Travelling to Koh Rong Island in Cambodia? This guide shares the best things for you to do on the island in 2022, including the best beaches, parties and adventures.
With powdery white sand that squeaks as you walk, crystal clear turquoise waters and lush jungles, Koh Rong might just be the paradise island you’ve been daydreaming of. It’s the perfect place to unwind during your travels in Cambodia, with a healthy mix of adventure and relaxation.
The island is bouncing back after COVID, but some of the old things to do have shut down, replaced with new activities!
Planning a Trip to Koh Rong
Koh Rong is now firmly on the backpacker trail for Cambodia, which thankfully makes planning a trip to the island much easier in 2022 than when I first visited in 2016.
How to get to Koh Rong Island
To get to Koh Rong, you must take the ferry from Sihanoukville. There are five ferry companies operating the route from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong, so finding a time that suits you is no challenge.
💰 Approx. $25 return
⏰ 45 mins
📍 You can book the ferry in person at Sihanoukville Port Autonomous, or pre-book your ferry using Camboticket*.
Where to Stay on Koh Rong
While not a huge island, Koh Rong can be tricky to navigate due to a lack of roads so it’s important to pick carefully where to stay. Kaoh Touch beach or the bottom of Long Set beach are great areas to stay on the island. There are many hotels, resorts and hostels along this stretch, so finding accommodation* isn’t challenging.
10 things to do on Koh Rong island in 2022
When I first arrived on Koh Rong, I didn’t expect there would be much to do other than lay on the beach, but I was pleasantly surprised to find there are a number of cool things you can do on the island.
1️⃣ Relax on the many beaches
Unsurprisingly one of the best things to do on Koh Rong is to disconnect and unwind on the beaches; they are some of the most beautiful beaches in South East Asia after all. The most accessible and popular beaches on the island are Kaoh Touch beach, Long Set beach (also called 4K beach), Long beach and Sok San beach.
If you stay in the areas I recommended then Kaoh Touch and Long Set will be easy to get to, but for Long beach or Sok San beach you will need to rent a motorbike for the day – the great thing is they are connected to the main road which makes getting to them easy!
2️⃣ Take a boat trip around the island
We booked a boat trip with the 3 Brothers tour company (they have a stand-in Kaoh Touch town). The tour started at 1pm, and included snorkelling, stopping at remote beaches, and fishing. The highlight of the tour for me was watching the sunset from the boat, and swimming with the bioluminescent plankton after dark.
3️⃣ Swim with bioluminescent plankton
The shores of Koh Rong (along with the nearby island of Koh Rong Sanloem) are home to the natural phenomena of bioluminescent plankton. To see the plankton glow you’ll need to get into the water and splash your hands around under the surface.
The shallow waters of Long Set beach are perfect for walking into the water to see the plankton, or you can take an evening boat tour to have a better chance of seeing them, with snorkels and no lights nearby.
⏰ 11pm – late (when there is no light pollution)
4️⃣ Join the Nestival party
Nest Beach Club is the place to be if you’re on Koh Rong on a Saturday. With a hostel and restaurant, Nest is always a busy place to hang out, but every weekend they host an afternoon of games and drinking called the Nestival. Join the fun and get social with fellow travellers!
Nest Beach Club 📍 Long Set beach (also called 4K beach)
⏰ 3pm every Saturday
5️⃣ Kayak at the mangrove forest
This turned out to be one of my favourite things to do on Koh Rong! In the heart of the island is a thick mangrove forest, with a winding river that weaves all the way to the ocean. Paddling down the sleepy river in a kayak is the perfect activity for those that need a break from lounging on the beach. If you don’t fancy kayaking, there is a boardwalk through the forest that you can explore.
Koh Rong’s mangrove forest is a 20-minute drive from Kaoh Touch town, making it too far to walk, so you will need to rent a motorbike or a driver to take you.
📍 Prek Tasok Ecotourism Community
💰 $10/hr (each kayak can fit 2 people)
6️⃣ Rent a motorbike and drive the island
There are a couple of roads that criss-cross the island, connecting various bays and beaches! I really enjoyed renting a motorbike in Khao Touch and taking a drive around the island. The roads are still in construction in some areas, so are not on Google Maps.
💰 $10/day including gas
7️⃣ Watch sunset from Sok San beach
Facing the west, with views over the ocean to the horizon, Sok San beach is THE best place to watch the sunset on Koh Rong island. The village next to Sok San pier has a couple of local restaurants with great seafood and a perfect beachfront view of the horizon for sunset, or Sok San Resort comes highly recommended for a sunset cocktail.
If you’re not already staying at Sok San beach, you’ll need a motorbike or shuttle boat to get there.
8️⃣ Hike to a waterfall
The jungles of Koh Rong hide a couple of waterfalls that you can trek to.
You can climb to Varisan Nureach Waterfall, in Sok San village, without a guide. It’s a small waterfall at the end of a jungle hike! It is not recommended to visit during the dry season, as there will be no water.
For the more adventurous, Nest offer guided tours to a larger, more impressive waterfall hidden deep in the jungle. The waterfall is unmarked making it impossible to find without a local guide! We didn’t have time to hike to the hidden waterfall, but it sounds like it would be such a thrilling trek into the jungle.
9️⃣ Go horse riding on the beach
Surprisingly, the island is home to a number of beautiful horses; the stables can be seen in the jungle between Kaoh Touch and Long Set beach. You can book tours to take a ride along the beaches and through the jungles on horses through the excursion stands in the Kaoh Touch town.
🔟 Daytrip to Koh Rong Sanloem
Only a few people chose to visit both Koh Rong and its nearby little sister, Koh Rong Sanloem. If you only plan to stay on Koh Rong, then why not take a day trip to enjoy the stunning beaches and restaurants that line Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Sanloem.
The ferries run from morning to late afternoon giving you lots of time to explore, snorkel and grab some lunch before heading back to Koh Rong for sunset!
⏰ 15-30 mins to get between the islands
Double check with the travel agents in Kaoh Touch town for the current boat times and prices.
Map of Koh Rong
This map shows the popular beaches to visit, along with things to do and places to stay. You can save the map to your GoogleDrive for later by clicking the star next to the map title.
With some of the most beautiful beaches in South East Asia, Koh Rong is a must-visit during your travels to Cambodia. Hopefully, this guide shares some ideas of other activities to get involved in, from parties to boat tours.
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Planning a Trip to Cambodia
For more information on planning a trip to Koh Rong and other destinations in Cambodia, be sure to check out my Complete Cambodia Travel Guide which includes everything you need to know for travelling around the country.