Are you looking for an island to get lost on? Do you want to walk through the jungle in search of paradisiacal beaches? Or take a night swim with bioluminescent plankton? Welcome to Koh Rong Sanloem, an island home of some of the best beaches in Cambodia.
To get to Koh Rong Sanloem you must take a ferry from Sihanoukville, indicating where on the island you want to go. The main port of the island is located in Saracen Bay, but there are companies that make stops in other parts of the island such as Mpai Bay or Sunset Beach. The trip, of about 25 km, takes less than an hour. There are no roads in the island so the only way to move around is trekking through the jungle or by boat for 5$ per trip. Here is a guide of the beaches I visited in Koh Rong Sanloem, find yours!
Mpei Bay is a small fishing village that has a multitude of budget accommodations, restaurants and stores. It is the cheapest place on the island and has a very relaxed backpacker atmosphere. Its beach is nice, though not the most impressive on the island.
M’Pai Bay is a good base camp to explore other beaches of the island. You can walk in just half an hour to Clearwater Bay or spend the day at more distant beaches such as Sunset Beach, Saracen Bay or Lazy Beach, which can be reached by one of the fishing boats for about $ 5 USD each way. Don´t miss the 6$ all you can eat buffet dinner at The Fishing Hook restaurant with seafood, fish and the best vegan and vegetarian dishes I had in Cambodia.
Clearwater Bay is a beautiful golden sand beach about 45 min walk from Mpei Bay. The 2km long private beach is really beautiful, clean with hammocks and swings to chill. Be aware that there are no facilities as Driftwood hostel closed years ago.
Mad Monkey: this party hostel has a private beach. Location is very secluded and you can either get here by boat or about an hour hike from Saracen Bay. Accommodation prices start at 9$ in a 12 bed dorm and 40$ for a private bungalow. They offer jungle treks and boat trips.
Saracen Bay. With the whitest softest sandy beach I have never seen, Saracen Bay has established as the main tourist area on the island, with more than a dozen bungalow and villa resorts. There is not much of a backpacker vibe here as is full of package-holiday turist.
Sunset Beach: a truly hidden paradise, super quiet and beautiful beach with breathtaking sunsets. You can get there trekking about 40 min from Saracen Bay or by boat. Huba Huba or the Dive Shop are the cheapest accommodation with share dorms starting at 5 USD. There are more comfortable and pricey options like Robinson bungalows or the hanging glamping of Sleeping trees.
Lazy Beach is very similar to Sunset Beach, but lacks of facilities, it is reachable in 20 min walking from Saracen Bay. Very quiet place as there is only one place to stay and eat there. Not much of a backpacker vibe.