Better known as Rabbit Island, Ko Tonsay is a lovely little island about 30 minutes away from Kep by hired boat.
The main beach where the boats anchor is lined with coconut palms, hammocks and lazy chairs, a few dozen huts ($5 a night, shared facilities, $7 if you want a private bathroom) and a handful of fresh seafood joints serving up some outstanding seafood. The seafood is worth a double mention -- it doesn't get fresher than here. When we asked for some crab in garlic and pepper we watched our server wade out into the water and pluck our meal from the crab traps bobbing in the water.
There is no electricity, so at night it is just you, your torch, perhaps a beach bonfire and about a million stars overhead. The rooms are small, so we've had friends who've reported not being able to sleep during dry season due to the heat, but during rainy season, when nights are cooler, you don't need a fan. Avoid going down on weekends, too, since when we last visited, a large group of young Cambodians brought their karaoke machine and blasted pop tunes until wee hours of the morning. Most nights, the quiet is impenetrable, we hear.
There are opportunities for walks to other little bays on the island and the swimming straight off the main beach is excellent. You can hike around the entire island in about three hours.
If you want to get more active, you're on a fishing village island remember, so look into trying to rustle up a fishing trip -- either through the boatman who brought you in the first place, or else through just about anybody else on the island.
When you're heading out of Kep, a return fare on the boat of $20 is payable on the mainland regardless of the number of passengers, so if you're on a budget (or travelling alone) try to rustle up a few people for the trip to split the cost -- boats seat up to eight, though you'll pay a higher proportion of the cost if you ride with all Cambodians.
Overall, if you're after a back to basics island hideaway then you've found it on Ko Tonsay.
Text and/or map last updated on 28th August, 2009.
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Nice little island
So I wouldn't call this the most amazing island in South East Asia but if you are looking for something that has yet to get the tourist rush then this is the place.
You can get a bungalow with private bathroom for around US$5. The accommodation is simple and electricity is on from 5pm to 10pm.
Lovely white sands and beautiful sunsets, most of the meals on the island are around $2 - $4 dollars.
Ferry across from Kep is $20 dollars return and is not per person so get around 6 of you and split the fare.
You will find no 24 hour convenience stores here or raging beach parties. It is more of a place to come and relax in the sun.
There is a lovely little fishing village on the other side of the island and if you ask nicely they will show you how to fish with throw nets.
I was initially shocked when going from the main beach to the fishing village with the amount of plastic waste (bottles) but it seems that the villagers are putting them to good use to use as buoys for their kelp farms.
All the bungalows are owned by Cambodian families and people are pretty friendly. It seems to be popular with Cambodian University students who come over from Kep with bags of crab and have a bbq. Maybe you will be lucky like we were and get invited to their BBQ to partake in some fresh crab and steaks.
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By subculture (dabbler)
Written on 27th March, 2011 after a visit to Koh Tonsay in April, 2010
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