The secret gem of Cambodia, Koh Rong Island is pure paradise. Located 2 hours off the coast of Sihanoukville, Koh Rong Island is fast becoming one of the key destinations on travellers 10 Best Things to do in South East Asia.
Koh Rong Island is suprisingly unspoilt, with just a small handful of fishing communities living in wooden beach huts by the port.
Even in Cambodia’s high season, Koh Rong Island has that sense of isolation and serenity away from the hectic mainland.
Monkey Island is run by a couple of brothers from England. The restaurant/bar can get quite lively at night and they do great food with big portion sizes. One of the brothers is married to a Thai lady who can cook up a blinding pad thai and green curry.
Paradise Bungalows has some outstanding views from the beach hut bungalows. The restaurant is known for it’s chilled out vibe. Cushions and soft mats line the bright and breezy room, and relaxing music chosen by the German owner adds to the mellow atmosphere.
Tree House Bungalows is tucked around the corner away from the main beach strip. Guests stay in their own tree houses overlooking the Gulf of Thailand. They have their own beach area and a couple of friendly dogs running round keeping you company! Best of all, the chef cooks possibly the best pizza in Cambodia in their wood fired oven!
Getting to Koh Rong Island is easy from Sihanoukville.
A return trip to Koh Rong Island can be organised through one of the many tour agencies in Sihanoukville.
With the rest of the travellers searching for paradise, you will first need to take a boat to the Island which will take about 2 hours. The boat is quite small and you will literally have to ‘walk the plank’ to board it.
When we visited Koh Rong Island in 2011, a surprisingly good spread of complimentary watermelon, bananas, coffee, tea and doughnuts were laid out for everyone to tuck into on board. There was also a toilet available if anyone suddenly felt sea sickness coming on!
I would recommend taking an anti-sickness tablet before you set off to Koh Rong. Stu didn’t, and after he’d just eaten his own weight in fruit, doughnuts and coffee, you can imagine how a 2 hour rocky boat ride made him feel!
On reaching Koh Rong Island, you will have to brave the plank again to get off the boat. There will be someone from your hotel waiting to greet you and show you the way to your dream beach hut.
When you see the white sand and clear blue sea on Koh Rong’s empty beach you’ll be in heaven! Walking through the warm water and feeling the soft sand will make your heart melt, and you’ll probably want to stay forever.
We originally booked 2 nights and ended up staying for 7! We only left because they needed our room!
As of 2012 there are future plans to build a casino, beach resorts and an airport on Koh Rong Island, so make sure you get there quick! I would recommend anyone visiting in the future should check the current status before you go.