Koh Rong Gone Wrong

Talk about paradise lost.  Being here and witnessing all the building, consuming, and trash strewn beaches has been eye opening.  This has been the first time I really, really felt bad for being a tourist.

Last night I climbed to Sky Bar with a friend I made in Siem Reap.  We had to escape the main beach strip where sewage wafts through the air almost everywhere.  It’s a hike to get there, but worth it.  Clean and relaxed, they take the plastic off your water bottle before handing it to you and serve you glass mugs instead of plastic.  These little things make a difference!

As we listened to what my friend said was ‘solid house,’ I couldn’t bring myself to move.

“I’m depressed.”  I let this paradise gone wrong ruin my night.

We talked to the bartender about beach cleanup and what conservation measures were being taken.  Apparently there’s a beach cleanup once a week, but it all just builds up again.  I couldn’t believe all the beach trash was an accumulation of just 1 week!

“The problem is education.” Said Camille, the bartender at Sky Bar.

Yes, we agreed.  We learned as children the importance of recycling.  Captain Planet anyone?  Beyond this however,  most businesses use styrofoam platters, plastic cups and utensils.

I just wanted to yell, ‘Did everyone forget we’re on a f****** beach?!’

I’m calling out all the hippies that come here, all the travelers looking for beauty, the people trying to get away from it all, and all the educated people that come here to start a business- THIS IS NOT OK.

I genuinely hope this blog post, out of all of them, gets read.  It’s not because I hate this place, it’s because I love it.  I love the beautiful children here, and the well fed dogs.  I love the clear blue water and the ferry boats docked on the pier.  It’s a colorful island.

I know I will never come back to Koh Rong unless I intend to make a serious effort to save it.  I hope the same for those that have felt similarly about this paradise.