Cambodia is an increasingly popular travel destination, as visitors from all over the world flock to see the magnificent temples of the Angkor era. Although it is the temples that draw people to this South East Asian nation, it is often the warmth of the Khmer people that makes the most long-lasting impression. As a result, many people wonder what other destinations Cambodia has to offer. I’m here to share my favourite: Koh Rong. Koh Rong is an island located about a 45 minute ferry ride from the beachside town of Sihanoukville. Here, you will step off the ferry and back in time – it is the laidback, tropical paradise that so many have dreamed of. Especially if you’ve tired yourself visiting the magnificent Angkor temples or in bustling Phnom Penh, Koh Rong is bound to delight you.
Why Koh Rong?
Koh Rong is a relatively small island, with extremely lacklustre wifi, no ATMs, and hardly any air conditioning. This may put some people off, but it absolutely shouldn’t. It is all part of Koh Rong’s charm – it is about disconnecting from the constant beeps of your phone and instead connecting with nature, and people.
Enjoy life’s simple pleasures on Koh Rong. It is a place to enjoy the simple things – good food, good company, and our beautiful environment. Koh Rong is good for the soul.
What to Do on Koh Rong
While the big appeal of Koh Rong is its simplicity, that is not to say there is nothing to do there. Far from it! There are lots of activities to keep you busy, if you can pry yourself away from lazing by the picturesque, stunning beaches.
Rent a Kayak
There are various spots on the island where you can rent a kayak, and go for a paddle in the beautiful clear waters. Keep your eye out for fish and other marine life that you might pass over. If you are reaady for a bit of an arm work out, you can even paddle over to Koh Toch Island (Small Island).
Koh Rong offers snorkelling that is great fun, and extremely affordable. You can see an amazing array of marine life, including fish, seahorses, squid and stingrays. There are many tour companies on the island who will take you on a full-day tour, with lunch included, from about $20 per person.
Try Out the Zipline
A recent addition to Koh Rong, there is now a zipline adventure for those wishing to get a bit of an adrenaline rush. This is a very safe activity with a really beautiful view from the top. It’s especially popular with families.
Check out the Glowing Plankton
One of the most amazing sights on Koh Rong is the glowing plankton which can be found near the water’s edge. You can even swim with them! If you’d prefer not to get too close to this amazing natural phenomenon, they still make for amazing photographs.
Relax by the Beach
This is, of course, the #1 activity on Koh Rong. Koh Rong has many beautiful beaches, and they are absolutely perfect to laze on (or rent a hammock), admiring the calm blue waters and maybe reading a book. This is what a blissful island retreat is about!
Where to Sleep on Koh Rong
While for a long time the options on Koh Rong were extremely limited, today there are a few more accommodation providers – however, it’s still pretty rustic. If you’re looking for an ultra luxurious stay, you may be better off remaining on the mainland.
The quintessential Koh Rong accommodation is the humble beach hut. There are many of them located around the island – most of them do not have airconditioning, however they do benefit from the sea breeze.
If you want to go even more rustic, then you can camp along the mesmerisingly beautiful Long Beach. This is the most affordable option – but you are, of course, camping. For many people, however, that is all part of the charm.
If you are looking for something a bit more upmarket, or looking to travel with kids, there are a couple of resorts on the island which offer a more comfortable stay. One of the most popular is the Sok San Beach Resort, which occupies a prime position on one of the prettiest beaches.
All in all, Koh Rong offers much of what so many travellers seek in a relaxing island retreat – the chance to get away from it all, dig your feet in the sand and feel the salt air on your face. Add to this the friendly atmosphere on the whole island, and a good selection of interesting attractions and activities, and you truly have a perfect getaway.