Cambodia Series: Koh Rong (Cambodia’s Paradise Island)

About an hour away from Sihanoukville lies Cambodia’s paradise island, Koh Rong. Koh Rong is beautiful, peaceful and undeveloped, just like its smaller sister island. It is an unspoilt paradise of white sand beaches, turquoise water and rainforest. Apart from the main town, Koh Toch, Koh Rong remains nearly untouched and until recently, the island didn’t have 24-hour power and even now, the power still isn’t brilliant! You’ll struggle to find anywhere with air conditioning or hot water as well!

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How to get to Koh Rong

There are two options for getting to Koh Rong from Sihanoukville. You can either take the slow boat (about 3 hours long) or the fast boat (1 hour). The sea can be very rough at times and the waves can be huge so bare that in mind when choosing your transport. The boats leave twice a day and you can buy tickets from most accommodations and tourist information places. The fast boat cost us about $20 per person for a return trip and also stops off at Koh Rong Samloem first. If you ask, they’ll drop you to the nearest beach to your accommodation as well.

Where to stay

On the main beach, you’ll find cheap hostels for about $2-3 per night or around $10 for a private room. There are plenty of hostels to choose from along the main beach but just be aware that in peak season, it can get quite loud and busy. You could also stay within walking distance of the main beach where you’ll find a few beach bungalows. However, these can cost quite a bit more than on the mainland but it’s worth it for the amazing sea views. When we got to the island, we stayed in Pura Vita Resort, which was a very basic beach bungalow on 4K beach. The staff were so friendly and we would definitely recommend staying here!

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Pura Vita Resort, 4K Beach

Things to do if you like exploring

Other than relaxing on the beach, there isn’t a lot to do in Koh Rong. You can go snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving but in the wet season, I wouldn’t recommend kayaking or snorkelling, as the sea can be quite rough! There are 28 beaches on the island and visiting all the beaches isn’t exactly easy. If you fancy exploring the island, these are the places we visited and loved:

Long Beach

Long Beach is a 7km white sand beach on the right of Koh Toch Beach. The main walk takes about an hour from the main town and about two hours from 4k beach.

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4K/Long Set Beach

The name speaks for itself but 4K beach is a beautiful 4km beach with crystal clear waters and white sand. The beach is about a 40 minute walk from Koh Toch Beach. When we visited in July this year, there were only two or three hostels and a few hotels/beach bungalows so it’s a great place to escape the crowds.

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4K Beach, Koh Rong
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4K Beach

Coconut Beach

Coconut beach is a beautiful bay towards the left of 4k beach. There are quite a few places to stay on Coconut Bay including hostels and high end accommodation. The water at Coconut Bay was crystal clear!

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Coconut Beach, Koh Rong

Daem Thkov Village

About a 10 minute walk from Coconut Bay is a small fishing village. If you want to see a glimpse of traditional Cambodian island life, the village offers a very authentic experience.

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Fishing Village, Koh Rong
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Koh Rong Fishing Village

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Glowing Plankton

Koh Rong is famous for its bioluminescent plankton. You can hop on a boat tour, which will take you out to sea in the dark to see it for about $5. Once you get to the darkest spot, you’ll be able to jump into the sea and it’ll light up all around you! It was one of our favourite experiences of our trip! Jumping into the deep sea in darkness was scary but the views of the plankton lighting up were worth it!

Koh Rong was one of our favourite islands during our trip to South East Asia and we would recommend going there as soon as you can because in the next few years, the island will be a lot more developed but hopefully not enough to spoil this beautiful island.

~ Megan and Rowan ~

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