Koh Rong Cambodia

21st September 2023

Koh Rong Travel Guide: History, Facts, How To Reach, Best Time To Visit (2023)

Are you planning a visit to Koh Rong and eager to uncover the best experiences this tropical paradise has to offer? If so, you’re in for a treat!

In this blog post, we’ve got you covered with an exciting Koh Rong travel guide, filled to the brim with insider tips, hidden gems, and must-try adventures. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey that will leave you mesmerized by the beauty of this island.

From our experience of leading group trips here, we’ve discovered the hidden treasures that make Koh Rong truly remarkable. Its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life create an idyllic setting for an adventure-filled escape.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a beach lover, or an underwater explorer, Koh Rong has something special in store for everyone. So, fasten your seatbelts and join us as we delve into the wonders of Koh Rong, where paradise becomes a reality.

Why Visit Koh Rong?

There are countless reasons why a visit to Koh Rong should be on your travel bucket list. Picture yourself stepping onto powdery white sands, surrounded by the gentle lapping of turquoise waves. Koh Rong boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world, offering a serene and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But Koh Rong is more than just its stunning beaches. Venture into the lush tropical jungles that blanket the island and discover a world teeming with exotic wildlife and hidden waterfalls.

Dive beneath the surface of the crystal-clear waters to uncover a kaleidoscope of colorful coral reefs and vibrant marine life, making it a paradise for snorkelers and scuba diving enthusiasts.

History of Koh Rong

The history of Koh Rong is as fascinating as its natural beauty. This enchanting island, located off the coast of Cambodia, has a rich and diverse past that dates back centuries. Originally inhabited by local fishing communities, Koh Rong remained a hidden gem until recent years when it started to gain popularity among travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path paradise.

In more recent history, Koh Rong played a significant role during the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s. The island, like many other regions in Cambodia, was affected by the tragic events of that era. However, in the post-war years, Koh Rong slowly began to recover and transform into a thriving tourist destination.

Today, Koh Rong is known for its pristine beaches, eco-friendly resorts, and vibrant backpacker scene. It has become a haven for nature enthusiasts, beach lovers, and those in search of a tranquil escape. Despite its evolution, traces of Koh Rong’s storied past can still be seen, adding an intriguing layer to the island’s allure.

Facts about Koh Rong

  • Koh Rong is a stunning island off the coast of Cambodia, known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.
  • The island offers a range of activities for nature lovers, including jungle treks, waterfalls, and vibrant marine life for snorkeling and scuba diving.
  • Koh Rong has a diverse range of accommodation options, from rustic bungalows to luxury resorts, catering to all types of travelers.
  • The island’s nightlife scene is buzzing, with beach bars, bonfires, and lively parties under the starlit sky.
  • Koh Rong is easily accessible from mainland Cambodia, with regular ferry services from Sihanoukville and other nearby coastal towns.

Things to Do In & Around Koh Rong

1. Explore Long Beach

Long Beach, also known as Sok San Beach, is a pristine stretch of coastline that beckons visitors with its unspoiled beauty. Located on the eastern side of Koh Rong, this idyllic beach is a paradise for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Its golden sands, fringed by swaying palm trees, create a picture-perfect setting for relaxation and exploration.

  • Location: Eastern side of Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

2. Snorkel or Dive in The Coral Reefs

Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world surrounding Koh Rong by snorkeling or diving in its magnificent coral reefs. Discover a kaleidoscope of colors as you encounter a rich diversity of marine life, including tropical fish, colorful corals, and even majestic sea turtles.

Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner snorkeler, these pristine waters offer an unforgettable experience.

  • Location: Various diving and snorkeling spots around Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Dependent on tour operators and diving centers

3. Take a Boat Trip to Koh Rong Samloem

Embark on a scenic boat trip from Koh Rong to its neighboring island, Koh Rong Samloem. This tranquil paradise boasts secluded beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery.

Explore the pristine bays, go for a refreshing swim, or simply unwind under the shade of coconut trees. Koh Rong Samloem offers a serene escape from the bustling shores of Koh Rong.

  • Location: Neighboring island of Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Dependent on ferry schedules

4. Trek through the Jungle to Sok San Village

Embark on an adventurous trek through the dense jungles of Koh Rong to discover Sok San Village. This traditional fishing village offers a glimpse into the local way of life, where wooden stilt houses dot the landscape.

Immerse yourself in the rich culture, interact with friendly locals, and savor authentic Cambodian cuisine.

  • Location: Sok San Village, Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: No specific hours, but daytime visits are recommended

5. Visit Police Beach for Serenity and Sunsets

Escape the crowds and find tranquility at Police Beach, a hidden gem on Koh Rong. Surrounded by lush vegetation and bordered by calm waters, this secluded beach is perfect for a peaceful retreat.

Witness stunning sunsets that paint the sky in hues of orange and pink, creating a picturesque backdrop for relaxation and reflection.

  • Location: Western side of Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

6. Embark on a Kayaking Adventure

Paddle your way through the pristine waters of Koh Rong on an exhilarating kayaking adventure. Explore hidden coves, navigate through mangrove forests, and discover secluded beaches inaccessible by foot.

Kayaking allows you to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty while enjoying a fun and active experience.

  • Location: Various kayaking routes around Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Dependent on tour operators and rental services

7. Discover Waterfalls and Natural Pools

Embark on a journey through the lush jungles of Koh Rong to discover hidden waterfalls and natural pools. Take a refreshing dip in the cool cascades or enjoy a peaceful moment surrounded by the soothing sounds of nature.

These hidden gems offer a serene and picturesque retreat from the island’s coastal beauty.

  • Location: Various locations within the interior of Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: No specific hours, but daytime visits are recommended

8. Enjoy Nightlife at Koh Touch Beach

For those seeking vibrant nightlife, head to Koh Touch Beach. This bustling area is the epicenter of the island’s party scene, offering a variety of beach bars, clubs, and live music venues.

Dance the night away, mingle with fellow travelers, and create unforgettable memories under the starlit sky.

  • Location: Koh Touch Beach, Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Most establishments operate until late at night

9. Experience Bioluminescent Plankton at Night

Witness nature’s captivating spectacle by experiencing the mesmerizing bioluminescent plankton. After sunset, the waters of Koh Rong come alive with tiny organisms that emit a magical glow when disturbed.

Take a nighttime swim or join a guided tour to witness this breathtaking phenomenon that leaves trails of shimmering light in your wake.

  • Location: Various beaches around Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Best experienced after sunset

10. Take a Sunset Cruise around the Island

Embark on a romantic sunset cruise around Koh Rong and witness the island’s beauty from a different perspective. Sail along the coastline, enjoying panoramic views of the island bathed in the warm glow of the setting sun.

Indulge in a relaxing experience while savoring a delicious dinner onboard, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Location: Departure from various piers around Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Dependent on tour operators and schedules

11. Indulge in Fresh Seafood Delights

Satisfy your taste buds with the freshest seafood delicacies that Koh Rong has to offer. From succulent grilled fish to mouthwatering prawns and delectable crab dishes, the island is a seafood lover’s paradise.

Indulge in a culinary adventure, savoring the flavors of the ocean in beachfront restaurants or local eateries.

  • Location: Various restaurants and eateries around Koh Rong
  • Opening Hours: Dependent on individual establishments

12. Relax and Unwind on Lazy Beach

Find your own slice of paradise at Lazy Beach, a serene and secluded stretch of coastline on Koh Rong Samloem. Unwind in a hammock, basking in the gentle sea breeze and the mesmerizing sound of the waves.

Enjoy a book, take leisurely strolls, or simply embrace the blissful atmosphere of this hidden gem.

  • Location: Koh Rong Samloem
  • Opening Hours: Open 24 hours

How to Reach Koh Rong

  • By Ferry: The most common way to reach Koh Rong is by ferry from Sihanoukville. Regular ferry services operate from the main pier, offering convenient access to the island. The ferry journey takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the weather conditions.
  • By Speedboat: If you prefer a faster and more direct route, you can opt for a speedboat transfer to Koh Rong. Speedboats are available from Sihanoukville and other nearby coastal towns. The journey typically takes around 20 to 30 minutes, allowing you to reach the island swiftly.

Best Time to Visit Koh Rong

The best time to visit Koh Rong is during the dry season, which spans from November to April. This period offers the most favorable weather conditions, with plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall.

The months of December to February are particularly popular, as they provide pleasant temperatures and calm seas, perfect for beach activities and water sports. However, it’s important to note that this is also the peak tourist season, and the island can get crowded.

If you prefer a quieter and more serene experience, visiting during the shoulder seasons of November and April can be ideal. During these months, you can still enjoy favorable weather with fewer crowds. It’s advisable to check the weather forecasts and plan your visit accordingly to make the most of your time in Koh Rong.

Where to Stay at Koh Rong

  • Song Saa Private Island: Experience luxury and seclusion at Song Saa Private Island, a stunning eco-luxury resort nestled on a private island near Koh Rong. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural surroundings and indulge in exquisite overwater villas or jungle retreats. This sanctuary offers a perfect blend of tranquility, personalized service, and breathtaking views of the turquoise waters.
  • Longset Resort: Located on Long Beach, Longset Resort offers a peaceful and idyllic retreat for travelers seeking a balance between relaxation and adventure. With comfortable bungalows set amidst lush gardens, guests can enjoy direct beach access and stunning sunset views. The resort provides a range of amenities, including a beachfront restaurant, a spa, and various water activities.
  • Tamu Koh Rong: Tamu Koh Rong is a boutique resort situated on the serene Coconut Beach, offering a tranquil and eco-friendly retreat. The resort features stylish and spacious villas, each designed with a blend of modern comfort and rustic charm. Guests can unwind by the infinity pool, enjoy a pampering spa treatment, or simply relax on the beach, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of Koh Rong.

Things to Know Before Visiting Koh Rong

  • Koh Rong is a remote island, so expect limited or intermittent electricity and Wi-Fi.
  • Pack mosquito repellent as the island is home to various insects, especially during the rainy season.
  • Cash is essential as most businesses do not accept credit cards, and there are limited ATMs.
  • Be mindful of your environmental impact and practice responsible tourism, as Koh Rong’s ecosystem is delicate.
  • Medical facilities are limited, so it’s advisable to carry a basic first aid kit and any necessary medications.
  • Embrace the laid-back island lifestyle; things may operate on “island time,” so patience is key.
  • Respect the local culture and traditions, and dress modestly when visiting villages or sacred sites.

Things to Avoid at Koh Rong

  • Avoid leaving behind trash or litter on the beaches or in the water; practice proper waste disposal.
  • Avoid feeding or touching wildlife, as it can disrupt their natural behaviors and harm their well-being.
  • Avoid excessive noise and disruptive behavior, especially during nighttime hours, to maintain a peaceful atmosphere.
  • Avoid purchasing or participating in activities that exploit animals or contribute to environmental degradation.
  • Avoid swimming in restricted areas or ignoring safety precautions, as currents and tides can be unpredictable.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and protect yourself with sunscreen, hats, and appropriate clothing to prevent sunburn.
  • Avoid engaging in illegal activities or partaking in the use of illicit substances; respect local laws and regulations.

Conclusion – Koh Rong Travel Guide

As we conclude this Koh Rong travel guide, it’s evident that this captivating island offers an abundance of natural beauty and unforgettable experiences. From the pristine beaches and diverse marine life to the lush jungles and vibrant nightlife, Koh Rong truly has something for everyone.

Embrace the island’s laid-back vibes, indulge in fresh seafood, and immerse yourself in the breathtaking sunsets. Just remember to tread lightly, respect the local culture, and leave only footprints behind. Koh Rong awaits, ready to weave its enchanting spell upon you.

FAQs – Koh Rong Travel Guide

What are the best things to do in Koh Rong?

Explore Long Beach, snorkel or dive in the coral reefs, take a boat trip to Koh Rong Samloem, trek through the jungle to Sok San Village, visit Police Beach, embark on a kayaking adventure, discover waterfalls and natural pools, enjoy the nightlife, experience bioluminescent plankton, take a sunset cruise, indulge in fresh seafood, and relax on Lazy Beach.

How do I get to Koh Rong?

You can reach Koh Rong by ferry or speedboat from Sihanoukville. Private boat transfers are also available. Check the schedules in advance and arrive early at the departure point for a smooth journey.

When is the best time to visit Koh Rong?

The best time to visit Koh Rong is during the dry season from November to April. December to February offers pleasant temperatures, calm seas, and less rainfall, but it can be crowded. November and April are ideal for a quieter experience.

What are the top hotels to stay in Koh Rong?

Song Saa Private Island offers luxury and seclusion, Longset Resort provides a peaceful retreat, and Tamu Koh Rong offers a boutique experience on Coconut Beach.

Are there any things to know before visiting Koh Rong?

Be prepared for limited electricity and Wi-Fi, pack mosquito repellent, carry cash, practice responsible tourism, bring a basic first aid kit, embrace the island lifestyle, and respect local culture and traditions.

What should I avoid while visiting Koh Rong?

Avoid leaving trash on the beaches, touching wildlife, excessive noise, participating in activities that harm the environment, swimming in restricted areas, excessive sun exposure, and engaging in illegal activities.

Is Koh Rong worth visiting?

Absolutely! Koh Rong’s pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and vibrant nightlife make it a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The island’s beauty, combined with its relaxed atmosphere, offers an unforgettable experience for travelers.

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