Sailing and camping
For the adventurers
What we say:
A number of islands lie three to 10 kilometres from Sihanoukville’s Otres Two and if you know how to sail a catamaran or are willing to take a quick tutorial, an overnight camping trip to one of them becomes a possibility. Here’s how to do it.
Catamarans can be rented from Club Nautique on Otres Two (the very far end of Otres, after you pass a long undeveloped stretch of beach). They have three-person (US$30 for a half-day) and six-person (US$75 for half-day) cats available for rent. At the minimum you will probably need a day-and-a-half rental (US$90) to do a trip and have enough time to enjoy your stay on an island. You could also rent the cat for three or four days and sail from island to island.
Sailing conditions vary day to day; for us it was calm and slow on the way out, but a bit more challenging on the way back. Check the weather ahead of time to avoid any nasty surprises. The trip between the Otres Two and the islands should take anywhere from two to five hours.
As you watch the beach slowly slip away behind you, you may see giant jellyfish drifting with the current or small fish skimming along the top of the water trying to escape larger predators. Sit back and enjoy the ride! In no time, you’ll be cruising up to a beach on your chosen island, and if you planned everything correctly, you’ll have a couple of hours to set up camp before the sun goes down.
If you head to Koh Russei, set your camp on the northern or western side as it's windier -- so mosquitoes are more likely to be kept at bay -- and you can watch a beautiful sunset from the comfort of your hammock.The smoke from your campfire should keep the mosquitoes at bay.
On Koh Russei, start your morning with a little snorkelling at the shallow reefs just offshore to see a plethora of multi-coloured fish. If you don’t feel like cooking breakfast, walk or sail around to one of the restaurants on the island before loading up the catamaran and heading back.
What to pack? We’d suggest the minimum as being: a hammock with mosquito net, two bags of charcoal, mosquito repellent, lighter, food (noodles, vegetables and canned food make for easy cooking) and a pot, axe for firewood, fresh water (you’ll need a lot of it), bungee cords, sunblock and hat and knife. As well, consider taking a fishing line, music, alcohol, a cooler, ice and a mask and snorkel.
Bring a phone and take the rental company’s phone number in case you get stuck. While you’re at it, ask them for a waterproof bag because everything not in it will get wet. You will need your passport for the rental so make sure to bring it along. Ask the rental staff lots of questions and, if needed, for a quick sailing tutorial before taking the boat out. Make sure you know what to do if the wind is too strong.
We definitely recommend you do this on a calm day and not during the rainy season when the weather can turn quickly. Also be careful when beaching the catamaran on an island – go for a sandy area, as if you try to land on a rocky beach you run the risk of not only damaging the boat, but also leaving yourself stranded on the island.
More detailsOtres Beach 2, Sihanoukville
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