A DELIGHTFUL SWIMMING SPOT AT O’RUSSEY KANDAL TO SPEND A SLEEPY AFTERNOON
By Lily Freeman
My friend and I decided to nip to Ou Ruessei on late afternoon. We heard there was a swimming place, and not a lot else, and this really appealed to us after a long day of travelling to reach Stung Treng. We found a Tuk Tuk driver who was willing to do the return journey for us for $15. There were good roads all the way, but it was still 50 minutes away. We were getting excited at the idea of going from a swim. As we arrived, we drove through a small village, past a couple of sleepy restaurants and towards a beautiful swimming spot. At the entrance to the site, you pay the guard $1 per person. This money goes towards general clean up of the area, and towards a small community fund.
There were some children playing in the water, and swinging off low hanging branches into the pool, much to the hilarity of their friends. There were also a couple of teenagers sitting in the water precariously balancing their glasses of beer on the rocks, half in, half out of the water to keep it cool.
The water was refreshingly cool, and surprisingly deep at some points. As the water was part of a stream, it was very clear and clean – you could see to the bottom in most places. I think this is because the water was almost completely shaded by the trees surrounding the edge. I think this would have made it a perfect place to come in to in the middle of the day too.
Close to the waters edge, there were some wooden platforms and benches for picnicking and general lazing about. What was particularly nice about this site was how natural it was, there was no litter, and no plastic or concrete around the water at all, everything was made from wood.
After splashing around in the currents for a while, we got out. We slightly regretted not having come earlier in the day, as there was plenty of space for relaxing and a small khmer café a short walk away. Alas, it was getting dark and it was time to leave. Our Tuk Tuk driver then whisked us back off to Stung Treng, and our onwards journey the next morning. Anyone who is spending some time passing through Stung Treng and is looking to pass a few hours, I would thoroughly recommend heading here, especially with a cold beer and a good book.