Koh Rong – Asia’s true paradise

Koh Rong is a stunning island located off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush jungle interior, Koh Rong is a tropical paradise that has become an increasingly popular destination for travelers seeking natural beauty and adventure.

Recently, we had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful island for a special occasion—our friends’ wedding. Here’s an overview of our journey and the incredible experiences we had on Koh Rong.

About Koh Rong

Koh Rong (also romanized as Kaôh Rong or Kos Rong) is the second largest island of Cambodia, with an area of approximately 78 km². The island boasts over 23 individual beaches along its 61 km coastline, offering a variety of scenic spots. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, about 25 km off the coast of Sihanoukville, Koh Rong is part of Sangkat Koh Rong of the Mittakpheap district. The island is surrounded by neighboring islands like Koh Tuich, Koh Bong-Po’own (Koh Song-Saa), Koh Koun, and Koh Rong Samloem. There are four village communities on the island: Koh Touch, Prek Svay, Daem Thkov, and Sok San, where locals primarily engage in fishing and small-scale farming.

Getting There

Our journey to Koh Rong began with a flight from Siem Reap via Angkor Airlines. From there, we booked a taxi to the harbor of Sihanoukville, which took us about 40 minutes and cost about $30. Sihanoukville harbor seemed kind of chaotic at first sight (and it is incredibly hot due to asphalt and its proximity to water) but it’s actually pretty straightforward. There is a seven-eleven where you can buy last-minute items that you won’t get on the islands or that would be too expensive, large restrooms, some food stands, and two ferry ticket offices that – to be honest – seem to offer the same thing. I don’t really know the difference between the brands, but apparently, there is a speed boat and a ferry. We ended up on the slower ferry, where one way cost about $14 per person, which took us about one hour to Koh Rong.

There, we were picked up by someone from our hotel and driven about 10 minutes via TukTuk to the location.


While in Koh Rong, we stayed at Anaya Hotel. I wrote a separate hotel review specifically for this hotel, but to summarize, Anaya Hotel offers a unique combination of modernity and nature. The villas are designed for those seeking the comfort of innovative design surrounded by lush jungle. We also noticed that their sister hotel, Tamu, looked pretty cool as well, but in comparison, it was more minimalistic, with guests sleeping in tents in a jungle-themed setting. Our friends who got married stayed at Secret Garden, where the celebrations also took place. It looked incredibly beautiful and offered some impressive food and drink options. Other guests stayed at the You & Me Resort next to it. After exploring these accommodations, we can confidently say that we’ve seen all the hotels on this stretch of the island, and they are all quite beautiful, with close proximity to the beach. However, some have very negative ratings, so if you are looking for an option, choose one of the mentioned ones.

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Sustainable Tourism

As tourism grows, efforts are being made to promote sustainable practices to preserve Koh Rong’s natural beauty. Many resorts and local businesses are committed to eco-friendly initiatives, such as waste reduction, reef conservation, and supporting local communities.

Local Culture and Cuisine

The local community on Koh Rong is a mix of Khmer residents and expats who have embraced the island lifestyle. Visitors can enjoy delicious Cambodian cuisine, fresh seafood, and international dishes at the various restaurants and beach bars scattered across the island. Don’t miss trying traditional dishes like Amok (a coconut milk curry) and fresh grilled fish.

Good to know

Cash: There are no ATMs in Koh Rong, so it’s essential to bring enough cash. Some larger resorts and restaurants accept credit cards, but it’s best to have cash on hand for smaller establishments.

Health and Safety: Basic medical facilities are available, but it’s advisable to bring any necessary medications and a basic first aid kit. Mosquito repellent is essential, especially for evening and night activities.

Weather: The best time to visit is during the dry season from November to May when the weather is sunny and the sea is calm. The rainy season from June to October can bring heavy rains and rough seas, but the island is less crowded during this time.

Koh Rong is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Whether you’re lounging on its idyllic beaches, exploring its underwater world, or trekking through its jungle interior, Koh Rong promises an unforgettable tropical escape.


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