Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed March 09 2016

Opinion Home | Tales From the Leap

  • Shannon Wolf | March 9, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Koh Rong: As Wild or Chilled Out As You Want it To Be

    Koh Rong: As Wild or Chilled Out As You Want it To Be

    PHOTO: My first thought upon docking into Koh Rong was “welcome to paradise!” (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    “Don’t look at the map!” Mirco said as we walked along an unclear jungle path hoping it would lead us to Long Beach…

    That’s how it all started with what we thought was a simple, 45-minute walk over to the other side of the island.

    As it turns out, we probably should have used a map.

    We literally went off the beaten path, trekking through an intense jungle, following water bottles we thought were landmarks and swinging from vines down steep boulders reminiscent of my crazy waterfall hike in El Salvador. It took us two hours resulting in Jerry falling into a thorn bush, myself getting stabbed in the knee with a stick as I tried to avoid said thorn bushes and all of us sweaty to the point where we looked freshly showered.

    On the other hand, it was one hell of an adventure and I have to hand it to Mirco — Although I will never trust his sense of direction (shades of Angkor Wat…) I concede that after we saw the beautiful white stretch of sand and picturesque turquoise waters, the ordeal was all the more worth it.

    READ MORE: 5 Must-Visit Beaches in Southeast Asia

    Koh Rong, Cambodia’s second largest island, is known as the “Party Island” but it can be as wild or as chilled out as you want it to be. It has a decent nightlife, impressive fireshows and some stunning beaches. Wi-Fi is next to non-existent and food is mediocre at best, but who cares — you’re on an island!

    Note: In the evening, be cautious of sand fleas. Remember to wash your legs before bed or you'll regret it in the morning.

    Getting Here:

    From Sihanoukville you can buy a round-trip ticket on either the slow boat (two hours) for $15 or the fast boat (one hour) for $20. The boats leave twice daily: morning and afternoon.

    PHOTO: On the slow boat to/from Koh Rong, you can make it as relaxed or as fun as you’d like! Time passes by when you have rum and cokes at 9!

    Cheap Accommodation: Thien Arn ($4 a dorm)

    This hostel is the cheapest in town and although basic (no lockers, for example), it’s clean and you can even hang up a hammock for $2 or barter the dorm bed down to $3.


    • Rooftop dormitory with single beds, all draped in mosquito nets.

    • Shared bathroom

    • Sitting area

    • Wi-Fi

    Cheapest Meals:

    Reach Koh Rong: large portions, friendly staff and overall better meals then any other budget restaurant ($1.50 to $3).

    Chai Family: If you want to mix things up, go here for cheap and delicious $1 soup.

    Best Restaurant: Sigis

    For Aspiring Expats: If you love the island and want to stay, do yourself a favor and try to get a job at Cocos resort like my friend. It's super relaxed with tons of perks such as free accommodation, drinks, meals, free zip line, discounts at other establishments, ferry rides to other islands and more!

    READ MORE: Vacation for a Cause at Cambodia's Green Leaf Boutique Hotel

    Must Do’s:

    • Adventure though the jungle for 45 minutes to the beautiful "long beach" for swimming, tanning and watching the impressive sunset. Catch the taxi boat back for $3.

    • Head to 4k Beach or Police Beach for a more relaxed vibe than the main stretch of sand. (Coconut Beach is the most secluded).

    • Rinse and repeat this routine for the duration of your stay.

    PHOTO: Spend as much time as you can at Long Beach and be sure to stay for sunset.

More Cambodia


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
Journey on an Avalon River Cruise

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships