Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sok San Beach Resort in Koh Rong Cambodia

The Mo was adamant that we spend a few nights on the remote island of Koh Rong in Cambodia. At first, I was a bit apprehensive. I read that there was limited electricity, no AC and expensive food and drinks. What would we do all day?

After some research, I found Sok San Beach Resort, a Khmer style beach resort on Koh Rong Island with its own restaurant, beach bar and most importantly, AC!  Coincidentally, the crew of Survivor stayed in this resort while filming the popular reality TV show on the island.

Since we were already in Sihanoukville, the transfer from Otres 2 to the pier at Port 65 by Victory Beach was about 20 minutes on a pick up truck style "tuk tuk". It would be a lot slower on a moto tuk tuk.

The check in area was clearly marked and the staff was very efficient with getting everyone checked in on time.  There were bathroom facilities and we were able to store some of our luggage there since we wouldn't need all of it for the few nights we would be on the island.  The 60 minute ferry transfer was priced a bit steep at $20.00 per person ONE WAY. Pretty much we paid $80.00 for the both of us, round trip.

The pier is also shared with other boats transferring supplies to the other islands. We watched local vendors drop off bread, beer, fresh vegetables and other items to be whisked away from the mainland.

I love this pic! the toddler was so cute

We boarded the ferry and departed on time.  There were families with small children, couples looking like they were on honeymoon, workers getting transferred and a handful of young locals wanting to escape the mainland.

The ride was a little longer than 60 minutes and the water was a bit choppy. Fresh wet towels and cold water was served. The Mo brought on his own ice cold beer. One of the little Dutch girls got sick. I felt bad.

Once we approached the island, we were greeted to beautiful calm turquoise water and powder white sand.  This is not the Cambodia that I was accustomed to.

They have their own pier for the ferry boats so docking and disembarking was smooth.

We were shepherded into a waiting area and offered lemongrass iced tea and given a quick briefing on the resort. They covered the necessities, eating, drinking and activities.

One of the employees helped us with our baggage to our Pavilion Seafront room.  It was $125.00 a night and boasted a large balcony and of course, AC. I loved that the rooms were right on the beach and we could go in and out of our room whenever we needed to.  The accommodations was just the right size. It has a bed/desk/spacious wardrobe closet and spacious bathroom with a real shower.

The garden rooms were just a stroll away down a short path.

It was around 4 PM once we got settled in so it was between lunch and dinner time. They had a VERY limited menu for those awkward hours.  I would suggest adding a few more things to that time slot as almost everyone on our ferry had the same minds as us and went to grab a quick meal.  I believe on that day. there was one pizza, one sandwich and fries available. They ran out of everything else that would have been offered during that time slot.

The watermelon juice was delish!

For the rest of the day, we just laid out by the water and took in the beautiful scenery.

I loved that there were plenty of sun loungers right outside our room. We didn't have to wake up early to "reserve" them.

Before dinner, we like to  imbibe in cocktail hour. Originally we wanted to venture out into the "village" but my stomach was still not at its best so we decided to stay nearby and eat and drink in the resort itself.  We had a few rounds of wine and scotch at the Sundeck onsite bar. There are TV's, a nice beachfront view, a pool table and of course, all the episodes of Survivor that one can watch.

We never made it next door for dinner, we just ordered dinner at the bar and enjoyed it there. The loc lac and spicy chicken dish was excellent.

We slept peacefully and listed to the waves crashing right outside our door steps. It was a great first night.

Breakfast buffet is served in the open air restaurant.  There are juices,m pastries, made to order omelets, sausage, bacon and one Asian dish. I wish they had more Asian dishes, after-all, we are in Cambodia.

After a few hours of sun lounging, we walked over to the nearby village. There are real locals living there. It's a very small community but there are bamboo thatched houses a few local business there.  The kids were so cute.

We stayed for Happy Hour at one of the local beach bars and watched the sunset. Service was lacking because there was one guy for like 20 people. Nonetheless, it was CHEAP!

All our meals were eaten at La Terrasse Restaurant  because we were concerned about the hygiene of the local places.  Prices were higher than the mainland but still reasonable. They have to transport most of the goods the island but the breads and pastries are baked fresh daily.  Both the bolognese and carbonara were surprisingly delicious.  Entrees ranged from about $6.00-$12.00.  I think we ate almost everything on the menu in our 3 nights spent there.

The next day was just a beautiful! Of course, this calls for selfies on the beach.

After a few hours of reading and lounging in the sun,  we decided to be a little more active and signed up for the mangrove kayak tour.  It was only us and one other couple.  On the way to the mangrove, the driver showed us the locations of the sets and security for the Survivor show.  Before we got to the mangrove, we had to cross a small salt water area.  Our tour guide showed us the oysters and clams that dwell in the body of water.

The mangrove tour was very relaxing and beautiful.  We were the only ones there! No crazy tour group, no loud voices just tranquil scenery.  The other two people were a very nice couple from London.  They were great company.

After that, a much deserved drink was needed. We went over to little Koh Rong village and found another place to drink. It was a cool setup over the water also with its own pier.

Our new English friends from the Mangrove tour walked by and joined us a for a few rounds of drinks.  We almost stayed for dinner but we headed back to the Sundeck bar for another round of drinks. We actually made it next door for dinner before it closed ate together since it was our last night on the island.  What a great day!

I learned Renata is also a yoga instructor in addition to a fancy hair stylist outside of London. The next morning, she guided me through a one hour session of Kundalini yoga on the beach.  It was a great send off.

We were sad to pack and wait for our ferry to return to the mainland.  We will miss you Koh Rong but we will be back.  Hopefully, before the massive construction for the luxury hotel begins.

PS- the ferry ride back wasn't pleasant. I got seasick from the choppy waters. Not a pleasant site.