Cambodia’s Islands: Discover Paradise
Sun seekers, beach bums and those who want to kick-back and relax in peace – or to a party – have plenty of options to choose from, thanks to a smattering of tropical islands that sit off the southern coast. Here’s our guide to Cambodia’s islands.
From basic budget digs through to private island paradise, and bustling beachfront stretches to deserted island life, Cambodia has an island to cater to whatever your needs may be. Read our guide on things to do on Cambodia’s islands.
Cambodia Islands: Koh Rong
Koh Rong is the most popular of Cambodia islands and, therefore, the most developed. However, don’t let that statement deceive you as the heart of the island remains uninhabited jungle, with no roads and not a car in sight. Boasting about 43km of beaches, the islands coastline varies from the lively stretch of backpacker spots at Koh Touch, where the speedboat from Sihanoukville docks, through to five-star Royal Sands and its isolated powder white shores and nearby Sok San Beach Resort, which shot to fame when seasons 31 and 32 of The Survivor US were shot there. While electricity on the island is improving, power cuts are common and many places only run generators for set hours throughout the day. Wifi is also hit and miss, and there are no ATMs so take cash.
Koh Rong Samloem
Koh Rong’s little sister, Koh Rong Samloem, sits a short boat ride away. While development is definitely on the rise, the island still boasts postcard-perfect stretches of white sand lapped by inviting azure waters. The main tourist spot is Saracen Bay, which is home to a smattering of beachfront resorts. While this is the island’s “busiest” beach, it remains much more peaceful than Koh Rong’s Koh Touch. The fishing village of M’Pai Bay is another popular spot and is home to a handful of resorts, restaurants and bars. For almost-utter isolation, head to Lazy Beach or Sunset Beach.
Song Saa Private Island
Embodying the barefoot luxury philosophy, Song Saa is an idyllic tropical paradise for those who can afford it. Located in the heart of a 100-hectare marine reserve, the resort comprises two small rainforest islands connected by a boardwalk. The larger island is home to a smattering of jungle and sea view villas, with spacious overwater accommodation home to private infinity pools. The other island is virgin and perfect for relaxing amid forest or meditating while watching the waves crash. There is an abundance of picturesque spots to soak up the stunning surroundings, enjoy the all-inclusive food and drinks and make the most of this truly incredible island paradise.
Koh Ta Kiev
If you fancy falling asleep under the stars, then Koh Ta Kiev is the place to be. This charming island is home to a handful of eco-resorts and little else – perfect for an enforced digital detox. While some resorts do have generators, they are used sparingly and when the sun goes down the island typically plunges into dark – perfect for spotting the bioluminescent plankton in the sea. Many of the resorts have tents or the option to rent hammocks.
For true Robinson Crusoe deserted island vibes, Koh Thmei is the place to be. Located inside Ream National Park, the island is home to a small community and one place to stay in the form of Koh Thmei Resort, which boasts a handful of beach bungalows. The island’s main residents are monkeys, civets, lizards and more than 100 species of birds. A major property developer has been granted a 99-year lease of the island and has unveiled plans to build a resort town, so enjoy the peace while it lasts.
Hailed as Cambodia’s diving paradise, Koh Tang has a bitter history as the last battleground of the Vietnam War. Today, the island, which is about five hours from the mainland, is uninhabited and serves as a small outpost of Cambodian military personnel. This means it has crystal clear waters perfect for scuba diving. It has eight popular diving sites with coral reefs and vibrant underwater life that takes in pufferfish, stingrays, snappers and nudibranches.
Discover more things to do in Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem while exploring Cambodia’s islands.
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