Just one hour away from the mainland (you can take a boat from Sihanoukville or Otres) it exists a paradise almost untouched by humans, an island filled with long yellow beaches and thick jungle, a couple of bungalows and places to camp, and definitely some of the most unforgettable days in your journey: if you are traveling in Cambodia don’t miss the opportunity to experience Koh Ta Kiev!
The best way to come to the island is taking the daily boat at 11.30am nearby Sea Garden in Otres 1, or even hire a private boat anywhere in Otres beach (which may cost you around 5 or 6 dollars depending on the place in the island you want to be dropped and your negotiation skills.)
One side of the island belongs to the military and on the other you have all the main beaches: long beach, rocky beach, other side beach and last point beach. You may want to check which guesthouse you want to stay and ask the boat driver to drop you there. The options scattered on the different beaches are: Last Point, Crusoe Island, Tent 103, Koh Ta Kiev Bungalows, Coral Beach and Kactus.
For the backpackers in tight budget the best option may be the Last Point, a combination of bungalows (starting on 20 dollars per night), an open dorm with sea view (5 dollars), an area for hammocks (two dollars) and plenty of sand on their cosy beach to set up your own tent (for free!). Expect great drinks and food (including pizza made on a wood-fire oven), a fire to sit around to chat and play some music, amazingly friendly staff and priceless views. From there, or from any other guesthouse on the island, you can take the paths into the jungle to reach other beaches and places of interest: a fishing village, a mango plantation, the elephant rock (where you can jump from a height of around ten meters to the sea), places with great view, beaches with plankton or coral, and a vast jungle waiting to be explored.
Besides that, you can spend time doing snorkelling or diving, swimming, enjoy the beach or simply hangout in your guesthouse and delight yourself with this peaceful bubble where the inexistent wifi, the few hours of electricity per day and the deep contact with nature (by the way, came fast because the island was sold out to international developers!) will keep the stress from the “external world” out of your mind and re-energize you for the rest of your trip. Enjoy the nature and notice the birds (apparently there are 150 different species in the island) or the glowing-in-the-dark animals around: the plankton that lights up when you swim at night and tiny glowing caterpillars crawling on the jungle floor, just turn off your flashlight and enjoy a galaxy moving near your feet!
If it’s nature and postcard-like tropical beaches it’s what you are looking for, don’t discard from your trip to Cambodia some days on this paradisiacal island, one of the most untouched and beautiful places in the entire country. Have a look on CamboTicket website to know options on how to reach Sihanoukville, from where you can take a boat to Koh Ta Kiev!