I must say that although it is sometimes a great surprise and change, I am glad our travel is not straight. That would be pretty boring, don´t you think? Every turn and change of direction brings new experiences and adventures.

Koh Rong Sanloem and our another volunteering

When we were in Cambodia for the first time (March 2018), we didn´t have any idea that we will return back to the same place in the same year. But this country has surprised us in many ways. One of the sites was the island of Koh Rong Sanloem, where we helped like volunteers (in March 2018). We stayed in contact with our hosts so we wrote them a message if they don´t need our help again. And we were lucky! In the first time, they were working in their new bungalow on the upper floor where guest rooms are now. Now they focused on the lower floor where the bar and restaurant were planned, and thanks to Martin’s skills with electricity, we had another volunteering with the same people.

Actually, several friends heard about Martin’s skill, so they started to write a list of people who would need the same help. And I can show you one funny situation when one couple came and asked: Are you, Martin? M: Yes, I’m. Do you need something? Answer: No, we just wanted to see you, because everyone talks about you here! : D And as far as my help is concerned, people need someone for painting and cleaning everywhere. Thanks, God!

The Wildflower

One of the things we enjoyed was an invitation to OPEN PARTY (1st December 2018) from our first hosts on this island. Seeing progress from March 2018 and the beginning of November was awesome, and now we can enjoy the fact that we helped someone build his dream. And at the same time, we know if we would need accommodation on the island, we can ask them.

M’Pai Bay Village with the kind community

In this village, I like the fact that the population is about the same size as the village we come from – the Stratov. It is interesting how many Europeans have moved here and managed to build a very harmonious relationship with the local people. Everyone builds his bungalow, bar, and restaurant but they all still help each other (even though they are competitors). People in Europe also have a greater knowledge of ecology, so they also pass on information to the local. Their life on the island is built with respect to the local nature. In the restaurants and bars, they use glass after Nutella, marmalade or mayonnaise, plastic straws are replaced with bamboo straws, flowerpots are made from plastic containers (after cleaning agents), and the like.

In addition, thanks to the immigration of people from Europe and an increasing number of travelers and tourists each year, local people have incredibly raised their living standards on the island. E.g. in March we saw one family living in a wooden-tin building and selling fruit, fruit shakes and cooked a few local dishes. Now they have built a new brick house, where they have several rooms for rent and a small shop with a restaurant on the lower floor. It is nice to see that they are constantly improving their living as well as their services. It wouldn´t work like this in our country. The whole family, including children, is involved in the business, the renting of rooms and the restaurant, but especially for kids, it is the best school of life. They learn to work. Sadly, there are areas in Cambodia where begging is normal during the day, and people don´t have even $ 1 a day.

Other factors that people associate here

When a big party is in one bar, the rest of their bars are closed and they have fun together. A couple of days later the party moves to another place. In short, they support each other and work together, and that is good. Maybe it is because when you are here on the island, a lot of things has to be bought on the mainland. So when someone brings to the island e.g. a new work tool (drill, hammer, grinder, etc.) then everybody borrows it and when you need the tool at the moment, you can´t find it. But no one is angry here.

The island and its two sides

The island can be like from a catalog, but there is also a lot of work too. Local and volunteers (who come here for just a few days) help to clean the island. We clean and help too because, in the free time, we want to enjoy only the sea and the sun on the beach (without garbage).

And so I can only tell you one thing: If you are somewhere on vacation and you see something similar to what we see here, don´t be angry and don´t say that someone could clean the place! You can be the first who starts with cleaning even if it is only 5 or 10 minutes. I know you’re on the holiday you want to enjoy, but it’s not a great feeling when you show (in a few minutes) that the planet, where you live too, can be much nicer? Believe that people are looking around and I myself have experiences that others joined to me. The cleaning was after then much faster.

Boat trip around the island

Don´t think that we only work and clean the beaches here. Thanks to the beautiful sea, this island is popular for trips with a small wooden boat that takes you around the island, stopping at several places at sea and you can snorkel around. It was a great experience for me, both snorkeling and observing the sunset while traveling back to the village.

PS: The only problem with me was that when the ship stopped on the sea, the boat started to sway from the one side to the other side. Actually, I´m a person who has a travel sickness (in the car, on the bus, on the ship and on the plane too). Now I forgot to take a pill so I tried to be in a good condition the longest time on the boat. Fortunately, the trip was without complications.

Our menu on the island

And the last chapter that many people deal with. What we eat when we’re on the island. So I can assure you that we are not starving and live only on fresh fruit and vegetables, even though it is a major part of our diet. We owe a lot of rice, which can be prepared in several ways and you can buy it everywhere.

In the village, I like the fact that each place has some delicious specialty that is perfect in one word. In Lost and Found we go for deliciously baked cheese toast made from homemade bread, at the Lisa Guesthouse we get the best fruit shakes, the Hornbill is famous for fluffy pancakes, home-made brownies, and local coffee. Seapony offers breakfast all day, where they serve one serving (which is actually for two people) the best smoothie bowl with tropical fruits and in several other places you can e.g. taste home-made cookies in several variants. So it’s up to you what you prefer. It can be seen how people are doing this with love and only with high-quality ingredients. These places inspire me. I can gain new experiences in the kitchen that interests me. And above all, QUALITY should exceed the QUANTITY. That’s why you will not find any cheaper options here. Either you buy good quality or you have bad luck. Everything is so good and for example, you don´t have to eat a ton of different sweet things (e.g. just one small square of brownies).

THE LAST WORDS: We´re enjoying everything here, but with limits (work, exercise, good food, sweets, rest).