Let’s Visit Koh Rong

I’m going to do some streamlining in this post and put all the Koh Rong pictures in one place. Usually I break up the galleries to be better managed, but in this day and age, it’s hard to tell if viewers prefer the batch or the bulk. As to this particular gallery, this past weekend I visited Koh Rong, an island off the coast of Cambodia, specifically off the coast of Sihanoukville, where I celebrated my friend Stephanie’s birthday with Stephanie, Andrea, Daen, and Emanuel.

Though I am still sunburned as I write this, and though I am missing the paradise that is island life, it’s safe to say the entire weekend was a joyful one. It wasn’t without its absurdities (like the very high number of puppy encounters we faced, and some of the sexpat and drunk and drug addict characters we stumbled across), and it was with its reminders that I will be gone from Cambodia very soon and will be missing an all new set of friends. First up, we have the girls: Daen, Stephanie, and Andrea (in the front).

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Here is my male savior, Emanuel:

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The pier at Sihanoukville, where all good things go to get inverted:

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We took the iSpeed boat, which is very fast. It was twice as much money to take, but gets to the island in 1/6 of the time:

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I encountered my first “tech monk” on the boat:

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When arriving to Koh Rong, one of the first images you have is construction. Like most of Cambodia, investors have seized on the opportunity to grow the place.

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The children we saw enjoyed their time on the beach.

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Daen’s luggage has wheels. The way to the bungalow had sand. Emanuel carried Daen’s luggage. Thus Emanuel is a gentleman.

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Puppy time!

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Daen just couldn’t get enough:

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Andrea was her bucket-full-of-smiles self:

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After about an hour at the “main beach” (where we fortunately didn’t stay, though staying there would most certainly offer insight into Koh Rong nightlife), we took a tiny motorboat to our bungalow, Pura Vita:

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At Pura Vita:

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Hammock selfie (my arms look like paddles):

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Being Steph’s birthday, we arranged for her a mango cake!

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The birthday girl:

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More hats:

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Even more hats:

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The really cool and really new bungalow Emanuel and I stayed in:

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Daen passed out pretty early. Others enjoyed the lazying on the beach. We needed the relaxation and clean air more than you know.

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There was a very awesome dude carrying a very awesome buffalo down the beach:

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Of course one of the resident dogs went to investigate:

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Our politically incorrect-named dogs: Blackie, Chili, and Carne:

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It’s paradise. That’s all you need to know.

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What would be paradise in my world without day-sipping the bourbon?

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To lunch we had to do a very, very small trek through island “jungle”:

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Daen got scared:

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Maybe the worst English spelling I’ve seen Asia, though it was good effort:

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The mysterious “tree-top bungalows”:

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Emanuel and the mushroom rock:

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The following might be one of my favorite photo shoots of all time:

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Syringes aren’t terribly surprising. I think I posted a pic of one from a trip to Sihanoukville in the past:

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There were some very big starfish:

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After some R&R from walking around, we ended the day with some sunset drinks:

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Then there was the arts performance. First, I read poems, and then Andrea did some “extensions”:

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Evening was madness. A madness I won’t go into. Here are some pictures though:

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We only stayed one night. Then it was time to spend the morning on the beach (snorkeling, too, which was fun) and lounge around.

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Our departure took place in the early afternoon. It was impossibly beautiful out:

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Daen wanted no part in the photos:

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When we got to Koh Rong’s proper pier, we discovered our boat was broken. We had to wait for a while before the next one, which sucked.

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The “high speed ferry” took roughly forty minutes to get back to the coast. I thought it would be a good idea to sit in the very back, in the sun, to take pictures. Well, I did take pictures. But only a few. Then I got bored and tired. I passed out. What I got in return was a really bad neck sunburn.

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Beauty is pain:

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Finally back in Sihanoukville, we hired a taxi on the spot for the same price it would have cost to ride the bus. One last instance of puppies, however:

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We road back to Phnom Penh in the sunset.

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