Cambodia, Part 2

by Martha

We spent five days on an island in the Gulf of Thailand called Koh Rong Sanloem. It was a bit of a logistical challenge to get there, but it was fun. There were lots of young backpacker types from the west (US, Australia, Europe) and I told Gopal I felt like I was reliving my youth!

OK I know it looks like paradise. Sorry to make you all jealous.

One night was an adventure. We took an evening tour out to a dark bay on the island where we could see the phosphorescent plankton. The “tour” was really just a long-tail fishing boat with two Cambodian fishermen. There were two other couples with us. It was cloudy and there was lightning out in the faraway clouds. So we went to the bay and got in the shallow water and enjoyed the luminescent plankton, but you can only see it when there is no other light pollution. And the sky kept flashing with lightning, which would momentarily create a reflection on the surface of the water. Finally we all climbed back in the boat and the fishermen started taking us back to the strip of bungalows on Saracen Beach where we were staying. As we came out of the protected cove to head west into the beach, a gusting icy wind came behind us. I thought, “Rain is coming!” We motored in to the sandy shallows and the wind was by this point whipping up white caps. They threw the anchor and the boat was being pushed by the wind. We all went to scramble off and the boat tipped dramatically, with the hull catching the wind and the deck tipping into the sea. We all managed to jump off (me leaving behind my flip-flops) and start to dash to the shore through the shallow waves. Then the rain struck like cold shards. The wind was whipping and we all ran to the thatch bar where we were meant to eat dinner as part of the tour. We were already soaked. All the bar-goers had taken cover on the leeward side of the round bar, as the rain was coming down onshore almost horizontally. I arrived last to see Ila crouching under the overhang of the bar next to some international tourist holding a pina colada. The traveler had called out, “Come children, take cover!” It was all very dramatic. We ended up going back to our own bungalow, changing into dry clothes, and having a cozy dinner at the restaurant with its vinyl rain curtains pulled down, watching the kitties play.

Here is Ila at the same bar, the following day.

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And the same fishing boat…

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2 thoughts on “Cambodia, Part 2

    1. Yes, loads of fun, actually. All you boaters out there probably know we should not have gone out on the water when there was lightning, but we did it anyhow. All went well.

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