Having only seen beaches and paradise islands since arriving in Cambodia, we felt it was only natural to go forth with the theme and to crash one more island before moving along to the ‘real’ Cambodia. There are several islands around Sihanoukville where one can stay overnight, the main ones we were interested in being Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, both located just a few hours off shore from Sihanoukville.
After doing some research, and drawing the broad conclusion that we really are just two aging grumps, we settled on the most quaint and less visited of the two, Koh Rong Samloem. The decision was later validated on the ferry when we met the living version of Skinny Pete sporting a bike chain as a necklace. S.P. happens to be bartending at a resort that shall remain unnamed in Koh Rong and he was just loud enough and had just the right amount of opinion and unsolicited advice on everything to make several passengers’ ears bleed and leave us content with our island choice.
Enter M’Pay Bay, a rustic resort that donates part of their proceeds to a neighboring marine conservation project. M’Pay Bay is located next to a fishing village by the same name – inhabited by around 300 people and possibly as many friendly dogs, all sorts of hybrid dogs, little dogs with big heads and big dogs with little heads. No road, no electricity, no running water ( just a bucket and a scoop), no internet. Just us, the placid turquoise beach, coral reefs, flying fish, baguettes, Vegemite, ripe fruits and two hammocks.