The dreamy island of Koh Ta Kiev
We were looking for an island that could give us a remote feeling. We were looking for a place with good food, cheap accommodation, nice beaches and no wifi. For us, the perfect island was Koh Ta Kiev.
To get to Koh Ta Kiev you have to take a slow-boat for 1 hour from Otres Beach in Sihanoukville, and it costs 13$ both ways. It’s nice to go to a place where you have to take a boat. For one hour you can sit and enjoy the view of turquoise sea, steep hills and old boats. The ride there is truly beautiful.
Kactus at Koh Ta Kiev
Once you have arrived at Koh Ta Kiev there is many places you can choose to stay, on different sides on the island. We chose the cheapest and best accommodation at this place called Kactus. It’s a beautiful place with bungalows in the trees, a long and white beach, delicious food and beautiful sunsets.
When you first come to Kactus you will be greeted by the owners, and they will do everything it takes to remember your name. You will get set in your bungalow, and then you can start enjoying this island – and you may never want to leave. Kactus has 15 Khmer employees, which is so good. Most of the Khmer employees drive the boat and build bungalows, and some of them work in the kitchen. The kitchen staff are so nice, and they make the best food. Mika – the owner and the chef, is in charge of the menu and the recipe. I said it before, the food here is amazing. You pay 6$ for a meal, and what you get is a gourmet meal.
To live in a bungalow
All of the resorts at the island have bungalows. Some of them are high up in trees and some of them have two floors. There’s small bungalows with double beds, and there are big bungalow dorms with many, many beds.
It is hot in Cambodia, even during rainy season it is hot. In the bungalows there is no fans and no air condition. You get a nice bungalow, with a nice bed, a mosquito net, and a beautiful view. But the nights get really hot. When we came to Koh Ta Kiev we had already travelled in Asia for a few months, and we were quite used to the heat. I really can’t imagine getting on the island after just arriving from Norway (where I come from). I think I would sweat a lot, and not sleep much for the first few days.
The mosquito net is a must, because the bugs come out when the night comes and when the rain falls. We saw too many big spiders giving us nightmares and a hard time falling asleep. Put your mosquito net over your bed straight away when you get to your bungalow!
Activities when you are sick of sunbathing
You might get sick of laying on the beach. Probably not, because the beach is really nice. Even if you are tired, or maybe sunburned, you could just go in the chill&eat-bungalow to drink a beer, play cards or read a book.
There is a fishing village on the island that most people visit when they visit Koh Ta Kiev. We went there on our last day, and it was nice. To get to the fishing village you have to walk for an hour in the jungle, which is quite cool. The ponds on the way are big, and you will get wet on the way. For us it was exciting walking in the jungle, since we hadn’t done it before. Once you get there you will see a lot of trash, but it’s still beautiful and the people there are really nice. There is one café you could visit, if you dare walking on the poor pier they have made out to the café. It was scary, and a cool way to arrive. Here you can buy beer for 75 cents, and you can rent a boat to drive you back for 10$.
The beaches on the island
The beaches on Koh Ta Kiev is very white and beautiful. If you are on the west side of the island, you will have view of endless sea, and you will always have some waves. If you stay on the east side, you will have a view of the mainland, and the sea is quiet there. We definitely preferred the west side. The west side of the island made us feel like we were on a remote island in the middle of nowhere.
The beach with Kactus is called Plankton beach, and if you walk through the jungle for five minutes, you will reach White Beach. Then you have Coral Beach for snorkeling, and the Elephant Rock for cliff jumps!
We mostly stayed at Plankton Beach, the beach closest to Kactus, and the beach we think is most beautiful. Here we could lay sunbathing all day, and we could cool down in the sea every time we got too hot. We could borrow snorkeling equipment, or a surf board. My husband really got some surf skills while we were here. In the early afternoons we could play volleyball for hours with everyone staying at the beach.
It’s weird how you feel so remote at this island, and really get your batteries charged – but still you meet plenty of new people and have the time of your life!