Get to the heart of Cambodia’s Southearn Islands, Koh Rong Saloem
Cambodia's islands still seem to be paradise and attract more and more visitors with endless crescents of powdered-sugary-soft sand, hammocks swaying in the breeze, photogenic fishing villages on stilts, technicolour sunsets ,..
Just 45 minutes by speedboat, yet a world away from the grubby confines of Sihanoukville, Koh Rong Saloem , this horseshoe-shaped, 10km-long island offers four completely different atmospheres on different beaches on what many might describe as the archetypal paradise island.
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The most popular destination on Koh Rong Saloem is Saracen Bay, glamour with its three-kilometre crescent of gleaming white sands, generally expensive accommodation, and speed ferries arrive on ready on the east side of the island.
On the northern peak, looking straight across to Koh Rong, M’Pai Bei is a quirky, friendly little seaside fishing village. Here you’ll find a clutch of Westernised hostels mixing it with local shops and restaurants. At the far end of the long, white sandy beach, EcoSea Dive and Bungalows sits in splendid isolation.
For a more secluded getaway feel, head to the island’s west for sand-between-your-toes living. Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Sanloem’s oldest resort, a hideaway of all about hammock-swinging and sunset cocktails.
Koh Rong Samloem is known for its diving and snorkeling. Besides, there are also other underwater activities. Several places rent out kayaks (average $7 per hour) and stand-up paddle boards (average ($5 per hour).
Where to stay on Koh Rong Samloem
High season starts from Nov, accommodation prices hike and rooms fill up fast, so we recommend you should book in advance.
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The biggest choice of accommodation on Koh Rong Samloem is found at Saracen Bay, arguably the loveliest of two spectacular islands and also the quickest beach to get to from the mainland. Saracen Bay Resort has carefully designed bungalows that look like standard beach buildings until you get close up. Sparkling tiled floors, full Western bathroom and attention to detail with furniture and cleaning, these lovely rooms are perfect for romance. If you’re looking for something cheaper, then head to Dragonfly Guesthouse. Get to Lazy Beach, an extraordinary space with a private beach, fantastic restaurant and series of well-built bungalows that can each sleep up to four people, for as little as $45 a night, depending on the season.
The island’s electricity comes from generators and solar power, that is the reason why mobile phone coverage from Metfone and Smart, WiFi is hard to come by. The best connections at Secret Paradise and Beach Resort should be recommended.
Don’t forget your island essentials: enough cash to last (none of the islands have banks or ATMs), sunscreen, insect repellent for the fiendishly fierce sandflies, and a torch (flashlight).