There were six other tourists making the same trip that day, which worked out well as we were able to share truck/van rides to get between the vartious bus and ferry stops on the way. The ferry ride was aboard a large hovercraft which seated a couple hundred people, mostly Asian tourists. Upon arriving in Duong Dong town, I set off to find affordable accomodations. Turns out it's a fairly upscale place and there didn't seem to be any rooms available for less than $16, most were closer to $30. I was persistent though, and with the help of a local guy found a great $5 room at Than Hai, set in a garden just a few minutes from the beach. They must feel the need to compete with the fancier resorts or something, because for the first time in my travels I actually had a maid come and clean the room every day. I was mostly just inconvenient as she felt the need to move around all the stuff I left out on the nightstand and at the sink, but still, a nice gesture.
As I mentioned, the beach here has much more of a resort feel than the one in Sihnoukville. A lot more empty sand, less annoying venors, and no loud music. When not lazing around at the beach, I explored a bit of the island by bicycle. Didn't see most of it though as it's huge and hilly. After a few days of laziness, I joined a snorkeling tour with about ten other people. We motored down to the An Thoi islands and snorkeled at two different spots. It was way more impressive than Koh S'Dach, but not quite as good as Belize (a trip from a few years ago). As usual, I'll let the pictures say the rest about that. We also stoppped at an almost deserted beach and had a very satisfying lunch (nothing like swimming to work up an appetite). Having seen the many creatures of the sea, I felt ready to leave the beach for a while and begin my journey north through Vietnam.
Plenty more photos of the fish in the sea on Flickr
On my third time through Phnom Penh, I booked a boat across the Vietnamese border. As always, the boat ride was much nicer than any bus. Only about ten of us on a boat that could have held four times as many if packed to typical bus standards. We pulled up to the banks of the river on our way out of Cambodia, and then again a few minutes later on the Vietnamese side. After the usual visa checks small bribes, it was on to Chau Doc. I didn't really appreciate this town enough when I was there, as I was really just stopping for the night on my way to Phu Quoc. It lays very close to the Cambodian border and has a very authentic Mekong delta kind of feel. It also has a large (the largest?) population of members of the Hoa Hao sect of Buddhism. Didn't really learn much more about all this, but I did find some good food. Ate some delicious coconut filled pastries for 1000 dong (about 6 cents) and enjoyed a refreshing custard apple shake sitting in an outdoor cafe. The next morning, I was off to Phu Quoc island.