Apr 09 2013

Where to stay on Koh Rong

Published by at 2:46 am under Islands


The beautiful Cambodian island of Koh Rong is hot property. Although the island has been leased to a development company with plans for high-end resorts, it is currently still a haven for backpackers and adventurous tourists who like their beaches white and their bungalows basic. With accommodation to suit most budgets, from cheap homestays to treehouses and solar-powered bungalows, here’s our pick of some of the best.

Who needs sat nav?

Who needs sat nav?

Most accommodation options are on Koh Touch beach, on the southeast side of the island and serviced by ferries from Sihanoukville. Cheap charlies should turn left off the ferry pier into Koh Touch village, where a basic ‘homestay’ at one of the three guesthouses will set you back $10-$12. If you’re a fan of village life, and don’t mind a bit of stagnant water, some litter and more cute puppies than you can fit in your backpack, this is for you. Away from the village, another budget option is AKA’s Guesthouse at Corner Bar, about 150 metres along the beach — seven basic $10 rooms with a shared bathroom, supplied with a mosquito net, safety box, and plenty of shelving and hooks. The rooms are breeze-cooled, which means you’ll be grateful for the gaps in the wooden walls.

Take your pick.

Take your pick.

If you’re really watching the cash, dormitories are also available. Although we admire Koh Rong Backpackers dedication to providing cheap accommodation ($7 for a dorm bed), we were slightly less enamoured of the ‘Shitfaced Saturday’ sign promoting cheap drinks and general raucousness. Perhaps the idea is that you don’t care about sharing when you’ve had three too many tropical themed cocktails. If that’s your thing, enjoy. Just don’t expect any sympathy from us on the beach the next day.

Not a tuk tuk to be seen outside Monkey Island.

Not a tuk tuk to be seen outside Monkey Island.

For those who like the backpacker scene but prefer a bit of privacy, head to Coco’s or Monkey Island for bungalows ($25-$35) with views and beachside restaurant bars to swap stories in. Coco’s is just off the pier closest to the village, where your boat will likely come in. The bungalows are well designed and constructed, sleeping up to four in two beds. For Monkey Island, walk about halfway along the beach away from the majority of guesthouses for a bit more tranquility and a choice of beachside or jungle setting.

Paradise is twice as nice.

Paradise is twice as nice.

There’s a reason why old favourites continue to be popular. Paradise Bungalows is as sophisticated as it gets on the island, with solar powered bungalows in a tropical garden. The standard of accommodation is a few notches above anywhere else, with ensuite pebble-floored bathrooms, decent storage and tiled balconies. The prices reflect the quality, ranging from $35-$100 depending on size and location. This is definitely not a place where you can just rock up and expect a room — advance booking are recommended, particularly around highdays and holidays when you’ll be competing with expats and returning visitors in the know.

Tree-mendous.

Tree-mendous.

At the end of Koh Touch beach, down a little jungle path, Treehouse Bungalows offer, yep, bungalows and treehouses. Set on a small beach not shared with any other guesthouses, the bungalows are decorative and the ensuite treehouses just awesome. You may never have realised that what you really wanted was to sleep in a tree, over a tropical beach, with unending beautiful views. But you do. Especially for $35 a night.

Get Chummy on the beach.

Get Chummy on the beach.

For a truly secluded getaway, Koh Rong has even more resorts tucked away on beaches around the island. You’ll sacrifice a choice of bars and restaurants for minimal company and plenty of peace. Sok San beach, at the end of seven kilometres of blinding white sand, has two resorts next to a pretty village boasting a pool hall on the beach. Both resorts offer shoreside bungalows for $20 which will sleep four. Angkor Chum is newer and the standard of the bungalows is a little higher, but you’ll be happy enough in the Sok San Bungalows next door if you can’t get in here.

Fun and sunshine - there's enough for everyone.

Fun and sunshine – there’s enough for everyone.

To the north of the island is the very chi-chi Song-Saa Private Island (check rates on Agoda.com), luxury with a price tag to match. If you don’t have the required $2,000 a night for an all-inclusive stay, let us direct your attention across the water to Palm Beach Resort. Arriving by boat to the jetty, it’s difficult not to catch yourself singing Club Tropicana. Newly built varnished wood bungalows ($25) are dotted around a sandy volleyball court, with an uncountable number of palm trees providing shade and a place to sling your hammock. Perfect for couples and those in need of some peaceful R&R.

AKA’s Guesthouse
Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (081) 7227 353

Koh Rong Backpackers
Dive Shop pier, Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (087) 653 100

Coco’s Bungalow Resort
Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (081) 466 880
cocos-kohrong.com

Monkey Island
Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (081) 830 991
monkeyisland-kohrong.com

Paradise Bungalows
Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (092) 548 883
paradise-bungalows.com

Treehouse Bungalows
Access from Koh Touch beach, Koh Rong. T: (016) 594 177
treehouse-bungalows.com

Angkor Chum
Sok San village, Koh Rong. T: (078) 559 959
kohrongangkorchum@yahoo.com

Sok San Bungalows
Sok San village, Koh Rong. T: (092) 676 646

Song-Saa Private Island
Koh Rong, northeast side. T: (023) 860 360
songsaa.com

Palm Beach Resort
Koh Rong, northeast side. T: (015) 485 865
www.palm-beach-koh-rong.com

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Where to stay on Koh Rong”

  1. Maelleon 10 Apr 2013 at 5:57 pm

    This post could not happen at a better time! I am currently trying to decide in which “resort” we will stay while visiting Koh Rong next July. Great advices and amazing pictures, thank you very much. However you do not mention Pura Vida Resort (which, I think, has just changed owners and re-named to Pura Vita Resort…). I believe it is located on Long Set Beach. Would you recommand that place? Is it really far away from the other locations (Monkey Island / Paradise Bungalows / Treehouse Bungalows)?

  2. Abigail Gilberton 12 Apr 2013 at 5:32 am

    Glad to be of service, Maelle!

    Pura Vida/Vita is the next beach along from Koh Touch. The closest Koh Touch resort is Treehouse Bungalows, and then it’s a bit of a scramble over the rocks, or a short boat ride to get to Long Set Beach. The beach is beautiful, but unfortunately I can’t comment about the resort itself – it was undergoing the change of ownership when we visited Koh Rong so we didn’t stay or eat there.

    Enjoy Koh Rong, and think about Koh Rong Samloem too – it’s the island next door and you can get a transfer from one to the other quite easily. Updated info on KRS coming soon …

  3. Where to stay on Koh Rong | Penh and Inkon 12 Apr 2013 at 11:40 am

    [...] This article first appeared on Travelfish. [...]

  4. Jorge Montezon 25 Apr 2013 at 5:45 am

    Great tips. After reading it, I’m on my way from Phnom Pen. I was thinking what could be my next destination. Just decided! Thanks

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