Just a short ride from the coast and an easy-to-get weekend destination for the ones staying in Phnom Penh, Koh Rong Samloem is that beautiful cliché we love so much to see in postcards or enviable instagram accounts. An island where the waters are bluer and more crystal clear, the sands are whiter and the coconuts taste better. And all that with the advantage of getting away from the crowds of Koh Rong or the dodginess of Sihanoukville!
The typical cuteness of Koh Rong Samloem.
Koh Rong is a beautiful island off the coast near Sihanoukville, very close to Koh Rong but with a somehow more laid-back and less-party atmosphere than its sister island. If what you are looking for is pure relaxation and connection with nature, then this island is for you!
The ferries depart from Serendipity beach in Sihanoukville and cost 20 dollars with an open return ticket included. There are different companies with various timings to choose, better to check your options on arriving to the pier or in any travel operator in town. Also in Camboticket website you can find a combined ticket of bus + ferry from Phnom Penh to the island. Either option, the boat will take from 45 minutes to an hour depending on the company, arriving to the island in Saracen bay.
Despite the rising tourism, the island maintains some fishing villages and traditional lifestyle.
You have different options of where to stay but nevertheless you can always walk your way through the island in case you are into jungle trekking (and what a nice and wild jungle!) Saracen has more resorts and facilities, Sunset beach or Lazy beach are for the ones looking for peacefulness, and M’Pai Bei is the answer if you want a more village feeling and a backpacker vibe in terms of prices and atmosphere. Nevertheless of where you stay, we definitely invite you to explore the island on foot, enjoy different water-based activities such as kayaking, snorkeling and diving (some of the best diving spots in the country are here), or simply engage yourself in the lizard life and spend the whole day sun-bathing in these amazing beaches.
Just bear in mind that there are no ATMs in the island so come prepared. For any emergencies you can get out some money from your card on Green Blue Resort in Saracen bay. But as you can imagine there will be a fee involved, so better to just go to one of the many ATM scattered in Sihanoukville before catching the ferry. Also, in order to improve this “civilization detox”, most of the island doesn’t have mobile coverage (yeeees!), but in case you need you can find it in Saracen bay, with some resorts having wifi as well.
What can be more photogenic than an old wooden pier on a crystal-clear sea?
Anyway, before the monsoon season arrives don’t miss the opportunity to visit this wonderful gem, also known as the island of the far away cave (what a mystic name…) Have a look on Camboticket website for checking options on how to get there from different towns in Cambodia, and while there enjoy the sun and have a coconut for us 🙂