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Koh Rong – Cambodia’s unexploited Paradise Island

Koh Rong – Cambodia’s unexploited Paradise Island

Planning a trip to Koh Rong in Cambodia? Then I have really only one thing to say – don’t hesitate, just do it! (before it is too late). So far, Koh Rong is still a relatively undeveloped island, and most of the buildings are around the port where the boat docks.

On the other side of the island lies Long Beach, which is one of the nicest beaches I’ve put my foot on. Pure white sands, crystal clear waters in a wonderful turquoise color!

And it is beautiful, almost like a dream, or what do you think? Check out the photos below!

paradis koh rong island

sok san stranden

long beach koh rong

Things to do on Koh Rong

For those looking for lots of activities, this is perhaps not the best destination. In addition to partying and just chillaxing on the beach, there’s not really a lot of things to do here. Diving and snorkeling at Koh Rong is nothing wow compared to other destinations in Southeast Asia.

However, Koh Rong’s magically beautiful beaches with pure white sand and turquoise water are unreal. In other words, the best thing to do on Koh Rong is to just relax and rest. One can also go on jungle tours on their own or with the help of a local guide.

One can also hop on the boat and visit the neighboring island of Koh Rong Samloem, recommended for those who want to snorkel since it is more life and movement below the water surface in Samloem!

How to get to Koh Rong from Sihanoukville

First, you need to get to Sihanoukville, located in southern Cambodia. The boat leaves from the Serendipity pier in Sihanoukville and the boat trip takes about 90 minutes since the boat stops at the neighboring island of Samloem.

Round trip costs $20 with speed ferry (yellow boat). There are several companies that offer boat trips from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.

How to get to Long Beach

There are two ways to get to Long Beach from the pier where the boat stops. Either follow the signs towards the “jungle path” and cross right through it via the beaten path or hop on a boat to the Sok San Beach directly for $5.

If you are extremely afraid of snakes or have a lot of luggage, I recommend the boat. Otherwise, it’s nice and exciting to walk through the rain forest. But watch out for poisonous snakes (more info below). It takes about 30 minutes to walk through the jungle before you come down to Long Beach, then it is about 30-45 minutes walking to the Sok San Beach Bungalows.

On the way, you can stay and enjoy the paradise beach which stretches for several kilometers and its powdery white sand and turquoise water. But I would strongly recommend bringing plenty of water because it gets really hot and there’s nothing to buy until you are halfway there.

How to get from Koh Rong to Koh Rong Samloem

There are boats several times a day between the islands and the ticket is $ 5 for a regular boat, or USD 10 for Speed Ferry. The crossing takes about 30-60 minutes depending on the boat chosen.

Recommended accommodation on Koh Rong

Sok San Beach Bungalows

The island’s best accommodation, which offers luxury at budget prices. These bungalows, set on the quiet side of Koh Rong, far away on the paradise beach of Long Beach. Perfect if you want to relax and just enjoy this wonderful island.

Many backpackers in Southeast Asia choose to go here, or Phu Quoc to relax, after way “too much” partying in other parts of Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Hanoi, Siem Riep and Bali.

Here you can see more photos, reviews, and prices

koh rong bungalows sok san

Paradise Bungalows, Koh Rong

Another popular accommodation on Koh Rong is the well-known Paradise Bungalows. Here you can stay in bungalows with ocean views for as little as $ 35 per night. Here you can see photos, reviews, and prices.

Restaurants tips

Most restaurants are located on the side where the pier is located, either on the beach or a “side street” above the beach. Many restaurants are also bars that stay open late into the wee hours. Below I have collected some of the best restaurants on Koh Rong.

  • Da Matti
  • Eat Pray Love
  • Nam Nam
  • Vagabonds Kitchen – Hamburger
  • Corner Bar

These are safe bets even though they aren’t very fancy, but on the other hand, Koh Rong is a simple island and not a spot for jet-setters, but instead more for backpackers and flashpackers who want to enjoy a beautiful paradise!

Good things to know before you travel to Koh Rong


The climate is pleasant and warm all year round on Koh Rong, usually around 25-30 degrees. Most rain comes during July and August. From December to February it’s “dry” season, which is also the peak season for tourists who are traveling to Koh Rong.

Poisonous snakes

I’m not saying this to scare you, but YES, Koh Rong is home to several poisonous snakes, including the Cobra, Russel’s viper, Malayan Pit Viper, Banded Krait and White-lipped Pit Viper.

Koh Rong is actually bigger than you think, and 99% of the snakes to keep in the jungle. Therefore, it is important that you keep good sight if you walk through the jungle to get to the bungalows or Long Beach. When we went there we saw a Malayan Pit Viper, which was about three meters away from us. It is an “aggressive” poisonous snake that does not hesitate to bite if it feels threatened.

We, however, stayed calm and it slithered quietly away, so there was never any confrontation. But because we knew that there were poisonous snakes, we kept an extra eye open on our way through the jungle to Long Beach. The White-lipped Pit Viper is a green snake that is almost in neon color and often hangs down from the trees above you.

So, you need to keep an eye on the ground as well as the trees above you. Otherwise, you might see yourself walking straight into a White-lipped Pit Viper that is camouflaged in the trees.

What to do if you see a snake or get bitten

  • If you see a snake, do NOT try to touch it, or kill it
  • Do NOT make any sudden moves
  • Keep calm. The more stressed you are, the faster the poison spreads.
  • Try to memorize as much as possible about the snake
  • Get back down to the boats as quickly as possible, yet, do so without rushing.

Flight tickets to Cambodia

Find hotels in Koh Rong

Have you also been to Koh Rong? Please share your experiences and what you thought about Cambodia’s so far unexploited island paradise.

Sarah Dexter

Thursday 8th of August 2019

I’m here in koh rong right now and it is rainy season so very wet! We had a day of sunshine and walked from White Beach bungalows to the Nest bar on 4K beach, we saw monkeys but no snakes. It looked like it had just been hit by a huge storm, broken chairs and hammocks everywhere and very run down. Cambodia has a huge rubbish problem and it is the dirtiest place I have ever visited. Our hotel is nice but basic but we are paying $100 a night for a double room with ac. Sadly I would not recommend Koh Rong or Cambodia to visit, we arrived in Phnom Penh and it is full of single men in search of sex and piles of rubbish. Siem Reap is next but I’m not hopeful for much better.


Saturday 1st of December 2018

Hi Alexander,

Thanks for your very informative post. We are staying at Sok San Bungalows as well in February 19. May I ask you how you got from Sok San to Samloem? Did you travel to koh touch first, then to Samloem or directly from Sok San to Samloem? If latter, which boat company did you travel with? The Hotel quoted 150$ for direct trip, which seems quite pricey to me...

Alexander Waltner

Saturday 9th of February 2019

I think it's best to go from the pier directly if you want a cheaper option. As for the rates now I have no idea. If you have some updated info, feel free to share.

Tonkin - Travel Vietnam

Saturday 18th of November 2017

I think Koh Rong is not the unexploited paradise island in Cambodia. It should be Koh Rong Saloem or Koh Ta Kiev. I've travelled to Koh Rong Island at the beginning of this year, it has changed too much, not like your description. Anyway, thanks for your post. I really like your photos.

Alexander Waltner

Saturday 18th of November 2017

Hi, thanks for your comment. Well, that's what I was afraid of. It's been a while since we went to Koh Rong.

Haven't been to the other two islands unfortunately. Thanks for providing an update. How was the Long Beach? Are there many hotels now?

Alexander Waltner

Friday 19th of May 2017

Pretty much the same when we were there. Maybe a bit more developed, and there were some spots on Long Beach that was being built on as well. But to 99% secluded. Really love Koh Rong!