Koh Rong island is the second largest island in Cambodia and lies roughly 25 kilometers off the coast of the mainland. It is known for its abundance of beaches, and nearly 2/3 of the island’s coastline is sand-covered and suitable for water activities. The island has a small, but vibrant native population and there are plenty of attractions for tourists to enjoy. From the white sand beaches and turquoise waters to exciting jungle adventures, there is plenty to see and do on Koh Rong.
Population and History
There are 4 main villages on the island of Koh Rong: Koh Tuich, Doeum D’keuw, Daem Thkov and Sok San. There are also a number of foreign-run guesthouses and bungalow resorts for tourists to stay in. Those visiting the island will arrive in the South-Eastern tip near Koh Tuich Village, which has the best infrastructure on the island. Visitors can only arrive to Koh Rong by boat.
Because the island is 2/3 beaches, fishing is and has always been the main industry. The villages on Koh Rong are situated around the island’s natural harbors. The townspeople often sell trinkets and handmade goods to tourists from small stands to boost their incomes.
There is no official record of how Koh Rong got its name. The native population maintains that the word Rong is a forgotten term for a cave or tunnel. In the Khmer language, ‘Rong’ means shelter. There are several caves on the island that may have been used by fisherman for shelter in the past. A smaller number of people believe that Rong is the surname of a historical person that played a role in the establishment of the island.
Those visiting the island of Koh Rong will find plenty to see and do. The island has a large number of white sand beaches. The main tourist beaches Koh Touch / Koh Tuich have a festive, party atmosphere. There are hotels, bars, night clubs and other attractions located on these beaches. Several times throughout the year there will be festivals and celebrations that tourists can take part in. For those looking for a quieter stay, there are also lesser-known beaches like Long Beach, Sok San Beach, and Lonely Beach which offer the opportunity to relax without the noise and bustle of the busier beaches.
If the local culture is of interest, there are 4 main villages to explore including Daem Thkov Village which is a local fishing village. The infrastructure in Koh Rong island, Cambodia is rustic, so visitors should plan accordingly. Many villages will offer visitors the chance to see how the native people live, work and play. The villagers are known for their kindness towards outsiders.
Of course no visit to Koh Rong is complete without a trip to the jungle. There are many jungle tours available to participate in. Visitors can experience the wonders of the jungle from the abundance of tropical plants to the excitement of meeting the local monkeys. Many people visit the jungle of Koh Rong and leave changed forever having experienced one of the wonders of the world and one of the few remaining unspoiled places on earth.
If you’re looking to visit a place that’s beautiful and relaxing, yet exciting and bursting with culture, Koh Rong island in Cambodia is the place to go. The island is just a short boat ride from the mainland of Cambodia and a visit there will surely change the way you view the world.