Cambodia: The other side of Koh Rong Samloem

“I’m going to the other side!” calls Mariana, one of the volunteers on Sunset Beach, as she marches off with a daypack and a phone. She is going to get internet. That’s what the other side means here. Paulo the  waiter calls it ‘Indiana Jones and the search for the wifi.’

The Jungle

To get to the other side you have to do a jungle hike of about thirty minutes depending on whether you are an Austrian mountain expert, like the owners of the little resort, or an English girl like me, used to the rolling undulations of the South Downs. It is actually a short climb then a hike. The climb is up what seems to be a dry waterfall – ropes on both sides that you grab and haul yourself up with. Orange rocks and yellow earth form steps and vines curl around trees like snakes, curl around your feet. You are dripping with sweat in seconds. The jungle squawks and trills and crackles with dry sticks. A leaf falls and I am certain it is a snake. Or a spider. Or a lizard. Or some other creature pictured on the brightly coloured informative poster at one end of the path. Each time I do the jungle hike, grabbing a rope that could so easily be a snake, my ears tingling with the tinny saw of cicadas, I am not sure if I would rather see the jungle inhabitants… or not. I secretly hope to see the black Cobra, or the black and white stripy super dangerous one. Or the green one Oscar the chef saw with a frog in its mouth. Continue reading “Cambodia: The other side of Koh Rong Samloem”