It was all too easy to give in to the relaxed pace of life on Lazy Beach.
But we decided that we did want to at least walk further than the few hundred meters from our hut to the restaurant, at some point during our stay!
There are quite a few different beaches to choose from when coming to stay on Koh Rong Samloem.
Saracen Bay is the obvious choice, it’s big sweeping bay, beautiful white sand and accessibility (all the ferries/speedboats will stop there) make it a safe bet for a great stay. And a great stay we had when we visited a few years ago. We did take a stroll across the island to visit it again on this trip and it certainly hadn’t lost any of its beauty.
But we wanted to check out another beach, which we were told was about 45 mins hike away.
Sunset Beach…another clue in the name of what we would find there!! Although we were visiting during the day, so no sunsets would be witnessed.
Our hosts advised trainers for the short hike, as it was up and down quite rocky and unstable terrain.
So, after breakfast one morning, as advised, we pulled on our trainers (not that pleasant in heat and sand!) and set off in search of Sunset Beach.
We were given directions, but it was signposted so it would have been hard to get lost.
Our hosts had been right about the terrain though, it was quite a climb to get there.
There was no-one else around for most of our walk, but at one point, we were overtaken by a young guy who scaled the path with no difficulties in his flip-flops! Oh to be that young and fit!!
We took our time, stopping frequently to catch our breath and gulp down water.
I was very glad when we could head downhill, but I knew it would be the same routine on the way back!
There were signs to different accommodation that are located on Sunset, so we just followed those and soon found ourselves walking through the back of some buildings, before emerging onto the beach.
Well, my initial reaction was, have we made the wrong decision on where to stay?!?!
The beach was gorgeous with calm, crystal clear water, sparkling in the sunshine. It seemed to go on for miles, as it swept around the bay.
Making our way down to the beach, we passed people lazing in hammocks or beach chairs, reading and sipping cocktails. One girl was swinging back and forth lazily on a swing suspended from a tree in front of the shore. A few people were splashing around in the water, and it was fairly quiet and felt quite laid back.
I immediately shrugged off my trainers and socks (I longed for my flip-flops!) and headed into the shallows for a paddle.
Ah bliss! The cool water tickled my toes and the soles of my feet.
We strolled down to the far end of the beach to get a good vantage point of the whole area, taking photos as we went.
There seemed to be a few different resorts lining the beach on this stretch, some offered dorms, some just tents on the beach (I can’t imagine anything worse in that heat!!), some small wooden huts. There were also a few different bars/restaurants offering bbqs, pizza and yoga!
I am slightly obsessed with accommodation when we are away, I love to look to see what is available and on offer in the places we visit, so I spent quite a bit of time looking the wrong way at the huts and tents behind us, rather than at the sea in front of us!
But, there was no denying that this was a beautiful beach and once we had taken our photos, we headed back to the bar that we had passed as we came onto the beach.
I wanted to go for a swim so my partner took himself up to the bar to have a drink and I shrugged out of my clothes (never fear, I came prepared and had my bikini on underneath!!) and hopped off over the scalding hot sand to the beach.
I sunk into the water and enjoyed the coolness bathing my skin which felt like it was on fire in this heat.
And then I felt something on my foot! I jumped back and looked into the depths.
There were a few small fish hovering around my limbs…and then a few more…and then their friends came to join them.
The nibbling started in earnest…urrgghhh!!! I’m not a great fan of fish, especially when they start eating you! I have never seen the appeal of those fish pedicures, I can’t think of anything I’d rather do less, so I really didn’t want one here!!
I tried not to freak out too publicly and ran as quickly as I could without looking like a complete loon out of the water.
I think my foray into the sea lasted about 5 minutes!
It totally put me off, so I sat in the sun for a little bit to dry off before joining my partner for a coke and some chips (you can take the girl out of England and all that!).
We sat for a while taking in our surroundings and ear-wigging on the conversations around us. The guests we heard chatting seemed to be loving their stay and a few others were negotiating a stay at one of the resorts because they were longing to extend their visit.
It’s true, the beach was lovely, but I was hankering after our beloved Lazy Beach. I might have initially thought that it was more beautiful at Sunset Beach (only slightly!), but the atmosphere wasn’t a patch on how I felt over the hill.
Okay, I know that we only spent a short amount of time at Sunset Beach and I definitely am not saying that I hated it, or that I wouldn’t ever want to stay there. If we were travelling for any length of time I would definitely stay there and check it our properly…and probably would try out all of the other beaches on the island too (ah now that’s the dream!).
But I rely on my gut instincts a lot when I travel and certain places can hit me hard emotionally and leave a lasting impression.
I felt like that the first time I stepped onto Lazy Beach, I got quite emotional and our return trip proved to me that it was not a fluke.
So, after resting up and consuming our refreshments, I pulled my trainers back on and we set out for the return trip, happy that we’d explored another part of this island, but equally happy to return to our hut on the beach.