Phosphorescent Plankton and Paradise

I fell madly in love with Cambodia when I was 19 and was very excited to see it again. The people are some of the friendliest I have met in the world and it was very easy to feel like you were getting off the typical backpacker route. I spent around 8 weeks total in Cambodia the first time around, going from the mystical Angkor Wat, the sleepy little river town Kampot, the crazy, busy Phnom Penh, and many places in between. This time around, I did not find it as easy to get off the ‘pancake trail’, but I did find paradise. Long Beach is10394811_10205273581864661_1588390828684136366_n located on Koh Rong island, which is a very popular island for backpackers. Long Beach isn’t an unknown destination in itself. Many hike to get there or take a boat ride for the day. Long Beach has a row of rustic bungalows that aren’t advertised and are maintained by a couple of westerners who seem intent on never leaving. To get there, you can trek through the jungle or take a boat. The trek is fabulous though, and there are little flip-flops and signs posted on trees so you don’t get defeated and give up. When I finally reached the end I felt like Leonardo DiCaprio seeing the beach for the first time. It’s absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful. LongBeach1 I stayed there for 3 nights, and it was a truly amazing experience. During the day, you can lounge on the white sand beach and go swimming in the ocean. The ocean is so incredibly blue it feels like you are swimming in a pool. I also made a friend, who ended up eating most of my food for the duration of my stay. LongBeach2 The most incredible thing about Long Beach isn’t in the day time, when tourists and other backpackers can sometimes crowd the beach. It’s the night-time, when you are left with the other people staying in the bungalows, no electricity, and phosphorescent plankton. Swimming with the plankton was like nothing I have experienced in my life. As there is no electricity on this part of the island, it is pitch-black come 8pm. Swimming with the plankton was like having little stars erupt at the touch of your fingertips. It was magical.

LongBeach3Boats run every evening to get back to the main part of Koh Rong. Word to the wise- think about the weather carefully before you get on a small little boat in a tropical storm, or you will be soaked and afraid for your life. Other, then that, go to Long Beach! It is honestly one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. Truly paradise.


6 thoughts

  1. You’re truly an inspiration Kate! You’re adventures (and writing) are amazing! For reasons you’re aware of, we are insanely jealous of all the fun you’re having. Keep it up, we hope to read your posts forever! Take care of yourself, we can’t wait to see you!


  2. That looks like the most beautiful of beaches. It is being added to my long list of places to visit!

    I can’t wait to get back to Cambodia, last time we went, they were just building the first tarmac road. Looking forward to see the changes!


  3. Hello Kate,
    I am enjoying reading your blog. Can I ask where you stayed on Koh Rong? (or did you spend the whole time in the bungalows on Long Beach?) I am going to go there for New Year.


    1. Thank you! I stayed one night on Koh Rong, but don’t remember the name of the place. It was a very large and loud hostel. There are plenty of places to stay though and I think it would be fine to just show up! 🙂


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