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What Life Quarantined in Cambodian Island Paradise is REALLY Like

What Life Quarantined in Cambodian Island Paradise is REALLY Like

Soooo…we somehow manage to get ourselves trapped in paradise.

Coronavirus shut down the world at the worst (or best?) possible time.

We were staying on an internet-less beach on Koh Rong Samloem island in Cambodia and had no idea what was going on. By the time we got back to wifi, things had spiraled out of control and borders were closing down.

I’m still not sure if I should be excited…or terrified. *GULP*


Now, you might think it sounds like a dream to be quarantined on a stunning white-sand beach, isolated from the rest of the world—and you’re right, it is a dream (sometimes)…

▶️ There’s only a handful of tourists spread across the island. We literally have this place to ourselves. Sometimes we walk a mile down the beach without seeing another soul.

swings in the water on saracen beach on koh rong samloem island in Cambodia

▶️ Luxury resorts—places we normally never could afford—are empty and basically giving bungalows away (check out Episode 3 to see just how cheap).

woman drinking coffee overlooking pool and ocean at Bounty Boutique bungalows on Sarecen Beach, Koh Rong Samloem

▶️ Very few people are arriving to the island, so we feel protected from the virus (plus it’s like 7000 degrees here so I don’t think it could survive anyways).

…but it’s not all butterflies and unicorns.

We have no idea what each day will bring:

  • It’s rustic here. All electricity comes from generators and we have daily hourly blackouts (not ideal for productive online work).
  • There’s no doctors. There’s no medicine. And there’s no guarantee things will stay open (about 70% of the island has closed already).
  • We don’t know how long the Cambodian government will let us legally stay here.
  • Now that all the “refugees” on the beach are getting to know each other, island gossip and drama are rampant (which I admit, is actually kinda entertaining…I feel like I’m back in high school again 😂)

Since there’s nothing else to do here (turns out there’s a limit to how many consecutive days you can drink piña coladas in a hammock without getting bored), we decided to make a vlog series to share our crazy quarantine with you. 

It’s literally like a real-life soap opera here. The situation changes every day, so we’ll be putting out new island lockdown video updates a couple times per week. 

If you’re bored at home in social isolation, make sure to subscribe to our channel and hit the notification bell to follow the story as it unfolds!

Let’s dive in…

Note: Things will make more sense if you watch in order 😎

Episode 1: Uh-Oh, We’re Trapped! – What Would You Do In Our Shoes?

In this episode, we…

  • Share how we found ourselves in this sticky situation
  • Give the different options (or LACK of options) we have for where to go during these crazy times
  • Ask for your advice!

If you were us, what would you do??

Episode 2: Surviving The Apocalypse Town To Gather Supplies 

In this episode, I have to leave the safety of the island and trek through a disaster zone city (which shall not be named for safety purposes).

This dump of a city is where most of Cambodia’s cases of coronavirus are. During my mission, I walked through what looked like a zombie apocalypse to extend our visas and stock up on supplies.

Naturally, I found myself in a Chinese supermarket and, as you’ll see, had quite an interesting experience.

Note: If you’re thinking about traveling to the islands when all this craziness is over, one of my top Cambodia tips is to NOT stay in this city under any circumstances. Seriously…pass through as quickly as possible. Some outdated info on the internet says it’s cool, but it’s not!

Episode 3: Bungalow Hunting + Our Own Slice of Lockdown Heaven

After stocking up on basic supplies (AKA pringles, weird Chinese rice crispy treats, and 30 cups of instant noodles), we needed to find a place to stay.

Resorts are closing down left and right, and it’s impossible to know which ones will weather the storm. We wanted to negotiate a discounted long-term rate, so we couldn’t afford to choose a place that would close at any second. 

Check out the video to see…

  • How we avoided getting screwed in negotiations…and why you should always explore your options with your OWN EYES
  • How we stumbled on an unbelievably cheap deal on a huge luxury beach-front bungalow
  • A tour of our slice of paradise where we’ll hunker down for the next who-knows-how-long

Episode 4: A Day In The Life of Island Quarantine Paradise

It’s now been over a month since we arrived on the island (we were only planning to stay for a few days), and we’ve finally settled into a perfect quarantine routine.

If you wanna see what a day is like stranded on one of Cambodia’s most beautiful beaches (which has now turned into a “ghost beach”), check it out!

Episode 5: How To Not Go Crazy in Lockdown (On a Remote Cambodian Island)

Turns out you can only visit each of the stunning Koh Rong Samloem beaches so many times before you start going insane quarantined in paradise.

We’ve now been trapped on the island for over SIX WEEKS, and in this week’s episode, we show how to not go crazy in lockdown on a rustic beach.

Check out the video to discover our 10 favorite island activities to pass the time…

Some are productive, some are slightly dangerous, and some are downright wonky.

Episode 6: Mitch’s Solo Mission into the Depths of the Jungle (+ Secret Path to Lazy Beach)

Today we have stubborn Mitch ignoring his wife’s advice and disappearing into the jungle alone.

After a run-in with a pack of angry dogs, nearly falling off a rock into the ocean, and getting semi-lost…

He discovers an adventurous new hiking route to Lazy Beach (and some sweet random rock carvings in the jungle).

Episode 7: Ultimate Koh Rong Samloem Island Tour

After nearly three months on Koh Rong Samloem, we’ve basically done it all (multiple times). Here is a guide showing all the island has to offer.

We hope these videos keep you entertained during lockdown. If you enjoyed them, make sure to share this post with a friend!

Stay safe out there, amigos!

Cheers from the island,
Mitch & Dayan

couple laying in beach on Koh Rong island in Cambodia

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Saturday 25th of April 2020

WOW! What an adventure you two are on! How long can you stay in Cambodia? (I haven't watched the last video yet...perhaps that will answer my question?)


Sunday 26th of April 2020

That's a good question! Cambodia extended everyone's visas automatically until April 30, but we're waiting to here what they're going to do after that. Kinda stressful because we don't know if we'll have to leave...but there's not really many places we can go anyway. Hopefully they add another extension so we don't have problems! (and we didn't mention it in the video, but you should watch anyway 😋)


Friday 24th of April 2020

I was there two years ago for ten days...those of us who have been know exactly what dump of a city you're talking about. I can't imagine the irony of being trapped in paradise, such a beautiful place, and yet now beginning to wish you could leave. Try to stay away from the drama as best you can!


Friday 24th of April 2020

Haha yes I've never seen anything like that city in my whole life! It's definitely a mixed bag of feelings being here. I think I'd be fine staying here longer if we just had some more food options. And the drama...well...that is definitely keeping us entertained. I think it gets magnified 10x because nobody has anything better to do than gossip haha. Anyway, I hope you're safe wherever you are! Cheers!


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