No roads. No traffic. No Wi-Fi and no ATM. One will be given a rare opportunity instead – an opportunity to experience the ultimate paradise, quite literally. Narrow pathways, cut through a thick jungle, made by the locals so they can get from one coast to the other, passing wild water buffaloes and a few simple bamboo huts. Nothing really disturbs the delightful peace there is not a thing which would not belong to the island. Well, not yet..
There are not many places like Koh Rong Sanloem left on Earth. Places where one feels to be part of nature, with no disturbance or any influences from the outer world. There is hardly any internet connection on the island and to book a beachfront cottage ahead is often impossible. Most of the visitors would simply hop on a boat and take their chances, walking down the beach and asking around.
It seems there is not much to do on the island. In fact, one could linger for days, just enjoy the simplicity of nature..sheer peace and serenity..and never want to leave..
8 THINGS TO DO IN KOH RONG SANLOEM
1.READ A BOOK in one of the free hammocks along the Saracen Bay unless you fall asleep while swinging in the rhythm of waves. Free your mind of all worries and live the moment!
2.SNORKEL with diamond fish, yellow boxfish, jumping fish, seahorses, and rays. Get active and dip in the emerald sea of Koh Rong Sanloem to explore its underwater world.
3.HIKE TO THE LIGHTHOUSE. It is a 2-3 hour return trek through the jungle which will take you to the very southern point of the island. You can climb up the old lighthouse and appreciate the staggering views from the bird`s eye perspective.
4.WATCH SUNSET at Lazy Beach. If you stay on the main beach in Saracen Bay you will have to cut the island through the jungle to get to the other side. There is a lovely bar on the Lazy Beach where you can have a drink or two while waiting for the sunset.
5.EXPLORE the Robinson Beach on the other side of the Island. Put on some good footwear as you will need to get through a steep jungle to get there. Enjoy the tree swing by the beach!
6.NIGHT SWIM WITH SPARKLING PLANKTON. This magical encounter is a big secret of the Koh Rong Islands. No one really tells you that the Koh Rong islands have one of the best conditions for the bio-luminescent plankton in the world. This is an absolute miracle!
Best on a cloudy night (the darker the better), slowly walk into the shallow waters of the sea (the Saracen Bay is ideal for its calm and shallow waters) and try to swirl the water with your hands and feet as plankton reacts to movement only. That is how the magic starts. The more you move the more sparkly it becomes. So, keep swimming and dancing and enjoy your personal Avatar World 🙂
Remember to bring some goggles and feast your eyes on the underwater glittering tornado
Be advised that the plankton bites!
7.HAVE A LAZY DAY. Find a nice seaside tavern, eat the local Amok curry and drink Cambodian Angkor beer, take pleasure in the utter silence and dive into your dreams. Otherwise, you can always relax on the terrace of your bamboo hut.
8.TAKE A DAY TRIP TO KOH RONG
Catch a ferry to the neighbouring Koh Rong Island – a backpackers hotspot. There are many beachside taverns and full-moon parties for those who don`t mind a naked swim with the glowing plankton!
Tourism development on Koh Rong Islands is rapidly growing. The pristine paradise might well very soon turn into a different place.. Nonetheless, it is still a sanctuary and a peaceful escape from the busy towns of Cambodia, and for any one of the best kept secrets of Southeast Asia. Hurry up!
Make sure you have enough cash with you as you might want to extend your stay and there is no ATM on the island (or a very limited one for an extra fee)
Take a good repellent, very intrusive insect is the flip side of Koh Rong islands
Pack some good trekking sandals with you since there are no proper roads and you will often need to walk through the jungle
Do not forget to get yourself a nice book for this trip
Add some extra days to your itinerary! Most of the visitors will want to extend their stay 😉
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit is probably between November and January when the islands get the least rain. However, a shower or two will not make any difference as the untouched paradise is as much enjoyable when wet and maybe even better for some reasons (the lightening plankton is best to see by cloudy nights)
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly To Phnom Penh and catch a local or a shuttle bus to Sihanoukville (4-hour drive). Here take a boat to Koh Rong. Boats depart 3 times a day, they stop on both islands and the ride takes about 45 min. Any guesthouse or travel agency in Sihanoukville will happily help you to book the trip.
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