Cake
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    • Nick Zantop

      Unbeknownst to many people, Cambodia is not a landlocked country. It has a coastline, 443km of it in fact, sandwiched between Thailand and Vietnam.

      My wife and I spent two months in Cambodia and devoted two weeks to the Cambodian islands. I'm an island baby at heart, raised in the Bahamas on the long, skinny island of Eleuthera and then in South Florida, so any opportunity to plunge back into the ocean and wear my true beach bum colors as my skin crisps to a nice shade of mahogany, is an opportunity I relish. Cambodia is the kind of place where low budget travelers can stretch out their meager funds for nearly an eternity - the beaches are a little pricier than the inland destinations, but for $7 a night on the tropical island of Koh Rong you get a tent next to the beach on a raised platform, with a mattress and an electric fan that spins in fickle, erratic rotations depending upon how much power the island's generator is putting out. Paradise, budget style.

      On the neighboring island of Koh Rong Samloem កោះរុងសន្លឹម, we found a little hostel perched high on a cliff with a million dollar view - for $4, they'd rent you a hammock in the jungle, complete with mosquito net...a true necessity in this part of the world. Our first night was truthfully more restful than you might imagine - we're pretty adaptable sleepers (in Asia, it's a job requirement) and since there are no bears or tigers on the island, you don't have to worry about anything large and toothy taking a chunk out of you in the night.

      The one thing jungle hammocks don't protect against? Rain. On our second night, the rain came down in a deluge, forcing us to seek better protection on the porch of the hostel's bunkhouse. To say we awoke the following morning feeling miserable and poorly rested would be a lie...I'm not sure we ever fell asleep to begin with - the mosquitoes and splashing raindrops made sleep a chimerical fantasy.

      Still — this sort of misadventure is what travel is all about, and in the end, a few mosquito bites is a small price to pay for a journey through the tropical islands of SE Asia.

    • Oooo, Cambodia!! That sounds like a fantastic misadventure, my kind of trip. I understand tourism is on the rise there now? What did you do for 2 months besides sleep that way and turn mahogany brown on the beaches?

    You've been invited!