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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.
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.”
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.