Travel Report: Nature Beach – Koh Rong, Cambodia.
December 2015. I think Wonderboy and I let out a collective sigh of relief as we stepped off our boat onto Nature Beach. There were clear waters, light golden sands and a distinct lack of people. Yup, we’d definitely done the right thing! Located twenty-six kilometres out from Cambodia’s mainland at the city of Sihanoukville, Nature Beach is one of Koh Rong’s most intimate spots.
Nature Beach offers visitors a selection of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Firstly, we went for one of the stilt tents under the trees on the edge of the beach. We’d been attracted partly by a sense of adventure (stepladder entrance anyone?), but also the price tag.
Nature Beach, Koh Rong.
Actually Wonderboy and I paid just $10 a night between us. But we hadn’t really thought it through. The tent was tiny and we were packed in like sardines. Stiflingly hot, I spent the majority of the night sweating like a pig and warning Wonderboy that if he farted I was gonna kill him. Consequently, it became so unbearable I remember having to get out three times that night for a cold shower down by the shared toilet block.
“Mate, fuck this let’s get a chalet!” exclaimed Wonderboy the next morning. Which is exactly what we did! This was hardly luxury lodgings, but boy oh boy it felt like a major upgrade after a night in the matchbox. Especially since we got ourselves a 50% discount! It was Wonderboy’s birthday, so instead of the usual $80 a night (which felt overpriced), we only had to pay $40.
There isn’t much choice when it comes to eating on Nature Beach. You’ve basically got two options. You can go for the main bar-restaurant, where the Filipino girls shake up a mean cocktail. Alternatively, you can try the Chinese restaurant where our attempts to order breakfast proved so farcical we never went back.
A very Koh Rong Birthday.
We had some great nights at that main bar, where Wonderboy and I played out long Jenga battles over dinner and drinks. I recommend the Beef Lok Lak with rice and fried egg. Wonderboy even got a slice of birthday cake, although it came courtesy of a holidaying Thai family who were also celebrating a birthday. Good times!
Nature Beach is an excellent option for anyone looking for a quiet part of Koh Rong. The beach itself, while not spectacular, is a genuine tropical oasis. It’s also a good base for the two-kilometre hike over to Coconut Beach Resort.
The definitive highlight of our stay here is the night we went to see Nature Beach’s jaw-dropping phenomenon of glowing plankton. Paddling into the sea, it was absolutely incredible to watch as all around us bioluminescent organisms lit up the water. And of course it reacted to the movement of our feet! It was sparkly, shimmering magic; a sight I will never forget!
Interested in staying at Nature Beach? Head to hostelworld.com for availability.
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