I’m not sure if it’s about always smiling inhabitants, nature, exotic destination or something completely different but I was amazed by the number of young people from all around the world who were exploring interesting Cambodia. Among all the islands and hidden places I had the opportunity to drift away in this beautiful Kingdom, Koh Ta Kiev (island) was for sure one of the most unique places in Cambodia. Many of people exploring the country usually don’t go there, which is just another advantage of it, of course there are visitors , but no crowd or people obsessed with taking selfies and posting on Facebook or doing some similar stuff ( don’t want to use another “s” word).
The beauty of the island also lies in the fact that posting is not even possible on the island, you are miles away from the internet and you just have to adopt yourself to people on it and feel the vibrations of Koh Ta Kiev and energy on it. Still since the island has many “things” to offer, more than certain there are rumors about it among backpackers traveling around Cambodia, even if they didn’t have the chance of getting there.
If by any case you have missed “The Beach” movie with Di Caprio, where group of people has a world for themselves on a hidden small island, a world ruled by their own rules far from the civilization we know today, if you have missed it, watch it. And the ones who are still dreaming about the idea, take some money you need and run to Koh Ta Kiev. Something like that does exists, but in Cambodia , not Thailand. The island is in Thai gulf , around 10 km away from SihanoukVille, popular Cambodian port and summer resort on southern eastern part of the country. As for the country itself the best part of the year for traveling there is during dry season, something like November till April, otherwise rain might get between you and enjoying it. Driving on a boat towards island is already interesting and it takes about an hour from Otres Beach ( popular beach – part of SihanoukVille) , where you will always find a boat to take you there. Besides you will for sure meet local fishermen on the way there and get to know with their tradition of fishing. And closer I was getting to the island more was I realizing why this was the island my friend mentioned as the one where I just have to go.
I still hadn’t put my feet on the sand while getting off the boat, but I could have already smelled some amazing food being prepared, combined with the smell of weed which everybody smokes there and which is being breed on the island without any issue. The energy on the island is something that made everyone prolonged their staying at least for a day more than planned. No wonder ’cause just after few hours there, you forget about everything and leave it all behind, at the same spot where you left every sign of modern civilization. Joel, everything except typical American guy, holds a “resort” where I was staying and a good part of the island. With the tree houses where you will sleep for around 5 US dollars per night he has his own crew living there with him and making you feel as if you had found a new home. It doesn’t stop here, they even have their mini manufacture of normally forbidden Absent. How? Everything is possible in Cambodia if you know who to give money to, which as you can assume isn’t always good as in the case with the Koh Ta Kiev. He basically gives some money to the army, which island belongs to and they leave him alone. After just few hours which I have spent drinking at the bar every person who stepped on the island after me had the same question ; “Hey are you dude that makes his own Absent?” So, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that the island wasn’t popular only for the beautiful nature.
Yet there weren’t more than 15 of us there all together which was more than awesome and with all the stimulation for easier way of forgetting problems, Joel also takes care that you eat an amazing food. Man was a cook in Italy for several years, consequently for just few dollars you can enjoy great Italian cuisine. Since there are also local people living and working for him , you can have the taste of local food too.
It wasn’t just about the food, booze and weed or even the amazing nature around me, the way they were thinking about every single detail, simply makes you feel like you’re at your new home, just having a huge outdoor house. You just become one with the jungle around you, there are no boundaries between you and the nature. You sleep together with birds, all kinds of bugs, mice and other animals, but no snakes around you , at least I haven’t seen any.
When the night falls, things become even more interesting … Guitar gets its own five minutes of glory, you easily forget about the electricity, there is enough of it only for the fridges, or if you really need to charge your phone. After a night underneath the stars, in the middle of nowhere hangover is much easier to handle when you awake with the view you do and it takes just few steps to dive into the sea.