The Remote Island of Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island)

I’m sorry that this post comes rather late, but I was so busy after my time in Rabbit Island that I never got around to posting about it until now.

Sometimes, even while you’re traveling (and perhaps especially when you’ve been traveling for a long time), you need a holiday from the holiday. Don’t roll your eyes, it’s true! I had such a need in Cambodia and my friend, Judith and I decided to take a weekend holiday to the island of Koh Tonsay, also known as Rabbit Island, to get away from all the crowds and the relentless touts of mainland Cambodia.

Rabbit Island is a small and remote island just a short boat ride from the Cambodian town of Kep. The main draw of Rabbit Island is its sheer lack of things to do. Perhaps this is why the number of tourists here rarely go above the number you can count between your fingers and toes, but again, that’s part of Rabbit Island’s charm. It really is just a peaceful little island with a nice long white-sand beach to idle the day away on a hammock. There are no hawkers that troll the beach and no Full Moon parties on this island, which is a very nice change.

Judith and I spent the whole first day either sleeping in a hammock right on the beach or eating deliciously fresh seafood. So fresh in fact, that you can actually go out to the nets in the sea with your cook and pick out your fish! My favorite dish while on Rabbit Island was the shrimp curry. It was simply delicious!

Another of Rabbit Island’s selling point is the little beach bungalows that you can rent for the night for a mere $5. Although quite simple, the bungalows provided us with a bed and a mosquito net, the bare necessities for the night. And with the ocean waves lulling us to sleep, we didn’t need anything else.

The next day we woke up and lazed in the hammocks again. Eager to explore the island, Judith and I decided to hike the perimeter. We thought it would be quite easy and set off. It wasn’t so easy. The trail disappeared at times and we found ourselves lost more than once. Luckily, we came upon a number of fishing houses with a few people living there, who were quite helpful in pointing us back on the right path. We were forced to circumnavigate a good portion of the island from the water. Given the shallow shore, that wasn’t too hard. Except when our feet sunk into the quicksand-like mud. Hiking in flip flops, as it turned out, wasn’t the best idea.

We finally made it back to the beach in time to catch our boat back to mainland Cambodia. As soon as we docked, tuk tuk drivers descended upon us again with a great Cambodian welcome, making me question whether just one night away had been enough…

© Connie Hum 2010

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