Often overshadowed by big brother island Koh Rong next door, Koh Rong Samloem has begun making a name for itself. Read on for our picks of the bunch when it comes to selecting the right hideaway to enjoy your down and out time on one of Koh Rong Samloen's glorious beaches. Gently lounging in the Gulf of Thailand, the island has good snorkelling and diving possibilities and is only two hours by... Read our full review of Where to stay on Koh Rong Samloem.
The northern tip of Koh Rong Samloem features a baby island, Koh Gon, a fishing village called M'Pai Bei (meaning 23 in Khmer) and a handful of places to stay in the village. Proximity to the neighbours is perhaps one of its greatest attributes as you can easily get a window into village life in Cambodia by strolling around and sampling some of the local fare. This is the only place on the island you can stay offering a strong, local identity rather than the feeling of it being a tropical island that could be almost anywhere. It does also mean you will see some rubbish. Next to the working fishing beach, Long beach is great for swimming or relaxing in the shade of pine trees. Or jump straight off the pier by Sunset Bungalows for a swim. The fast boat from Sihanoukville stops at Eco Sea Dive one end, then M'Pai Bei village the other, by Sunset Bungalows.
Step off the pier at M'Pai Bei village and enter into the charming French-managed Sunset Bungalows. Tucked into the trees with sunset and sea-facing bungalows set back from a windy sandy path, this place is designed for a peaceful stay – bar the neighbouring construction work we heard on our last visit as new accommodation was being added nearby to the tip of the island. The eight bungalows are... Read our full review of Sunset Bungalows.
A British-Australian set up, Easy Tiger is a new backpacker hangout being completed when we visited at the beginning of high season in November 2014. Located in the heart of M'Pay Bei village, this small property consists of a house for dorm rooms and four bungalows that fit four behind it. The dorm rooms are easily spotted from the village path – but don't confuse the bungalows on the right... Read our full review of Easy Tiger.
Koh Rong Samloem Villas (Eco Sea) have moved from their previous location on the other side of M'pai Bei village where Sunset Bungalows now calls home to the stunning 1.2km Long beach, a 10-minute walk from the village. They have their own pier, the second stop on the fast boat from Sihanoukville before M'Pay Bei, possibly because the development company for the island has a base out here and... Read our full review of Koh Rong Samloem Villas - Eco Sea.
M'pay Bay Bungalows is named after the small fishing village where they are located. The simple wood and thatch bungalows look out onto the sea over a rocky beach. There's nothing fancy -- the bathrooms all have scoop-bucket showers and electricity is available from 18:00 till 24:00 -- but the bungalows are perfectly adequate with clean linen, the staff are friendly and accommodating and it's in... Read our full review of M'PayBay Bungalows .
The west of the island has just three bungalow resorts on two golden sand beaches, offering beautiful sunset views. Sunset beach is home to Robinson Bungalows and Huba Huba, Lazy beach is home to the eponymously titled bungalows; neither beach is serviced by the fast boat operators. The limited choice of accommodation makes these a peaceful option, requiring a jungle walk (20 minutes from Lazy Beach, 45 minutes from Sunset Beach) if you want to visit the white sands of Saracen Bay on the east side -- well worth it.
Lazy Beach is a wonderful location for a quiet getaway, offering a winning combination of private beach and sunset views. The well-built 17 wood and thatch bungalows are dotted in two rows along the length of the beach. The newer bungalows further from the restaurant have glass windows and larger balconies. All bungalows sleep up to four people, who can fight over the two hammocks outside.... Read our full review of Lazy Beach.
Sharing the squeaky sand of 450 metre-long Sunset beach with only a dive centre and Robinson Bungalows at the other end of the stretch, Huba Huba is a charming little hideaway in a quiet location with rates that represent good value on a generally somewhat pricey island. The accommodation is, like most on Koh Rong Samloem, simple -- expect no fans. There are four family bungalows with... Read our full review of Huba Huba .
Robinson Bungalows comes in at the low end of the bungalow price scale yet with it a fabulous, quiet setting -- no sun loungers or noisy parties here. Sunset beach is now also home to The Dive Shop in the middle of the bay and Huba Huba at the other end, but the latter is sufficiently tucked away that it's hard to notice you have neighbours. The 10 wood and thatch bedrooms are built at the... Read our full review of Robinson Bungalows.
A blindingly white bay of shallow warm sea to the east of the island, it's easy to see why Saracen Bay is the rising star of Koh Rong Samloem. With 16 sets of bungalow and beach accommodation -- several new in 2014 -- beautiful sunrises reward early risers, and monthly full moon parties serve night owls. If you want to go exploring, jungle footpaths lead to western beaches and the southern lighthouse.
Saracen Bay Resort has a run of impeccably clean bungalows situated on the sand and spaced out well. They're at the northern end of the bay creating greater privacy, though a couple of other properties -- Rumi and Freedom Island -- are reached on a separate part of the bay via a trail by the overwater restaurant, so a small amount of footfall passing by could be expected. Carefully designed and... Read our full review of Saracen Bay Resort.
If there were only two words to describe Secret Paradise, they'd be popular and pricey. Since opening on Saracen Bay in 2014 their occupancy has been high. Partly this is due to the fact there are only currently five bungalows to fill – though the owners are already thinking ahead about expansion – but also because this place seems well run. The owners, a Polish couple, both live on-site... Read our full review of Secret Paradise.
Opened in November 2012, guests here tend to be younger couples and groups of friends, meaning entertainment and cheap sleep options are provided, though multiple room types are available to cater to a range of budgets. The double-decker dorm with one side open to the beach offers comfortable platform beds, with good linen and mosquito nets. Those preferring some privacy can bunk down in the... Read our full review of The Beach.
Positioned slap bang in the middle of stunning Saracen Bay, Orchid Resort's pier is used for the speedboat drop offs and pickups – you'll need to go to reception in the large wooden restaurant, newly built in 2014, to schedule your departure leg or to arrange a connection to any of the other stops, even if you're not staying here. The advantage to this location means there's no need to walk far... Read our full review of Orchid Resort.
Sister property to popular and well established Paradise Bungalows on neighbouring Koh Rong island, Paradise Villas were newly built in 2014 at the southernmost end of Saracen Bay and offer a quieter setting than their long-established namesake. Separated enough from their nearest neighbours, these bungalows offer the most seclusion on the bay on a private stretch of sand as you're not going to... Read our full review of Paradise Bungalows - The Villas.
Sun Island ECO Village's main attraction is its beach tents with unbeatable views. More glamping than roughing it, the two-room tents are pitched under a grass roof with a yellow and green stripy tarpaulin which is practical for extra sun and rain protection though aesthetically somewhat detracts from what is otherwise a rather classy tent setup. The tents have a living area with a rug, sofas and... Read our full review of Sun Island ECO Village.
Tucked away on a small private beach at one end of Saracen Bay and accessed by a private slow boat, or otherwise the fast boat and a walk, it's easy to forget there's anything going on outside Freedom Island. A whopping 20 additional villas were mid-construction at the time of our last visit, including two family villas (with two adjoining rooms), so it's starting to get a bit crowded here.... Read our full review of Freedom Island Bungalows.