The islands have been changing quite quickly over the past year, so we thought we’d re-evaluate Koh Rong’s best beaches in 2019 and make a list of our top favourites. We’ll try to cover both Koh Rong and its beautiful sister island Koh Rong Samloem, but choosing the best beaches on these island paradises is not easy!
(For a more in depth review, see: Koh Rong Beach Guide 2019)
1) Lonely Beach
The small alcove feels like a real island-paradise, with crystal clear ocean waters, soft white sandy beaches, and tall palm trees all around. The atmosphere is quite serene – so peaceful and quiet with just a few crickets chirping in the background. There are very few people around, so you feel quite isolated and secluded out in a truly beautiful setting.
The accommodation itself is very rustic and is not really suitable for anyone looking for some comfort during their trip. This is reflected in the price of $40 – $50 / night. It is also not ideal for anyone not willing / able to travel – Though Lonely Beach do offer a boat to that part of the island, it can take 2-3 hours to get there from Sihanoukville and the journey involves small boats that aren’t steady on the waters.Book Lonely Beach at Best Price
2) Lazy Beach
The beach area around here really is wonderful – the sands are silky smooth, the blue waters glisten in the sun, and the enveloping mountains offer superb views.
Perhaps what hits you first, apart from the scorching sand on the way to the entrance, is the peaceful tranquil atmosphere that Lazy Beach creates – Quiet, laid-back, so relaxing, with a few crickets chirping in the background.
As with Lonely Beach, there is only one resort on this part of Koh Rong Samloem. The accommodation is very basic ($30+ / night), so Lazy Beach Resort is not suited for anyone looking for some comfort during their stay. And, similarly to Lonely Beach, Lazy Beach is not the most accessible place on the islands – Although they do offer a private taxi boat from Saracen Bay, many guests end up having to walk the 40 minute jungle trail to get there. The trail itself isn’t that bad (maybe wear trainers or similar footwear), but with heavy bags it can become very burdensome. You can find the entrance to the trail next to Octopussy Bar at The Royal Retreat.
Please also make sure to bring everything you need with you, as there are no shops or facilities on this side of the island. There is also no Wi-Fi, so you may have to stare at the phenomenal sunsets instead of Facebook!
3) 4K Beach (Long Set Beach)
We would say that 4K beach is number three on the list, though there are now several resorts built along this wonderful stretch of white sand, sparkling turquoise ocean, and tropical jungle wilderness.
What’s great about this beach, apart from the stunning scenery and inviting pristine waters, is that it’s a short walk away from the main tourist area on Koh Rong (Koh Touch).
If you head past Paradise Bungalows and White Beach Bungalows on your left hand side, the next resort is Tree House. Keep walking following the beach area around, and you will pass a new resort called Star Fish. At times you will need to go off the actual beach itself into the forest, but the path is very easy to follow. After about 15 minutes you will walk out onto a large beach expanse (about 4km or so – hence the name ‘4K’) with very little development.
One of the fantastic resorts near the end of this beach is Pura Vita ($65+ / night) – A truly scenic destination with sparkling turquoise ocean waters, white sandy beaches, and a tropical jungle forestry.
Book Pura Vita at Best Price
The other superb resort on Long Set Beach is the (appropriately named) Long Set Resort. Long Set Resort offers very comfortable accommodation at an affordable price. The soft white sandy beach is splendid, and some of the views are truly sensational. Relax by the pool or swim in the warm ocean during the day, then at night times admire the sparkling bioluminescent plankton.
Book Long Set at Best Price
Buva Sea and Speed Ferry Cambodia now go directly to Long Set Beach, so getting to this part of the island is straight forward. However, if you stay at any of the resorts here, please remember to bring all necessities with you as the nearest shops are on Koh Touch – A one hour walk away along the beach (if there is no ferry service at the time).
4) Saracen Bay
At number 4 is the beautiful Saracen Bay. Saracen Bay is the main tourist area on Koh Rong Samloem. It is perfect for a peaceful relaxing experience where you can lie back and admire the magnificent views. All the main ferry services stop here regularly making it one of the more convenient locations.
The bay has undergone some major changes in the past two years, with several new resorts, new shops, and new tours opening up along the beachfront. All in all, these changes have made Saracen Bay a more convenient tourist destination, as it is now possible to buy many necessities (e.g. mosquito spray and sun tan lotion) on the bay. Take a look at this video to see how beautiful it is:
Sol Beach has the better accommodation (the modern Khmer-style villas are outstanding), while The One has a stunning infinity-edge swimming pool, so it really depends on what you prefer. All in all, the two resorts provide excellent accommodation that’s perfect for families and couples.
Book Sol Beach at Best Price
Book The One at Best Price
5) White Beach
At number 5 we are going to put White Beach – A 10 minute walk from the main pier on Koh Touch. Admittedly, there are probably better beaches on Koh Rong, but the convenience of White Beach and the quality of the resorts around this area push it up a place or two.
Despite what you might read elsewhere, this far side of Koh Touch is not a party location and does not suffer from the same setbacks that other more popular areas experience. The beach on this part of the touristy stretch is clean and well-kept, with soft white sands and beautiful clear ocean waters.
What we love the most is how easy it is to step out of your bungalow early in the morning and be directly on the sand with very few people around. Take a look at our reviews of White Beach Bungalows and Paradise Bungalows for more information.Book White Beach at Best Price
6) Sok San Beach
The fishing village is a great place to stay for cheap – Not only do you have the chance to learn about the local Khmer culture, but you get to relax and unwind in a wonderful scenic setting.
The large resort is also a great option, offering a more luxurious accommodation on a long stretch of soft white sands. Initially built to host the cast and crew of the popular TV series ‘Survivor’, Sok San Beach Resort comprises of 600+ villas and has several shops, restaurants, and bars.
The resort offers a private (direct) ferry service from Sihanoukville, so as far as accessibility goes, it’s easy enough to get to.
The beach area at the resort is kept in superb condition – Soft white sands, crystal clear ocean waters, and wonderful scenery.
The overall quality of the resort is excellent, and pricing starts at a reasonable $80 / night. Perhaps what’s quite surprising is that, even at peak times, there is enough beach space to go around for everyone, but, admittedly, you don’t feel as privileged as you do on say, Saracen Bay.Book Sok San at Best Price
7) Palm Beach
Last but not least is one of the best value for money resort on Koh Rong. Overlooking the famous Song Saa Private Island and around the corner from Lonely Beach, Palm Beach, as the name suggests, is a palm-covered paradise getaway.
Starting from only $35 per night, you can sit back and admire the views in a hammock between the trees. What baffles us the most is that this resort is rarely busy, despite offering a much cheaper alternative to similar standard resorts on Koh Touch. Perhaps the issue is that, like with Lonely Beach, the northern side of the island is much harder to get to, but the accommodation at Palm Beach is of a good quality and has the potential for a wonderful experience.Book Palm Beach at Best Price
- Q: How big is Koh Rong?
- Q: Where exactly is it?
- Q: How do I get to Koh Rong?
- Q: When is the best time to visit?
- Q: Is Koh Rong a party place?
- Q: Where is Koh Rong Samloem?
- Q: Where can I see the glowing plankton?
- Q: What should I bring with me?
- Q: Is it easy to get a Cambodian Visa?
- Q: Is there an ATM on the islands?
- Q: What activities are there?
- Q: Is there a medical facility on Koh Rong?
- Q: Is it a family-friendly place?
- Q: When is the rainy season?
- Q: Where was Survivor Kaoh Rong filmed?
There are four village communities on the island: Koh Touch (south-east), Prek Svay (north-east), Daem Thkov (Sangkat village) (east), and Sok San (west). Most locals live from fishing (70%) and small scale crop cultivation (30%). As of 2019, tourist businesses outnumber residential homes on Koh Touch.
The terrain is predominantly hilly, with a 316m mountain (1,037ft) in the north-west. Most of the island’s interior is covered in jungle forestry, with several waterfalls, bays, capes, and sandstone rock formations adding to the wonderful scenery.
Exposed to the weather and open sea, the south side of Koh Rong is particularly beautiful, while the east side is characterized by smooth hills that gently slope towards the crescent-shaped beaches, inlets, and bays.
Koh Rong’s neighbouring islands include Koh Tuich in the south-east, the twin islands of Koh Bong-Po’own (Koh Song-Saa) in the north-east, and Koh Koun and Koh Rong Samloem in the south. These five islands make up the Sangkat Koh Rong (or Commune 5 of Mittakpheap District).
It will take about 40 minutes to get to your destination if it’s the first stop. If the boat first stops elsewhere, it may take 1 hour or so.
All 5 services will charge roughly $25 return, though prices can vary depending on time of year, special offers, etc. All services leave from the Ochheuteal (AKA ‘Serendipity’) pier in Sihanoukville and go to the main tourist beaches on the islands. If your hotel is not on the main beaches (Koh Touch / Saracen Bay), please read Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.
The 5 services offer modern speed boats with comfortable chairs, life jackets, and the option to buy food and drink on board. Not all of the ferries have air-conditioning, but once the boats set off there is a strong cool breeze throughout the sitting areas which more than makes up for it.
All ferry services tend to be very busy – we strongly recommend you buy your tickets in advance. You can buy your tickets online now here: Book Ferry Tickets Online Now
Middle of November / December / January / February: Warm and dry. 25°C daytime.
March / April / May: Hot and dry. 35°C daytime.
June / July / August: Hot and wet. 35°C daytime.
September / October / Early November: Warm and wet. 25°C daytime.
Please see our Weather Guide for more information.
Koh Rong Samloem is Koh Rong’s stunning sister island – a short 20 minute ferry trip away. It is a peaceful relaxing destination with breathtaking scenery – Pristine white beaches, clear turquoise ocean waters, and a tropical jungle wilderness.
As such, if you’re staying on Koh Touch (the main tourist area on Koh Rong) or on Saracen Bay (the main tourist area on Koh Rong Samloem), the easiest way for you to see the plankton is by booking a boat tour (you can also walk to Police Beach on non-party nights (15 minutes left from the main pier) and Tree House Bungalows (15 minutes right from the main pier) on Koh Touch, or make your way to Long Set Beach around the corner from Koh Touch).
For more information, please read: Glowing Plankton on Koh Rong
The islands are known for their stunning underwater panorama. Whether it’s snorkeling or scuba diving that you’re after, there are plenty of superb locations.
Kayaking & Paddle Boarding
Enjoy the crystal clear ocean waters by Kayaking or paddle boarding your way around – An ideal activity for couples and families alike.
Mountain Biking & Jungle Trekking
Explore the exotic jungle habitat by foot or via a mountain bike.
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, the bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times.
Jet Skiing & Windsurfing
For some fast paced action on the beautiful clear waters, hire Jetskis or Windsurf.
To learn more, please read our Activities Guide.
For example, those that visit during the rainy season get to enjoy half-priced accommodation and beautiful rainy scenes, and because it never gets too cold in Cambodia, swimming in the ocean is still a very pleasurable experience (the water rarely drops beneath 25°C). Take a look at this article for more information: 5 Reasons to Visit Koh Rong Island in Rainy Season
In 2012, a special edition of the French Survivor (‘Koh Lanta’) was filmed near Sok San Village with an All-Star cast. The production team returned in 2013 and again in 2016 to film the regular editions.
In 2015, the American version of Survivor produced Season 31 (Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance) and season 32 (Survivor: Kaoh Rong – Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty) on Koh Rong Island.
The 16th edition of Expedition Robinson (Sweden’s Survivor) was also filmed on the island.
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Lonely Beach is awesome!!
Thanks visit koh rong great article
Agree with nearly all of these