Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia is my idea of heaven. It’s the kind of island that used to be in abundance in Thailand before the tourism surge. It’s the kind of island where you can switch off, sip on a coconut and sink your toes into the whiter-than-white sand.
Located 18km off Cambodia’s mainland, Koh Rong Samloem a the smaller, quieter island than the larger and more populated Koh Rong. As you’re in the Gulf of Thailand, the sea here is like stepping into a warm bath. The accommodation is a series of rustic beach huts, and there’s a care-free hippy vibe. You do get the occasional full moon party here, but it has a much calmer and low-key feel. And if you stay around Saracen Bay, I hear you will have no problem finding that Robinsoe Crusoe experience. In other words, it’s paradise.
Explore Nature in Koh Rong Samloem…
I know there are areas of Thailand and south east Asia that still have that paradisiacal feel, but I’ve never quite felt so ‘away from it all’ as I did when I stepped foot on Koh Rong Samloem. Which is perhaps why the Koh Rong islands have been used in some of the ‘Survivor’ programmes.
The Bear Grylls-types among us could easily walk into the jungle and feel our caveman instincts kick in. And with diving, kayaking, mountain biking and jungle trekking, you can find plenty of opportunities to explore nature here.
Thankfully, we were not being asked to start a fire and hunt for our own dinner when we visited. We had taken a short drive from our hotel in Sihanoukville down to the jetty and taken an hour’s boat trip to the island (you can get this ‘fast’ ferry for around $20-$30).
Our trip included an opportunity to jump over board for some snorkelling in beautifully clear water by another tiny isle en route. And when we stepped off at Saracen Bay Pier, all I could focus on was the impossibly clear water and blindingly white sand. Bliss.
Where to stay in Koh Rong Samloem
When you arrive onto the island, you’ll find the Beach Island Resort, Orchid Resort, Sun Island Resort and a series of other beach accommodation along the sand. When I say ‘resort,’ these are rustic beach huts that barely scar the landscape and resemble a scene from the film The Beach. You will find lots of hidden little beach hotels and Khmer style beach bungalows across the whole of the island. This official website offers plenty of info and additional inspiration.
Koh Rong Samloem is only around 9km long (and 5km wide) and for me, this laid-back, sand-in-your toes kind of setting is serious honeymoon territory. Sadly we didn’t stay on the island overnight, but we did enjoy a blissful few hours sipping fresh coconuts, bathing in the water and soaking up some rays.
I think I’m decided, I’m coming back here one day…
Where in the world is your idea of paradise? Leave a comment and let me know!