Koh Rong, Cambodia: Where to go, When to go and What to see

Koh Rong

Koh Rong Island top view

Koh Rong (also pronounced Khao Rong) is one of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand, the largest island in Cambodia. Koh Rong is about 30 kilometers from the main island. It is formed by two mountain ranges and picturesque plain, nestled between them. The area of the island is 78 kilometers, the length of the coastline – 61 kilometers.

The island used to be a pirate shelter (by the way, its name translates as “Shelter Island”), so it’s quite possible that somewhere on it there is a hidden pirate treasure, and maybe even more than one. However, even without the pirate treasures, the island has something to attract the attention of tourists all who have visited Koh Rong at least once, says unanimously: it’s just a paradise on earth. Here are some of the best beaches in Cambodia with snow-white sand, fine as starch, transparent water, through which you can see the bottom, even at a depth of 10 meters, rich and vivid colors of local wild vegetation, an abundance of fragrant and delicious fruits – all this gives the island an indescribable charm.

The first villages on the island appeared only in 2000; today there are 4 of them, all located on the coast of the island. Most of the locals (about 70%) live off fishing.

Recreation and excursions

Due to the particular purity and transparency of the water Koh Rong attracts a large number of diving enthusiasts. The best beach of Koh Rong, M’Pay Bay, is one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Its length is 5 kilometers. This beach has amenities such as cafes and guest houses. The total length of the island’s beaches is 43 kilometers; they are separated from each other by cliffs, so Koh Rong is considered a great place for a beach vacation in Cambodia.

Koh Rong - map

The dunes separate the beaches from the inner part of the island, overgrown with large areas of jungle. The center of the island deserves special attention – here you can see beautiful examples of native vegetation, including many coconut palms, and very beautiful waterfalls. The largest is called Saracen Bay and is located in the bay of the same name. The waterfall is multi-cascading, it flows into a pool in which tourists love to swim. By the way, when walking through the jungle you can meet deer, elephants and even leopards.

In the bay at the southern end of the island, near the largest fishing village of Koh Touch, you can admire the most beautiful coral reefs. In the village is a diving center, where you can not only rent the necessary equipment, but also to undergo training. Near Koh Touch is another local attraction – a clam farm, where you can try the freshest oysters. By the way, the southern coast is the most picturesque, but also the least developed.

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Koh Rong Island – the most rainfall-abundant area of Cambodia, so you should not visit it in the rainiest months (this is August and September).

Rope Park

On Koh Rong there is a ropes park located right in the jungle. It is called High Point. The park consists of twenty-five platforms, the lowest of which is 3 meters high and the highest of which is 25 meters. They are connected by rope ladders. The quest includes 20 different stages. Before the passage of the strip is briefed on the safety system, but just in case, passing obstacles accompanied by an instructor. Duration of the route – about 4 hours.

  • Address: Koh Touch village, Koh Rong, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Krong Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia
  • Phone: +855 16 839 993
  • Opening Hours: 10 am – 6 pm

As elsewhere in Cambodia, on Koh Rong hotels are, as they say, “for every budget” and, accordingly, with different level of service offered. Most accommodation on the island – a separate bungalow right on the coast. The “minimum set” includes a room with two beds, a bathroom and a mosquito net.

The hotels that get the best reviews are Coconutbeach Bungalows, Inn the Village, TUTTY’s Guesthouse, and Sok Sun Beach Resort.

Bungalow on the shore Inside Bungalow Sok Sun Beach Resort

Future plans

If until recently the island almost did not have any infrastructure (even the electricity is turned on at certain hours), then in a very short period of time there were a lot of things that make life easier for tourists, including a variety of cafes, bars and nightclubs, bungalows have Wi-Fi. The Cambodian government plans to build an airport here. Of course, this will increase the number of tourists visiting the island, and at the same time the prices will increase.

How to get to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem?

Everyone who decided to vacation in Cambodia, should visit Koh Rong, and everyone has a question: how to get to the island? Very simple: first you need to get to Sihanoukville, and from there by boat to Koh Rong.

A ferry takes you to the island

A few years ago the transportation was engaged only one company, now there are several, which has increased not only the number of boats to get here, but the quality and speed of transportation: if before the island to get about two hours, the road now takes about 40 minutes by high-speed ferry (however, you can enjoy a leisurely sea journey for two hours, going on an ordinary boat). The cost of the trip – about $ 20 (round trip).

Koh Rong: Cambodia’s semi-wild and beautiful island

Phantom pains after Thailand – can’t stop comparing Sihanoukville to Pattaya. Forgive me, a sinful fool, but I’ll continue now. In Siam, what’s the hottest island? Ko Lan, obviously. And in Cambodia the most popular among tourists and expats – Koh Rong… And that’s where their similarity ends.

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Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Oops! And this is another island in Cambodia. But the picture is beautiful))

Buy tickets to Rong Island online at this trusted website . Choose “Ferries”, destination and go!

What is Koh Rong today

If I were a copywriter for a tour operator, I would write something like: 40 km of milky white desert beaches, virgin jungle, crystal blue Gulf of Thailand, romantic bungalows, authentic fishing villages, an atmosphere of total relaxation and meditation. It is a fashionable way to call any kind of motionless immersing yourself in meditation. People don’t understand what to meditate anyway, but copywriter will get into a trend…

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

The same 40 kilometers

Thank God, my career as a staff copywriter did not work out, because I did not reciprocate. So instead of clichéd verbal nausea, I’ll try to explain in a human way whether we need to go to Rong, or the world’s best Sihanoukville beach Otres will be enough.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

We should, guys. Because “tea from the samovar is a completely different tea” (c), and the Cambodian islands are still subtly different from even the most insular and mimicry in Thailand – Lanta, there, or Ko Chang with Pangan together. It’s quiet here, guys. So quiet you can hear your own heartbeat. So frighteningly beautiful sunsets, so magically shines planktonom sea at night, that I want except that I cry from the unknown joy before – alive!

The fragment of Kampuchean land on the waves of the Gulf of Thailand is shaking like a diamond in the rough. And Pattaya Larn against it is like a vulgar wench from Walking Street against the golden-haired heavenly dancer Apsara.

I know, I know: it’s time for you, Martushka, to write books, to open your souls beautiful boils in fiction, blah-blah-blah… Let’s go to Ko Rong – I will work as a simple Russian blogger-guide for now, without any frills. And then we’ll see what to do with me, blissful, then.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

About how to get there, by the way, I have already composed for you, my friend, the manual of the century: there are speedboats, ferries, boats and helicopters – with all the points, prices, links and other essential travel stuff. If there’s anything you still don’t understand, write a questioning comment – we’ll clarify it for you.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

And finally, in a mundane blot on the map. Otherwise you’ll get lost. But better still prudently download Maps.me atlas of Kampuchea – the age of JPEG. And these paper maps I never understand, because I do not know where I am.

There are: seven bays and 28 beaches. And it’s better to be determined beforehand, to which of them your travel-souponka lies today. For there are no roads, and inter-beach movement only by sea will cost you a pretty penny. Remark, of course, only for those who are forced to save a penny.

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What to do on Rong.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

There are no ATMs, no asphalt sidewalks, and no streets. But every year thousands of travelers from all over the world prefer the local white sands, peace and relaxed atmosphere of the backpacker brotherhood to the expensive hotels of Sihanoukville.

“To do list” is roughly as follows.

  1. Beaches. Of course. Even quieter than on Otsres. The water is even cleaner. Palms are more harmonious, and wattled tables and swings near a surf drive mad, making exhausted with narcan barangays to feel built in a picture of the advertising brochure. The sand is not only snow-white, but also fine and soft, and the bottom is gentle and safe, if you don’t pounce and avoid the black coral patches – these are swarming with all kinds of alien creatures. And they’re painful to cut. In general, even with children is quite safe and comfortable. However, families with offspring do not hurry to make pilgrimages here – there are no sensible hospitals, and therefore we, modern dull parents of children of asphalt, uncomfortable. I’ll say a few more words about medical services below.
  2. Go boating. It’s a pleasant and active thing to contemplate the unspoiled coastline from the bay. We hire any of the fishing boats that come to mind, which lazily hang out at the pier, tell the aborigine where to go. Blinking eyes, gasping, rejoicing that life is good, and all that. Approximate prices for such rides see in the last review. Do not indulge the native Kampucheans unreasonable generosity – they become mad with it, and we, the expats, still have to live with them. The youngest and boldest can even rent kayaks and skip, for example, on a tiny nearby Koh Toch, which is also known as the Pagoda Island – except for the Buddhist temple and a few roaming monks, there is nothing. The price is about $ 5 per hour or 12 dollars a day.
  3. Admire the luminous plankton. The luminescent marine biomass is the true calling card of our island. Looking at the “northern lights of the sea” is best on moonless nights and at Cocounut Beach, Long Set or Lonely, where there are the fewest bars and restaurants, so nighttime darkness is guaranteed.
  4. Snorkeling and Diving. Carry your carcasses to Koh Rong Dive Center, whose instructors organize fun dives in the waters around the archipelago. For experienced divers they may seem a little boring, but for beginners fun pictures and a chest of impressions are guaranteed! And experienced divers will dispel the boredom with a three-day PADI instructor course for $380 if you haven’t already. The official website of the dive center . The office should be sought in Sihanoukville, on the main tourist street Serendipiti
  5. Adventure Park. Imagine, there is one! Moreover, fellow countrymen did. For what Russian does not like a fast ride and all that – adrenaline. In High Point Rope Park you can, hanging from the ropes, climbing on ropes over the jungle. Kind of like Thailand’s famous Flight of the Gibbon excursion. Adrenaline will jump into your blood – Mother, do not grieve! And the photos will be impressive. But if you have a fear of heights, it is better not to try – there … high. For the ride will charge $25 in the low season and $35 in the winter and spring months. For more information about the park – dozens of reviews, all the contacts, location and nearby hotels – see here.
  6. Mini Zoo. Perhaps I won’t surprise anyone by now, but imagine, it also belongs to fellow countrywoman Olga, who escaped to the tropical jungle from the rat race of the metropolis to realize her fascination with exotic wildlife. She will tell dozens of interesting stories from her unusual jungle life, while we observe colorful butterflies, birds and other animals. Some of them can even be touched. A stroll through the lovely garden and a tea/coffee break on Olga’s verandas will only cost $5.
  7. Get a tattoo. Wow, Asia! Mom is not around, no husband in principle, because it is impossible to meet a good spouse at drug parties, – I’ll finally (option – the tenth in a row) tattoo. So do it. There are a couple of tattoo parlors here, in local unsanitary conditions they will noluchit excellent colorful Stalin profile and call it “creativity”. Don’t be like the rest of us. Stand out. It’s easier nowadays to position idiocy as an out of the ordinary personality, and you can’t become famous for good works – everyone knows that. I beg you: take with you peroxide, normal alcohol iodine and ointment 999. Because when staphylococci rage in your puncture wounds, there will be no one to help. And all the “new friends” won’t give a damn about your suffering – they’re unconventional, too. Anyway, at least protect yourself, bro. Or sister – whoever you are, reading me today…
  8. Nightlife. Here’s the deal. Half of the guests on the island are romance seekers and contemplators, couples in love or bored pence. The second – the most unconventional people. They want unrestrained fun, night disco, a lot of alcohol, hash and “interesting conversation”. For after a couple of cans of Angkor, as you know, any communication becomes interesting. If you’re one of the latter, don’t be shy, everything is there. The most famous hangout is probably Police Beach. All night on Wednesdays and Saturdays there’s a party with tech music, convulsive dancing, and stuff like that. You’re welcome.

That’s the tourist kit. Take your pick.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Victorolekseich is relaxing.

Medical Service

It is not available yet – no hospital, no “ambulance” etc. But recently, local expats organized their own kind of medical center, where usually stays a nurse or a maximum of a paramedic – Koh Rong Emergency Services and Medic program. The most common problems encountered are cuts requiring stitches, festering wounds, Dengue fever, and overdoses. They can also help with more severe cases here to somehow make it to Sihanoukville. Their Facebook page.

There are pharmacy outlets, but mostly with generic ibuprofen, bandages, and Southeast Asia’s much-loved paracetamol. Naturally, they are triple-priced. One is at the budget Elephant Guesthouse on Koh Touch, the other is Best Friend Pharma Cabinet, on Koh TOCH Village. To the left of the marina, open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For serious injuries and illnesses, the only option is emergency transportation to the mainland. The nearest urban village Sihanoukville – is a few hospitals, where the vast majority of doctors at the slightest threat to the patient’s life, his ability to work and ivona, dochturskoy, reputation immediately relieve themselves of responsibility and send the patient in Phnom Penh. That’s another 200 km away. Sometimes even directly to Bangkok, because Cambodian medicine in general is much worse than Thai medicine.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Who does not want to have dinner at a table like that?

And I will never get tired of repeating nerdily: take care of health insurance in advance. Especially in the Land of Khmer: here they treat badly, the money worships low – the cost will be almost always, though in the case of Dengue, or a fall from the bike. There are no magical municipal hospitals like in neighboring Siam. Well, there probably are, but they’re not magical.

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

The cost of an emergency evacuation to the mainland is about $20,000. Even your kidney is worth comparatively less, my soaked Angkor Beer friend…

Tips for a 100% successful vacation to Koh Rong in Cambodia

Simple and mundane. And concern mostly what you should bring with you.

    We take repellent. For pacifists like me, herbal mosquito repellents will do. Or any of the stores in Sihanoukville, as there are few shops on the island, few goods, too, and everything is very expensive.

That, my little travel lover, is the end of the story. Because it is long. Because I do not want to leave out any details.

But a little later I will definitely make a couple more articles about the island:

Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

With wishes for the smoothest and safest Cambodia, sincerely yours, Asian Marta. Preah Sihanouk, November 2016.

For personal consultations and collaboration: Current contacts My courses and lessons: Vidya Instagram: Martathai Facebook: Martathai Telegram channel about spirituality: “Spiritual Refuge” Telegram channel for women: “Red Tent” Telegram channel Holistic Health Online store of Ayurveda and products from India: Market by Martathai

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