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  1. #1
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    Bac Long Beach, Koh Kong Province.

    Bac Long Beach, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia.

    To cut a long story short the photos in this thread are not in their original order.

    After crossing the border from Trat to Koh Kong we were interested in finding out if there was more to the area than just a transit point.
    We hired a Taxi driver for the day for $20 and after looking around town asked him if there were any good beaches nearby.
    He told us there was, but it was quite a drive. Ok we said let’s go.

    First we stopped at the local petrol station were he fuelled up, out of the money we had already paid him, and off we set.





    Out of the town and back over the bridge toward the border, we hung a left and were off road and out into the Cambodian countryside.





    The road was unmade and was very slow going, it looked like it was used mainly for construction vehicles. As we descended from the nearby hills the road ploughed through a mangrove swamp, much of which near the roadside had been cleared for development, the plots muddy and barren marked out with white posts. It must have been a hell of a job.




    On and on we went along the bumpy track until after about 45 minutes of being shaken around we hit solid ground again,
    and as the road rose up we came out on a track running along the back of the beach.

    It was virtually deserted, wonderfully peaceful, and beautiful.




    Our driver pulled up behind a ramshackle cabana and we were immediately greeted by the occupants, very excited to have some potential customers for food and drinks, they obviously new our driver very well and we agreed that it would be a good spot to spend the day.

    So everybody happy we started into some chilled beers. And the menu was translated for us.
    We were offered a large bowl of huge prawns, but then the owner told us the price, $50!
    Being as they very rarely got visitors they thought they would make the maximum out of us.
    There was an awkward silence when I declined them.

    However the prawns where swiftly taken away and we ordered some chicken and rice,
    drinks for everyone and the jovial atmosphere soon returned.
    I have to say though that the bill at the end of the day was still rather extortionate,
    but what can you do in the face of several shit eating grins? You live and learn.

    So anyway while the food was being made, we made for the sea, there was a good onshore breeze,
    the beach was almost white and very clean and shelved of nicely, the water was lovely, warm clean and clear.
    It was quite a novelty to have the beach to ourselves, the only sounds being the lap of the waves,
    the warm breeze and plenty of laughter. It really was idyllic.













    After some food and more beers we took a walk down the beach to explore, it really seemed deserted, but after about 500 metres we came to another cabana, this one however was in very good condition and well kept, there was some nice tables and chairs and some very comfy looking easy chairs. Sat at one of the tables was a Farang guy busy doing something.







    We walked in and said ‘hi’ and were welcomed buy a very easy going German guy called Stephan. I commented on the very nice condition of the place and he said ‘Well this is my living room and I like to keep it tidy’! Here we were on the edge of a deserted beach and this was his home, wow, what a great thing to say and a wonderful attitude to have.

    He invited us to sit and offered to sell us some beers, which were gladly accepted, and proceeded to tell us about himself and Bac Long Beach.

    He lived there with his Cambodian wife during the European winter and went over to the markets in Thailand to buy items to make jewellery, stones, shells, links, etc and spent their time there together making jewellery which he then took to Europe in the summer months and sold at various markets. Clever guy.

    He had discovered the beach several years previously and, after his wife registered as a resident of Koh Kong, he was able to rent the land and build the cabana. All made of wood, it consisted of a central blockhouse and the roofed over seating area. He bough the furniture in anticipation of customers, but as yet they were few and far between.

    The mangrove had been cleared for development for a resort and golf course, but for now progress was slow. He told us that Bac Long was actually an island and before the road we had come down was put in, the only access was a ferry from the Koh Kong town quay to Bac Long fishing village, about another 500 metres further on where the radio mast was, and where he got his electricity and supplies from.

    Fishing village? Ferry? Could we still get the ferry across I asked? Yes of course he said, it only takes 10 minutes and runs very regularly. Well me and Dave had to laugh at that after recalling the 50 minute rollercoaster slog we had taken in the taxi down the unmade road. Well we couldn’t blame the taxi driver for making a living. As I say, you live and learn.

    The conversation continued and he told us about the building of his place and how it had come about,
    it was really peaceful there and suited him and his wife.
    The plot was about 25 metres wide across the back of the beach and stretched back another 25 metres to the track along the back. And the rent? $15 a month! Well that was incredible, and what was even more so was the he only paid for the 6 months that he was there, the rest of the time it was all locked up and he didn’t pay a cent. $90 a year for a little piece of paradise.

    After several more drinks we bought some items of jewellery from him, exchanged contacts and said our farewells to him and his wife.

    We trekked back up the beach to where we had been before, the tide was out by then and the family's children had been collecting some small molluscs, which after ‘cooking’ the heat of the sun the were cracking open and swallowing down with obvious enjoyment, we were offered some but declined to knowing laughter.








    Whilst chilling out to a few more beers the father and the dog were both scouring the shoreline for anything edible, it really was another world and put our lives into perspective, we sat contentedly and watched as the sun went down, before heading back to town.








    It is a wonderful place, very welcoming and great contrast to the rough image of Koh Kong.
    Things will change at Bac Long so it was nice to get there before all the crowds. It really was a perfect day out.
    Last edited by ItsRobsLife; 11-05-2009 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice pics and info. I understand the imperitive to ripoff visitors in such a desperately poor country, but don't care for it much. Rip off merchants evoke the fight or flight reflex in me, which ain't what I want on a holiday.

  3. #3
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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    good stuff, any nightlife?

  4. #4
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    The Gecko's like to make out to the sound of the waves, seriously though no.
    It was ultra quiet when we were there and there are no bars there for the nightime and no accomodation.

    Koh Kong itself wasn't any great shakes for the nightlife, there's no decent bars as such in the downtown, and the guest house/hotel bars seemed very deadpan.

    We went to a Cambodian neighbourhood and hung out on the front of a shop drinking cans, but that street was seedy, very seedy... hustlers, traffickers, whores of a very dubious age, Koh Kong is a border town and nothing more.

    The best we could do was hire a karaoke room for the night, complete with dancing girls and hostesses to make a party.
    It turned out alright, but it was expensive of course.

    I think it will change as there is more development planned and there are more tourists coming through the border.
    It was certainly worth visiting Bac Long and, as the coaches out of town don't leave until the following morning, it made for a pleasant diversion from the dust of Koh Kong.

    Next time I'll take the ferry over from the town quay though.

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    sunsetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsRobsLife
    dancing girls and hostesses
    pics man! pics!

  6. #6
    I am in Jail

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    Great day out, nice unspoiled beach

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    Nice pictures anf information. I love that beach. Thanks Sir.


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    Thanks for the pictures and the info. Very helpful.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for the story! Nice pics.

  10. #10
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    the germans living the life.

    could you really do it for the long run... euro winter getaway tour lost in paradise.

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    That beach looks great,what a place to just sit out and chill. the more I read and see of Cambodia the more I want to go and stay.
    After 30 years of comming to Thailand,I just feel.... I don't know what any more.
    Anybody else getting like that???

  12. #12
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    Sounds like what Otres beach was 5 years ago. I envy the german he has a nice life style

    I have been in Thailand for over 22 years and the last year 10 months was in Cambodia, I loved it and will go back as often as i can.

    10-12 years, snooky will be Pattaya
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol or insanity, but they've always worked for me" HST

    View my pics

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsRobsLife
    We went to a Cambodian neighbourhood and hung out on the front of a shop drinking cans, but that street was seedy, very seedy... hustlers, traffickers, whores of a very dubious age, Koh Kong is a border town and nothing more.
    Sounds like the chicken farm ... nice story mate

  14. #14
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    No it wasn't the Chicken Farm, (give me some credit..) it was just a backstreet in Koh Kong.

    It's all about cultural differences I guess what is considered acceptable, but in our two nights in the town we got more than we bargained for by way of a look at the seedy side of this border town.. interesting, unforgettable, but best avoided... for now.

    I agree though that the German guy's life seems idyllic, and it's that relatively uncomplicated attitude to making a life in Cambodia more appealing than Thailand.

  15. #15
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    In Sianhoukville a couple of years ago, and propably still, there were beach plot on the large beach, 3. one after Sianhoukville about 20 min away on a motorbike.
    O....beach. something
    A tropical paradise, plots for rent by the city office, cheap,
    but to boring for me in the long run (= more than 5 hours )
    so you still have the possibillity I recon

  16. #16
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    Thats Otres beach a real nice place to kick back.

    You have the sailing club f u want get out on a hobie cat or kayak that if u just
    dont want to sit and smoke a joint while drinking a beer Lao.

    If u head that way see if Papa John is at home.( he lives next to the sailing club)

    The rules are that u cant rent a place to live but need open a business on the beach so he opened a rest/bar that is never open and lives there.

    Looked into renting land there a couple months ago. They have promised that it was going to be clenaed up, all bungalows on beach had to go, electric and new road in a year but hey, this is Cambodia The squatters living on the left side as u drive up to the beach all lived on the beach 2 years ago.

    Still it is cheap there if u don tmind livbing day to day not knowing hwen u will be kicked out. Ko Rong is nicer

  17. #17
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    Otres Beach... yes it was wonderful and I can well imagine it not so long ago being virtually deserted, one of the nicest things was the lack of jet skis and powerboats... lovely.

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