It’s every traveller’s dream to discover a little piece of the world that is far from the beaten track, yet truly beautiful. One of these destinations is Koh Rong, a picturesque island off the coast of Cambodia, where life is about enjoying the simple pleasures of food, friendship, and natural beauty. If you’re not convinced yet, here are 7 reasons why you should visit Koh Rong:
1. It has beautiful beaches
It wouldn’t be a tropical island paradise if it didn’t have at least one beautiful beach. Well, Koh Rong does not just have one – it has at least half a dozen. Because there are so many beautiful beaches yet Koh Rong is relatively undiscovered, you will not be jostling for space here. From the almost deserted yet jaw droppingly spectacular “Lonely Beach” to the more accessible “Long Beach”, you could laze by a different beach every day of your holiday. It’s just a matter of figuring out your style – or trying to see them all!
2. Delicious Food
Cambodian food is underappreciated – with many different spices and flavours, it’s absolutely delicious. On Koh Rong, you will find many great restaurants and cafes to suit all budgets and tastes. There are a couple of more upmarket places, such as the Italian offering Eat Pray Love, or else grab a snack from one of the laidback cafes at Koh Touch. On the island, you can sample traditional Khmer dishes such as fish amok, or snack on home favourites such as pizza and cookies. Being an island, the sea food is also fresh and absolutely delicious. Don’t miss it!
3. The Glowing Plankton
This amazing natural phenomenon is what Koh Rong is famous for, and some tourists visit the island just to see this. You may not believe your eyes at first, when you see tens of thousands of glowing plankton scattered near the shoreline. At night, they glow astonishingly blue – a phenomena which is especially intense due to the lack of light pollutio on the island. There are many night tours that will take you to the best spots to see them.
4. Water Activities
Koh Rong has an amazing selection of water activities, in case you get bored of lying by the beach with a book in hand, or eating at the many cafes and restaurants. Here, you can rent a kayak and paddle out to outlying islands, or try to do a loop around the whole island. Or, join a snorkelling trip and hunt for marine life including sea horses, fish and stingrays. There are many tour companies on the island who will guide you on a full day tour, for incredibly affordable prices. If you’re serious about your water sports, you can also go diving here, and get PADI accredited.
5. Sleep in a Beach Hut (or on the Beach!)
The island has incredible rustic charm, and this filters through to the accommodation options available. While there are a spattering of more luxurious options, the main choice for sleeping quarters on the island are modest bungalows, many of which are just a stone’s throw from the beautiful beaches. Fall to sleep with the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. To get even closer to the sea, you can even pitch a tent on many of the beaches, such as Long Beach. While not for everyone, there is something very charming about falling asleep just a few metres from the shoreline and really getting back to nature.
6. Make New Friends
An emphasis on the simpler things in life has led to a very laidback and friendly atmosphere on Koh Rong. Forget the rat race and all of your commitments, this is a place to relax and be kind to your fellow human beings. Here, you can expect to make new friends – maybe just for the trip, or maybe for life. In every restaurant and bar, and on every beach, you have both local and international friends just waiting to happen. Don’t be afraid to start a conversation.
7. Exciting Nightlife
Given Koh Rong’s laidback reputation, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a sleepy island. This is not the case – there is actually a great party scene on the island, for those who wish to enjoy a few drinks or dance the night away. Particularly near Koh Touch, there are numerous bars which make great (and cheap) drinks, including delicious cocktails, as well as spin the party classics to keep you dancing.
One favourite past time is grabbing together a few friends – whether they be new or old – and heading out for a pub crawl all over the island. Once you’ve had your fill, just retire back to your bungalow and get ready to spend the next day recuperatig on one of the beautiful beaches.