Lazy Beach- Koh Rong Sanloem

Our first stop in Cambodia was to the city of Preah Sihanouk, which is not some place I would suggest spending any time. For us it was a get in...get out, spending one night before heading to the island of Koh Rong Sanloem. The next morning we took the Cambodia speed ferry one way for $26 and arrived at Paradise Pier. Next we hopped on a tractor to ride to the west side of the Island to spend a few days on Lazy Beach. 

We booked a waterfront Bungalow for $120.00 for two nights, which is expensive for Cambodia. Lazy beach has 17 bungalows, not all beach front, but all spaced out allowing for some privacy with your own little beach. It was a very basic bungalow but it is the location that made it amazing and for us it's always about location. With the Gulf of Thailand as our backyard, it was easy to give up the "basic" creature comforts I am accustomed to. The bed was comfortable and the fan was welcoming, as long as the generator stayed on. There was a lock box located in the room as an extra layer of protection, which never felt necessary, but better to be safe than sorry.  

I quickly learned that it was the type of place where you look before you step or grab and you keep your bags zipped to avoid any creepy crawlers or critters startling you. When we first arrived, I quickly made my way to the bathroom after a long ferry and tractor ride. The toilet was so close to the ground that I nearly broke a hip as I quickly sat down. As I finished, I started looking around for the button or lever to flush. Hey Jim, how do you flush the toilet? He then proceeded to demonstrate how a gravity fed toilet worked and he ended with saying if I were you I'd learn to master the bum gun, we don't want any reason to attract critters. 

I also learned no matter how bad you have to use the bathroom, always take the time to turn on the light and wait a few seconds before entering, giving everything time to scurry. And only after you’ve done a thorough scan of the bathroom, looked around the toilet and under the seat, then you can go. This led to many near accidents.  

The island has no ATM's and you have the option to pay in USD's or Cambodia Riel. Lazy Beach Restaurant is the only restaurant on this side of the island. It was run by an Irish woman and the food was cooked by locals. We had the best Pad Thai, fried pork spring rolls and fried rice. The drinks were yummy and cold. There were many visitors throughout the day that would come by small boats or walk 30 minutes through the jungle from other parts of the island to enjoy a day at lazy beach. But it never felt crowded.

Even cats enjoy the sunset.

On our last night as we were sitting on the deck stargazing and listening to the waves Jim decides he wants to take a naked dip. Earlier in the day Jim was stung by something in the water that left a nice size mark on his leg, so I decided I'd hang back. Shortly after he took off, he returned all excited and said, you have to come get in the water. You have to see this! Yeah right...see what? 

Thinking it was a ploy to get me naked, I said I would come down but there was no way I was getting in the the dark. When we got down to the shore he explained that when you get in and move around, you'll see it, the bioluminescent plankton. 

Okay I can't let my fear keep me from seeing this so I stripped down and went in. As I nervously swam around I had never seen anything like this, it was amazing. With every motion I created a trail of flickering sparkling-glowing plankton. It was like watching fireflies but only in the water. Sometimes they would land on you still glowing and then fade away. It was so cool that I forgot all about my fear and only when the waves started thrashing me around and almost causing me to lose my glasses and drinking enough plankton to make my belly glow did I get out.

We returned to our bungalow to rinse off and when I reached for my towel I let out my first real scream. It was the first scary creepy crawler, a spider bigger than my hand. Jim grabbed a flip flop and I stood behind him encouraging him not to miss because I wouldn't be able to sleep without knowing where it was. Jim swung and it jumped to the curtains which made me jump forward on Jim which inched him forward where he started swinging and jumping around, all while I kept asking did you get it, did you get it? I was finally able to breath when he lifted his flip flop to find a silver dollar size pile of gooey guts. 

Lazy Beach is literally a lazy beach. We found ourselves doing nothing but listening to the waves, playing in the crystal clear water, relaxing at the restaurant and enjoying beautiful sunsets. The bioluminescent plankton were an added bonus. This place is a must stay on the Island of Koh Rong Sanloem and for two days, it was like our own little slice of paradise. Now off to M'Pai Bay.


Those are fish in a circle


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