When you think of Cambodia beaches and paradise don’t really come to mind. Well, that’s what I’m here for, let me introduce you to Koh Rong! This little slice of heaven is only a two-hour ferry ride from Sihanouville (read more about Sihanoukville here and why you should skip it all together). Off the coast of Sihanoukville, you find two islands by pretty much the same name; Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. There are quite a few differences when it comes to the two, in short:
Koh Rong – beach Valhalla and party island
Koh Rong Samloem – paradise resorts and quiet hippie island
If you would like to find out more about Koh Rong Samloem, you can read all about it here.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Koh Rong is from Sihanoukville by boat. The speed ferry costs about $20, prices tend to hop around between $15 and $22 depending on low or high season. It’s always smart to either book your ferry in advance, online or at an agency outside of Sihanoukville. If you book it on the spot your tuk-tuk driver that promises to bring you to the pier for your ticket will direct you to a travel agency (near the pier) and not to the pier itself and you’ll pay too much for your ticket (the tuk-tuk driver needs his commission after all).
The ferry usually goes 3 to 4 times a day depending on what season it is. The last ferry leaves around 4, make sure you don’t miss it! It’s in general not very smart to take the last ferry out, it gets to the island at 6, just when it starts getting dark. Paradise in the dark isn’t as great as paradise by day!
Where to stay
Always make sure to book your accommodation in advance. Koh Rong isn’t very big, so there aren’t that many places to stay compared to the mainland. You’ll be fine offseason but better not take the risk! There are a plethora of options on the island from affordable bungalows to $3 dorm beds.
If you’re looking for something a bit fancier, there are treehouses, resort bungalows and even some private islands! Over Christmas last year I treated myself and stayed at the Sok San Resort, which is about as fancy as it gets. I so highly recommend this place. There’s lovely staff, amazing food and it’s on a quiet little beach that is oh so stunning. Oh, and they have puppies. Puppies make the world go round, a bit of a shame as the dog population is going kinda out of control on the island, but they’re so cute…. I just can’t help myself and always need some puppy cuddles!
What to do on Koh Rong
Well besides lying on the beach and enjoying the sun and sand?
There’s a whole array of activities that can be done, no need to laze around all day. Even though, that’s not the worst thing there is. Kayaks can be rented for a few dollars an hour, or stand up paddle boards for those more into that. The waves as Koh Rong are no good, as in most places in Southeast Asia so no surfing. There’s also a whole bunch of jungle paths that go deeper into the island and often all lead to waterfalls that can be found at the center of the island.
For those who want to hang out on a boat. No worries, there are also a dozen or more half day boat tours! They go for about $10 a person and will take you out for a bit of snorkeling, fishing and some on-board barbecue. Don’t expect too much from the BBQ as you’ll be eating the fish you catch. You’ll be fishing Cambodian style, which means just a little line with bait on it! Fun, but challenging! The best thing about the boat trips is that they often end just after sunset, this means one; a gorgeous sunset on the water and…. glow in the dark plankton! It’s almost like there’s firework under water. With every wave and movement the plankton lights up, you can also dive in with them, just be aware that the plankton bites. Nothing serious but it just feels like the smallest little zap, almost like a tiny electrical jolt.
If you’re looking for paradise in between temple hopping and lots of countryside. Koh Rong is definitely the place to go. If I had to choose I think Koh Rong is probably my favorite place in Cambodia! This has mostly to do with the fact that I always feel like I can cal down here. I lived in Cambodia for 2 years, always working and being on the move, a little bit of paradise was sometimes just what I needed.
Hurry up and make your way over to Koh Rong! It’s such a gorgeous place to visit, and it might not be like this for a long time. Chinese investors are slowly taking over the island and it might only be a few more years until nothing is left of what I’ve just told you about!
PIN IT 🙂