08.01.2012 - 10.01.2012 32 °C
Rabbit Island, off the coast of Kep, had become something of a fantasy land to us over the week before we set out. Over tipsy evenings of numerous bottles of non-Cambodian wine we had discussed the mythical facets of the island until it became a combination of an ideal and deserted wonderland of palm groves and beer trees, a centre hold of the Mormon international religion where rabbits were used both as the primary food group and as the internal currency and the location of the little known, but equally as real, alternative ‘Full Moon Party’ that could trump that of Koh Pahngan two hundred times over and was ridiculously elite and secret.
Arriving by a boat filled with five of us, one driver, two crates of Beer Laos, wine, whiskey, pringles, water and mosquito coils (the result of the boys going shopping without supervision) to sustain us for three days… we found that the island was tiny, beautiful, quiet with only a smattering of beach huts among the palm trees along the golden beach. There were for the moment no Mormons or rabbits in sight but we were assured that the moon was full and we were satisfied with the somewhat more convenient compromise from what we had imagined. Luckily our beach huts were accompanied by a little restaurant that meant that we did not have to ration the three packets of pringles and could instead eat a packet to convert the tube into a speaker booster for the full moon party later that night.
The beach huts were simple structures up ladders on stilts. They were not un-similar to the wendy house that Sophie has in the garden at Ian and Sue’s; apart from with the height of course. We had three bungalows reserved for the five of us. Andrew went to choose. There was the choice of being under a tree or having a proper Western throne toilet. Andrew chose the treeless option which I initially condemned him for as we had the Cambodian squat. I ate my words however when I discovered that out of trees come bright green snakes and tarantulas looking for a quiet space to chill out. We survived three days beasty free (excluding a hilarious frog who thought that the water bucket next to the squat toilet was a peaceful place to relax… how wrong he was). Unfortunately for the other guys, they were not as lucky and became subject to the zoo that took up in their bungalows. Over the next two days, trips to the toilet in the bungalows became accompanied with shrieks and screams as three foot long snakes slithered past when they were mid flow. Trips to bed were preceded by a full beasty inspection expedition. These investigations were not helped by the lack of electricity and involved spinning round in the middle of the bed with a head torch.
Rabbit Island is not a place with really anything constructive to do and you are therefore required to make your own fun. Andy was made up now that he had a new work group to construct the sand fort he had been dreaming of for many a year. All his past attempts seemed like scale models of the original by the time the ‘sustainable development’ was completed and a beer Laos flag topped its front. There was a tense moment when the local kids found that the fort was an entertaining new play area and messed with Andy’s turrets. Luckily Will managed to calm the situation by convincing them to build their own miniature settlement just outside the fort walls (which resembled a refugee camp from the encroaching domination of the Beer Laos forces… perhaps not!) Apart from providing three hours of entertainment for the chaps which allowed me and Lucy to relax on the beach, the fort also provided a perfect arena for the bonfire and full moon party once the sun set over the calm waters of the gulf of Thailand.
I will not bore you with our drinking games and antics over the course of the evening apart from saying it was loads of fun and punctuated with night time swims in the sea before returning to the bonfire to warm up and dry. Also I don’t think I can fully explain the hilarity of watching Andre repeatedly punch the sand in an angry fashion whilst we all sat around watching him in confusion steadily. It was a strange venue to play charades and it took us 45 minutes of watching Andre do this before we finally established he was attempting to portray ‘Die Hard’. He did not find the scars the next day on his hands as funny as we found it at the time.
After a two hour trek around the island the next day we found ourselves back on the beach for further relaxation before another night of beach party. Again the beach party consisted just of us five, but tonight we were joined by a a very strange Slovenian bloke who returned when we had headed to bed to do naked yoga on the beach in front of Andre's hut under the moonlight!
Excluding the naked European, Rabbit Island was a brilliant tropical holiday within a holiday. Like all good holidays, it was one that we needed to detox after for a week to recover! Heading back to the mainland we started planning to get back on the road to the capital of Cambodia.