Early this year I managed to have a really pleasant trip to a less touristic resort of Thailand, reachable by car within just some 15 mn away from the south-west part of Cambodia that borders Thailand. The resort is still not at all crowded (we were almost their only 25 customers) and just about 1.5 hours by boat from a very low-keyed and relatively smaller, but rather beautiful, island of Thailand, Koh Kood.
The resort was run by a Cambodian, by ethnicity, lady, who migrated to Thailand such a long long time ago that she could speak Khmer only with a very strong Thai accent. She’s incredibly helpful and friendly. I guess, that’s probably the reason why everyone that we met in the resort was all very hospitable – a living example of culture being a shadow of one’s leadership.
I was not the one organizing the trip; a few friends of ours were, and according to them, the experience working with the lady was pleasant; the negotiation (on prices, and activities) were brief and easy, as she was very accommodating. For a group of about 25 people, about 70 USD was charged of each person, covering a two night stay in 2 to 5 beds bungalows, which are only a stone-throw away from the sea, with 3 meals including a nice barbecue on the second evening in a garden that sits among a beautiful evening’s lighting, just between a pool and the beach.
Here are some of the food we were pampered with during our stay. 🙂
Little, but incredibly soothing, things to do:
How about an early morning swim in a pool by the bungalow, with the sound of high-tide waves splashing against concrete walls? How about another swim in the late evening or in the am before bed?
How about a late afternoon stroll along the beach, with a beautiful sun setting in the horizons?
How about another stroll with our friends along the beach at night, further and further away from all the lights, to find the darkest spot so that we could look up into the starry sky? We were so hopeful to get the majestic view of what constitutes of our Milky Way, but no matter how far we walked from all the lights around, we couldn’t escape; there were even lights of fishing boats far off in the dark horizon. Anyhow, it was still a beautiful view.
How about a day escape to an island off the mainland to discover more about what natures have to offer? For about 40 dollars per person (return), we got onto a private boat and took a close-to-2-hour little-bumpy journey to Koh Kood. We first hopped onto a little pick-up speedboat for a short few minute ride towards a bigger boat that anchored in a deep-enough water. Then on we went, further and further away from the mainland. Further we went, we started noticing the change of look and movement of the sea, as if water that surfaces different depths were made up of different textures – from little choppy, splashy waves, to more serene, more calm, thicker look. The trip was fascinating, but sadly not fun for all, as some of us got sea-sick and had to lie down, as pale as ghosts, waiting anxiously for the boat to reach shore.
How about snorkeling for some beautiful, still untouched coral reefs? Yes, we stopped at a part of the island (to which admission is still free).
How about a hilly drive into different parts of the island – one was to a natural waterfall, with icy cold still water to swim, and then to a beach with paper-white sand? We didn’t have that much time to lie sunbathing on the beach, though – just a few minutes to breathe in sea-fresh air and take a nice group photo. If you have more time, you may want to spend a night on the island.
How about a barbecue dinner with fresh sea food, with dim lighting, and some music in the background? How about some alcohol to entertain the night and as the night grew older, some fast music to get our grooves moving and to get our muscles loosened up?
How to Get there?
If you would like to visit the island, I think it’s best to stay at the resort and take a day trip or two to the island. You can get there by taking a 45mn flight from Bangkok to Trat Airport (which cost about 70 USD one-way) or take a 4-hour bus/van from the Sovannaphumi airport.
For us, we simply took a bus from Phnom Penh. It took us about 6 hours (about 7 dollars one way) to reach Koh Kong (a coastal province that borders Trat, Thailand, and then we got picked up by the resort crew for a 15mn drive to the resort from the border. If you take this route, you can also take the advantage of spending a day or two in Koh Kong; actually you can replicate a similar itinerary in Koh Kong, with a similar or even lower budget.
So if you are going to take one, have a blast!