Photo: Beach scenes near Belinda Resort.


This small fishing village island sits at the half-way mark between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville within the Koh Sdach archipelago. Located a 15-minute boat-ride off the Cambodian coast, Koh Sdach is dominated by a sizeable fishing village that stretches along the side of the island that faces the mainland. While fishing is the mainstay of the local economy, the village also has a large ice-making plant, where you can watch the production and see the ice ferried off by boat to the surrounding islands.

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Accommodation is available on the island at completely opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of price and quality. There's a choice between two basic Cambodian-run guesthouses, Meanchey Guesthouse and Doung Chai Guesthouse, which for those interested in experiencing a totally unadulterated stay in a Cambodian fishing village isn't a bad choice. At the other end there's Belgian-run Belinda Beach Lovely Resort, with its own private beach, landscaped gardens and swimming pool. Yet all the options here are overpriced for what you get -- sadly this island wins the wooden spoon for Cambodian islands worth visiting given there's nowhere we can really rave about staying plus it takes a relatively lot of effort to reach the island.

On the far side of the island lies the island's main beach, a somewhat rocky affair that sits beside the island's premiere karaoke bar. You can swim here if you wish and the water is crystal clear -- as an added bonus, while you're underwater you can't hear the karaoke.

Koh Sdach is surrounded by a bunch of other islands and the mainland, many of which have spectacular and totally deserted beaches -- all of which can be visited on daytrips by longtail from Koh Sdach. Koh Totang, home to Nomads Cambodia bungalows, is a 15-minute boat ride away.

Bear in mind that nobody at the Cambodian-run guesthouses and very few people on the island speak English. If you speak even basic Khmer (or Thai) you'll be fine, but if not, you'll need a lot of hand gestures to make yourself understood.

Given the quality of accommodation and palm-studded soft, sandy shores on Cambodia's other islands, we'd be inclined to give this one a miss.

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