Koh Rong Island Travel Guide

Koh Rong Island Travel Guide

Which islands in Cambodia are best to explore?

Cambodia is considered as one of the South East Asian countries. On its south-western side lies the Gulf of Thailand.  On its north-west is Thailand. To its northeast is Laos. Vietnam is located on Cambodia’s south, and south-east.

Cambodia’s Islands:

In the Gulf of Thailand, lie 60 islands. This gulf is also called the Gulf of Siam. Please note, the Gulf of Siam is an arm of South China Sea, which is facing the Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.

Which is the best island in Cambodia worth visiting?

Koh Rong is the ideal island in Cambodia for tourism.

How to reach Koh Rong Island?

From your tourist base Phnom Penh, you have to reach the coastal city of Sihnoukville. The distance between the two is 220 km.

What is the mode of transportation to Sihmoukville?

Domestic flights from Phnom Penh take about 90 minutes.

A scenic train ride between the two cities involves 7 hour train journey. However, this mode of travel is not recommended.

By road, a private taxi can get you across in 5 hours.

The next leg of your journey involves a fast ferry ride to Koh Rong. This voyage takes 45 minutes only. The distance is 33 km towards north-west of Sihanoukville, yiur gateway to visit the Cambodian islands.

YouTube video

The cheaper option is travelling in a fishing boat for two hours.

As the boat approaches the Cambodian island, the sight of dense tropical forest excites you.

There is no airport on the island. It is not connected by any road bridge with the Cambodia mainland.

Is Koh Rong Island, big?

No, it is not, though it is the second-largest island of Cambodia.

By length and width, it measures 15 km by 3 to 9 km.

Are there good beaches on Koh Rong?

Yes, of course. The terrific beaches are spread over 60 km of coastline.


In order to visit different beaches and also to any beach front resort in which you are put up, you have to depend only on boats.

When is the right time to visit Koh Rong?

Similar to any south-east Asian country, December to February is suitable because the sun is mild. This period is called the winter in Cambodia.

How many days you need to enjoy the beaches and other naturally beautiful places on Koh Rong?

Surprisingly, a minimum of 6 days are recommended on such a small island. However, western tourists who are captivated by the sunny beaches, less-crowded hotels and resorts, hygienic seafood, stay up to two weeks on Koh Rong Island.

Where to stay on the island?

Koh Touch beach area is the best for those who prefer bars, shops, and restaurants are within walking distance from their hotel.

While you can stay in a calm location, party locales are not too far off. Remember, there are literally no roads on the island. You either take a stroll from your hotel or hire a water taxi to go to different beaches.

I think this is the reason that you need a minimum of three days on the island and also to visit nearby Cambodian islands.

There are beach bungalows too in Sok San Beach.

beach bungalows

Sok San Beach is where the island’s pier is. I mean, this is where you will be dropped off by the ferry from Sihanoukville.

Which other Cambodian islands are near Koh Rong?

  • Koh Rong Sanloem

Koh Rong is only 4 km away. You can quickly make a day trip. As a matter of fact, one day trip from Koh Rong can cover all these islands.

Small mountains are on the island. They are good places for beautiful views of the sea and the approaching ferries, and fishing boats.

In addition, hiking gives you an opportunity to look at the flora, and fauna.

Watch out for rock formations near the beaches. Remember, they are made of light-pink sandstone.

There is a unique mode of moving around on this tiny tropical paradise. Carts pulled by water buffalo are fun to take a ride.

These carts are open. You need to wear a panama hat to cover your head and face to shield from the scorching sun.

If you are looking to spend a quiet weekend on a tropical island that is not far off from mainland Cambodia, this is the best bet.

Saracem Bay

Saracem Bay has several bungalows on the beach. A couple of resorts are also available for wealthy tourists.

Sunset Beach, and Lazy Beach draw tourists because of their pristine, unspoiled look.

If you are curious about a beach that wears brownish-yellow colored sand, visit the village of M’pai Bai.


Talk to any local resident in this village to find out how to go to two small waterfalls on the island.

In spite of its small size, Koh Rong Sanloem Island is serviced by direct ferries (without a stop at Koh Rong) from Sihanoukville.

The sea passage involves anything from 45 minutes to 120 minutes. I wonder why such a big difference in the travel duration.

  • Koh Tuich
  • Koh Bong-Po’own
  • Sanke Island-very near to Sihanoukville
  • Koh Sdach
  • Koh Koun-this island in Cambodia is empty of human settlement. Uninhabited islands act as habitats for aquatic birds, and sea turtles.

All these islands of Cambodia have white sand shores.

Bird Watching

The common bird species on these islands off the coast of Cambodia’s west coast include:

  • Osprey
  • Great Hornbill
  • Kingfisher

Beware of Macaques that are a bit roguish.

Snorkeling gear is available for rent on the two Koh Rong islands. The most colorful sight for the snorkelers is Nudibranch.

Seahorses can be spotted provided if you are lucky.

On Koh Rong, scuba diving, jet skiing, and wind surfing are available. Boat tours are offered. You can try to catch a fish or two from your boat.

Bioluminescent Beaches

In one or two places on Koh Rong, you can see beautiful bluish, bioluminescent beaches.

Which local food you should try?

Gaeng Daeng is a must-taste dish. The meat is marinated in a special reddish curry paste before frying. It is always served with the ubiquitous noodles or fried/boiled rice.

  • Green papaya salad

Locally called Som Tam, if you have the stomach to bite into raw papaya, go ahead and try.

  • Seafood salad

I think most of the visitors from the western world would like Yam Talay, the local name for a salad of seafood.

Here is a picture of seafood salad eaten in another country.

The ingredients include squids or lobster, or scallop. The delicate salad is very spicy with the addition of oregano, red onions, and black pepper powder.

I read about a few more food items that you can eat on the islands of Cambodia. Most of them are known to us, but with local names.

It will be a different experience to visit the floating lands in the Gulf of Siam.