Black and Blue

Beach and Coconut LifeAs my trip comes closer to its conclusion I have decided that one last full day on the beach would not be a bad idea. Place that beach on an idyllic island populated by next to nobody and you have a great relaxing day in the making.

Koh Tonsai, aka Rabbit Island, is just a 25 minute boat ride from the town of Kep. Kep is just a 40 minute bus ride from Kampot.

A series of thumps on my door at the Moliden followed by a very polite but urgent “Sir, Sir, Sir” roused me from my sleep. I was late. The bus for Kep was leaving at 7am and it was now 6:50am. I had to pack my stuff for the day, get downstairs, and make it to the bus depot in 10 minutes.

Luckily this is Kampot and very little is more than a few hundred yards away.

Even in my half-dazed one-legged flop around my room, as I pulled on pants and walked at the same time, I managed to pack all I needed. Mostly because I adopted the “just throw it all in a bag and hope for the best” method. Stumbling downstairs to the tuk-tuk I made it the bus with 2 minutes to spare. No time to grab a coffee. The bus departed at 7am on the dot…first time for everything!

I sat in my seat amazed that my tried and true alarm had not worked today. It has always worked. You see, before actually falling asleep the night before an early start you bang your head on the pillow the amount of times that corresponds with the hour you wish to wake up. Bang it six times and you will wake up at 6am, seven times; 7am.

I am amazed this didn’t work!

Picture in your mind the quintessential tropical beach. You’ve read about it a thousand times. Youve seen pictures of it magazines. Palm trees swaying, thatched roof huts mere feet from the shoreline, crystal clear blue water, and golden white sand stretching in an arc that forms the outline of a secluded bay you now inhabit.

Add to that a gorgeous blue sky. Only wisps of white puffy clouds interfering with the blazing sun that is gradually going to cover you in a blanket of bronze and tan lines as the day marches on.

Rabbit Island!

Since boats only escort passengers out to the island twice a day the chances of it being crowded are impossible. Sure, others are there but everyone is looking for a tranquil relaxing day and some are even opting to stay longer in the thatched huts. Just them and the roosters…Ive mentioned the roosters in a previous post. We have a love hate relationship.

Koh Tonsai is the polar opposite of Koh Rong.

My boat arrived to take me back to Kep at 4pm. It had been a great day. I was rested, had caught that final hour of sleep I had been robbed of earlier in the day. I was feeling good.

There is no pier. The small boats just nudge up against the shore. A wooden stool is placed in the sand and it is this you use as a step to propel yourself onto the deck. One foot on the stool, one foot on the deck. Its like walking up hill. Several people had completed this process before me.

I stepped on the stool. It sunk in the sand. I lost my balance. It leaned forward. I fell backward. It flipped over.

I landed on its back legs, butt first, saving my camera from salt water immersion.

Flying to my feet with a jump of humiliation I checked all my bits. Everything seemed good. No blood, no pain.

The brewing process had begun though.

Under the flesh of my right buttock it now lived; so black, so blue. It would eventually rise up and claim the entire territory. It waited, biding its time; anticipating my access to a full length mirror.

For photos of Cambodia click here.

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50 thoughts on “Black and Blue

  1. Those photos are paradise at its finest, Tim. Sounds like you developed quite the bruise there. No trip is complete without bruises and scratches all over your limbs! Just a testament to adventure and well, clumsiness here and there too I suppose, hehe!

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    1. It’s a pretty special little island and like you I ate a bunch of seafood in both Kep and Rabbit Island, would go there again in a heart beat.

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  2. Haha oops! Hope that bruise doesn’t stick around too long. I remember tripping on a cobble stone in Florence and totally face planting (thank god my camera was in it’s bag) I was so humiliated I jumped up and limped away as fast as possible- had to buy a bandage to wrap my ankle the next day I had sprained it so badly!

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  3. If I was you, I don’t think I was able to pack all my stuff in less than 10 minutes! Awesome description of a relaxing day, spending your time on the beach is always a good idea 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In summer season enjoy vacation at any beach is awesome. If it is one of the beautiful beaches of the world then pleasures multiplies monumentally.
    I like your way of wonderfully depicting it with awesome narration and very superb images. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. For me, the worst part of any trip is packing and preparing to go home as none of my trips are ever long enough to just chill out and soak it all in. I long for the day when I can just spend a month somewhere beautiful and warm and not have to think about anything — perhaps other than when to eat my next piece of chocolate!

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  6. That beach reminds me of Koh Chang in Thailand, which I’m sure you know. Too bad on yet another “interesting” boat experience but hopefully the next one proves to be great. Luck should be on your side there. Keep in mind that I keep showing my wife these places and though we’ve booked tickets to the Philippines for the next trip, our next next trip might have to go to one of your previously visited places.

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    1. I first went to Koh Chang in 1998. At that time it was solely a backpacker island and I have many fond memories of it. Such a gorgeous part of the world.

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  7. One last day on the beach. It doesn’t get any better than that and a beautiful beach I might add. I will need to try your alarm and see if it is reliable before I pass judgement lol.

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  8. One last day at the beach is ALWAYS a good idea. Although, I’m wondering if you should stay away from boats for a while.After your last couple of experiences, your track record isn’t so good. And I would hate for something to happen to you because I love living vicariously through your blog! 🙂

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  9. I pack my things exactly the way you do… 🙂 it hardly takes 5 minutes or so…to stuff things in the bag..lol…Bdw why is the island called ‘Rabbit island’? Any history?

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    1. Koh means island and from what I can gather Tonsay means rabbit. One of the reasons may be that it is said that from a certain angle the island itself is shaped like a rabbit; this I cannot confirm.

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    1. Back in the day I lost an address book while traveling through Thailand. This was before internet etc. That was pretty upsetting. I can only imagine that losing a camera these days, would have the same effect. So worth a black and blue butt!

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  10. Another wonderful post but certainly a different way to board a boat. Hope the black and blue has disappeared. I loved the pictures and am intrigued by the platform with the thatched roof – what is its purpose?
    Lenie

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      1. Thanks Tim – I think if I was there I would spend a lot of time on one of those. Looks like a great place to just be lazy and just enjoy the view.
        Lenie

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  11. Hi Tim,

    Wow! What an incredible display of Rabbit Island through those beautiful pictures! It seems like a great spot to relax on a hot summer day. Thank you for sharing your experience there. I am making a note of this place in case I ever get to see it in real life 🙂

    Regards,
    Kumar

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  12. Well, the pics of Rabbit Island are beautiful. I love the alarm clock thing – never heard of that one! And, well your butt will heal -before it turns purple and yellow and will be a reminder of the glorious time you had!

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  13. Hey Tim, I expect your butt recovered more readily than would your camera and trust the camera is truly grateful for your sacrifice. The rest of us are, as the pics are great. The roosters resent both of us for using the pillow bang system which usually works but is roundly condemned by the International Brotherhood of Roosters. Just don’t try it on a wooden pillow or your skull will also be black and blue !

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  14. Owie! That and your version of an alarm clock has me aching!!! But Rabbit Island looks and sounds amazing. Maybe that bruise will serve as a reminder, albeit a slightly unconventional one:)

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    1. It really is a quintessential Asian tropical island; different from South Pacific. You should try the alarm clock routine. It’s remarkably precise but you must believe.

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  15. Ouch. Sounds like quite a trip. Interesting alarm clock technique which I think I’ll pass on adopting.

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