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Finding Paradise in Cambodia

Koh Rong, Kampot and Kep

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So many people have already asked me where my favorite place has been. To date, I absolutely have to say the South of Cambodia. Except not Sihanoukville. Its weird. And full of drunken backpackers (say nothing!) and prostitutes. Although Otres beach about 30mins from the main town is beautiful, a lot quieter and I do regret not taking my camera in a bout of 'oh I'm by myself and might want to swim.'
It's absolutely worth passing through though to jump on the boat to Koh Rong Island, which is absolute paradise on earth. Eline, a girl from Utretcht and I shared a bungalow literally right on the beach and despite planning to stay only for a night, ended up staying for three. There is not a lot there, just a few shack like bars and bungalows, giving it a real 'adventure deserted island life' feel. The beach is stunning and the water so clear that you could stand up to your neck and still see your feet.
We had a extremely relaxing few days going from the hammock to the water and to stop ourselves feeling too lazy, hired a kayak and paddled out to the 'little island' where there was some of the best snorkeling I've ever seen.
We mayyyy have had the same thing for dinner all three nights. BBQ chicken and barracuda on the beach...couldn't have asked for better! And then spent the nights playing cards in open aired shacks and watching insane lightning shows while it thunder stormed outside.
Another highlight here, was the bio luminescent plankton, which after the power is turned off at midnight glow in the dark in reaction to movement. Its hard to explain, but essentially if you swim or move the water around, it lights up and glows like there are tiny fairy lights under the water. Absolutely beautiful.
Back on the mainland, I headed to Bodhi Villa in Kampot, where I again ended up staying longer than expected and spent my birthday with the best bunch of people!
Kampot is a really chilled out town based around the river, with a distinctly French feel. The first night I was there was their live music night, and with face painting = free tequila shots, was a really fun night. The next day was my birthday which was spent cycling around town, skyping everyone at home and relaxing on the riverside deck. I was so lucky to be surrounded by such a a gorgeous group of people, including Jesse and Amy from QLD, who I've continued to bump into all the way through Vietnam, which has been lovely. Red wine, rum balls and a distinctly quieter night later, I was officially 20!
The next day I headed up to Bokor Moutain on a motorbike to find the elusive 'abandoned hill station.' We didn't find it but had an awesome day, taking in the views all the way to Thailand and exploring the area. Yes, I did fall off, nothing too nasty, but enough to make me extremely careful!
Finally it was time to say goodbye to Cambodia, with my last night in Kep, right on the border of Vietnam. Its a lovely seaside town with amazing seafood and watching the sun go down over the coast of both Cambodia and Vietnam I was looking forward to moving on.

Posted by isabellepurcell 22:39 Archived in Cambodia Tagged travel cambodia kampot vietnam island asia backpacking kep

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