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A Review of Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

Boats at Nature Beach

That was a 3-day trip that me and my friends had planned before Tet (Vietnamese New Year). Our first plan was to go to Phnom Penh from Ho Chi Minh City and then end up at Siem Reap strolling around Angkor. But then Koh Rong Island showed its attraction over the ancient temples, the team finally decided to wander the tropical islands enjoying white beaches and the super-clean sea.

It’s great to have a planned trip, and below is some info on 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 to 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 could go now because there aren’t many people. Therefore, you can still enjoy the natural desert islands.

Prior Time to Go

My 3 Days in Koh Rong

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 a 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 the 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 at 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 a travel agency and it has a quite good service. Because we had booked a bus service to Sihanouk and he had waited for us in Cambodian territory, 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 is 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 speed up 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 that 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 tuk-tuks 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, and 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 campsites 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 one that I found, where you can be served food and drinks. We had dinner there too. Then we bought some beers at the beach, drank together while looking at the sky full of stars and listened to music. That night was really great, it was my first time seeing a red moon on an island. Our group has booked 2 bungalows at Nature Beach resort via, which cost $60/room/4 people/night.

Day 2 – Koh Rong Main Island and Koh Rong Samloem

On 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 on the island where you can get different boats to other places. We had breakfast there and waited 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 on this island and then go visit 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 had seen such a beautiful beach with white sand and clear sea. To elaborate, the pictures below will show you views of the island.

After some activities, we left the island for Sihanoukville at 15:55 on a happy boat – a bigger boat with drinks but still sail terribly. The 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 appeared to me just like Vung Tau, a beach in my country. Because of the seasickness 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.

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