Cambodia is one of my favorite destinations because it has both a rich history and amazing beaches. Even though Thailand is famous for its blue sky and gold, fine sand, Cambodia`s beaches are breathtaking as well. I chose to spend three nights and four days in Cambodian paradise Koh Rong which is the second largest Cambodian island.
It is about 25 kilometers far from Sihanoukville city and it has around 1,100 locals mostly working in tourism industry.
What to do in Koh Rong?
Koh Rong is a small island but there are few activities you can enjoy, of course beside tanning and relaxing. You can go diving, snorkeling, trekking, fishing, massage, etc.
Personally, I chose to chill out, swim, walk along the beach, take tons of photos, chase little crabs and play around with the dogs (yes, you heard it well, there are many dogs and I am not sure if they have a master).
When the heat was unbearable I used to eat watermelon. There are few young vendors who sell fresh fruits brought on the island every morning.
Another favorite activity was to enjoy Cambodian ice coffee sweetened with condensed milk.
I loved this island because it is half desert, quite calm and with one of the clearest water. The internet connection was bad but I didn’t mind it at all.
And don’t forget about sunrise and sunset! It’s something it shouldn’t be missed out while there!
What to eat in Koh Rong?
Of course fish and seafood! I am a fish lover and being in the Cambodian paradise Koh Rong made me even happier as I enjoyed grilled fish while hearing the sea`s waves.
There are also Western-style restaurants, three places with pizza, even hamburger, and most of the restaurants offer English breakfast.
To be honest I was rather disappointed because the food on the island is more western orientated than having Khmer traditional specialties. Keep in mind that the island is pricey compared to the mainland. If you are on a budget you might want to bring along with you some snacks because the convenience store is on the expensive side.
What do you need to know before going to Koh Rong?
After I took the ferry from Sihanoukville and I arrived in Koh Rong the first thing was to check in. I must mention that this backpacking trip was on a tight budget. That’s why I chose one of the cheapest accommodation on the island (170 dollars for two people). The room was clean and nice but the downside is the tap water looked extremely dirty, sandy and yellowish.
On the wall, there was a paper where the landlord explained the water`s condition and asked for our understanding. To be honest, I was so overwhelmed by the island`s calm, beauty and fresh air that I didn’t care much. However, after taking the first shower I came to realize that I can’t say I properly washed as the water was pretty dirty and sticky. So, if you plan a trip there, pay attention to this aspect.
Another thing you should pay attention to are the mosquitos. Well, I was lucky enough not to get many bites but my partner was in pain because of them. Every night, after the dinner we planned to watch a movie outside, on the beach but because of the mosquitos, it was a little bit disturbing.
The last thing you should keep in mind is that you need to take some medicine with you just in case as there are no hospitals. In the same time, take cash with you, because the island is not equipped with an ATM.
Some tourists might be pretty afraid or skeptical to travel there as the island is still underdeveloped and it still lacks many facilities. But to be honest, this is why I like it. Its natural charm is still untouched.
Do you have to worry about safety? Not at all. A small bungalow style police station is located on the island but you will not feel unsafe.
Ferries from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong cost around 10 dollars, it takes 45 minutes and there are only three a day! So you might want to check the timetable beforehand.