It’s come to the end of my South East Asia series. Fittingly, I’m rounding it off with a guide on the best things to do on the idyllic island of Koh Rong Samloem.
Koh Rong Samloem is Koh Rong’s little sister and is situated about 18km off the coast of mainland Cambodia. To get there, you have to hop on a small speedboat from Sihanoukville. From there, it takes about an hour before you land in tropical paradise!
1. Stay on Saracen Bay
M’pay Bay is the bay that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, with budget accommodation such as Mad Monkey popping up all over the place. M’Pay Bay is great for a Cambodian full-moon party experience, but not the best if you’re looking for an island chill-out.
As we’d stayed in budget hostels for pretty much our entire trip, we decided to treat ourselves. We found a happy medium with Saracen Bay Resort, which cost us around £100 for a 3-night stay.
It ended up being the best £50 I ever did spend. We were welcomed to the resort with a cocktail whilst our heavy backpacks were sailed across the island for us. Truly idyllic!
The resort is situated at the very end of the beach, but it’s an stroll along unspoilt sand to the bay’s restaurants. The lovely staff also clean your bungalow daily, whilst you are swimming in the open ocean or lounging around on a deck chair. A far cry from the £3/night hostels we had become accustomed to!
2. Swim with bioluminescent plankton
Koh Rong Samloem is one of the world’s shores that is home to bioluminescent plankton. I had no idea what bioluminescent plankton was before I went; turns out it is a collection of organisms that light up in the dark.
Cue an insane bucket-list worthy experience of swimming with what felt like actual glitter.
On Koh Rong Samloem, the sun sets at around 6.30 – 7pm. When it hit 7 on our final night, we hopped on a boat with two other French tourists.
The next hour was spent jumping off a boat into the ocean in the pitch black and snorkelling alongside lots of shimmering plankton. 10/10 would recommend.
3. Catch the sunrise
Despite the 5am wake up call, watching the sun rise over Koh Rong Samloem is one of my most vivid memories from South East Asia.
This time, we planned watching the sunrise meticulously, so we wouldn’t have a repeat of our failed Angkor Wat experience.
As the island is still relatively unspoilt, our early wake up call was rewarded with panoramic views of the sunrise.
Koh Rong Samloem is one of those parts of the world that I hope never changes – it’s too beautiful to be taken over by irresponsible tourists.
That’s the end of my South East Asia series folks! Do you have any tips on places to go in SE Asia that I missed out on? Let me know in the comments below…