1. December 2015. I think Wonderboy and I knew we’d made the right decision as soon as we stepped off our boat onto Koh Rong’s Nature Beach. Clear water… a modest but largely empty stretch of sand… a visible range of clientele that could be counted on one hand… this was exactly what we’d been hoping for! Located twenty-six kilometers out from Cambodia’s mainland at the city of Sihanoukville, Nature Beach is one of Koh Rong’s most intimate spots, nestled seven kilometers from the island’s main village Koh Touch.
2. December 2015. Nature Beach offers visitors a selection of accommodation options to suit all budgets. For our first night Wonderboy and I went for one of the stilt tents under the trees on the edge of the beach. We’d been attracted partly by a sense of adventure, (what with the stepladder entrance and all) but also the price tag, just $10 a night between the pair of us. The reality though was far from romantic! The tent was tiny and we were packed in like sardines. Stiflingly hot, I spent the majority of the night sweating like a pig and warning Wonderboy that if he farted I was gonna kill him. It was so unbearable I remember having to get out two to three times a night for a cold shower down by the shared toilet block.
3. December 2015. “Mate, fuck this let’s get a chalet!” exclaimed Wonderboy the next morning, which is exactly what we did. It was hardly luxury lodgings but boy oh boy did it feel like a major upgrade after a night in the matchbox. Especially as we got ourselves a 50% discount! It was Wonderboy’s birthday, so instead of the usual $80 a night (which felt very overpriced) we only had to pay $40.
4. December 2015. There isn’t much choice when it comes to eating on Nature Beach. You’ve basically got two options: 1) the main bar and restaurant where the Filipina girls shake up a mean cocktail or 2) the Chinese restaurant where our attempts to order breakfast proved so farcical we never went back. We had some great nights at that main bar, where Wonderboy and I played out long Jenga battles and enjoyed some decent dinners. I recommend the Beef Lok Lak with rice and fried egg. Wonderboy even got a slice of birthday cake, although it came courtesy of a holidaying Thai family who were also celebrating a birthday. Good times!
5. December 2015. Nature Beach is an excellent option for anyone looking for a quiet part of Koh Rong. The beach itself, while not spectacular, is pretty and peaceful, while the waters can be crystal clear. It’s also a good base for the two-kilometer hike over to Coconut Beach Resort, which boasts a much more impressive stretch of sand.
The definitive highlight of our stay though, and one that I was sadly unable to document in any way except for the memory bank that sits between my ears, is the night we went to see Nature Beach’s jaw-dropping phenomenon of glowing plankton. Paddling into the sea, it was absolutely incredible to watch as all around us bioluminescent organisms lit up the water in reaction to the movement of our feet. It was sparkly, shimmering magic, a sight I’ll never forget!
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