Koh Rong Samloem island is located near the coast of Sihanoukville and is renowned for its tranquil beauty. It is the type of place that you want to tell the whole world about, but also want to keep it your own secret. The island is still underdeveloped and has only low key accommodation. The island’s pristine beauty enchants any travelers. In addition, you will get to enjoy water activities like diving and snorkeling in one of the most beautiful beaches in Cambodia.
The easiest way to go to Koh Rong Samoloem from the Cambodia mainland would be from Sihanoukville. Now, there are five ferry services to take you from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samoloem. The trip from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samoleom Island costs about 25USD and takes about an hour. All ferries leave from Occheuteal pier in Sihanoukville and stop either at Koh Touch on Koh Rong or Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem. Make sure to choose the pier closest to your hotel as there are two piers on Koh Rong Samloem.
The ferry timetables also change often, so before traveling, check the departure time right after you arrive at Sihanoukville.
For the return trip, you can catch boats at the same pier that you arrived on. All boats will return to the Occheuteal pier in Sihanoukville.
The weather in Koh Rong Samloem is quite predictable. Even though the island is accessible all year round, the ideal time to visit would be between December and March as there will be minimal chances of rainfall. The temperature during this time is also perfect. However, during this time, Koh Rong sees a bit more crowd.
There are only couple of ways to get around Koh Rong Samloem; by foot or by a boat. The main area of the island is Saracen Bay, and it is located on the east side. From the bay, you can walk to two beaches on the west side; Sunset Beach and Lazy Beach. The whole path to Lazy beach is great, but the path to Sunset Beach is only good at first. The second half to the Sunset beach is quite adventurous as you will be walking in the middle of the forest. The rest of the island is only accessible by boat.
Koh Rong Samloem has few bays where you can find accommodation. If you prefer to be in the center of the islands in the livelier part, then Saracen Bay is the place for you. However, if you are looking for some place where you can relax and enjoy the secluded time, then a serene bay like Sandy Beach can be your choice. You can only reach Sandy Beach through the boat, so you will only see people at the beach. and, you will also not see many resorts on the beach, and it can be quite peaceful. If you can do with cheaper accommodation, then the good choice for you would be M’pal. Here, you can get budget accommodations, so it is quite popular among backpackers. However, keep in mind that during peak seasons, the accommodation price peaks even here.
Source: Mad Monkey Hostels
Koh Rong Samloem Island is very popular among divers. You will find a few diving shops on the island, and the diving experience will be truly memorable. Unlike many areas in SouthEast Asia, this island is well-preserved, so it is most likely that you will see a wide range of sea life. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner one, you can find the surface of your interest.
If you are not a diver, you can enjoy the underwater world with snorkeling. Most hotels on the island has snorkeling equipment that they rent for about 5USD. One of the best snorkeling trip you can take is on the western side of Samloem. The Saracen Bay offers snorkeling trips every day for about 25USD (including lunch). Whether you don independently or choose an agency to snorkel, you will undoubtedly have one of the best snorkeling experiences with gorgeous coral reefs and a variety of species of water life.
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If you had enough of the beach, you could head into the interior of the island. Go on a few different trails of the island and explore other parts too. There is a dense, verdant jungle in the middle part of the island, and it is even more underdeveloped than the coast. One of the popular hiking trails is from Saracen Bay to the Samloem lighthouse. The round trip takes about four hours, and you will get stunning views from the lighthouse. But, make sure you can return before dark as the path can get quite confusing there.
Source: Mad Monkey Hostels
Koh Rong might still be hidden with the majority of travelers, but there is no shortage of backpackers. And, backpackers means there will be a party. The full moon party takes place at Camp Good Vibz in the jungle. You can reach the camp with just a few minutes from the Beach Island Resort in between Sunset Beach and Saracen Beach. Compared to the Koh Phangan half moon party and Thailand’s full moon party, it has a low key, rustic vibe.
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the long strip of white sand dotted with hammocks, swings, and chairs along Saracen Bay is an excellent place to spend time relaxing in the sun. The ocean is very flat that you can walk in the water for about a hundred meters, and even your hips won’t get wet. Koh Rong Samloem Island is the closest you will get to a luxury beach resort for 10USD per night.
Source: Visit Koh Rong
At night, a point in the ocean fills up with bioluminescent plankton. It is not much visible from the surface, but when you dive into the water, thousands of minuscule lights surround you, and it feels like swimming through a starry sky. You can also take the tour with a tour operator. The tour will cost around twelve dollars.