Koh Rong: Island Paradise in Cambodia

Who would’ve thought that I’ll find paradise in Cambodia of all places. Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia. Located in Koh Kong Province about 25 kilometers off the Sihanoukville’s coast in the Gulf of Thailand, the island has an area of approximately 78 km2 and 43 km of beaches.

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Koh Rong’s main beach in Koh Touch village

Going to Koh Rong

I booked the first bus going to Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh from my hostel which usually takes 5 to 6 hours. We left Phnom Penh at 7:15am and we arrived a little past 1:00pm. I took the 3:00pm Cambodia Speed Ferry going to Koh Rong from Sihanoukville for $10 roundtrip. You can book it in travel agencies around the port. It is a 45 minute ride with the speed ferry and you will have 2 stops before you reach Koh Rong. There is also the slow boat for $5 roundtrip however check with different travel agencies first becuase there are some days that they do not operate according to the agencies I checked with. The slowboat will take you roughly around 2.5 hours. There’s also other operators, such as Buvasea, check this out for more information.

Port going to Koh Rong in Sihanoukville

Where to stay

There are few accommodations you can find online and most of it are expensive. Arrived in the island a little past 4:00pm. What I did was I just went to the island and checked out different accomodation before I made my decision. Just make sure to arrive as early as possible so that you’ll have more options, or you’ll end up with whatever free place there is. I stayed in Koh Rong Island Boys, you guessed it, a party hostel. If you are trying to get some quiet time and good sleep, this place is not for you. During the 2 nights I stayed there, music goes on until around 1:00am. So if you want sleep earlier than that, make sure to bring your earplugs, better yet look for another place to stay.

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Koh Rong Island Boys

For $5 a night, I actually got what I paid for. Facilities are pretty basic; shared bathroom, common area, bed with mosquito net (Yasss! I can’t even remember when was the last time I had kulambo!), however there were no lockers so if you have valuables with you, you can leave it in the reception/bar while you are away. In my case, I left all my stuff even my laptop in the room and it never got stolen but just to be sure leave it in the reception/bar.

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Chilling in Koh Rong Island Boys

Things to do in Koh Rong

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Chilling in Long Beach, Koh Rong

I pretty much just chill in the beach and drink at night. I was looking forward to the beach and do nothing. But if beach bumming is not your thing, there are also other activities for you in the island. I only did the trekking to long beach and skipped the rest.

  • Trek to long beach
  • Snorkling
  • Diving
  • Bioluminiscent Plankton watching at night
    *According to travelers and online reviews, it is a must when you are on the island.
  • Island Hopping
  • Pubcrawl
    *Yes, there is pubcrawl in Koh Rong! There are a number of bars in the area and if you want to get wasted and meet new people, then sign up for it. It costs $7 which includes a shirt, free shots and loads of fun. Based on the information I got, it is only done every Sunday and Thursday.

There’s really not much special local food here to try. Being a party and backpacker island, most of the dishes are western. Food here are a bit overpriced just like in any other touristy places, but you can find cheap places in the island.

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If you’re looking for an authentic Cambodian cultural experience, you’re not going to get it here in Koh Rong. But I can say that Long Beach is one of the best beaches you’ll ever visit in Southeast Asia. 3 days is not enough, I would’ve stayed longer if only I don’t have plans of going to Siem Reap right away. I was also running short on money and there’s no ATMs in the island. I suggest you visit the island before it gets over developed with establishments and resorts.

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