Trip to Kep and Rabbit Island

Over the weekend, we had our final group trip/exploration to Rabbit Island off the southwestern coast of Cambodia. It was a 3 1/2-hour trek by bus, so we breakfasted at the Royal University of Phnom Penh before heading out on the early-morning journey. After dropping off our bags at the Beach House Hotel, we boarded four different fishing boats for the 20-minute ride to Rabbit Island. About seven Cambodian families live on the island, providing guest huts and local foods to visitors.

The trip was a group-bonding time as well as an opportunity to study wave action, aquatic life, and the impact of the sun’s ultraviolet rays on human flesh. When we ordered fresh crab, our cooks walked across the short beach into the Gulf of Thailand, where they pulled freshly caught, thrashing crabs from a bamboo basket. An hour later, we had lunch fresh from the sea.

Students hiked on the island, walked the beach, read novels, and played in the water, at one point building a four-person water stack (not pictured) — with Seth on the bottom, then Phil on his shoulders, Allison on his shoulders, and Simon on her shoulders. When we returned to shore in Kep, students went out to get dinner and then made a fire on the beach in front of our hotel.

We also had a magnificent buffet breakfast at the Veranda, an eco-hotel tucked up in the hills around Kep. Afterward students relaxed or took a swim until we left at noon for Phnom Penh. As they say, a good time was had by all.