Koh Rong: Cambodia’s Island Paradise

paradise island Cambodia white sand beach
One of Koh Rong's pristine, white sand beaches.
Koh Rong is perfection. Turquoise waters, white sand, beer (cold: thanks to a daily ice delivery from the mainland). With no internet and no electricity (until the generator switches on at dusk till 11PM) there’s not much to do but relax and enjoy the serenity of the island. A far cry from the insanity of the beaches of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. We brought a bottle of rum ($7) from the mainland which helped us save a bit of money given that beers and Cokes are a $1 a can on the island.

We didn’t realize that the boats to Koh Rong ($15/2.5 hrs) are associated with the guesthouses on the island and they take you to that guesthouse only, not a central pier like we assumed. So book the boat with the guesthouse that you want to stay at. We ended up at Song Saar Bungalows. For $20/night we had a rustic bungalow with a lovely view and a couple of visitors.

This price is pretty standard for the island but there are a couple other places that we think would have given us a better bang for our buck. That being said, the positive side of Song Saar was that they didn’t seem to give a shit. Want to set a fire on the beach? Go right ahead. Want to subsist on a diet of fried noodles and rice? That’s good because you have to. What’s that? You’ve caught a monkey and want to chain it to your bungalow? They’ve done it, so why shouldn’t you?

A monkey chained to a bungalow in Cambodia
The poor monkey that they kept chained to a bungalow.
The best part of Song Saar, over a place like Monkey Island, is that it’s small and not as popular, so we almost always had a kilometre of white sand beach to ourselves.

The beach of Koh Rong island.
Ryan looks for the perfect spot.
We ran out of cash by night three so we had to leave the island, which was bad planning on our part but we were a little tired of the food choices anyway. We ended up back in Sihanoukville for Ryan’s 30th birthday where we drank copious amounts of cheap alcohol and drowned the blues of being an adult.

Next up, Kampong Cham!