A Review of Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
That was a 3-day trip that me and my friends had planned before Tet (Vietnamese New Year). Our first plan was went to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh City then end up at Siem Reap strolling around Angkor. But then the Koh Rong Island showed it’s attraction over the ancient temples, the team has finally decided to wander the tropical islands enjoying white beaches and the super-clean sea.
It’s great to have a planed trip, and below is some info of how we went to Koh Rong in 3 days that you can use to prepare before you go.
Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Belonging to Sihanoukville province, Koh Rong is an archipelago including 5 islands Tiny Koh Tuich on the South-East, Koh Bong-Po’own and Koh Song-Saa on the North-East, and Koh Koun and Koh Rong Samloem on the South that make the Commune 5 of Mittakpheap District or Sangkat Koh Rong. Among those 5 Cambodia islands, there is the biggest one located 25km from Sihanouk where the main pier is placed, from which you can take different boats to go to other islands. Koh Rong is home of 4 communities Koh Tuich, Doeum D’keuw, Prek Svay, and Sok San.
The islands are now developing with many guesthouses, bungalows and resorts. It ‘d be great if you can go now because there aren’t so many people. Therefore, you can still enjoy the natural desert islands.
Prior Time to Go
- Main used currency in Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Island is USD, so make sure you have enough cash for use there.
- Sunny is great to have beautiful pictures on the beach, but if you don’t want to get tanned, a tube of sun cream should always be in your bag.
- The boats at Koh Rong sail awfully, bring some pills for seasick and be careful!
- Koh Rong’s main island is more eventful and lively. It has many events and bars at the beaches. If you want a vibrant environment, you can stay there then go to other islands in a day. (We didn’t go like this).
- You should note the timetable of the boats there. Obviously no one wants to miss any trip that may affect the whole plan.
- Carefully check Cambodia travel guide for your additional info needed.
Day 0.5 – To Sihanoukville
It was 21:30 o’clock on Mar 24th, we started to go to Ha Tien, Kien Giang. We have chosen the Kumho bus to carry us. It is a nice bus for 160k ticket, you get a bed, a wet tissue, a water bottle, and a blanket. The bus stops at Dong Thap for 20 – 30 minutes then heads to Ha Tien bus station at about 4:40 in the morning.
Day 1 – The Nature Beach
We arrived at Xa Xia border at 6:00 to access Cambodia. There were some Cambodians who stood at the bus stop in Vietnamese territory asking visitors to use their bus service to go to Cambodia’s provinces with a good price (do not believe them, you get what you pay for). If you didn’t book a bus from Prek Chak, Cambodia’s border, to Sihanouk, you can find yellow buses (it’s not usually there). It’s from travel agency and it has a quite good service. Because we have booked a bus service to Sihanouk and he has waited us in Cambodia territory so we denied the seduction from those Cambodian guys. By the way, you can consider the bus that carried us, Du Lich Ha Tien’s phone number: 0944440235.
At the passport-checking gate, the customs officer asked us to pay 50k VND/person for the process. Although there is no rule like that, and you can bargain to pay nothing or give them 10k to faster the process, we surprisingly paid for the access. Then another officer took us to a quarantine room to check the temperature, he also asked us 10k VND just for the ‘5s-temperature-test’ that they called health check. WTH!
Leaving the border, we got on a bus which took us to Sihanoukville. We had lunch at the province in the Olive and Olive restaurant located near the Golden Lion. We waited there till 2 tuktuks came and picked up us at 13:00 to the harbor. Then, we got on a fast boat that brought us to Nature Beach Koh Rong. The route took 1 hour from 14:00 to 15:00.
Nature Beach is a private resort located in one of the Koh Rong islands. It’s a very nice place, quite silent, peaceful. I have to say it in one word – serenity. It’s ideal for anyone who wants to escape the noisy world to an isolated destination.
Nature Beach Koh Rong has various kinds of accommodations such as campsite with tents, or bungalows. Wi-fi fully covers all areas. Staffs are friendly. Nevertheless, there is only a bar at the resort, or it’s the only that I found, where you can be served foods and drinks. We had dinner there too. Then we bought some beers to the beach, drank together while looked at the sky full of stars and listened to music. That night was really great, it was my first time seeing a red moon in an island. Our group has booked 2 bungalows at Nature Beach resort via booking.com, it costed $60/room/4person/night.
Day 2 – Koh Rong Main Island and Koh Rong Samloem
In the second day morning, we checked out the Nature Beach resort and took a boat to Koh Rong Main Island. I call it the Main Island as there is the main pier in the island where you can get different boats to other places. We had breakfast there and wait till 11:30 to start going to Koh Rong Samloem. The ticket to Koh Rong Samloem is $5/person.
I have to say that I prefer the Main Island rather than the Nature Beach Koh Rong. There are a lot of bars, and night events here. It is a pretty vibrant island, and it matches my type. It would be ideal if we could stay at this island and then go visiting the others within a day.
Again, the boat sailed awfully. However, what you see at Koh Rong Samloem is really worth your while. It was the first time ever that I have seen such a beautiful beach with white sand and clear sea. To elaborate, the pictures below will show you views about the island.
After some activities, we leaved the island to Sihanoukville at 15:55 on a happy boat – a bigger boat with drinks but still sail terribly. Ticket for the way out is $3.45 and the prices for meals there vary from $4 to $6.
We arrived at Sihanoukville’s main pier at 17:45. Sihanouk appears to me just like Vung Tau, a beach in my country. Because of the seasick made by the ‘happy boat’, we decided to take a bus to Ho Chi Minh City. Finally, I was at home at 11:00 the next day.