One always hears about the beaches in Thailand but not the beautiful ones in Cambodia, at least for us anyway. We went to Sihanounkville in the southern part of the country to check out the crystal clear warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. We definitely found the waters to be exactly that but along with that there a lot of tourists in town as it happens with a lot of developed touristy towns. There are plenty of Western food restaurants, music, and bars. Wanting to take a break from the madness, while idling on the white sand beach were approached by a man selling boat rides to the nearby islands. We had been looking for such offers but when ones comes to you with the best price in town it was hard to resist such an offer.
The first night we saw a golden sun sinking itself into the water along with locals playing with fire lit batons on the beach. On the way to Koh Ruh (Bamboo Island), we spotted several white dolphins playing in the waters nearby, which even for the locals came as a surprise as sadly not a lot of wild life is seen in these parts. Before disembarking at our destination, we did some snorkeling but unfortunately the reef was not in great shape and many of the colorful fish were missing along with a lot of other marine life. Arriving later at Bamboo Island, lunch was prepared consisting of baked Barracuda and cold bottled Cokes. We hiked through a small jungle trail and arrived at a nicer beach on the other side of the island complete with thatched roof huts and hammocks to laze away the day. We opted for a basic room with mosquito netting and were surrounded by a cat, a dog family of four, some chickens, ducks, and one crazy goat aptly named Rambo. When trapped on an island, the only thing to do is swim, eat, nap, and swim some more. We fell asleep to the soothing sounds of the waves lit by nothing more than a beautiful moon as the generator would shut off at 10 PM, turning off the few lights.
We had initially planned to stay one night but intoxicated by the inviting surroundings, ended up spending three. We would have stayed longer but having no ATM on the island, we ran out of cash and had to make a run for the mainland. Luckily, we had kept the number of the boat operator who had dropped us off and a quick phone call under the coconut tree (the only place on the island that received cell phone reception) found our ride back. Coming back to mainland, got our bus ticket to our next destination and headed off to Battambang.