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Koh Rong; The Beautiful Twilight

It happens cyclically day in and out.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west and yet, oddly enough, I found myself amazed by its ritual on a subdued island off the coast of Southern Cambodia.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. There was an air of unreality that hung over this seemingly untouched island.

The usual clutter of resorts that were synonymous to many commercialized islands was absent and the sinuating 7km trail of white sandy beach was uninterrupted by boisterous tourists.

I could hear the humdrum chatter of the resort's guests as I tucked my weary feet beneath the expansive flour-like sands, looking beyond the limitless dusky evening sky.

I remembered it just as it is; a beautiful twilight as the sun evanesced.

Of Brassy Orange to Incandescent Blue

It was a perfect day for the perfect catch, a novelty considering none of us had ever fished before. The deal was to catch our meal and feast before the sunset followed by a night dip to see the blue planktons. The first part of the deal was grossly underestimated and we were lucky to have caught a handful of fishes for the barbeque.

Up ahead in the horizon, the sun was turning brassy orange. The boat was moored a couple of meters away from the shore and we jumped into the shallow waters and waded towards the dusky beach for the BBQ. The meal was nothing to shout about but it was the sense of camaraderie that we enjoyed the most, whilst observing a sleeping sun that began to cast an iridescent glow across the horizon. It was the first of many bewitching sunsets we will encounter on this enchanted island.

'The eyes do not see what the mind doesn't know.'

The dark night has its own way of introducing some of the most peculiar phenomenon's that we could ever fathom. We imagined a shoreline decked with brilliant incandescent blue planktons but the boat engine halted right in the middle of the pitch black open sea. We peered over the edge but there wasn't a single bio luminescent plankton visible to the human eye.

" You have to jump in to see it and you wouldn't want to miss it."

For the very first time, I had wished for the lights never to be turned on in a sea of darkness for what lies beneath was a world quite different from above. With each movement, the blue plankton gave off its characteristic blue hue, a combination of oxygen and biological substances named luciferin. These tiny blue particles were dancing around us in merriment creating an Avatar-like world, something I had never seen before. I closed my eyes and smiled in absolute contentment. "It is gonna be hard to top that one."

Of Pure Shores and Marmalade Skies

7km of pure shores on an island off the coast of Sihanouk. It was somewhat far fetched to imagine such a place in a low lying central plain but there it was right before us; my feet buried in white flour like sand, and my eyes gazing at the bluest of skies.

The crystal turquoise waters were irresistible especially when the sun was at its peak.

We walked from end to end of Long Beach and took a dip at almost every kilometer.

The well spaced out resorts and quiet beach gave it a sense of tranquility so longed by any beach goers.

It was odd that such a paradise is left unscathed by commercialism. I wondered how long would it last, this illusion of the perfect shore entirely owned by us.

"I see it from afar." It was a scorching 5 hour walk till the very end of the sinuous beach and I spotted a green mound up ahead that gradually grew into a lush hill.

The path wasn't well made but a few acquaintances along the way pointed towards the right direction.

At times the huge boulders that came in between were misleading, and sometimes they pose a challenge during the ascent but overall, it was arranged according to nature's law; raw and strikingly beautiful just as it is, enveloped by foliages of all sorts and shapes.

After 45 minutes, the quiet greenery transitioned into a chock-a-block ambience. It was a surrounding that I was all too familiar with. All around were backpackers Inn inundated by boisterous young travelers and strings of rugged bars and restaurants. Simply put Koh Touch was the life of the island; exciting, pulsating and adrenaline filled.

At the far end of Koh Touch, was Police beach, and with it being at least a quarter mile away from the main hub, it is only valid to assume that the shores are more pristine than the main beach at Koh Touch, of course it pales in comparison to the dreamy Long beach on the other side.

It was 5.45p.m and the sun was beginning to set.

A plain wooden fisherman's boat was speeding pass the horizon that was quickly turning from grim blue to rich marmalade.

It was also one of those rare sights to catch a silhouette of a fishing boat and an aloof fisherman gazing towards the horizon, watching what must only be his millionth sunset.

And so I thought to myself, instead of picturing myself in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies, I was actually living it. What a feeling that was and without a single doubt, this was my best sunset to date.

Of Happiness and The Things that Matter

There were many light hearted moments and every one of them was as unforgettable as the next. On one fine morning, the walk along Sok San village was very pleasant as the habitual sounds of a village in its early awakening began to permeate. It was the same ritual we are all accustomed to at home but hidden momentarily when on vacations, as per custom.

I trailed along the rocky cliffs to find a remote hippie bar completely isolated from its surroundings. Tarragon was its name and to my surprise it offered one of the most photographable views of the Long beach shoreline, uninterrupted.

I picked a drink and decided to just laze on an orange beach-chair cushion. There was no one else around and I supposed that was what made it memorable, being with those who actually mattered the most at the right time and the right place.

In the end, in the pursuit of an escape, Koh Rong proved to be just that, a destination made even more perfect with the right company and as the sun began to set, so ends the dream of a beautiful twilight.

 

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