On the recommendations of many that we have met, we booked a speed boat trip to the Island of Koh Rong Sanloem. Our guest house owner kindly booked our trip for today, with a pickup from the front of the guest house at 10am. Shortly after the arranged time, a truck with rows of stainless steel seats arrives, we climb aboard and hold on, after a couple of other pick ups we arrive at the pier, where we are checked in for our trip.
Not long after, we board our speed boat for the 1/2 hour trip and as soon as we cleared the Pier, the driver opened up the throttles of the twin Mercury 250's, 250 hp six cylinder outboards and we were flying across the waves at what seemed close to 100 kph, with 25 passengers holding on for dear life, including Mrs Wombat, who really doesn't like boats.
I thought back a couple of weeks, when we were bouncing along on the river in Bangkok, and thought that was hair raising, but that was tame compared to this trip and every now and then, the driver opened up the throttles a little more, just for fun I am sure. We cruised along and in what seemed no time at all, we had arrived to crystal clear water, white sandy beaches and a few beach holiday huts scattered along the beach. First order of the day was a cold drink and my morning Khmer Coffee with Mrs Wombat looking forward to her Iced coffee. Feeling refreshed and caffeine charged, we strolled along the beach, had a beer and a coke and a swim in the beautiful calm bay. We later found out that this island has only been open to tourists for about 4 years and it was previously an Army training ground. We fear that in a further 4 years time, this lovely secluded place won't be what it is today.
On the way we were fortunate to meet a lovely French couple and we spent time chatting about world events and politics, our families and travelling experiences.
The return journey was calling, so we packed up our things and headed for our speed boat, with Mrs Wombat in tow, telling me yet again, that she only did this for me and she hates boats. Our journey back was a bit of a milk run, island hopping affair, which involved dropping off and picking up people. We eventually arrive back on the mainland, but or course we pull into a different pier, for whatever reason, we arrive at the container port and boat building yard. So with much confusion, we were all herded along to the awaiting truck with the steel seats, but it was full and we had to wait for another. In the mean time, the ever resourceful Tuk Tuk drivers are busy offering to take us wherever we want to go as usual. Finally, we arrive back at our original Pier, relieved to have gotten there safely, after crazy driving had us wondering if we would make it back in one piece.
The evening for us included a bite to eat at our favourite Bananas Restaurant and Bar, where we had eaten last night, with great food, outstanding service and the friendliest people. We couldn't go wrong. Finishing dinner and feeling contented, it was back for a foot massage at Angkor Cambodia Massage, which happens to be right next door to Bananas restaurant. We have had a great many foot massages over the years in Thailand, but the professionalism and treatment given to us, by the girls at this place left us seriously relaxed.
The great people we have met on this leg of our journey:
The Dutch couple who are traveling for 7 months covering all of SE Asia, including Aus (got caught in Rockhampton during Cyclone Debbie ...)
The lovely French couple today
The great ouner of this Guest House - Patchouly Chill House
The nice Tuk Tuk drivers we have met and who have driven us somewhere, we have had great conversations with them.
The lovely staff at the Restaurant
and just the Cambodian people in general, they are so warm and friendly.