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.
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.
By Caroline Major.