Not much to say, but so much to see and feel! Koh Rong is that kind of island you see only in movies. White sand, turquoise sea, deep green jungle and clear skies. What can you wish more?
Getting there, difficult mission
The fastest – but still so slow – way to get straight on the island is to land in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. From there, you must take a bus to Sihanoukville. The distance is not so long (230 km), but it will take you 5 hours because the roads are horrible! So bad that you can’t even sleep! The holes in the asphalt will remember you every minute what you ate in the morning.
If you don’t synchronize well (I didn’t), you have to wait for the ferry Sihanoukville – Koh Rong which only has three rides a day (9:00 am, 11:30 am, 3:00 pm). But, once you leave, in 40 minutes you’ll forget about your anger because you’ll be in a pure Paradise!
First step on Koh Rong
Wellcome to paradise! Doesn’t seem it from the seaport? Just be patient! Or just look carefully on your right side! Do you see that long beach with white sand? Do you notice that is not crowded? Yeah, it’s almost all for you!
If you arrive in the afternoon, you’ll enjoy the music once you step on the sand. Notice that all locals are barefoot, the first sign of their freedom.
Feel the local spirit!
Now seriously! Take a walk and try to observe the locals, you have so much to learn from them! Calm, funny, relaxed, with no worries. They aren’t rich but they do not feel the need for more. The kids have an English School sustained by an ONG. Some locals are fishermen. They go on the sea with the boat, sleep in the hammock and come in the afternoon with the fish to sell it on the island. Others have local stalls (for you, the only restaurants you’ll find) and roast the fresh fish for tourists. Others are selling fresh fruits. And others are foreigners who have a little business on the island. Everyone leave in peace and harmony with the dogs on the island. So, myth destroyed (if you were asking yourself about that)!
Is the best thing you can do here. The white sand is so fine that it squeaks as you step on it! I had the feeling that it was powdered sugar… You can sit above a tree for some shadow. Take care and use some sun lotion, the sunshine there is very powerful, you are near the Equator!
Do not forget to take the snorkeling glasses with you to see the starfishes!
Oh, a little detail I forgot: Sok San Beach is 6 km long! 🙂
Perfect! I have a so good news for you: the island is a pure jungle and you can enjoy trekking! If you choose to sink in the forests, try to not miss the big waterfall! There aren’t dangerous animals, so nothing to fear about!
Let’s talk about magic
Have you ever heard of the bioluminescent plankton? No, not like in the photos you find on Google when you search for it! You’ll never see that! It’s a so small possibility even if you could set your eyes at ISO 6400, f/4.0, 30 sec! :))
Well, I went on a night cruise to see the plankton. We went far from the island, such that no light could disturb the magic. The boat stopped in the middle of the see. I was seeing nothing! But I received my snorkeling equipment and I got off the boat. The magic started when I was moving! Looking in the water I could see millions of particles which lit when I was moving! It seemed that all the stars from the clear sky were reflecting in the sea! Totally worth it! Oh, and I do not have a photo. But I’ll never forget that moment!
Where to stay
In a bungalow, obviously! Bungalows on the ground, bungalows supported by pillars, bungalows on the rivulet or bungalows in the trees! Your choice!
When I arrived I saw my bungalow had the planks a little spaced, I could see the sun entering in my room. Beautiful, traditional, specific. But I thought „OMG, bugs?” Well, I started searching for them. I found nothing! And that was amazing! Oh, I forgot… I think I saw a mosquito on my last night there! Otherwise, I found ants on the beach which left me three bites. I didn’t realize that I was on their territory! 🙂
You don’t have hot water and, at some resorts in the north of the island, there is not even electrical power. I know it could sound terrible, but you don’t need hot water on 35+(C) degrees. And the lack of lights can be magical for seeing the plankton!
What to eat
Fish! Everything is fresh, they do not have so many refrigerators to keep the food. Even if is a touristic place, the prices remain cheap. A menu with a big fish, vegetables, rice and beer will cost you 3 to 5 dollars!