive than on the mainland, so anti mosquito, munchies, toiletries,, etc, take with you.