A lot has changed on the Koh Rong islands in the past year, so we thought we’d write ‘the ultimate’ Koh Rong beach guide and review all the beaches on Koh Rong and its sister island Koh Rong Samloem.

(See also: Ultimate Koh Rong Hotel Guide 2018)

Firstly, please ignore what you might read elsewhere – Koh Rong is NOT just a party island! Yes, the main tourist area, Koh Touch, has a reputation for being quite lively, but there are MANY other areas on Koh Rong (and even on Koh Touch itself!) that are peaceful, relaxing, and truly mesmerising (see video map). Take a look through these videos to give you a better idea:

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Best Videos of Koh Rong Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, then yes, we recommend Koh Touch – This is where all the main ferry services stop on Koh Rong. However, if you’re looking to enjoy an island paradise in a more laid-back, family-friendly setting, then there are some excellent choices on both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem.

Here, we are going to evaluate all of Koh Rong’s beaches and all of Koh Rong Samloem’s beaches according to:

‘Accessibility’ – How easy is it to get there. (For the latest news on transportation to Koh Rong, read: How to get to Koh Rong in 2018).

‘Convenience’ – Yes, they are both islands, but some areas have shops, medical facilities, Wi-Fi, etc.

‘Beauty’ – It’s an island paradise! But we’ll try to compare the different areas.

‘Pricing’ – On average, how expensive is accommodation, food, drinks, etc.

‘Downside’ – The main problems with the area.

‘Summary’ – Our attempt to sum up the area in a short phrase.

Koh Touch – Main Tourist Area – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 10
Convenience: 9
Beauty: 5
Pricing: Cheap
Downside: Can get dirty; Low-quality accommodation, noisy at night times
Summary: Party on an island paradise

Koh Touch on Koh Rong

 

The main tourist area on Koh Touch is known for its cheap alcohol, cheap accommodation ($15+ / night), loud music, and late nights. It is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a ‘party atmosphere‘ on a tropical island paradise.

Situated immediately in front of you as you get off the ferry, this part of Koh Touch is packed with guest houses, restaurants, bars, and night clubs.

It is not uncommon to see events start early in the day, and many bars create a lively atmosphere first thing in the morning. Take a look at these videos to learn more:

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Party Holiday on Koh Rong Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

The main drawback is that, as with many popular party destinations, it is hard to keep the area clean and in a good condition. Loud noise can be a problem at night times, and the accommodation is very basic (to say the least!).

On the plus side, there are several western shops on this part of Koh Rong, a medical facility, generally good Wi-Fi, a way to get cash out, and lots of activities including: Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Fishing, Windsurfing, a High Point Zip Line, a Rope Park, a Water Park, Bicycle Rental, Paddle Boarding, Jet Ski Rental, and a Blob Jump. As such, it makes for a fun and convenient location.

50% OFF Koh Rong Hotels

 

Koh Touch – Less Touristy Areas – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 10
Convenience: 9
Beauty: 7
Pricing: Mid-range
Downside: Can get busy
Summary: An island paradise near ‘civilisation’

As mentioned above, the main tourist area on Koh Touch has a reputation for being a party place. However, just a short walk to the right of the main pier will lead you to some very nice, quiet, and relaxing destinations. Here are a couple of videos about the quieter areas:

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Quiet Beach Holiday on Koh Rong Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

In particular, we recommend you try White Beach Bungalows or Paradise Bungalows (see also Tree House Bungalows). Noise is not really problem for these resorts. You can sometimes hear faint music in the distance, but it shouldn’t keep you up late at night.

The beach area around here is clean and well-kept, and the ocean waters are sparkly and inviting. This is reflected in the price of the resorts in this area ($50+ / night).

The upside of these resorts is that they are a short walk to the main tourist area, so you can easily access the shops, restaurants, bars, etc. But this is also the downside, as the beach can get a little busy at peak times.

50% OFF Koh Rong Hotels

 

Saracen Bay – Main Tourist Area – Koh Rong Samloem

Accessibility: 10
Convenience: 7
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Upper-end
Downside: Shops won’t be convenient for everyone
Summary: An island paradise for families and couples

Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem

 

Saracen Bay is the main tourist area on Koh Rong Samloem. It is perfect for a peaceful relaxing experience where you can lie back and admire the magnificent views. All the main ferry services stop here regularly making it one of the more convenient locations.

The bay has undergone some major changes in the past two years, with several new resorts, new shops, and new tours opening up along the beachfront. All in all, these changes have made Saracen Bay a more convenient tourist destination, as it is now possible to buy many necessities (e.g. mosquito spray and sun tan lotion) on the island. The only problem is that the shops may be too far away for people staying near the ends of the bay – Walking on the beach can be very tiring in peak season where the temperatures can reach 40°C.

There are roughly 20 resorts spread out along the beach front, each with a restaurant, a bar, and bungalows or villas. Pricing tends to vary, with some resorts (e.g. Sol Beach) reaching the premium bracket ($150 / night). Overall, we’d say Saracen Bay is a more expensive place to visit, with prices of accommodation and food often being double what you would pay on Koh Touch.

Although the resorts tend to get busy at peak times, it doesn’t really feel like you’re surrounded by people on the beach, often having the ocean waters to yourself. Take a look at some of these videos for a better idea:

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Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Nightlife is almost non-existent at the Bay – Most restaurants and bars close at 11pm. There are now regular ‘Full Moon’ parties and other events a little into the jungle (at Jungle Republic), but these are quite a bit away from the main resorts.

Several resorts now have good Wi-Fi too, so although we strongly discourage you to use it (you’re in paradise!), the option is there if you so need it.

50% OFF Samloem Hotels

 

Sok San Beach Resort – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 8
Convenience: 8
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Upper-end
Downside: Can get busy
Summary: A large, family-friendly, modern resort on an island paradise

Sok San Beach Resort on Koh Rong

 

Located on the western side of Koh Rong, Sok San Beach Resort offers a more comfortable accommodation in a remote area of the beautiful Sok San Beach.

Initially built to host the cast and crew of the popular TV series ‘Survivor’, the self-contained resort comprises of 600+ villas and has several shops, restaurants, and bars.

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Sok San Beach Resort – Koh Rong Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

The resort offers a private (direct) ferry service from Sihanoukville, so as far as accessibility goes, it’s easy enough to get to.

The beach area at the resort is kept in superb condition – Soft white sands, crystal clear ocean waters, and wonderful scenery.

The overall quality of the resort is excellent, and pricing starts at a reasonable $80 / night. Perhaps what’s quite surprising is that, even at peak times, there is enough beach space to go around for everyone, but, admittedly, you don’t feel as privileged as you do on say, Saracen Bay.

Book Sok San at Best Price

 

Lonely Beach – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 5
Convenience: 4
Beauty: 10
Pricing: Mid-range
Downside: Hard to get to
Summary: A real desert-island paradise

Lonely Beach on Koh Rong

 

In our opinion, Lonely Beach is the most beautiful beach on Koh Rong. Isolated on the northern side of the island, the small alcove feels like a real desert-island paradise, with crystal clear ocean waters, soft white sandy beaches, tall palm trees all around, and very few people nearby. The atmosphere is serene – so peaceful and quiet with just a few crickets chirping in the background.

There is only one resort on this part of Koh Rong, appropriately named ‘Lonely Beach Resort’. The accommodation itself is very rustic and is not really suitable for anyone looking for some comfort during their trip. This is reflected in the price of $40 – $50 / night. It is also not ideal for anyone not willing / able to travel – Though Lonely Beach do offer a boat to that part of the island, it can take 2-3 hours to get there from Sihanoukville and the journey involves small boats that aren’t that steady on the waters. There are also no shops or other facilities around (including no Wi-Fi), so please be prepared to bring everything you need with you.

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Lonely Beach Resort | Koh Rong Island, Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Book Lonely Beach at Best Price

 

Lazy Beach – Koh Rong Samloem

Accessibility: 5
Convenience: 4
Beauty: 10
Pricing: Mid-range
Downside: Hard to get to
Summary: A real desert-island paradise

Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

 

Listed in the ‘Top 21 Beaches in the World’, Lazy Beach is a beautiful little alcove quietly tucked away on the western side of Koh Rong Samloem.

The beach area around here really is wonderful – the sands are silky smooth, the blue waters glisten in the sun, and the enveloping mountains offer superb views.

Perhaps what hits you first, apart from the scorching sand on the way to the entrance, is the peaceful tranquil atmosphere that Lazy Beach creates – Quiet, laid-back, so relaxing, with a few crickets chirping in the background.

As with Lonely Beach, there is only one resort on this part of Koh Rong Samloem. The accommodation is very basic ($30+ / night), so Lazy Beach Resort is not suited for anyone looking for some comfort during their stay. And, similarly to Lonely Beach, Lazy Beach is not the most accessible place on the islands – Although they do offer a private taxi boat from Saracen Bay, many guests end up having to walk the 40 minute jungle trail to get there. The trail itself isn’t that bad (maybe wear trainers or similar footwear), but with heavy bags it can become very burdensome. You can find the entrance to the trail next to Octopussy Bar at The Royal Retreat.

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Lazy Beach Resort | Koh Rong Samloem Island, Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Please also make sure to bring everything you need with you, as there are no shops or facilities on this side of the island. There is also no Wi-Fi, so you may have to stare at the phenomenal sunsets instead of Facebook!

M’Pai Bay – Koh Rong Samloem

Accessibility: 8
Convenience: 8
Beauty: 7
Pricing: Cheap
Downside: Not for everyone
Summary: Local Cambodia on an island paradise

M’Pai Bay on Koh Rong Samloem

 

If you’re looking to experience some culture during your stay, then M’Pai Bay on Koh Rong Samloem is a really fantastic option.

Not only are you a short walk away from a wonderful white sandy beach, but you’ll get the chance to meet local fishing families and be an active part of their friendly community.

Khmer people are very social and love to learn about others. There is really so much to learn about their culture and so much to try – from the delicious local foods, to their unique fishing techniques, to their flamboyant fun-loving lifestyle.

The only downside of this type of experience is that it won’t be for everyone. For example, if you’re looking to just relax and unwind by yourself in a more secluded environment, M’Pai Bay won’t be for you. Similarly, if you’re looking for a laid-back beach destination with some comfortable accommodation, consider staying elsewhere.

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M’Pai Bay on Koh Rong Samloem Island | Visit Koh Rong

 

Apart from that there are many other positives. E.g. there are several small shops on this side of Samloem, and several local bars and restaurants. As such, not only is it a pretty convenient place to stay, but it’s also quite cheap (accommodation starts at $15+ / night, meals at $2). The small fishing village has installed Wi-Fi in the area – Please ask someone about it when you are there if you need to use it.

With regard to accessibility, there are now 4 ferry companies stopping directly at M’Pai Bay – GTVC, Speed Ferry Cambodia, Island Speed Boat Cambodia, and Buva Sea. They don’t stop as regularly as at other places, but it still makes M’Pai Bay an accessible destination. There are also a couple of ‘Slow Boat’ services from Sihanoukville to M’Pai Bay – These are not professionally run and are not recommended. If you do decide to try them out, please only go on nice clear-sky days when the ocean waters are very still. Similarly, there is an island-hop boat from Koh Touch running 3 times a day – Please consider taking this service only on nice days.

50% OFF Samloem Hotels

 

Palm Beach – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 6
Convenience: 4
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Cheap
Downside: Hard to get to
Summary: Value for money on an island paradise

Palm Beach on Koh Rong

 

Overlooking the famous Song Saa Private Island and around the corner from Lonely Beach, Palm Beach, as the name suggests, is a palm-covered paradise getaway.

There is only one resort on this beach, and in our opinion, this is one of the best value for money places to stay on Koh Rong. It is always a shock to see good accommodation starting at just $30 per night on such a beautiful location. The beach is clean and well-kept, the ocean waters are crystal clear, sparkly, and inviting. The palm-tree enveloping creates an idyllic scene.

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Palm Beach Resort | Koh Rong Island, Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Perhaps the issue is that, like with Lonely Beach, the northern side of the island is generally harder to get to, but this has been made easier by Speed Ferry Cambodia, which now stops at Palm Beach 3 times a day.

There are no shops at this resort, so remember to bring all necessities with you. There is also no Wi-Fi, so make sure to contact everyone you need to before you go.

Book Palm Beach at Best Price

 

Sok San Village – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 8
Convenience: 8
Beauty: 7
Pricing: Cheap
Downside: Not For Everyone
Summary: Local Cambodia on an island paradise

Sok San Village on Koh Rong

 

Another great alternative for a ‘culture experience’ is Sok San Village – On the other side of the beach from Sok San Beach Resort.

Similarly to M’Pai Bay, here you have the chance to learn about the local Khmer culture, meet the friendly fishing families, and get a taste of how real Cambodians live on a day-to-day basis.

The village is full of little guesthouses and bungalows for the visiting tourist. There are several local Khmer shops around, so eating out can be cheap ($2 / meal) and you can buy most necessities if you run out.

The beach area around here is beautiful and well-kept with several resorts having bars that stretch out over the ocean waters. There’s even a stunning waterfall just behind the village which makes for great viewing nearer the rainy season. The atmosphere is also ideal – quiet, peaceful, and relaxing.

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Sok San Beach Bungalow Resort | Koh Rong Island, Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Book Sok San at Best Price

 

As of 2018 both Island Speed Boat Cambodia (3 times per day) and Buva Sea (1 time per day) stop at Sok San Village. The journey will cost roughly $25 return and will take approximately 1 hour. (Sok San Beach Resort also runs a daily ferry service from Sihanoukville to Sok San, but their guests get priority and prices are inflated ($40) for non-guests).

Similarly to M’Pai Bay, the only downside of Sok San Village is that it won’t be for everyone – If you’re looking to lie back and unwind in a more secluded environment, or if you want to stay in some comfortable accommodation, consider visiting a different part of Koh Rong.

Long Set (4K) Beach – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 7
Convenience: 4
Beauty: 9
Pricing: Mid-range
Downside: Not many places to stay
Summary: Soon-to-be developed island paradise

Long Set (4K) Beach on Koh Rong

 

What’s great about Long Set (4K) Beach, apart from the stunning scenery and inviting pristine waters, is that it’s a short walk away from the main tourist area on Koh Rong (Koh Touch).

If you head past Paradise Bungalows and White Beach Bungalows on your left hand side, the next resort is Tree House. Keep walking following the beach area around, and you will pass a new resort called Star Fish. At times you will need to go off the actual beach itself into the forest, but the path is very easy to follow. After about 15 minutes you will walk out onto a large beach expanse (about 4km or so – hence the name ‘4K’) with very little development (though new resorts are currently being built).

The main drawback of this beach is that there are (currently) only a few options of where to stay. Now, before you say anything, yes there is something to be said about preserving its pristine nature, but without accommodation directly on the beach not everyone can enjoy the mesmerising scenery the way it should be enjoyed. What type of accommodation would be appropriate is a separate issue.

One of the fantastic resorts at the end of the beach is Pura Vita ($65+ / night) – A truly scenic destination with sparkling turquoise ocean waters, white sandy beaches, and a tropical jungle forestry.

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Pura Vita Resort | Koh Rong Island, Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

Book Pura Vita at Best Price

 

The other superb resort on Long Beach is the (appropriately named) Long Set Resort. Constructed in late 2016, Longset Resort offers luxury accommodation at an affordable price. The soft white sandy beach is splendid, and some of the views are truly sensational. Relax by the pool or swim in the warm ocean during the day, then at night times admire the sparkling bioluminescent plankton.

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Longset Resort on Koh Rong Island | Visit Koh Rong

 

Book Long Set at Best Price

 

Buva Sea and Speed Ferry Cambodia now go directly to Long Set Beach, so getting to this part of the island is straight forward. However, if you stay at any of the resorts here, please remember to bring all necessities with you as the nearest shops are on Koh Touch – A one hour walk away along the beach (if there is no ferry service at the time).

Daem Thkov Village – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 4
Convenience: 6
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Cheap
Downside: Not easy to get to, won’t be for everyone
Summary: Local Cambodia on an island paradise

Daem Thkov Village on Koh Rong

 

Worthy of mention for a great ‘culture experience’ is Daem Thkov Village on Koh Rong. Daem Thkov is a small fishing village tucked away on the east side of the island. In particular, there is one great guesthouse here which we should mention.

Inn the Village offers you a very different kind of experience. As with M’Pai Bay and Sok San, here you will learn about the local Khmer culture, meet the local fishing families, and get a taste of how real Cambodians live on a day-to-day basis.

The Inn is 10 minutes away from a beautiful pristine beach where you can enjoy the spectacular views in a quiet relaxed environment. Activities include village tours, snorkelling / scuba diving, swimming with plankton, visiting sunset rock, volley ball, and boat tours.

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Inn The Village | Koh Rong Island, Cambodia | www.kohrong.guide

 

What’s great is that the owners of the Inn are actively involved in helping the locals, so much of the profit made at the Inn goes back into conserving the community.

Book Inn The Village at Best Price

 

The main downside with Daem Thkov Village is that it’s not that easy to get to. You will need to take a long tail boat from Koh Touch, which on rough days, is not advisable. It is also not really suited for anyone looking for some comfort during their stay – The accommodation is very basic (which is reflected in the price of $20+ / night).

Sunset Beach – Koh Rong Samloem

Accessibility: 6
Convenience: 5
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Mid-range
Downside: Not easy to get to
Summary: Exotic Marine Life on an island paradise

Sunset Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

 

Located on the same side of Koh Rong Samloem as Lazy Beach (i.e. the western side), Sunset Beach is a beautiful destination with clear glistening ocean waters, soft white sands, and truly spectacular sunsets.

Perhaps what stands out the most about this side of Samloem is the number of superb diving spots. Indeed, Sunset Beach is one of the more popular destinations for Scuba Divers, offering tonnes of exotic tropical marine life. We recommend you contact The Dive Shop if you’re looking for a fantastic diving experience here.

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Sunset Beach on Koh Rong Samloem Island | Visit Koh Rong

 

Accommodation on this part of the island isn’t the best, but it makes up for it with the wonderful scenery.

The main drawback is that Sunset Beach isn’t always the easiest to get to. A couple of the resorts organise a ferry service direct from Sihanoukville, but again the service tends to depend on weather conditions.

There are also no real shops or facilities here (including no Wi-Fi), so please be prepared before you leave.

50% OFF Samloem Hotels

 

Koh Rong Resort – Koh Rong

Accessibility: 6
Convenience: 5
Beauty: 8
Pricing: Upper-end
Downside: Not easy to get to
Summary: An under-rated resort on an island paradise

Koh Rong Resort

 

A relatively new development on the western side of Koh Rong is the Koh Rong Resort. This more private getaway hasn’t been getting the best reviews, but this seems to be in part because of a lack of accurate information about its location – The resort is close to the main tourist area on Koh Touch, but it’s a short boat trip away, making it a little inconvenient. Many people come to the resort expecting it to be on Koh Touch, and are hence disappointed to discover that they have to travel further.

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Koh Rong Resort – Koh Rong Island in Cambodia | Visit Koh Rong

 

What’s great about this resort is that it doesn’t get too busy, so you can lie back and admire the ocean views by their beautiful swimming pool in peace and quiet (the resort is one of the few to have a swimming pool on the islands, the others include Song Saa, The One, and The Royal Sands Koh Rong).

The white sandy beach around here is very well kept, and the accommodation is of a good standard – Clean, comfortable air-conditioned rooms, modern bathrooms, and a restaurant that serves good quality foods. There are no large shops or facilities here, so remember to bring any necessities with you.

Book Koh Rong Resort at Best Price

 

Summary

Criteria Koh Rong Samloem
Main Tourist Area Koh Touch: Busier & Easy to Get to Saracen Bay: Quieter & Easy to Get to
Party Atmosphere Yes – Koh Touch Yes – In Select Areas
Quiet Beach Location Yes – Quieter Areas on Koh Touch / Other Areas Yes – Saracen Bay
Luxury Resorts Yes – Bigger Luxury Resorts Yes – Smaller Luxury Resorts (Saracen Bay Only)
Desert Island Experience Yes – Easier to Get to Yes – Harder to Get to
Local Culture Yes – Daem Thkov Village Yes – M’Pay Bay
Budget Pricing Yes – Koh Touch / Daem Thkov Village Yes – M’Pay Bay
Activities Yes – Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Fishing, Windsurfing, High Point Zip Line,
Rope Park, Water Park, Bicycle Rental, Paddle Boarding, Jet Ski Rental, Blob Jump
Yes – Snorkelling, Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Fishing, Paddle Boarding
Western Shops Yes – Koh Touch Yes – Saracen Bay
Wi-Fi Yes – Koh Touch / Luxury Resorts (Good Quality) Rare – Saracen Bay / M’Pay Bay (Poorer Quality)
24-Hour Electricity Yes – Koh Touch / Luxury Resorts Rare – Saracen Bay Only
Air-Conditioning Rare – Mainly Luxury Resorts Rare – Mainly Luxury Resorts
ATM Yes – Koh Touch (10% Fee) No – Only Transfers by WING

 

 

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Average rating:  
 106 reviews
by paul on Visit Koh Rong

wish I had read this before we went I didn't know there were so many beaches we were told to just go to the main one (koh tuih) such a shame 🙁

by Luke on Visit Koh Rong

Great article thank you!

by Anna on Visit Koh Rong

So much info!!

 

Comments

  • Kevin
    Reply

    Thank you Visit Koh Rong, what a great article this is!

  • Carola
    Reply

    Hej
    Vi funderar på att åka till Koh Rong över jul och nyår 2018/19. Vi är en familj om fyra personer barnen är 17 och 14 år. Har läst om Koh Rong och Koh Rong Sanloem. Vilken av dem är att föredra och hur länge bör man stanna? Vi tänker kombinera med ytterligare nåt resmål.

  • Lucy Watt
    Reply

    Wow what an informative article thank you soo much!!

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