Adventures as Miss Saigon

Adventures in Krong Koh Kong, afternoon day 2 and all of day 3

Posted on: January 20, 2011

The bus dropped us off in Krong Koh Kong, and the door was instantly crowded by tuk tuk drivers trying to get our attention. Wendy somehow found quiet Red, who ended up being our driver for the next two days. He took us straight to our hotel, and came back for us an hour later after we had a chance to freshen up.

pick me, pick me! tuk tuk drivers at the bus station

me and tuk tuk driver, Red

Red and the road ahead

Krong Koh Kong is not the typical tourist destination. We had come here in search of waterfalls and secluded islands…and a little bit of adventure thrown in just for fun! Our first afternoon was spent being driving around by Red, hiking into waterfalls and wandering the wobbly paths in the mangrove forests. It was a beautiful day, and especially great to be out walking around after our second long bus ride. Cambodia’s beauty is absolutely breathtaking. I’ll let the pictures try to speak for themselves, but even with great photography skills and great cameras, I don’t feel like any of us were able to truly capture what we experienced. But enjoy the pictures anyways!

getting closer to the waterfalls

waterfalls

waterfalls

sitting by the waterfalls

me at the waterfall

can you spot the walking stick?

pretty park area

into the mangrove forest

mangrove forest

mangrove forest

into the forest

bluebird in the forest

bridges like this are my worst nightmare

me...terrified

sunset in the mangrove forest

The next morning, we were up and waiting by the waterfront with Red, who had arranged a speedboat to take us an hour off the mainland to Koh Kong Island. This is Cambodia’s largest island, and it gets “so few visitors that sand crabs scamper obliviously up and down the beach and the shoreline is dotted with colourful shells of the sort you usually see only in souvenir shops” (thanks Lonely Planet).

On our ride to the island in our sketchy motorboat (when the guy pulled up to pick us up, he was bailing water out of the back), I held on tightly to the side of the boat and to lifeguard Laura, knowing that my lifejacket would not pass any safety regulations. The water was a bit bumpy at times, but otherwise it was a beautiful morning to be cruising around in a speedboat. At least halfway into our ride to the island, the boat stopped. Thinking the motor had died or we’d run out of gas, I turned around to find out what was going on. Our motorboat guy was pointing into the distance – for five minutes we sat and watched endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (did not know they were endangered at the time, but found out later when we met a marine biologist in our next Cambodian stop) jumping in and out of the water. It was so amazing to see these creatures in the wild and fairly close to where we were sitting. Sadly, no one got pictures of this event because our eyes were glued to what was happening. It was such a special experience that I was almost in tears at the sight of these dolphins. Definitely something I’ll never forget.

Laura and I on the boat

motorboatin'

motorboatin'

When we finally arrived at this nearly deserted island (we had to bring our own fruit and bread as there really was nothing on the stretch of beach that we landed on), we spent our time wandering the beach, marveling at the fact that we seemed to be the only people here. We watched in amazement as the sand crabs played on the beach, truly not caring that we were there. After Wendy and Laura had a quick swim, and we all had a little snack, we got back into the boat to begin our journey back to the mainland.

docked

deserted island

and then there was one

castaways

playful sand crab

dragonfly upclose

Wendy and I having a fruit break on the island

deserted island

Later that afternoon, Red took us to Nice Beach in his tuk tuk. It was quite the drive there, down bumpy dirt roads that tourists would have difficulty navigating. We ended up at a crab shack, run by a Khmer family, were we walked the beach, gathered seashells, watched the children and puppies playing, and photographed the gorgeous sunset. In the last bit of light from the sun, we quickly got back into the tuk tuk and headed down the bumpy dirt roads headed for our hotel.

she sells seashells

beautiful Cambodian girl

bad puppy!

puppy chewing cardboard...Lexi's favourite toy too

sit...stay

sleepy puppy in the sand

chicks

Miss Megs...tuk tuk driver?

beautiful Cambodian girl and her mom who runs the crab shack

sunset at Nice Beach

After showers, we walked across the street to the water front restaurant we had eaten at the first night. A bottle of red wine (split between Wendy and I) and delicious fish curry, and I was ready for bed…we had an early morning bus to catch on our way to Sihanoukville!

dinner by the water

fine dining by the water

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