Whenever I travel I usually like to explore 5 things in general. 1) temples 2) traditions/culture 3) Mountains 4) Food 5) Beach
I went to Cambodia for a 6 days tour because I wanted to visit Siem Reap (temples), Pnom Penh (history/ culture) and Silhanoukville (beach). – I will probably write a separate entry for the whole tour.
I am doing this entry to remind myself that there are still places unknown to many and that Cambodia is not just all about “Angkor Wat” and “Pol Pot regime”. They also have really nice beach just like those in Thailand and the Philippines.
This might also be my only memory left because they are planning to commercialize the area and yes, Koh Rong Samloem is the best. (Silhanoukville is not really nice unless you just want to drink all night and Koh Rong is a little more commercialize compare to Koh Rong Samloem. – It really depends on your preference)
HOW TO GO THERE?
From Singapore, there are direct flights going to Silhanoukville but I do not recommend because it is very expensive (usually around $400-500 sgd) so instead, take a flight to Pnom Penh – nearest to Silhanoukville, then take a bus from Pnom Penh to Silhanoukville. (Approx. 4-5 hours)
From Silhanoukville, there are boats going to the island (Koh Rong Samloem). Either you take the fast boat or ferry depends on the time as well.
The Fast Boat to Koh Rong Samloem fromSihanoukVille leaves the Serendipity Beach Pier at 9am and 3pm. The trip to Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem takes 40 minutes, and cost $10 each way. The fast boat ferry leaves Koh Rong Samloem Island at 8:30am and 2:30 pm for SihanoukVille.
From Pnom Penh, you can book a bus going to Silhanoukville – I suggest taking Giant Ibis (safest and fastest). You can check their website, Giant Ibis.
WHERE TO STAY?
Lazy Beach Resort
There are actually 2 sides of Koh Rong Samloem, one is The Lazy Beach (we stayed there and I felt like we own the whole island) from The Lazy Beach, you need to pass by a forest to reach Saracen Bay where there are few hotels/hostels.
I will be biased if I say stay in Lazy Beach. But seriously, they have really good food, your own private island beach, hammock everywhere and a priceless view of the beach and the sunset!!!!!!!
Since there is no wifi, you can really enjoy every moment. The stars at night is amazing especially when all the lights are off. (There is usually no electricity at night)
Did I mention, Sunset? I swear, the sunset at Lazy Beach will make you feel good and make you feel a certain level of happiness that is peaceful at the same time. I wanted to go back just for the sunset.
For reservation or inquries you can check their website:
You can either book in person or call +855 (0)16 214 211 or +855 (0)17 456 536 to make your reservation.
From Lazy Beach, you have to walk around 20 mins. to reach Saracen Bay. – You’ll pass by a small forest (beware of animals – though they are harmless, it is illegal to feed them. You’ll see monkeys, reptiles, insects, etc)
But if you want to party, meet new people, and a nicer beach then you must stay along Saracen Bay. There are few hostels there and you can even rent a tent.
This is the island’s official map:
For those who enjoy the night life, they have a full moon party along Saracen Bay. I heard its the best. You can check their website for the complete schedule and line – up. http://www.koh-rong-samloem-island.com/full-moon-party.html
I heard from my friends that along Saracen Bay, you can check these hotels/hostels as well.
- The Beach Island Resort
- Secret Paradise Resort
- Sweet dreams Samloem
- Sol Beach Resort
The rate ranges from $30.00 SGD to $80.00 and you must book early because most of the time, all of the hotels are fully booked.
What is nice about Saracen Bay is the beach. I don’t need to say anything, let the pictures do the talking but seriously its surreal.
They don’t have an ATM machine in the island so you should always have cash with you.
The best food is the restaurant at Lazy Beach (you can find drinks everywhere) we stayed there for a few days so literally order almost everything in the menu just because its cheaper to eat good food in Cambodia if you compare it to Singapore.
If you have more time you can also visit the fishing villages, the waterfalls, mangroves and a lot more if you are into activities. But for me personally, I’d rather stay in an island, enjoy the sun and the feeling of being away from work.
I’ve been to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and a lot more beach in the Philippines, I know its probably incomparable but if you want something different, try to visit Koh Rong Samloem, I swear you will not regret it.
There is something about undevelop islands that makes you feel refreshing.
P.S If its your lucky day and you are up for an adventure you can also swim with bioluminiscent planktons. Its like a fairytale where in the glow of the planktons are the only color you’ll see at night. You can swim with them but be careful because they randomly bite.
If you have more suggestions, let me know!