How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
– George Washington Carver
Having the opportunity to travel to several of the islands in Southest Asia, there is one that particularly stands head and shoulders above the rest thanks in large part to the absence of large touristic crowds, high-rise resorts occupying beach front views, motorized vehicles on the island, and the abundance of secluded beaches and scenic nature trails. Cambodia’s second largest island, Koh Rong, is a hidden gem to most, but seems to be well known among the backpacking community of travelers. Also known as Monkey Island, this small piece of paradise rests only 25km south of the Sihanoukville coast in the southern part of the country. The eastern side of the island is the most developed area, and even as I use the term “developed,” this section only consists of a single pedestrian walkway in the sand that is flanked by both the shoreline and the front of shops, restaurants, and guesthouses lining the beach. While white sandy beaches are abundant as they are contrasted by the natural scenic landscapes, the opposite side of the island, known as Sunset Beach, is the truly magnificent and breathtaking spectacle as to why the island is far above any others in the region. A 7km long stretch of beach that is absent of high-rise resorts and hordes of tourists makes this a serene spot indeed, where relaxation and even moments of silent reflection conjures up many thoughts as though the rest of the world is at a stand-still. Truly a must-visit for anyone that travels to Cambodia when escaping the noise and bustle of the city-life of Phnom Penh and the large tour crowds of Angkor Wat.
Preparing for another 12-hour overnight bus ride from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville I am waiting with my current travel partner, Iris from Austria. We are told to be ready for pick up at 6pm outside of the guesthouse, but in typical fashion we are not picked up for another hour. Just after 7:30pm we are depart on the overnight bus where sleep is sporadic if not absent all together. I will apologize once more as I’ve fallen behind on blogging due to a variation of circumstances while living the life of a backpacker and while several of these blogs may be quite short I hope to get back on track shortly and write in more thorough detail of my experiences.