Southeast Asia has a lot of paradisiacal locations and relaxed places to wind down.
Get a break, chill by the water, catch some sun and have some cocktails!
Cambodia is no exception and there is no shortage of islands with postcard-like beaches in the kingdom. It is complicated to choose which one to visit if you have only short time… so which one should you pick? Here you can find some tips on where to go depending on your tastes…
Typical island life… (in Koh Rong Samloem)
Probably the most famous one in the backpacker circles, Koh Rong certainly fulfill the requirements of a proper Southeast Asian island:
Besides that, in the quietiest beaches you even have the chance of seeing the fluorescent plankton by night. Certainly an experience not to be missed.
Koh Rong is considered the party island, a kind of smaller sister of the Thai island of Koh Phangan, where thousands of young backpackers come every year expecting full moon parties and cheap alcohol. So yes, definitely here you can party a lot, if that’s what you are looking for, and meet plenty of other young travelers. But, being a big island, if parties is not your thing, you can still find other quieter places and secluded beaches if you can afford some more expensive options…
Anyway, check our article on Koh Rong for more info on the island.
Waiting for your jump. (in Koh Rong)
For a smaller and less noisy island, you can find Koh Rong Samloem just near Koh Rong. More untouched and wild!
Accessible by slow boat or speed ferry. Check out CamboTicket’s website for all the boats’ options.
Paradise, here I come! (in Koh Rong Samloem)
For an even less developed and more natural location, we can’t recommend enough the peacefulness of Koh Takiev, an island 45 minutes by fisherman boat off the coast of Otres (near Sihanoukville). There are only four or five guesthouses, one in each beach – the perfect place for some days without civilization: just you, the sand and the sea. The place called “Last Point” is highly recommended, you can even bring your own hammock or tent to camp! Find here more info on this island.
The meaning of solitude… (in Koh Takiev)
Not far away, just out of the Ream National Park a bit south from Otres, with only one resort and fewer tourists, Koh Thmei is for the ones looking for absolute silence and secluded location. A must if you want to finish that book you are carrying in your backpack since weeks or maybe for a romantic escape…
Other option is Rabbit Island, or Koh Tonsay, just a half hour ride by boat from Kep. Here the sand is more into yellow color but a must-see is the glowing-in-the-dark plankton that appears at night!
In case you have a really short time, visit Koh Dach (Silk island) just outside of Phnom Pen, for a relaxed lifestyle and pleasant countryside. Besides, it’s a great place to learn about silk farming and buy some souvenirs, like the traditional Khmer scarf (the Krama!) for your loved ones back home! Read our article about this island for more info on where to go and what to do.
Hope this post gave you some ideas for your trip through the islands of the south of Cambodia. If it’s white-sandy beach and clear blue water what you looking for, these are the places for you! Have a look at Camboticket website for different options on how to go to Sihanoukville, including bus+ferry tickets to some of the islands.Read more
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).
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!Read more