After getting back from Khao Yai, we decided it was time to leave the country following our version of the Banana Pancake trail. From the big Bangkok we headed southeast to the small city of Trat in a 6 hour bus, 4€ for each ticket. In hindsight and comparing this trip with the roads in Cambodia, it was like flying in a private jet!
Crossing the border was not that bad. We took a minivan from Trat at 5:40 in the morning, and we arrived to the Cambodian border to leave Thailand on foot. After paying for our visa (30$ for the actual visa + 5$ bribe each) we took a tuk-tuk to Koh Kong. From there, we took a 5 hours bus to Sihanoukville, which ended up being 8 hours with a bus change in a bumpy road (at some points it was a dirt track) full of roadwork. It was a true nightmare!! With the initial schedule, we had a 3 hours buffer to get to Sihanoukville and take the ferry to Koh Rong Sanloem. With the bus delay, this ended up being only 20 minutes and we arrived at the pier 5 minutes before the last ferry left. Enough time to buy the tickets and draw some cash from an ATM. But yes, we did it and that night we got to sleep in the island!!
We stayed in a small beach resort called The Beach Island Resort which to the extent of our knowledge is the cheapest in the island, not only when it comes to accommodation but also regarding the food. We slept in a mattress on the floor inside a mosquito net and it was pretty cool. The resort provides a relaxing environment which we enjoyed during the three days we stayed in Sanloem.
The next morning we woke up expecting to see the crystal clear, blue waters of the beach in front of our resort, but the windy weather had other plans. We were told that in the other side of the island the beach should be okay, so we headed up to the smaller Lazy beach. There we swam and relaxed for the whole day, in a place that in our opinion is quite charming. There is only a small resort, not too many people, and only a small wooden pier from which you can jump into the water. We rented a couple of snorkeling goggles and fins for 2$ each and we explored the rocky shores near the beach looking for some fishes. We expected a more colourful sea bottom, but the fishes were awesome (which is not to say our underwater photography skills are).
To end the day, we stayed in Lazy Beach until sunset to see one of the most spectacular sunsets of the whole trip.
The next morning it was still very windy in Koh Rong Sanloem so we decided to do some hiking to the island’s lighthouse. We would not recommend the trail to the lighthouse unless you don’t have anything better to do. There are several resorts being built in the island, and what used to be a small path through the jungle now looks devastated in many stretches. Anyway, we did the hike and the views from there were nice, not awesome, but nice nevertheless.
Next day we would go to Koh Rong, Koh Rong Sanloem’s big sister, where the wind would follow us. But that our friends, is for another post.
Joan & Laura