If you’re staying on Koh Rong, and would like to do something different (and a little more adventurous), I would recommend for you to take a private long boat around the island. There really are some incredible places to see, and it makes for a fantastic day out with your friends, family, or partner.
See Lonely Beach During Your Boat Trip
You can hire a private long boat at several locations around the island – The easiest way is to ask someone at Koh Touch when you arrive. A long boat can take up to 10 people or so, and you’ll be looking at paying roughly $100 for the whole day (Koh Rong is a very large island, so try to set off early so that you can see all the sights before it starts to get dark). Typically, you’ll be able to buy cold beverages during the trip, but it’s not a bad idea to bring your own (you should also consider taking your own food, but you can stop to eat at most of the resorts you pass).
Traditional Khmer Fishing Long-tail Boat
Depending on the weather, you will go south or north around the island. When my wife and I went, we went south, so I’ll describe some of the landmarks in that order.
Firstly, you will head towards Sok San – A small fishing village on the west side of Koh Rong. You will pass a large undeveloped beach area on the way. From what I could see, this beach area will soon be full of new resorts (the Cambodian government is currently building a road around Koh Rong to connect the current and future tourist destinations).
You should try to stop at Sok San for an hour or so, just for a quick look around. The fishing village is full of local Khmer, and if you head right from the main pier here, you will get to the wonderful Sok San Beach Resort.
Sok San Beach Resort was initially developed for the French Survivor series (the cast of the new U.S. Survivor are staying there later this year). It is a very large resort with over 600 bungalows and villas, ranging in quality (prices start at around $80 per night and go up to $800+). The beach area around here is fantastic – Crystal clear ocean waters, pristine white sandy beaches, and plenty of comfortable chairs for lounging. Despite being such a large resort, it is never too busy on the beach areas, and we would recommend you stay there if you are visiting Koh Rong.
The next main destination after Sok San is the outstanding Lonely Beach. But on the way you will pass one of my favourite sections of Koh Rong – A large undeveloped beach front that is entirely covered in palm trees. The view from the boat is mesmerising, and if you like you could stop here to relax for an hour or so. Last time I was there, I couldn’t see a single person around, but a new resort is starting to be built here, so you may see one or two workers. All in all though, this section of Koh Rong epitomizes its natural beauty.
Next, I would suggest you stop at Lonely Beach for a good few hours, as it is truly breathtaking – Tall enveloping palm trees, beautiful white sands, and fantastic ocean waters. With only a handful of people around, you get a real feel of an island paradise. Perhaps stop here for lunch – Although the menu isn’t that varied, the food is of an OK standard, and you can relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere.
The stop after is Palm Beach. As the name suggests, this wonderful part of Koh Rong is covered in Palm trees, and is definitely worth a quick walk around. I would even recommend you plan to stay here during your time on Koh Rong, as the resort is outstanding value for money, and the scenery and atmosphere are breathtaking.
Directly opposite this beach area you will see the illustrious Song Saa Private Island. At over $2000 per night, here you can enjoy a tropical island paradise in the most elegant of fashions. Song Saa will not let you stop to have a look around (unless you arrange to eat at the restaurant – message them here), but you can take the boat past it to have a closer look.
At this point you may be running out of time, as it will most likely be starting to get dark. If you do have time however, briefly stop at Daem Thkov Village, just for a quick look around to see how local Khmer live on this part of Koh Rong. If you fancy a bit of a culture holiday, Inn The Village here comes highly recommended.
We’ve started to put together an interactive video map of the Koh Rong & Samloem Islands. Click on the image below: