A weekend in paradise!

The speedferry raced across the water. At the fourth stop it was my turn to get off. Wow! What an amazing place! I walked onto a white pier and was greeted by the manager of the resort. Together with the other guests I walked toward the white beach, admiring the crystal clear water of the sea. I couldn’t believe my luck. This would be home for the next few days.

The Ecoseadive resort lies in a beautiful bay on the island Koh Rong Samloem. There is a big difference between high and low tide, so the sea gradually get deeper. The water is the perfect temperature. I’d booked four dives and got changed as soon as I arrived at the island. The other divers were already waiting.

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We got onto a small boat and met Chris, our German dive master. Chris was a relaxed guy who paid close attention to us underwater and made us all feel comfortable and safe. During the first dive I mostly had to adjust to being underwater again and I was slightly disappointed with the life underwater. But things only got better. After lunch we saw a lot more, but my favourite day was the second one.

In the morning it was very cloudy and the viz was therefore not great. It didn’t stop us from going and we saw some beautiful fish, like a cuttlefish who was chilling at the bottom and decided to swim off when it saw us. The dive was very shallow, more like a snorkel place, but that meant we had 73 minutes under water. I felt like I was floating on top of the corals. By the time we did the second dive that day, the sun had come back and the clouds had dispersed. The visibility was amazing and we saw gorgeous corals and schools of fish. It was the perfect dive to end my diving in Asia.

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But it wasn’t the end of my stay on the island yet. I’d booked an extra night, so I had a day to explore the island a bit. I had already had plenty of time to relax in between dives, but now I had time to walk a bit further and see some different sides of the island. I started walking towards Clearwater Bay. First I walked through the forest, and then I mean jungle, up and down over a small track. I’d left early and by 9AM I was at the beach, all alone! There was quite a bit of wind and the waves were higher than those at the somewhat protected bay where I was staying. The sand was a perfect pearl white though. Too bad there was so much rubbish in this idyllic place.

After a swim and counting myself lucky for being here, I made my way back to ‘my bay’. I had another swim here to have a little break from the walking and then continued to the town about 20 minutes away. You could just follow the coastline to the restaurants and hostels. Food was good, but also pretty expensive at the resort, so it was nice to have a cheaper, bigger and still tasty meal in town.

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When I got back I spent the rest of my time laying in the water. What an amazing thing to have the whole beach to yourself! I couldn’t have made a better choice for accommodation. Sure, I wasn’t in the fancy beach bungalow, but in the dorm room, but I could use all the same facilities as the fancy people. I walked out of my bed onto the beach. There were hammocks everywhere and there was a laid back atmosphere with lots of friendly and open people.

I loved that I could dive and still have enough time to relax and enjoy the sun, the sand and the water. The water was so warm that even at night you could swim. There is a plankton in the water that lights up when you swim through it. It’s like the water is filled with little LED lights. Unfortunately a storm was approaching when I went for my night swim. I could hear the thunder and see the lightning in the distance. I didn’t stay in the water for very long.

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When it was time leave I was hesitant. I could stay here for another week. But staying longer would have meant skipping Angkor Wat. So I got on the boat back to the mainland. Instead of the speedferry a slowboat came, that brought me to Koh Rong. What? I had to join a cue of people that also wanted to go to Sihanoukville. The boat was late and when it arrived the sea was so rough we smashed over the water. Suddenly the boat stopped. One of the guys got his snorkelling gear on an jumped in the water. Something had to be fixed. When we finally reached land, we stopped in the wrong harbour and then had to take a bus to the tourist area. My trip had taken 3 times as long! I knew I shouldn’t have left!

 

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