Photo: Just another beach on Koh Rong.


Our rating:

From the image of pristine, picture-postcard-perfect cliche to somewhat messy, party destination extraordinaire to… whatever comes next, Koh Rong’s transition continues in tandem with the efforts to “develop” it on the one hand, and the efforts to halt or redirect that tide of development and some of its associated negative implications on the other.

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Koh Rong has so much to offer, from 43 kilometres of impossibly gorgeous, pristine beach front, along seven bays, all teeming with corals, marine life and fluorescent plankton, as well as dense forests covering much of the 78 square-kilometre interior.

For years Koh Rong was almost completely undeveloped save for a diving outfit and a few bungalows, though that has now changed beyond recognition, in particular on the southern patch of Koh Touch. The rapid development has mostly affected this stretch of yellow-white, southeast-facing sand, which now resembles nothing so much as our image of a mid-18th century Caribbean pirate port, only with party bars instead of brothels.

Serviced by the fast boat from Sihanoukville as the fourth stop, Koh Touch is a sandy, guesthouse-packed stretch that has earned Koh Rong its party-island reputation. We found that to be largely true still, though there are plenty of other businesses along here that are seeking to offer something a little more profound. It may take a little while to get there, but they’re working on it.

All the other beaches on Koh Rong, however, are an entire universe apart, offering far more seclusion than you’ll find on Koh Rong Samloem (except for Lazy Beach), for, in general but not always, less money. It is easy to find a quiet refuge on this island.

The main beaches away from Koh Touch include Long Beach (also known as Sok San Beach, and 7km Beach), Long Set Beach (aka 4k Beach), Coconut Beach, Palm Beach and Lonely Beach. There are even more among Koh Rong’s seven bays, but weather prevented us from ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Koh Rong.
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