Do you still remember the hippie paradise of Don Det in Laos? Well the island of Koh Rong is the Ibiza of Cambodia with a thin trail of weed left for the intrepid backpacker hippy. Doesn't even have to be so daring anymore as the island attract more and more tourist and with them come investors.
The crowd visiting nowadays is mainly teen away from parents going high in one of the beach bars with loud techno music, although there is some upmarket further from the noise, for now the tattooed rasta cool kid rules this place. On arrival I thought we are not going to last too long here, but it turns out this place as any other is what you make it. Spending Christmas Eve on a beautiful beach with snow white sand and the Christmas Day on a boat trip where the captain pointed out promptly 'not a booze cruise', but was no shortage of booze, made us once again change our initial plan and extend our stay for a total of 12 nights including New Years Eve. Apart from party hopping the beachfront bars, you can find some chillaxed hiding places for all and any needs. Yeah, this again is one of those crazy free spirit places, so even a weirdo of my caliber is just another weirdo... Time takes on a different dimension and life slows down to basic elements of eat, sleep, drink and enjoy. If you find time, and that's a big if, you can enjoy one of many pristine beaches of the island, go fishing, island hopping, snorkelling on coral reefs, or even plankton swimming in the open sea at night. The latest I've never seen before and if you did, you know I'm talking about the dark moonless sky filled with all the stars of Milky Way above you and the sparkling green glow of plankton in the sea underneath. Out of this world... One of the peculiar things on the island is that everybody seems to have a dog. Even those who came for few nights will find a clever bitch waiting underneath their feet for a scratch. On the other hand, locals don't seem to mix too well with tourists. Some travellers stay for a few weeks or months and work for accommodation and food, but otherwise there seems to be a gap in communication. Felt like two different worlds benefiting from each other. The little community of valiant backpacker paradise will however disappear under the blade of bulldozers very soon...
Maybe so, maybe I'm wrong. What I know is that except for missing our families we had pretty good Christmas and the best New Years Eve in years! And so, Happy New Year! 2016 will be OK.