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- 20 Oct 2021, 3 nights
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Koh Rong Samloem is defined by its powdery white sand, crystal clear waters and vibrant green jungle. And just like its sister island Koh Rong, it's a haven for strolls along the coastline or into the tropical interior with nothing but the chirping of birds around you. Whether you're unwinding on its pristine beaches or setting off on rainforest jaunts, a trip here feels a world away from the everyday – despite being only a 45-minute speedboat ride from Cambodia's mainland.
You can stay in a Koh Rong Samloem hostel with beachfront bungalows and oceanside hammocks on its own private bay. There are also places with rooftop terraces with sea views on one side and mountain panoramas on the other. Koh Rong Samloem hostels with swings and sofas in comfy common areas – along with a cinema space – are ideal for downtime. If you're up for partying, pick a hostel with a beach bar and regular happy hours.
The biggest beach centre on Koh Rong Samloem is Saracen Bay, a curving sweep of sand with guesthouses and hotels dotted across it. The upscale restaurants mean it has more of a high-end feel than the rest of the island. Slightly more under the radar is M'Pai Bei, on the northern side. This fishing village has a few bars dotted here and there and is popular with backpackers. Northwards is uninhabited Koh Koun island, a stopping point on organised boat tours for snorkelling.
Beachside relaxing is typically the main agenda on chilled-out Koh Rong Samloem, broken up by scuba diving lessons in the surrounding reefs, kayaking or paddle boarding around coves and trekking through the jungle. When evening falls, watch the sun turn the sea gold from aptly named Sunset Beach, or go off on a boat tour to see the sparkling green bioluminescent plankton that shines brightest at night (away from light pollution).
You can get to Koh Rong Samloem by boat from Ochheuteal Port (also known as Serendipity Port). Book in advance at your hostel in Sihanoukville, one of Cambodia's most bustling mainland beach towns, or at one of the tour agencies in the town. Sihanouk International Airport is about an hour's taxi ride from Ochheuteal Port. While on Koh Rong Samloem, transport is also by boat as the island has no roads!