Ko Tonsay, or Rabbit Island as it is commonly known as, is a lovely and truly idyllic little island that sits offshore from Kep, just thirty minutes away by hired boat.
Koh Tonsay is two square kilometers. In the 1960’s it was used as a place to rehabilitate criminals, who were also used to defend the island.
Horse cart paths and wooden, thatch roofed motels were also constructed during this time. Most of this infrastructure has been destroyed.
Today, seven families live on the island. They earn their living by fishing and growing coconut trees. Rabbit Island has become a popular daytrip for tourists.
Get away from it all
Within sight of land, this lushly forested spot has swimming and snorkeling opportunities. At the sea bottom are a variety of corals, sea animals and plants and is just a pleasant place to while away some time.
The main beach where the boats anchor in line with coconut palms, hammocks, lazy chairs and a handful of fresh seafood joints serving up some outstanding seafood — it doesn’t get fresher than here!
There’s a delightful lady and her family who have a little restaurant there with great seafood – very inexpensive – and rent bamboo shacks out for about $5 (low season) to $10 per day – very basic with mattress and mosquito net, a short walk to the toilet. When you ask for some crab in garlic and pepper you could well end up wading out to help the owner select the crabs!
The beach is clean and you definitely feel far, far away from it all. The swimming straight off the main beach is excellent, otherwise fishing trips may be able to be organised through your boatman.
Back to basics
There is no electricity, so at night it is just you, your torch, perhaps a beach bonfire and about a million stars overhead. No karaoke, no motorbikes, no noise, no problem.
If you’re after a back to basics, island hideaway then you’ve found it here on glorious Ko Tonsay. There can’t be many places in the world that could be more relaxing than Rabbit Island. It is little, though.
Kep’s guesthouses offer boat services to the island, and local fishermen will also take you, but they are likely to be more expensive.
Prices for a return trip range between $10 and $20 (per boat, not per person). Try to rustle up a few people for the trip. There are a feast of other islands dotting the area. A tour of these could also be arranged.