Koh Ta Kiev is a half hour boat ride from the mainland, but a world away from the everyday. A (not really) deserted tropical island, it boasts a small fishing village and mango plantation on one side of the island, with three island retreats or camping grounds occupying space on the other. We stayed at one of these secluded campsites, named Crusoe island, where you can book a bungalow, bed, tent or hammock along the beach and enjoy the camping facilities and bar just within the forest behind. We opted for a $10 tent and set up home beside our own little view of paradise.
This place changes you, if only for the time you are there. An irresistable sense of calm and peace completely fills you and leaves you free to enjoy the stunning scenery and wildlife all around. Wildlife that includes spider-infested loos, resident rats (bungalows only) and the most ravenous mosquitoes known to earth, but the whole place is just so… cool… – I didn’t mind leaving with half the amount of blood I arrived with.
Most days we spent walking the beach, swimming or snorkelling over the corals and talking to fellow travellers at the bar; on our third day we hiked around the island’s forest areas and discovered secret coves (no treasure, sadly).
Highlights include searching for bioluminescent plankton in the shallows at night, though I think any light I saw was provided by my over-hopeful imagination, and seeing a native owl hanging out above the campsite.