Remote Koh Rong, Sihanoukville, Cambodia Published on: 19-05-2016
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Why Koh Rong is special ?
The island has 43 km of beautiful sandy beaches along both its Eastern and Western shores; its main attraction. Unfortunately, many beaches are littered with plastic and other waste (including glass and syringes) along the high-tide mark. Untreated waste water flows straight into the sea at several places near the guesthouses via small creeks. Also, the island is home to a particularly aggressive family of water buffalo. There have been several cases in which people were attacked, at least one of them fatally.
Most visitors stay in guesthouses and bungalows situated along the beach at Koh Tuich Village (Tui Beach). There are isolated resorts on other beaches. The atmosphere at Koh Tuich is very relaxed and beach-focused during the daytime, followed by loud partying until late in the night, especially close to the pier. Travelers looking for isolation or peace and quiet should consider accommodation at the far end of Tui Beach or on other beaches.
What to explore at Koh Rong?
With 23 white sand beaches to choose from Koh Rong has plenty to see and do. For the adventurous there's plenty of trekking to be done through the relatively untouched jungle. Diving and snorkelling is excellent both off the beach and at sites nearby. But above all the best attraction is the phosphorescent water which sparkles when disturbed like twinkling stars. Best seen in around 4 feet of water and on a dark part of the beach. Because Koh Rong has minimal development and light pollution the conditions are perfect for the phosphorescent plankton and it can be seen every single night.
Be sure to head to Long Beach, either by foot through the jungle or by long tail boat. The hike is 45 min-55 min each way, through dense jungle and lots of scrambling on steep wet rocks closer to Long Beach. Lots of mosquitoes. Bring water (please don't litter/sad to see so much rubbish). As of July 2015: Long Beach isn't the glorious beauty that was expected due to massive construction on the left side of the beach. Also filming Survivor on the right side of the beach. Perhaps by high season (Nov-Feb), there will be new accommodations after construction finishes and the film crew will have departed. To get there: find one of two entrances from the main Koh Rong Beach , either through the alley near Dream Catch Inn, or from Sky Bar. Then turn LEFT on the trail and you will see periodic red trail markings.
Also be sure to check out HIGH POINT ADVENTURE PARK, this is the newest activity on Koh Rong and has without a doubt the best views of the ocean, the jungle, and the main beach on the entire island. Perfect place to take some very envy evoking pictures of this incredible island
Snorkelling. Various places and people will offer snorkelling trips on their long tail boats. Native Khmer guides, while cheaper, will most likely be unable to communicate with you in english and will just point to things. $10-$20. edit
If you're a diver, you can Scuba Dive on Koh Rong, and with over 15 dive sites less than 30 mins boat ride from the center you can do multiple dives and see different things every time. If you are not a diver, then the Koh Rong Dive Center has a full range of teaching courses from Open water to Dive Master that you can do at one of the cheapest prices in all of Asia. Keep in mind during "low season" the weather is not very cooperative, and thus the waves are choppy, sand is mixed up, and visibility is about 1 meter or less (read: not suitable for diving).
You can also go from the depth of the ocean to the heights of the tallest trees on the island with HIGH POINT ADVENTURE PARK. This is the newest attraction on Koh Rong opening up on in March 2014. It has over 25 stations ranging from a 120 meter zip line to rope bridges to a surfboard zip line. HIGH POINT also has the best views of the whole island and is a must do while on Koh Rong.
How to get to Koh Rong?
There are several ways to get to Koh Rong from Sihanoukville, including by helicopter or private boat, but the cheapest and most popular way to get there is on one of the Koh Rong ferries. Depending on how you travel, the journey to Koh Rong can take as little as 20 minutes, or as much as three hours.
Koh Rong Ferries
To get to the Koh Toch part of Koh Rong, you can take one of several competing ferries. They often have price wars that make the prices ridiculously low, but the downside of this is that schedules and prices can change at random. If you’re headed somewhere other than Koh Toch, such as Sok San Village, ask your guesthouse for details about transport. Koh Rong is a large island and if you go to Koh Toch when you meant to go to another part of the island, you’ll be stuck paying $40 or $50 for a longtail to get you where you want to go, if you manage to get there at all.
Under the name Speed Ferry Cambodia, Koh Rong Dive Center runs speed boats several times a day from the Serendipity Pier in Sihanoukville. The 125-seat cataraman boats take under an hour and an open return ticket costs $15 in low season and $30 in high season, but prices often change whenever there’s more or less competition. You can book tickets on their website or at any hotel or travel agent in Sihanoukville. Boats leave from the Serendipity Pier.
Speed Ferry Cambodia fast boat schedule:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong (Koh Toch): 8:00 a.m., 11 a.m., and 3 p.m.
Koh Rong (Koh Toch) to Sihanoukville: 10:25 a.m., 12:50 p.m., 5:00 p.m.
When the fast boats are full, you also have the option of taking a slow boat. The slow boats are mainly used by the locals and for transporting food and other items to the island. The trip takes two to three hours and is entirely unsafe (there are only a handful of life jackets and one of the boats has already sunk a few times), but the return ticket is only $15. You can buy tickets at Koh Rong Dive Center or Monkey Republic, both on Serendipity Beach Road in Sihanoukville. The boats leave from the Sihanoukville port, so meet at Monkey Republic 30 minutes before departure to get a truck to the port.
Slow boat schedule:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong (Koh Toch): 8:15 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Koh Rong (Koh Toch) to Sihanoukville: 10:00 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The iSpeed ferry offered by SeaCambodia offers the fastest journey to Koh Rong, with boats that take just 20 minutes to complete the 30km journey. Tickets cost $25 for a round-trip ticket and have an open return date. On the way, the ferry also stops at Koh Rong Sanloem. The iSpeed schedule often changes and the information on SeaCambodia’s website is not usually correct. Getting information directly from SeaCambodia, so it’s best to check with a travel agent in Sihanoukville to confirm the schedule before making plans around it. Tickets can be booked at the Serendipity Pier, where the boats also leave from.
iSpeed ferry schedule:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong (Koh Toch): 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Koh Rong (Koh Toch) to Sihanoukville: 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sok San Beach Bungalows run a daily Fast Cat ferry that leaves from the Poy Camping Pier, near Holiday Palace Casino on Independence Beach, Sihanoukville. Tickets cost $40 return and the trip takes 45 minutes. This ferry is only for guests of the Sok San Beach Bungalows and Sok San Base Camp, and they will not let passengers going to Sok San village onto the boat.
Sok San schedule:
Sihanoukville to Koh Rong (Sok San): 2:00 p.m.
Koh Rong (Sok San) to Sihanoukville: 11:00 a.m.
Private boat to Koh Rong
If you miss the ferry but are determined to make it to Koh Rong, you can hire a private boat. All of the local longtail boats (Cambodian fishing boats) are willing to go to Koh Rong. The price varies depending on whether or not you book direct or through a travel agent, but usually ranges between $100 and $150. Boats can seat up to 15 people and the journey takes about two hours. Most of the time, the price includes a same day return, so it’s possible to do a day trip to the island. However, if you’d like to stay longer and want to take the same boat back, the price will increase.
Smaller boats are available that can seat eight people and cost around $80 for a one-way trip, and only marginally more for a same-day return. You can find boats hanging out near the Serendipity Pier and book directly with a fisherman, or go through one of the local travel agents like Best Beach Travel (Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville; T: 015 678 924) or Ana Travel (Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville; T: 034 933 729). Negotiation is possible, but remember that gasoline is pricey!
Koh Rong helicopters
If you really want to splash out, there are two companies offering helicopter service to Koh Rong. A Koh Rong airport has long been promised, but thus far no progress has been made on the project, but there is a helicopter landing pad. The landing pad was built to spare the VIP guests of Song Saa Resort the indignity of having to hobnob with the riff-raff on the Koh Rong ferries. But if you’ve got the cash, the helicopters are available to fly elsewhere on the island, too, including the never-used ring road. You’ll need to get permission to land from the Royal Group, but if you’re considering taking a helicopter to Koh Rong, you’re probably already friends with them.
Helistar Cambodia offers flights to Koh Rong from Phnom Penh Airport for $4,500++ or Siem Reap Airport for $6,100++. They fly an Airbus AS350 B2 that seats five passengers.
Helicopters Cambodia offers flights from Phnom Penh Airport to to Koh Rong for $4,460++ or Siem Reap for $6,840++. Flights can be booked from Sihanoukville for an additional fee.
Speed Ferry Cambodia
Koh Rong Dive Center
Serendipity Beach Road, Sihanoukville
T: 034 934 744
iSpeed Ferry and SeaCambodia
Serendipity Pier, Sihanoukville
T: 034 6666 106
Sok San Beach Bungalows
T: 092 601 223
Canadia Tower, 17th Floor, 315 Monivong Blvd, Phnom Penh
T: 023 431 011
51 Street 350, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
T: 023 213 706
- A small heaven in Cambodia
- For beach lovers
- A lot of things to do and see
- A great place for families and couples
- Oustanding sunset view
Koh Rong, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Tips for you
In terms of public hazards as a result of the unregulated building of hotels and lack of sewage treatment, it best to stay clear of the black river of sewage that flows across the beach. The sea water pollution can lead to sickness if ingested. In South East Asia, its safer to swim along the beach that is not occupied by hotels.Safety