Thursday, March 17th ~ Koh Takeo, Cambodia
Southern Cambodia is known for their beautiful beaches. We had the opportunity to assess one of the islands for ourselves.
After signing out bright golden beach towels from the pool area we left the hotel at 8:30. Our Tuk Tuk driver took us the short distance to the boat dock where we loaded onto a well-worn, but seaworthy boat which our group had for the entire day.
Passing by one island we spotted what appeared to be some nicely constructed homes or bungalows. Our guide mentioned that the island was owned by Russians, that a drug ring was operating there, and there was nothing the local Cambodian government could do about it as they were not allowed to go ashore.
First stop was just offshore of one of the islands. Snorkel masks and breathing tubes were provided but no flippers. The water was quite warm, yet still refreshing. We were warned to not step on the spiny sea urchins and to avoid the jelly fish.
Most of the fish that surrounded us were of a tiny variety, rather dull in color, swimming in large schools. There was the occasional zebra fish and I spotted one larger fish that I could not identify with a navy blue back half, a yellow striped belt and a lighter colored front half.
I managed to avoid the prickly spines and stinging jellies…
Then on to Koh Takeo Island.
After climbing down the short ladder, we waded ashore. We had just over an hour to explore, walk along the wide sand path, and check out the tree houses before our BBQ lunch was served.
We had been given a choice the night before of fish, chicken or beef for our main entrée. I found it pretty amazing that out of 14 people from far corners of the world, every single person chose fish.
The meal consisted of a generous slab of grilled fish, a scoop of rice, slaw and lettuce salad with a fresh baguette. Several kinds of sweet fruit was offered for dessert. A couple of well-mannered dogs appeared and patiently waited to see if there were any scraps that would be shared with them, which of course there were and they ate well.
There were also two pregnant cows that nudged their way into our group. Quite funny to see a cow eating leftovers off of a platter, but they certainly were not shy.
Oh, yes, there were chickens there too…
The beach was pure heaven, with fine white sand, very shallow and gentle slope which allowed us to walk WAY out into the water before it reached even chest deep. The water was clean and felt like a warm bath.
After lunch was over, most of our group returned to the water to toss around a frisbee. I soon discovered that we all pretty much sucked at it, but we had fun anyway.
Later in the afternoon we once again climbed aboard our floating bus and headed back toward Sihanoukville. One more snorkeling stop was made where we competed with rowdy party boats for prime location.
About half of our group had chosen to remain longer here to further explore some of the most famous beaches so we had a one-day-early farewell dinner as a group.
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for life jackets, funny cows, and warm ocean water.