When asked where to revisit in Cambodia, most visiting tourists say Koh Rong. They even give Koh Rong a nickname and that is ‘paradise island’. The nickname itself holds enough weight of hint of what Koh Rong is all about. True to its recognition, Koh Rong’s nature alone is a perfect combination for a well-spent summer vacation or a short getaway. Koh Rong is home to crystal clear ocean water, white sand beach, exotic jungle, and tropical Weather, not to mention the people, the culture, food, and a whole lot of other interesting man-made stuff like resorts, party, to name a few.
With that rich in nature, this second largest island in Cambodia offers a bunch of attractions and activities with no exception. Whether you visit Koh Rong just to sit down, relax, do light stuff, or to venture out in nature, or to hop in any party often held on the island, Koh Rong gets you all covered. Can you hear Koh Rong calling out your name? In fact, a visit to Koh Rong at least once in a lifetime is totally worth it, so for avid first-time travelers to Koh Rong, here is a little guide to ease your traveling.
A Guide to Koh Rong
1. Koh Rong Beaches
Koh Rong is huge in terms of size. It lies approximately on 78 km² lands and this has given birth to over 23 individual beaches that differ in shapes and atmosphere. To give you some idea, here are some of the must-visit beaches in Koh Rong specially handpicked by us.
2. Sok San Long beach
Soksan beach of Koh Rong is famous for its richness in culture as this place is home to a small Khmer fishing village who fish for a living. Not only you can stay in the village to get in touch with the people and learn about the culture quicker, but the price of the stay is perhaps also a plus as it is often cheap. However, if you are not into that, you can always turn your back to those fancy options that come with luxurious accommodation, all thanks to the TV series ‘survivor’ for bringing such great attention on the property to this beach of Koh Rong.
Anyway, whichever way you choose to stay, there is one thing that you can equally get and that is the feeling of joy and relaxation. The beach is 6 kilometers long makes it a great getaway. Just think about, jogging, strolling on the beach, picking up seashells, or just sitting back letting the ocean breeze touch your skin while having a sip of freshly made tropical juice. Aren’t you smiling just thinking about that?
3. 4K beach
We’ll let you find out yourself about what and how the name came from. Now let’s continue the walk from Koh Touch, the main tourist area on Koh Rong and get yourself lost in the beauty of this one tiny part of Koh Rong. 4K beach provides the most transparent shallow seawater along with the pristine white sand, making it a natural studio of you are into photography. If you’re lucky enough, you can spot the bioluminescent plankton that is only visible in the darkness of the night. Thus, a stay on the beach is needed in order to do that. There is one thing though that you might find it frustrated, there aren’t many choices of places where you can stay on 4K beach, and plus, the beach stands quite far from where all those shops.
Please bear in mind that the nearest shop is on Koh Touch which is an hour away by foot if there is no ferry or boat service offered. So it is smart to bring all the necessary things for your visit to this beach. Do also check your budget if you are planning to stay there as one of the fantastic resorts at the end of the beach is Pura Vita which costs about $65+ per night, and of course, it is fantastic and totally worth every cent, according to the reviews previous travelers give. If that is out of your budget, check out other few resorts or remember to bring a tent.
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4. Lonely Beach
The name of this beach is pretty self-explanatory. Lonely beach is located on the northern side of Koh Rong which makes it a bit lonely and isolated from other beaches on Koh Rong. To reach Lonely Beach, you can take a boat to the northern part of Koh Rong. The journey can take 2-3 hours from Sihanoukville and it involves small boats that can’t really balance themselves well on the waters.
Beware that this beach is not ideal for anyone want to seek for comfort during their trip. As a matter of fact, this beach is paired with someone with an adventurous mind and a great sense of exploration. And once you make it there, you will realize that it is absolutely worth every moment of your struggle and endurance as the beach is one of the best beaches in Koh Rong.
5. Palm beach
This is just another self-explanatory beach and also located in the northern part of Koh Rong, just like the Lonely Beach. Needless to say about the challenge to get there as it has been described in the lonely Beach part already, let us focus on some of the unique things this beach has to offer. The scenery of the beach is like straight out of the movie Moana. Remember where Moana’s village where she was born and raised? Does it ring your bell? Not to mention its atmosphere which is amazing for chillaxing although when you think about a beach that is full of palm trees, you might picture the dance, the music, and party noise. Palm beach’s look is extroverted but the mind is introverted, which makes it other must-visited beaches on Koh Rong.
6. Lazy Beach
It would be strange if there is a miss out of Lazy Beach, one of the ‘Top 21 beaches in the world’ listed by National Geographic. It is understandable why it is on the list if we open our mind to its full picture. The beach area composed silky smooth sand, the blue waters shining bright like a diamond every moment the sun ray hits it, and the wonderful view of the mountains situated there. All of that makes it an awesome getaway. Did we mention about when you are emerging lazy beach seashore? Well, keep your eyes open as it is one of the most stunning things to see.
And just like other hidden treasure on Koh Rong, it often takes some sweat to reach there. The lazy beach is part of Koh Rong Sanloem though, Koh Rong’s sister. There is several private taxi boat from Saracen Bay, but many guests end up having to walk the 40-minute jungle trail to get there. The trail itself isn’t that bad but a little hiking experience and proper footwear are useful. You can find an entrance to the trail next to Octopussy Bar at The Royal Retreat.
7. White Beach
It is not one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Rong though but it is listed because for a reason. White beach is perhaps one who looks for a comfortable trip and pretty laid back can agree on as the beach itself holds a lot of conveniences. This is where you can find many wood quality resorts to enjoy your stay and then just head straight to the beach without risking your life on unsteady water or walk the trail. The beach offers soft white sands and beautiful clear ocean waters. The best part is that these are all well kept, meaning many tourists have not been there yet.
Like we mentioned at the beginning of our article, Koh Rong doesn’t offer you just the splendid view and the unique experience visiting the beach, but it also offers a wide range of other activities.
8. Deam Tkov village
Daem Tkov village is similar to Soksan beach. It is a spot where tourists turn to for the authentic living experience of Khmer people. You can get this first-hand experience by making a visit or even spend the night as they have a small hut or so-called inn where you can rent for 20$+ a night. and again, this activity is not suited for anyone who travels for leisure because Daem Thkov Village is not that easy to get to. You will need to take a long tail boat from Koh Touch. Please also keep in mind that the 20$+/night stay is pretty basic so don’t expect high.
9. Snorkeling and diving
Koh Rong and its marine life will blow your mind, and the best way to understand why so, we would like to suggest you go snorkeling or diving. You can do it yourself at any of the transparent clear water of Koh Rong if you’re already a pro or you can always grab one of snorkeling day trips. One of which we can recommend is the one with Adventure Adam Tours. Both snorkeling and diving will give you the best experience of marine life. Get ready to spot the host living in the water like jumping fish, sergeant fish, yellow boxfish, parrotfish, seahorse, diamond fish, squid, diamond fish, needlefish, blue-spotted ribbon tail rays, and goatfish, just to name a few.
The full-day price of snorkeling tour can be $25 up, and for the diving, you can join Koh Rong Dive Center offers fun dives as well as PADI training courses from the island. The price can be $80 for 2 fun dives or $380 with Open Water Certificate.
10. Boat trips
Another fun way to enjoy Koh Rong to its fullness is the boat trip. There are many boat trip services operated around Koh Rong from one beach to another. For any direction or type of boat, you choose we recommend you do it a little before sunset so you can get a spectacular view of the magnificent view of the sun. One of the most common boat trips is the one from Sok San Beach to Koh touch. The starter price of this activity is 15$ and it can be changed depending on the boat operator and the time of the year that you’re going.
11. Zip Line
Is height your phobia? Skip this activity if it is. But if you want to challenge yourself by face your fear and see the extra view from the top, you’re welcome here, at the High point rope adventure park located right on Koh Rong. This zipline is brought to Koh Rong recently by a group of Russian people. Rope adventure park provides not only ziplining but also rope walk that includes many obstacles just to induce the Adrenaline rush. And don’t you worry about safety the park is serious about safety, so you can enjoy it with a peaceful mind. To get to High Point Rope Park, take head south on Koh Touch to the Police Beach. There you will find a sigh that will lead you to the High Point Rope Adventure Park.
Cost: $25 low season, $35 high season
Kayaking is just another fun way to explore Koh Rong, but Koh Rong is massive in size, so not everywhere of Koh Rong is recommended for such activity. One good spot we can recommend is Koh Toch Beach, the main area of Koh Rong. If you have limited time for your stay on Koh Rong but want to enjoy kayaking, then this is your place. Kayaks can be rented from the beachfront restaurants on Koh Toch’s main beach with a price of 5$ per hour or 12$ a day.
13. Pub Crawling
At this point in the article, it seems like most activity on Koh Ring involves sweat and exercise and being outdoors, right? Yes, but not anymore because we have Pub Crawling here for offer. As you may know, Koh Rong has been welcoming a lot of tourists so bars and pubs are growing everywhere on the island making it an advantage for those who enjoy being socializing. Pub crawling includes having a drink or more over a good talk or getting to meet a bunch of other travelers or locals there or maybe a party.
If you’re down on earth for some challenges and different living experience, try camping on any beaches in Koh Rong (most beaches allow you to). This activity is recommended for travelers with a small group of people as camping can be lonely sometimes so bringing along some friends to sit around bonfires, roast some marshmallows, share some good talk, could be the best bonding moment money can’t buy. This activity usually costs nothing but you have to be aware of where you are camping as some beaches are quite far from access to shops and restaurants.
Where to stay in Koh Rong
Just little tips for your stay in Koh Rong, do have a brief plan in mind so it is easy for you to find the right place to stay. Once again, Koh Rong is a tourist hub so accommodation isn’t a big deal unless you visit some of those beaches with only a few options of accommodation like we mentioned. Booking.com or agoda.com are two good sites for you to search for places to stay. Prices can range from 7$ to 60$+ a night depending on the fanciness and the facility the place has to offer you as a guest.
Things You Should Know When Visiting Koh Rong:
It is important to not forget that Koh Rong is in the tropical part of the world. For other travelers who are familiar with the tropical weather and environment, good for you. But for those who are not, it is okay. All you need is just some preparation a bit before hands. Do bring some medicine along for common sickness in tropical-like flu or diarrhea. Beware of the local insects like mosquitoes, spiders, black ants or reptiles like poisonous snakes. These are the creatures that might bring harm to you. For some creatures like mosquitoes, you can avoid it by applying mosquito spray or lotion. Also, it is smart to buy it from the mainland, Sihanoukville.
For some other creatures, you have no choice but to avoid running into one, so please be cautious and listen to your tour guide (if you have any). Another thing to be alerted is that there is barely any ATM on Koh Rong, so please bring cash from the mainland or else it might become a frustration. And it has a similar condition for WiFi. Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia but compared to the size of the ocean it lies on, it is just a tiny spot, so do not expect fast WiFi or great facility like those places in the mainland. But hey, no WiFi could be a perk because sometimes we have to disconnect to connect.
How To Get To Koh Rong:
To get to Koh Tong, you can travel from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong by modern ferry companies such as Speed Ferry Cambodia, Island Speed Boat Cambodia, Buva Sea, Angkor Speed Ferry, and so on. The price and duration of the journey vary depending on your destination, but wherever you go on Koh Rong, please make it in between November to May just to avoid unexpected weather changes that can ruin your trip.
Beautiful pristine beaches come with a great option of activities that truly make Koh Rong a must-visited place in Cambodia. Many tourists leave Koh Rong with happiness and tons of unforgettable memories. Some even come back because they fall in love with it. It could be you too. We hope you find this useful for your next trip. Once again, it is worth to visit Koh Rong at least once in a lifetime. Go get the best of Koh Rong, all begins with packing your bag. What are you waiting for?!