As soon as I stepped foot on the beautiful white sand on Koh Rong Samloem I knew I had found where paradise lives. Here’s a little information about our adventure on the island and why this place has to be on your bucket list.
Koh Rong Samloem also known as Koh Rong Samloem or Koh Rong Samloem is a magical place, a peaceful getaways you will never forget. It has managed to keep its distance from mass tourism, less developed than the larger island known as Koh Rong. This is what makes Koh Rong Samloem special. Samloem is protected by the Wonderful Wildlife of Samloem project to maintain the beauty of the island, keep the pristine beaches clean.
Koh Rong Samloem is just a 45-minute boat ride from the Cambodian town, Sihanoukville, (more accurately known as ‘shitsville’), but a completely different world awaits. Sihanoukville is overrun by tourists, some are unsavoury, there’s a great deal of begging, most of which by children and you will probably be offered drugs while you’re here. While I never felt unsafe in Sihanoukville I was really happy to see the back of it. I couldn’t wait to see the paradise that sits on its doorstep.
We stepped off the boat, unsure how we would find our accommodation. I don’t think Google Maps has mapped out this untouched island just yet. A guy offered to take us to our accommodation on his boat instead of walking for a small price. We declined his offer; the island can’t be that big, can it?
Koh Rong Samloem is just 9km long and 5km wide, it has no traffic, no cars, no tuk-tuks and no roads. It’s pure paradise, with clear water and white sands. Perfect if you want to relax in pure tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of South East Asia.
Koh Rong Samloem offers a range of accommodation, from VIP bungalows to hammocks, all are just a few steps onto the beach. We chose one of the cheaper options.
For around ten pounds a night we stayed in a huge two tier beach shack at The Beach Island Resort. Each tier is a 10-bed dormitory, open to the elements looking straight out to sea. Each bed is a double bed sleeping one to two people; wooden separators give each bed some privacy. Complete with your own fan, mosquito net and plugs. It was perfect, better than we expected.
A few stray dogs live on the island, while they seem friendly enough, remember they aren’t your pets. You will find them walking along the beach with you, playing in the water and wrestling with their other doggie friends. They do make quite the ruckus at night, but I felt they added to the effect of island life.
There are a few different restaurants on the island; we walked along the long stretch of beach until we found one that took our fancy. There’s also a small convenience store on the island, but nowhere to buy proper groceries. Food can be quite pricey on the island as it all comes off the boat. There are also no banks or ATM machines. So make sure you take enough cash.
There is plenty to do on the island, chill on the beach, and bathe in the warm sea. Watch the sunrise from your bed or even do nothing. And if you want to be more active there is plenty of stuff on offer too. Koh Rong Samloem is ideal for snorkelling and diving, there are a few operators on the island where you can hire your gear. You can also go kayaking, mountain biking, trek through the jungle. For me it was all about relaxing and soaking up the chilled atmosphere.
If you are looking for the real Island experience Koh Rong Samloem is definitely going to be a dream come true. It hasn’t been spoiled by the backpacker party culture (just yet). It offers pure tranquilly. Be ready for rustic living. The electricity runs on a generator, which means it can only be used during certain hours of the day. There’s no Wifi, and the water runs cold and showering is very much a communal activity. So only visit if you are truly ready to unplug.
Koh Rong Samloem Island is one of those places that you want to run out and tell the world about, but at the same time keep as your own little secret. It’s a place where you can disconnect. It was my favourite island we visited on our trip. Beats every Thai Island tourist trap by far.