Island Life

Vagabond Tim
The island of Koh Rong is only really accessible by ferry from the tiny town of Sihanoukville on the Cambodian side of the Gulf of Thailand. There is power for only a few hours a day, supplied by generators, and in those few hours the WiFi is so slow that it might as well not exist. The island is quite similar to Tom Hanks residence in the movie Castaway, only with more sandflies.

Since it is about 40 degrees in the shade and there is no power for fans or air conditioning, one must resort to consuming vast quantities of very cheap beer. The only other option is very cheap whiskey, about 2$ USD per bottle. The whiskey has a flavour not unlike those scented felt markers and is probably quite poisonous, but one tends not to care after a few good pulls from the bottle.

I had two roommates in a bungalow, which was up a friggan mountain from the beach. At one point Tom, one of the roommates, decided that he was going to drink an entire bottle himself while sitting on the beach and watching the phosphorescent water. The fallout from this decision was hilarious. I was up at the bungalow recovering from a hangover when Craig came up to ask for my help bringing Tom up the hill. I should have realized this would not be a simple task, especially given that Tom is nearly twice my size.

Tom being incredibly drunk decided that threatening to fight us both the entire time was far preferable to climbing up the hill. We essentially had to whip him like it was a cattle drive to get his lumbering stumbling ass up to the bungalow. As soon as we had accomplished this task he collapsed into the hammock and declared that he was going to sleep outside. Due to the likelihood that he would be eaten alive by various airborne insects we insisted that he go inside. He responded by threatening to fight us both and falling down in the attempt.

Craig, covered in sand and too drunk to bother dealing with it, lied down and passed out. The bungalow had only two large beds so Craig and Tom had to share one. Tom decided he needed a shower. During his shower he also decided he did not need to put on clothes. So he staggered out of the bathroom dripping wet, completely loaded, and completely naked, and flopped down next to a sand covered and slumbering Craig.

I, being sober, immediately grasped the impending hilarity of the situation and settled into my bed until morning.
As the sun rose and they began to wake up two things occurred to them. Firstly Craig realized he was sleeping next to a heavyset naked man, and second Tom realized that during the night he had been covered in sand that has now dried into every inch of his skin. Best of all neither of them was completely aware of the events of the preceding evening.

I spent most of the morning concocting outlandish stories about their previous night in an attempt to torment them while entertaining myself. Eventually I related the rather tame story of what actually occurred so long as they told me where to purchase this incredibly inexpensive whiskey. From that point on my time on the island was a lot more comfortable and a lot drunker.


There is essentially no infrastructure on the island, no roads and essentially no power. So its 38 degrees and there are no fans, it is quite hard to sleep


The beach was unreasonably beautiful and covered in small boats


The path from my bungalow to the beach was essentially a religious pilgrimage that took about ten minutes sober, and around thirty most of the time


The larger boats that couldn’t easily come ashore were simply anchored at the waterline at low tide, or twenty odd meters out at high tide

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