Koh Rong Samloem was one of our Cambodia highlights. However, it was one of these places that we did not plan on going to. We had planned to visit Koh Rong an island just of Sihanoukville but other backpackers told us about it's lesser known and quieter sister - Koh Rong Samloem. So we changed our plans and went to Koh Rong Samloem instead and we are glad we did - an absolute island paradise.
How to get there
To get to Koh Rong Samloem it is easiest to take the speed ferry which costed us 20$ return and took 40 minutes to get to the island. Arriving on the island you will feel like you landed in paradise... white sand, crystal clear water, a few bungalows and hammocks.
Where to stay
However, we did not stay on that side of the island but hiked through the rainforest to the other side which is simply called sunset beach. If possible the vibe is even more relaxed on the other side plus you get to watch the sunset.
There is a few options for accommodation on this side of the island. The first night we stayed at sleeping trees and slept in a tree tent which was a great experience.
The next night we got ourselves a simple tent for 5$ directly on the beach. Great views in the morning included.
Feeling like we saved ourselves a lot of money, we spoilt ourselves the next night and rented a beach bungalow at Happa Garden Resort which costed 30$ a night for two people. It came with an outdoor shower and bathroom and a comfy bed. The resort also serves great Japanese food in their restaurant and the manager Lina is super lovely.
Every Monday there is a jungle rave on the island which you will get to after hiking through the jungle for about 40 minutes. We went and checked it out but it wasn't very busy. We got told though that it is very busy on fullmoon nights.
What to do
When we went there was still no Wifi on Sunset Beach, so make sure to pack good books or enjoy the diving or snorkelling they offer. At night we were lucky enough to see fluorescent plankton which was a super cool experience. Swim close to the pier and you might be able to see it.
The island is a bit more expensive than the mainland though and it might be worth stocking up on sunscreen and treats before you go.
We spent a total of four days on the island and could have easily stayed longer. We spent our days swinging in hammocks, enjoying good food, hiking over to other beaches and snorkelling.
It was hard to leave but we promised ourselves to be back one day.