Koh Rong Samloem is an island 18 km off the coast of Cambodia. The closest port is Sihanoukiville and the island can be reached from this port in about 45 minutes. Currently many tour operators offer trips to the island. I took the company called Koh Rong Island Travel, which runs twice daily from and to the port. I paid 20$AUD return.
During the high season, from November to May, most of the best accommodations are fully booked as the demand increases. The beach bungalow supply is continuously growing due to the immense popularity of the island on social networks, so pre-booking as much in advance as possible is highly recommended. This is a nice destination to relax.
I’ve been here by myself and it was my last stop before going back home. Koh Rong Samloen wasn’t on my itinerary and I chose this island after a long comparison with its neighbouring island: Koh Rong. I read a lot about those tiny islands and after few days spent in this area I can say that they are rapidly emerging as pearls of the south coast.
I didn’t book any accommodation and I walked for 25 minutes on the beach before I could find a cheap one. I spent 7$AUD per night (Sweet Dreams Bungalow) and stayed there for 3 days.
The island has not much to offer in terms of activities. I walked across the island, through the jungle, to Lazy Beach for some snorkeling. My bungalow was at Saracen Bay, the top destination on the island, which offers an unspoiled three kilometre long beach where most of the development has taken place.
In those days I felt absorbed in a natural landscape with no wifi, no tv and no newspaper to know what was going on in the outside world. Electricity on the island runs by solar panels and generators, only operates a few hours a day and there is barely any phone signal. I suppose this is how the beaches of Thailand looked like 20 years ago: utterly serene and beautiful. Calm, clear water laps on lazily idyllic white sand beaches, and there’s not much to do but lay back and enjoy the sun, sand and waves. Word will get out, it always does.
I enjoyed the serenity of doing nothing, I think this is a place that I want to tell the world about, but at the same time keep my own secret. My special tip about this amazing island? Go there, float on the crystal clear water, read a book, eat some Cambodian food and feel happy when the freedom surrounds you.
- Currently Koh Rong Samloem is trending on social networks and has been named by the Huffington Post as one of the ‘Places You Need To See In The Next Decade’, so get to this island before it becomes overrun with tourists.
- There are currently no banks or ATM machines on Koh Rong Samloem and credit/debit cards are not accepted so visitors must take US cash with them to pay for food.
- Scuba diving and fishing trips are available from the island and can be arranged through the locals or the bungalow operators.
Photo Credit: Author’s Own
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