Thursday, June 29th, 2017

How NOT to Go Skinny-Dipping


It’s a hot night in Sihanoukville, the sky is lit by the full moon, and the Gulf of Thailand is begging for a midnight dip.

Do full moons lead to uninhibited behavior? Maybe they do, and maybe they don’t.  All I know is that a friend of mine, a guy whom I’ll call M, and I have been hanging out with friends at JJ’s, drinking buckets, covering ourselves in full moon paint, and daring each other to do increasingly adventurous things.

I don’t know who brought it up first, but before we knew it, we have dared each other to go skinny-dipping in the Gulf of Thailand.

Adventurous, indeed.

We make our way over to where Serendipity Beach turns into Occhuteal Beach, an area that appears to be deserted.

“You go first,” I tell him.  “I won’t look.”

M strips down and runs into the ocean.  I turn around just in time to see him dive under a wave.  Even all the way from the beach, I can see the huge smile on his face.

I take off my clothes and run in at lightning speed, laughing like crazy.  I feel alive.  This is my world, and I’m going to experience all of it. I dive in.

I’m not even in the ocean for ten seconds when I see the worst image a skinny-dipper could possibly see:

Two kids running toward our pile of clothes.

“F*ck!” M yells.

“Sh*t!” I yelp.

M runs up to the beach, but it’s too late – the kids are gone. I’m dreading the worst, but I can’t bring myself to run to shore.  I stay in the ocean, crouched on tiptoe, the water still up to my neck.

And all of a sudden a woman steps out from behind a tree and starts talking to M.  His hands are clasped awkwardly in front of his crotch and I can’t help it – I giggle a little bit at the ridiculous sight.

And then I look closer and burst out laughing – that’s not a woman.  That’s a ladyboy, baby.

“Are we okay?” I call out.

“Yeah, your stuff’s still here,” he replies.

It’s okay, I am ladyboy!” the ladyboy yells.  I laugh so hard, I have to steady myself with my hands on the ocean floor.

“Okay, here I come!”  I run out of the ocean and scoop up my bathing suit with gratitude, throwing it on faster than I took it off.  All of my stuff is still there.  I lucked out big time.

“They took my pants,” M tells me.  “I have nothing to wear.”

“Did you have money in them?”

“Just twenty bucks.”

“Where’s your underwear?”

It was laundry day!

M finds a long-sleeved shirt half-buried in the sand and ties it around his waist.  It looks like something Toni Braxton would wear to the Grammy’s.

You’re not wearing that,” I told him.  “Wear these.”  I hold out my purple hippie pants.


“I’ve got a long tank top,” I assure him.  “It’ll look like a slutty dress.”

He laughs and throws them on.  A perfect fit.  “Wow, these are really comfortable.”


“I might actually get a pair of these.”

“You should!”

And that’s the story of how I got robbed while skinny-dipping in Cambodia.

Do I regret it?  Nope. I regret nothing on this trip – or ever.  Life’s too short.

It wasn’t the smartest move, though.  When you skinny-dip, you need to go to a beach that’s really abandoned — not quasi-abandoned. And the only place where I’d risk that in Sihanoukville is Sokha Beach, which is part of a private resort.

There are better places to skinny-dip in Southeast Asia than Sihanoukville.  Believe me, I know.  And they’re fantastic.

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59 Responses to “How NOT to Go Skinny-Dipping”
  1. have to remember to NOT give you the “last time you skinny dipped” question for your Lucky 13…. 😉

  2. Cailin says:

    Great story Kate!! haha those damn kids! At least your stuff was still there! 🙂

  3. Stephanie (swdcfan) says:

    Haha. I haven’t commented in a while, but I always enjoy your posts. I feel an increasing desire to party with you!

  4. Matt says:

    Brilliant story! Where is this place that you claim is better than Sihanoukville? Would love to hear more about it. 🙂

  5. Amanda says:

    Hahahaha. This was even better than I was expecting! You certainly have some great stories, my friend.

  6. Marsha says:

    Only you, Kate. Only you.

  7. Elle says:

    Haha this reminds me of the scene in Now and Then when the boys are skinny dipping in the lake and the girls take off with their clothes. Luckily, this has not happened to me while fleshin’ it in the water.

  8. Haha hippie pants to the rescue! Thanks for sharing, as always, Kate 🙂

  9. Anthony says:

    All I can say to this is…hahahahaha. keep em coming. Awesome.

  10. Faraz Shibli says:

    Funny stuff. I wonder how often those kids run that gig with travellers!

  11. Joe says:

    Classic. Little Sh1ts!

  12. Rease says:

    hahaha wow this is an excellent story! Sounds like a blast.

  13. Jaime says:

    Oh wow, I couldn’t stop laughing. That is too funny!!!

  14. “It’s okay, I am ladyboy!”

    bahahahaha Stories like this are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Erik says:

    Great story. I’m really loving the blog.

    A group of us went skinny dipping in Lake Michigan one night and the current pushed us away from where we’d left our clothes. It was so dark (No moon, No streetlights) that we spent 15 minutes looking for them when we got out.

  16. haha, life really is too short. at least you can say you’ve skinny-dipped in the gulf of thailand!!!
    what a funny story though!

  17. Kirsten says:

    As a somewhat experienced skinny dipper – I can vouch for the fact that it needs to have some calculation preceding it!!!! It’s definitely not a “do anywhere, anytime” kind of activity! Still …. this sounds like a lot of fun!! Minus, well, getting robbed.

  18. Poi says:

    Where’s the picture with M and his new look?

  19. Candice says:

    This is my favourite story yet! Hilarious.

  20. ayngelina says:

    One of the funniest stories you have so far, looks like that prank is pulled on everyone around the world.

  21. Andi says:

    Love it!!! I think it was totally worth it. 🙂

    Last time I went skinny dipping was in the Amazon River. One of the best days of my life!

  22. kristian says:

    although it was unfortunate, those are stories that you will remember for a lifetime

  23. Jill Marie says:

    Great au natural story from the Gulf of Thailand. Skinnydipping frees the soul.The world will never be the same in a skinnydippers eyes. It’s legal to skinnydip in Vermont, but come in the summer. bbrrrrrrrr or go for the polar plunge. in the winter but not nearly as hot.

  24. Great story! I love your stories and more so your storytelling ability =)

  25. Akila says:

    Hilarious story! Absolutely awesome story – Sihanoukville would definitely not be my choice for skinny dipping in SE Asia.

  26. Rebecca says:

    Bahahahaha! Hilarious – like Kristin says, great story telling. Every time I read something I feel like I was there with you!

  27. Suzy says:

    You are a pretty calm person because if I saw some children scurry off with my clothes and I had nothing to wear, I would have let all of Thailand know with some crying and screaming. I’m glad you’re clothes were spared. Hilarious story to tell after the fact I’m sure ha.

  28. Mike Terry says:

    I did the same thing once at night at Rye Beach in NH on a dare from Shelley. And hunny, that water wasnt Cambodian paradise. MMMM MMMM. Loves me some Polar Bear Club.

  29. Dan says:

    Very cool. Well-written.

  30. Tom says:

    Hahaha! I LOLd at the tank-top-slutty-dress comment. Just makes me think of when I go shopping with my lady friends and we’re trying to figure out if what’s on the rack is a slutty slutty dress or a long floaty top. Loved the Toni Braxton comment too! ㅋㅋ

  31. steph_fig says:

    OMGosh…! This is soooo funny!!!

  32. Jeff says:

    Funny but also at the time nerve-wracking. Not only to be discovered to be skinny dipping by kids but to have some money stolen. Oh well, as your lesson said at the end of your post….private, secluded place.
    Thanks for sharing.

  33. How funny! Thanks for giving me a bit of a giggle on this cold wintery day 🙂

  34. Well traveling is all about adventures, and I would say this definitely qualifies as just that. Happy travels!

  35. MJ Sailing says:

    Ha! Remind me that next time I go skinny dipping in some exotic local, to do it off the back of my boat where no one can steal my clothes. Come to think of it, I just went skinny dipping last week in Guatemala’s Lake Izabal right from my dinghy, and that worked out pretty well!

  36. Alicia says:

    Ha ha…..brilliant story!!

    “Do I regret it? Nope. I regret nothing on this trip – or ever. Life’s too short.”

    Absolutely 100% true. Although maybe it would have taken a little longer to come to that conclusion if the kids did steal your pants….!!

  37. Carl Kruse says:

    Purple hippie pants?

    Carl Kruse


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