There is something really special about this island and this resort, just a few hours away from Sihanoukville.
Having seen several islands and beach resorts in asia almost ruined by overdevelopment, it is an absolute delight to find something that is still very new. Lazy Beach has been around for only 2 years, and is the only one at this end of the island. There are some EcoSea bungalows at the other end, and a Khmer fishing village too.
It is still very small and fairly rustic. The bungalows are big and roomy with en-suite and balcony, but there is no electricity during the day, unless someone wants a pineapple shake at the bar - in which case they’ll put on the generator for a little while.
All there is, is beach, bungalows and bushland. No wifi, no streetlights, no motorbikes, no touts, no music blaring along the seafront. Bliss.
Watching the sunset became an evening ritual – and what sunsets, viewed from the comfort of your own porch, perhaps whilst lazing on a hammock.
The thing that struck me most of all, was the feeling of being safe. No-one even locks their doors there! There’s no need, so few are the occupants of the island. It was like stepping back in time to an era when people lived this way, and as someone who grew up in a crowded city, I found it utterly refreshing.
We had the beach virtually to ourselves. Even when all the bungalows were occupied, there only ever seemed to be a few people around, as there are several beaches to choose from, and very long ones at that. When we trekked across the island to the other main beach, the only ones other than us there were the owner’s dogs, who scampered ahead to show us the way.
The gorgeous dogs are called Spoon and Boysie. These two are smoochy types who love their bellies rubbed. Or they’ll take you for a walk in the bush and run along the beach with you. Although Spoon is prone to spending hours curled up in her favourite papsan chair. Daww…
The guys who own and run the joint, Rich and Chris, are English, very nice and very funny. We felt right at home, as did the other couples and several families there. I reckon even singles would have a good time.
Helping out Rich and Chris when we stayed, were Carrie and Jay. Rich also had some UK friends visiting when we were there, so it was like hanging out with a bunch of mates from home, such was the great atmosphere.
There was nothing better of a nght, having watched the sunset and had a nice refreshing shower, than to sidle up to the bar for a cold Beer Lao. Or a cocktail. We got a special one from Jay, called the Choc-cock. Baileys, Kahlua and Frangelico – YUM!
And the food!! Quite a variety of Khmer and Western dishes was on the menu, though we stuck to non-western food. Whole fried snapper or trevally with sweet and sour sauce, garlic prawns, amok, red curry…
We could only get three nights there, but if you let Rich know when you first arrive that you’d like to stay extra nights, he keeps an eye out in case of cancellations. Those already on the island get dibs over requests from the mainland, so you never know…
Dom did a couple of dives nearby, but the snorkelling is just as good, especially around the rocky points. There are several walks on the island; as well as the one across the island there is a hike up to a lookout point, and a further one to the lighthouse (for the fit). But really, swimming, lazing around, reading a book, and going for easy walks along the beach are the main attractions, I’d say.
While it doesn’t have the soaring karsts that characterise Phi Phi or Tioman Island, it has gentle pristine beaches, unpolluted bays, very little boat traffic so far, and is as laid back as an island can be. The tranquility and homeliness of the place will bring me back for sure.
So while Serendipity and Ochheuteal beaches at Sihanoukville left me a little disappointed due to their development, this island put the smile right back on my face. This is what Ko Samui and Phangan must have been like all those years ago. The 2 1/2 hour boat ride from Snooky will keep this operation low-key for quite a while, I suspect.
But why not come now, while it is still an undiscovered gem?