Travel tips

Published on March 7th, 2016 | by Common Wanderer

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Our 10 Cambodian island commandments

Read time: a bit over 4 minutes

Guys, let’s all stop for a minute to appreciate how awesome islands are. Sandy oases with their azure waters, palm-fringed beaches, pina coladas, and epic sunsets – these are the places where great movies like ‘The Beach’ can become reality. Your reality.

What if we told you there’s a place where islands like these are in abundance? Special, beautiful, undeveloped islands in Cambodia where there’s little more to do than read or explore.

Here, you can escape the rat-race while you’re hanging with your squad (or just a volleyball named Wilson), drink beer at any time of day, and solve the big problems like what to have for lunch.

Sounds like the easy life, right? Before you let your island days slip by in a dreamy haze, follow these commandments to make the most of your time till departure do you part.

1. Thou shalt do less tomorrow than you did today

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Maxed out your sloth levels today? Good. Tomorrow, your one job is to do less or you’re doing it wrong. Nap twice instead of once. Spend the day from go to lights out lying on the beach (note: bring your 50+). In fact, just stop moving altogether and let the real world melt away for a while. It’s good for the soul. Once you’re off the island you can do all the fun things again, like this.

2. Thou shalt spend minimum two hours a day at the beach

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Spending two hours at the beach per day on a Cambodian Island? Child’s play. But be sun smart kids – don’t get burnt on the first day. You’ve got days to build that tan and you don’t want to be red raw straight up!

3. Thou shalt enjoy a sundowner
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Top off the laziest day you’ve ever had while sitting and watching the greatest sunset you’ll ever see, beer in hand. Otherwise known as a sundowner, you can enjoy this ritual by yourself or with your island mates; the power lies within you. Either way, enjoy it every night you’re on the island.

4. Read thy book from cover to cover

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You know that book that you’ve wanted to read for like, ever? The most exciting part about being on a Cambodian Island is you can read it cover to cover in next to no time. No electricity or wifi means you’ll have no excuses left, and ample time to get through it. So before you leave, dust off that bulky copy of Shantaram and pop it in your bag.

5. Thou shalt learn to live in harmony with nature

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Undeveloped means no mod cons, like all the things you take for granted at home. Which means, island life is all about going back to basics and learning to live in harmony with nature. Wake up with the sun, shower with a bucket or in the sea, live in open bungalows where the elements are your best and worst friend, and co-exist with some unusual island mates, including monkeys, jungle cats, cobras, scorpions, spiders, rats… and humans. Don’t be scared, it’s all part of the fun (just remember a torch at night).

6. Embrace thy salty hair, salty skin.. salty clothes, salty errrthang.

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Staying on an Island and swimming everyday (see commandment 2) means you’re bound to get pretty salty. Embrace it, it’s good for you! Studies have suggested that swimming in sea water improves your immune system, circulation, skin and general well-being. In other words, by swimming in the sea you’re winning at life.

7. Thou shalt embrace a nap at 3pm

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On the island where life is slow, a 3pm afternoon nap is mandatory. Why? Obviously with all the physical and emotional strain on your body, you’ll need it. Jokes, it’s because when you wake up with the sun every morning at 6:30am, you deserve a nap in the afternoon for your efforts.

8. Thou shalt admire the sunset

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A sunset on a Cambodian Island is like pizza in Naples; it’s meant to be. Instead of watching from the one position every night, grab your beer (refer to commandment 3) and go explore. Get up high, go out to a point or enjoy it from the sea.

9. Embrace thy chill scene, not thy party scene

The life of the party doesn’t live on most of the islands here (bar Koh Rong) so don’t be that guy downing shots at the bar and loudly lamenting the lack of sick beatz. That’s not to say there are never any celebrations here, just suss out the vibe and adjust your festive mood accordingly. Be chill, party boy

10. Thou shalt BE PHILOSOPHICAL

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If ever there was a place to get lost in philosophical thoughts, a tropical island is the one. Stripped of electricity and wifi, you’ll suddenly find yourself engaging in real life d&ms instead of scrolling past them in your facebook feed. Gain a real connection with yourself and your island co-inhabitants and talk about the big issues, like what to eat for dinner.

After enjoying the Cambodian Islands, jump aboard one of our legendary Cambodia trips. 

Images and words by the lovely team at The Common Wanderer. Check out their Instagram feed for some serious wanderlust inspo.

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About the Author

The Common Wanderer are made up of Mark and Mim. He’s a weet-bix fuelled adventure freak who’s visited 35 countries, summited Kilimanjaro and trekked to Basecamp. She’s a caffeine-fuelled traveller and writer of words, who’s most content on the road, armed with her trusty notebook and pen, a coffee and her DSLR. You can read their adventures at thecommonwanderer.com.



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