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Friday #GoThailandGoAsean: Paradise, a bus to nowh...

Friday #GoThailandGoAsean: Paradise, a bus to nowhere and a ketchup bottle

Friday morning rolled around and there was an awful realisation that this trip would be ending soon. Having spent 75% of my time looking out of the window into the local villages and towns, it was difficult. So what better way to ease the pending blues with a trip to what I can only begin to describe as paradise?

The morning started with catching a ferry to Koh Tas just off to coast of Sihanoukville where the ferry tendered allowing us to jump into the sea and explore. It was amazing, and watching 20 people floating about in the Gulf of Thailand was quite surreal.

After 45 minutes of swimming it was back to the boat. It was quite tiring, so lunch was very much needed. I took my seat on the upper deck to catch some sun rays, which was a great success. More Massaman curry and rice was had, along with as much water as was humanly possible.

We then arrived at paradise. Actual paradise. Miles of pristine white sandy beach with water as clear as the sky that stood above it. Koh Rong Samloem is a tiny island with a small community, and it would be our home for the afternoon.

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I probably cried a little inside at how happy I was to be there. I had seen places like this on postcards, but never in real life. The police station looked like the setting of Death in Paradise. The beach was lined with a few trees to provide a modicum of shelter, which was a perfect place to watch the few locals scuttling around.

Between dipping in and out of the sea and sunbathing, I acquired the most ridiculous hat sun line as well as glasses. The beauty of the place was that it was so hot they were quickly sorted, and I mean quickly. I wouldn’t realise at the time, but this was when I went from medium rare to medium to well. Over dinner I decided to compare my face to a ketchup bottle, and the resemblance was uncanny.

The boat journey back to the island was like a scene from a Paul McKenna live show. Sleeping bodies everywhere, shattered from the swimming and intense heat. Little did we know a four hour bus journey awaited to the Rock Royal Hotel in Kep, which would be our base for the evening.

The journey passed and thunderstorms gathered without being overhead. It paints a beautiful landscape in which to travel. It also made the journey tolerable, given the fun we’d had in the morning. Matters weren’t helped by the fact we drove through Kampot City, which looked absolutely stunning, before getting lost in Kep looking for the hotel. The hotel itself wasn’t great, and that’s being polite. The caveat would be that we’d been spoiled in the hotels we had stayed in, and this was probably more of what backpackers and tourists would expect. No-one had any power. Showers either weren’t working or had brown water. Air con units were loud or not working, and no cold water was available.

But then again, who wants to fly halfway around the world and spend time in hotels anyways? If you answer yes to this, Thailand and Cambodia is not for you.

Kep was deserted and like a ghost town, even on a Friday night. We looked around for a bar and come across what can only be described as a brothel, which made me laugh. It’s probably not somewhere we’d give the sixten seal of approval to visit, but after such a long day, any bed that was mine would suffice.