Wanting nothing more than to do nothing for the next few days, I hopped on a boat leaving from Otres Beach for Koh Ta Kiev. Koh Ta Kiev is 6.7 km² and currently has around 50 permanent inhabitants. The island is owned by the military but a 99-year lease was taken out by French company. Currently the island is mostly jungle with only 3 places to stay; Kactus, The Last Point and Ten103. This is all set to change in the future as the island is going to be developed by the French company. The time to visit is now!
The island is only accessible by boat and there is no infrastructure on the island meaning that there are only sand paths to get around. The Last Point and Ten103 are owned by the same person and once a day they send their boat -weather-permitting – to the mainland on Otres Beach to collect food, supplies and guests. There is no electricity on the island except for solar-power which powers the speakers throughout the day and 3 hours of generator power each night to turn on the bar lights and to charge electrical items. This means that 50kg of ice is brought to the island every day – 30kg for the bar and 20kg for the kitchen to keep the food cool.
I visited during quiet season. When I arrived there were already 7 guests there but 6 of them left the following day. No more guests arrived so my second night there it was just me, 3 members of staff, a couple that came on the boat with me and one guy who remained from the previous group. On the third day another group of 3 arrived so despite it being quiet season there were quite a few of us there.
The island has a fishing village that myself and a Dutch girl called Sharon explored one sunny day. It took us 45 minutes to walk each way. Once there we walked along the makeshift bridges to the floating pontoons and drank iced coffee whilst watching the locals go about their daily lives. Sharon even joined in with a game of volleyball!
The waters surrounding the island are home to bio-luminescent phytoplankton. On my second night we went skinny dipping with the plankton. I went swimming with them again on my third night and because the skies were completely overcast and the moonlight was gone the water completely lit up around you as you swam. It was the most incredible experience somewhat dampened by the fact that I got stung my a jellyfish.
We had bonfires at night and made banana splits in the fire and watched both sunrises and sunsets every day. Other than that I spent my time reading – I have now read 6 books since leaving for SE Asia – sleeping, snorkelling, writing my diary and just generally relaxing. I think this was exactly what I needed after not really stopping since my Easter.
I have returned from the island feeling rested and rejuvenated and ready to see what SE Asia will throw at me next! My next stop is Phnom Penh – the capital of Cambodia. Here I plan on visiting the Killing Fields and the S21 prison/museum. I imagine I will have a lot to say after visiting these places so be prepared for a long post next time.
Until then, I hope you are all keeping well.