After more than a week on the blissful islands of Thailand, I never thought that I would be living the island life for a second time during this trip. But low and behold, here I go again, but this time to the Cambodian Islands of the south. Björn and Kevin ran the idea in my head so we all decided to go. Rob would join us, but first we had to go pick him up from Sihanoukville. He left a little before us the morning before. We were headed there that evening on a sleeper bus that ran from 1 am to around 6 am. As cozy as this sleeper bus was, my seat was next to a girl who was all over my side of the bed and she hogged all the blankets. Plus, the bus smelled like urine, so I couldn’t wait to get off of it! We finally made it to Sihanoukville, where I had to wake up Rob who was deep in slumber in his hostel, so we wouldn’t miss our scheduled ferry to the island of Koh Rong.
The four of us were regrouped again and made way to the dock where a ferry roughed it through a short rainstorm for two hours, before finally docking at Koh Rong Island.
My first glance of this island, it reminded me of Koh Tao, but once I stepped foot onto Koh Rong, I saw just how different it was from the previous islands. You have the coast lined up with bars, restaurants, and bungalows ran by westerners on one side of the dock, then on the other you have the smaller food stalls ran by only Cambodians. There aren’t any cities or towns in the center of the island; just a big jungle filled with six different types of venomous snakes. There are little Cambodian kids running around everywhere and the beach itself isn’t so clean. However, the vibe was nice as pie and everyone was here just to wind down and relax. There wasn’t much to do as far as water-sports were concerned besides a little kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The four of us booked two bungalows at a place called “Coco Bungalows”. It looked pretty cool! Elevated bamboo huts in the middle of the jungle, with a hammock to accommodate each hut. However, I didn’t care much for the actual room. My mosquito net for my bed had black mold all over it, and my bed smelled like a combination of basement and wet dog. We were told that the island cuts the electricity off every night so no air con or even a fan in any of the rooms. I’ll get more into it later. But for now, we wanted to explore the island!
We walked along the coast and saw that the beach was cleaner, the sand turned whiter, and the coast became more appealing the further we went down. Once we headed back we went to the bar/restaurant of our bungalow and saw that there was going to be a beer pong tournament held tomorrow evening. Once we saw that sign, Rob and I immediately knew we had to partake in it. He and I were partners previously at Phnom Penh and we smashed the competition! Kevin and Björn would partner up. A couple other people we met would also play. Rob met two backpackers from his hostel in Sihanoukville who came to the island also. Their names are Leticia (Brazil) and Luke (England) and they would be partners. Also, Djoeke came to the island later on to and partnered up with another backpacker. Rob and I were confident we’d make it far, even to the point of winning, because most of these backpackers have never or rarely played in their lives. I guess it’s more of an American thing.
Once the tournament began, we watched a couple of other teams battle it out. By the way, the rules here are so much different than back home. There’s too much running around involved with this one. But anyway, it was finally me and Rob vs our first random opponents…Björn and Kevin. Psshh, we got this. Björn has never played before and I wasn’t sure about Kevin but I assumed the same.
I don’t know what happened but Rob and I were off our game. To the point that we lost the first round. I was a bit crabby after that because I HATE losing. Even worse, losing to two people who never play, ever! I know it’s a stupid game, but I went in with the mindset that I’d go far. Björn and Kevin actually ended up winning the tournament! I couldn’t believe it! Props to them. They won a bottle of Cambodian whiskey for their efforts.
The next night, the same bar at our bungalow was holding a toga party and the best dressed would win a bottle of whiskey.
I had no interest in the prize and no one in my group seemed interested in participating. All of a sudden, a bright idea popped into my head. Let’s just dress up one person, deck em out, and have them be a viable contender for the toga contest! My idea was to dress up Björn, since he resembles a Julius Caesar, or at least what I pictured Caesar to look like in my head. Björn wasn’t sure about it at first, but I was confident I could whip him up in something. I went around the bungalows and found leaves, twigs, and other things I could borrow from Mother Nature and made a wreath for his head, two arm bands made of plants, and I put long green petals around a belt I had. I did some damage to the property in the process of scavenging for the perfect materials …whoops! I managed to find some gold spray paint and sprayed the wreath all gold. I don’t know how I did it but once my creative juices get flowing, the sky’s the limit! However, when it came to the actual toga, I had no idea how to make one or what to use to even make it. YouTube is the best when it comes to tutorials so thats what I did. But there wasn’t a white sheet in sight! I had to forgo the impossible search for a white bed sheet and decided to just use my red bed sheet as his toga. Luckily, I also had a bronze liner that Shiv gave me way back in Chiang Mai that I could use as well. I went and grabbed Björn who had no clue as to what stuff I had for him, but he was pretty excited. After a few minutes getting everything on and adjusting properly, it was like magic!
He played to the character of some kind of Greek God, an authoritative figure with a regal presence. I even made a fan out of big leaves for his servant to cool him down, which I suppose that servant was me.
And just like I hoped, Björn ended up winning the contest thanks to all the details I put into it. So he won ANOTHER bottle of free whiskey. He tried to share it with me but I wanted none of it. I just wanted to win. “Drink up man! Have fun!” I told him. Most of my group left the toga party, including myself because I was really tired, while wild Björn stayed and went all out with the other togas.
Make that two nights in a row Björn won the respective competitions. Let’s see what kind of competition there would be tomorrow? Make it a three-peat! Björn was game…until we saw what the next competition was. Ladies Night. Which meant the best dressed guy in women’s clothing would win a bottle.
Well…two out of three competitions ain’t bad!