Koh Touch is the main tourist area on Koh Rong. Easily accessible by all the main ferry services, the beach is full of bars, restaurants, guesthouses, and resorts. Although Koh Touch has a reputation for being a lively party destination, there are some fantastic quiet beach holidays available here also.
Koh Touch on Koh Rong
If you’re staying on Koh Touch, there are 5 things that we recommend for you to see and do.
1) Drink at Sky Bar
For some fantastic views over the main beach area, be it at night times or during the day, visit the Sky Bar (you’ll see it up high as you arrive on the ferry). The atmosphere here is very pleasant, and it’s a great place to relax and take in the scenery with a nice cold drink.
The Sky Bar is a 5-10 minute walk up some steep steps – You’ll see a sign for it along the beach (heading right from the main piers).
2) Walk to Long Set Beach
If you’d like to see some outstanding scenery during your stay, then the walk to Long Set Beach is a must.
Named after a local farmer, this 4km expanse is breathtaking – soft white sands, crystal clear ocean waters, and a tropical jungle surrounding.
The trip will take up most of your day, so it may be a good idea to set off early. If you head right from the main piers, past Paradise Bungalows and White Beach Bungalows on your left hand side, the next resort is Tree House. Follow the path around (you’ll have to go off the actual beach at times into the jungle) and after about 15 minutes you’ll reach this island paradise.
There are now 5 resorts on this part of Koh Rong, our favourites being – Pura Vita and Longset. Pura Vita provides a more ‘back to basics’ holiday experience, while Longset is much more comfortable. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay on Koh Rong, we would recommend either of these resorts, but bear in mind that they are better suited for a quiet laid back vacation.
Book Longset at Best Price
Book Pura Vita at Best Price
3) Take an Island Tour
Koh Rong is a very big island – If you’d like to see some of the other stunning locations (and there are many), we recommend for you to take an island tour.
The tour will take up a whole day, but some of the views are truly spectacular – From pristine untouched beaches, to wonderful little-known resorts, to world-renowned private islands and little fishing villages.
You can hire a tour boat quite easily on Koh Touch – You’ll see them advertised everywhere along the beach. A long boat can take up to 10 people or so, and you’ll be looking at paying roughly $100 between you for the whole day (try to set off early so that you can see all the sights before it starts to get dark).
One great thing about island tours is that you can stop anywhere along the way and choose how long you’d like to spend at each location. You can even go to all the best snorkelling areas or stop on desert islands (check out Pineapple Island).
4) See the Glowing Plankton
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, Koh Rong’s bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times. (Learn why they glow on Wikipedia)
Although this phenomenon is abundant on the island, the glowing plankton can only be seen in places with very little light pollution. As such, the easiest way for you to see the plankton is by booking a boat tour (you can also walk to Police Beach on non-party nights (15 minutes left from the main pier) and Tree House Bungalows (15 minutes right from the main pier), or make your way to Long Set Beach around the corner from Koh Touch).
Booking a tour is very straight forward – You’ll see them advertised all around the beach. A trip to see the plankton will cost about $5 (leaving at 7pm). You can also see the plankton during boat trips that will include snorkeling, fishing, BBQs, and sunsets. These tend to cost around $10 and are from 1pm – 7pm.
One word of warning however – we do not advise you to swim with the plankton. Although you’ll see this recommended across the internet, it’s not actually as safe as people make it out to be. For one thing, you can only see the plankton at night times, and swimming in the dark is never a good idea. You are in a tropical environment after all, with jelly fish, octopuses, and other sea creatures that come out hunting when it’s dark.
5) Try the Local Fishing Techniques
If you’d like to do something different during your stay, experience a little bit of local culture with a fishing trip, then BBQ the fish right on the beach when you get back.
The Khmer are known for their fishing – But don’t be expecting any modern apparatus: You’ll be using a plastic bottle and a wire.
Now, don’t worry if you’re not a natural expert in this fine art – your captain will catch many fish for you (maybe offer a $3 prize for the biggest fish). In fact, it’s likely he’ll be pulling one out of the water every minute or so while you’ll struggle to catch 2-3 per hour!
The total cost for a trip should be $20-$30, but it might go up to $40+ if you have a very big group with you. This will also depend on how long you want to go for, and how far out you would like to go. Ask your captain to organise the BBQ for you when you get back – To the right side of Koh Touch near White Beach Bungalows is a pretty good spot.
Some other activities that are worthy of mention: A High Point Zip Line and Rope Park; An inflatable water park (Aqua Koh Rong – on the way to Police Beach); Bicycle rental to Long Beach; Kayaking (to a small island for snorkeling or to the Mangrove River on 4K Beach); Paddle boarding; Jet Ski rental (at either KM Watersports (located by Monkey Island Resort) or at Golden Bungalows (please be careful of people snorkeling or diving!); Blob Jump at Tree house Bungalows; Learn or rent windsurfing with Rong Wind (at Reef on the Beach – Long Set Beach).
Things to Remember
One thing that I would recommend you do is to stock up on any necessities before you go to the islands (e.g. Suntan lotion and mosquito spray – remember to bring plenty). Although there are several mini-mart style shops around, prices tend to be inflated. It is not uncommon to see tourists leave the islands red and covered in bites!
It is also useful to bring smaller denominations ($) with you, as it can be difficult to change large notes. You can now get cash on Koh Touch, but there’s a 10% charge, so perhaps consider taking enough cash with you.
We’ve started to put together an interactive video map of Koh Rong Samloem. Click on the image below to watch videos of activities and attractions: