The island Koh Rong in Cambodia is my personal remote paradise!
It is the perfect get-away from the hustle bustle in Phnom Penh or somewhere else in Southeast Asia. We wanted to stay 2 nights, but the island captured us for 1 week – and if it would not have been the beginning of a big travel, we would have stayed even longer.
Why is Koh Rong like a secret island in Southeast Asia?
Because you can experience a very stunning natural spectacle there: glowing bioluminescent plankton. When swimming in the sea at night there will be thousands of glowing stars surrounding you in the water – but only when you move. Take a deep dive underwater and try to keep your eyes open – it is magical! I swear that I never experienced any natural wonder like this. And I promise the burning red eyes from the salt water will be worth it 😉 And when looking up in the clear dark sky more stars will capture you.
Unfortunately, I have no picture of that, but it is anchored deeply in my memories and will always stay there. Maybe that is even why it was such a fascinating experience? Because I was fully in present in this moment and didn’t observe the plankton through the lens of a camera? That is probably also why Koh Rong is my personal secret island in Southeast Asia.
Anyways! What else is there to do in Koh Rong?
Not much, but that makes the beauty of this place. Long beaches, white sand, shallow, crystal clear water, no streets, no cars, backpack vibes and another highlight, Lonely Beach, are waiting for you. This remote beach without any developments can be reached by boat or by an one hour walk through the jungle from Koh Rong village. It is a long wild coast, with a deep jungle, even more, white sand and more turquoise water and glowing plankton appears there as well.
But this is not the only beach Koh Rong offers. There are 28 beaches and 7 bays in Koh Rong – few you can reach by foot. But if you want to find a lonely beach just for you, rent a long tail boat and the owner will bring you to truly secret places.
How does Koh Rong look like today?
I was in Koh Rong 4 years ago and as you might have realized it really captured me and I so much want to go back. But travelers I crossed path with the last year told me Koh Rong changed and is more touristy now – even the other „lost“ side of the island should host hotels and restaurants now? I wish this is not the case. This is the dark side of tourism – it can destroy a once believed paradise. I’m still hoping it didn’t change too much *fingers crossed*. Can you give me an update on that? Have you been in Koh Rong lately? How is it there today? Is it still like the secret island in Southeast Asia as I remember it? Please drop me a comment below if you know more!
How to get there?
Koh Rong is just 2 hours off the mainland of Cambodia. You have to take a boat from Sihanoukville in the south of Cambodia. Tickets can be bought online at http://speedferrycambodia.com/ or on the spot in Sihanoukville.
Don’t mix it up with Koh Rong Sanloem which is the touristy brother island!
What else you need to know?
Bring cash as there are no ATMs on the island.
Accommodations on the island are very basic but comfortable. This contributes to the relaxed, hippie-like atmosphere of the island. This was our little hut – with a hammock of course:
Be aware that during the day and during most of the night there is no electricity on the island. When we were there they switched on electricity between 8 and 12 pm. After 12 when backpackers usually met in Coco Bar in Koh Rong Village the owners arranged candles and people moved closer together.
If you have been in Koh Rong lately? Is it still like my secret island in Southeast Asia? Please drop me a comment and tell about the situation nowadays!