Koh Rong

M Adelman

With 43km of pristine white sand beaches lapped by beautiful turquoise water and a lush green jungle interior, this is an island dreams are made of. It also has something for everyone, from the party beach of Koh Tui (Koh Touch) to kilometres of secluded stretches of beach. Accommodation ranges from shanty shack backpacker to high-end luxury beach huts. If just soaking up the beautiful paradise isn't enough for you there's also swimming, snorkelling, diving, trekking and kayaking to be had. There are seven bays on the island; the main speedboat drops off at Koh Tui village, the backpacker, party and diver paradise. This beach is lined with mainly budget accommodation and bars, which music can be heard out of into the early hours when the final generator is switched off. It's more of a hippie party atmosphere than all-out rave, like those associated with Sihanoukville. Full moon parties are also held here. There are minimarts and laundry services but there is NO ATM on the island, and you can't pay by card. More and more places are now offering free WiFi and you can get a mobile phone signal. The interior of the island is mainly dense jungle and to reach most of the other bays requires trekking or a boat. However, private boats can be on the expensive side at around $6+ one way (shared). Trekking to these places can involve going through the jungle and over rocks. Treks to nearby beaches can be done in flip-flops, but if you're not at one with your flip-flops and have something sturdier, you might as well wear them. It's also worth bringing water and snacks for the journey. One such place is Long Set Beach, a 2km stretch of beautiful desert island white sand, which can be reached by a 1-hour trek through the jungle. It's a stunning beach, although the new development built behind it lessens its isolated feel. Another is Sok San Beach (also called 7km Beach), a 7km long stretch of breath-taking beautiful white sand, which is highly recommended to visit from Koh Tui. The water here is very clear and great for snorkelling. At present, there are only a handful of resorts along the whole beach. Unfortunately more large high-end resorts will appear as the island is being developed by Royal Group. They even have plans for an airport so get here before that happens! Sok San Base Camp is one of the resorts and was used for the filming of Ko Lanta, the French 'Survivor' style series which finished filming here in 2013 (after one of the contestants had a heart attack), and has now opened the accommodation to the public. At the far end of the beach is the quiet Soksan village. Just before this are the Sok San Beach Bungalows which are a great value option for staying here. To trek here from Kou Tui, start at the Cambodian People's Party sign and follow the 'path' that is regularly marked by paint marks on trees and rocks. If you're looking for the most perfect bit of relaxing paradise be sure to look at Coconut Beach and Lonely Beach, true diamonds of Cambodia. If you're feeling a little flush you could head to the Song Saa private island resort, with prices starting at around $1,000 a night. No?

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