It’s probably one of the most visited destinations in Cambodia, with white sand beaches and clear waters to swim, quiet jungles to trek and all-night-long parties to dance. Koh Rong, an island near the coast of Sihanoukville and one of the backpacker heavens in Southeast Asia, has plenty of activities to do and – even better – it offers a great atmosphere to doing nothing at all.
Cliché postcard kind of beach.
Koh Rong is just 25 kilometers off the coast, offering more than 20 beaches for your relaxed vacations by the sea.
To reach it you must travel to Sihanoukville. There, head to one of the ferry offices you can find on the road leading to Serendipity beach. The options to reach Koh Rong are many, from slow boats for 5 dollars per trip taking two and a half hours, to fast boats that cost 20 dollars (with return included on an open date – meaning you just have to confirm the ticket on the previous day you have decided to come back) and only take 45 minutes. You can find all the ferry options on CamboTicket website as well!
These ferries will take you to Tuich village, the main backpacker area with the highest concentration of guesthouses. Here you will find more options in terms of food and shopping (mainly small supermarkets with basic products) and the cheapest accommodations. From 4 dollars per night for a bed in a dormitory or 6 to 8 dollars basic room. It will be here that you will also find the most crowded and noisy atmosphere in the whole island, with bars playing music until late night and hordes of people spread in the beach in front.
The piers on the beach of Tuich village.
If it’s quiet time what you are looking for, better options are available if you walk to the left (while looking in direction of the sea). Long beach is the next strip of sand (also known as Sok San or 7KM beach). After that one, 4K is probably one of the most beautiful in the whole island (also known as Long Set beach). Here you can find more secluded accommodation, fancy and well-built bungalows for about 25 to 35 dollars a night, just a 40 minutes’ walk from the main beach in Tuich village. In case you don’t want to walk the whole way you can also hire a local boat for about 2 dollars to drop you there. This is also one of the easiest spots to watch the fluorescent plankton by night, so prepare yourself for beautiful nocturnal swims with glowing water around you.
For other types of budget, around the island there are a lot of pristine beaches with resort-type of accommodation so, in case your wallet allows it, explore options and book beforehand (they will probably offer boat service to drop you on their specific beach)
Around the island many are the spots with great diving and snorkeling opportunities, and businesses offering these services can be found everywhere. For the ones more into exploring the nightlife, Tuich village is the place to go, with many bars such as the “Island Boys” offering drinks and loud (but not so good) music every night. A couple of nights per week there’s also one pub crawl happening, in addition to regular parties on Police beach where you can dance until morning – in fact, the end of the party is typically watching the incredible sunrise on the sea.
A gift from the skies, during sunset time while walking towards 4K beach.
For food, you can find plenty of restaurants along Tuich village and along its beach, with most of the typical options of Western, Italian, Middle Eastern and Asian food available. There also plenty of vegetarian options as well, and if you are on a budget, head to the Khmer-owned “Nice Food” restaurant which is the only one having meals for around 2 dollars.
On a different note, it’s pleasant to see as well how the businesses catered for tourists are helping the community, with Friends of Koh Rong organization created by some of the owners supporting education and health care to the local population.
So if beach is what you are looking for, have a look on Koh Rong island for some really special days in your vacation. Camboticket has various options to go to Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh or Kampot, including bus+ferry tickets (check theses here from Phnom Penh and here from Kampot).