Cambodia, Days 20-24 – Koh Thmei Resort, an island paradise

Hopping off the rolling boat, we were greeted immediately by a couple of staff who helped us safely transfer our gear across to the soft white sand.

(for instructions on how to get to Koh Thmei, drop by my earlier blog post here)

Arrival at Koh Thmei

We soon found ourselves being given a tour of Koh Thmei Resort by the owners Kavita and Michael. How these two managed to set themselves up in the middle of an essentially uninhabited island, inside a national park, I have no idea, but they have seriously struck gold with this place!!

If you’re looking for luxury and the comforts of home, this place is most definitely not for you! The huts are basic, containing a double bed (with mandatory mosquito net!), a toilet and a cold water shower. But how good is the view?!! The best $25 per night we ever spent!

Our hut at the end of the beach (I think there may have been around six in total)

The interior

The bathroom

The view from our verandah!

The view from the water!

Electricity is available during the day, and for a little bit of the early evening. This isn’t the kind of place where you need it though. A typical day consisted of:

1. Wake with the sun;
2. Swim in the warm tropical waters;
3. Dry out and bask on the sand;
4. Enjoy a hearty meal and a beer or cocktail back in the reception area;
5. Wander the kilometres of deserted beaches or perhaps duck inland to experience the jungle;
6. Maybe another swim, or curl up with a book;
7. Crash with the onset of the dark.

Such a simple, yet idyllic lifestyle to which I could grow quite fond!

There was no wi-fi whatsoever, so try to make sure you’ve got your transport to and from the island sorted out before you get there. If absolutely necessary they do have internet on their own personal PC in the recreation area, however it is slow. Veeeeery slow!!! It took me perhaps 30 minutes to load up Gmail (make sure you load ‘basic’ gmail), find the email I was interested in, and get a message composed and sent!

It should be obvious, but for those that have never left the urban environment before it should be mentioned that living on an island does come with a number of unusual little quirks, particularly with respect to the local wild life!

With the dark also came a few mosquitoes. Not too many, but if your blood type is of the tasty variety then you’ll want to take some Bushman repellent with you, or jump into bed under the mosquito net. You’ll also need to make sure your mosquito net is tucked in tight during the night, because (as we found out on the first evening) there is nothing worse than a lone mosquito slipping through your defences and tormenting you for the rest of the night!

Our first evening also found us introduced to one of the local Tokeh geckos that had made his home in our rafters. While he normally could be spotted hiding in the corner of the roof, he gave me an almighty fright when I looked down while sitting on the loo and found him to be watching my activities with great intent, from only 20cm away!! We named him Geronimo 🙂

Our room mate!

Inch worm, inch worm…

The main reception, ‘restaurant’ and recreation area

The recreation area

On arriving in the recreation area for the first time we were greeted by this little chap excitedly having sex with his toy bear. Welcome to Koh Thmei!


Here are some photos (and a stop motion video) from our numerous walks along the beach front…

For those that are either interested (or possibly concerned!) about the food that is available on the island, there is only one restaurant at which you can eat. While this has the potential to be an issue, it isn’t. Being on a remote island means that prices are inevitably going to be higher than on the mainland, they were still extremely reasonable and I can’t see how anyone could complain. The quality of the food is also really, really good. Their curries were incredible, as was the special whole fish that they barbecued on our first night! Of all the dishes we ate it was only the fish and chips that I found to be a let down, and to be honest, that’s probably what I deserved for ordering such a ‘western’ style meal!

On one of the days we were asked if we would like to share a boat with some of the other people staying on the island, and go snorkelling at some reefs on an adjacent island (Koh Seh). Yes please!

The sea was extremely choppy, and combined with the wind it meant that we all fast became saturated! So much so that the people behind us decided to don their snorkelling gear while still on the boat!

It was a great little excursion, but unfortunately (and unbeknown to the owners) we managed to pick the one day in the year when the coral decide to spawn under the influence of the full moon, making the water extremely murky. In short, we couldn’t see more than half a metre in front of our faces! Regardless, we had a lot of fun 🙂

In short, Koh Thmei was everything we were looking for. Peaceful, beautiful, simplicity and solitude.

Next up?

Simplicity and solitude with bucket loads of luxury!! It’s the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge