Aside from going to the beaches of Sihanoukville on the coast of mainland Cambodia, you can also take a tour to the outlying islands.
The cheapest tour that I saw (and booked) cost $15 and it includes the free pick up from your hostel, boat fee, breakfast, lunch, drinks and use of snorkelling gears.
We were picked up at around 8:30AM and were taken to a small shop to have breakfast (baguette, butter and jam and coffee). After half an hour we then proceeded to the dock and boarded the boat that took us to three islands.
Our first stop was a half an hour snorkelling trip to one of the islands (which I forgot the name). We didn’t dock at the beach but instead just stopped a few meters from the shore.
The water was quite deep and I didn’t see anything at first, but as soon as I got near the reefs I saw a lot of fishes. I saw a lot of parrot fish and other varieties as well. It was such a pleasant experience and I was really ecstatic to see that those reefs are still in very good condition.
Swimming back to our boat was a bit challenging for me as I am not really a good swimmer. Armed with my life vest, I floated back to our boat and didn’t bother to look down anymore. It’s like an abyss and my silly mind started imagining sharks or some monster fishes circling around me (I think I should really stop watching the monster fishes shows of Discovery and Nat Geo).
As soon as we got on board, we sailed to our second destination. Bamboo Island is almost uninhabited with the exception of one store serving food and drinks to tourists and a few wooden bungalows.
You actually have an option to stay for a few nights if you want to and the boat will just pick you up when you want to go back to Sihanoukville. But as for me, I opted to just stay for the whole afternoon.
Walking along the shore of Bamboo Island was very relaxing. As I walked towards the other areas of the beach, I noticed some trash that were washed ashore. There’s not really a lot though and I thought that they could just spend a day or two to clean it up.
I went back to the main beach where most people were and took a dip. The beach has very fine white sand and very clear water. I spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and only stopped for half an hour for lunch (salad, baguette and fish).
At around 2:30PM, we left Bamboo Island and proceeded to the next destination. Again, we stopped a few meters from the shore of this island to snorkel. Our guide then asked us if we would like to try fresh sea urchins for a dollar a piece.
I have not tried it before this trip and was eager (and at the same time hesitant) but decided to give it a go anyway.
As I was eating it, I almost laugh as I saw the disgusted face of the western tourists on board. They didn’t dare to try it though. I was surprised to find out that it doesn’t really taste bad at all. I even thought that maybe it would taste better with soy sauce and a bit of wasabe. Yeah, just like sushi!
We got back at around 4PM. I really enjoyed the trip and recommend that you try it out when you visit Sihanoukville.
Aside from this tour, various travel agencies are also offering trips to farther islands such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloen.