Koh Rong Island, the undiscovered beauty of Cambodia

Koh Rong island, a place which is relatively quiet on the tourist circuit yet so beautiful. Lucky for us it seems this island is  yet to be discovered by the tourist industry.

Having been recommended to go to Koh Long island after chatting with the staff at the TeaHouse we didn’t know much about the island or which part of the island to go to. We did some research and ended decided on going to and area called Sok San. Looking for somewhere to stay we opted for Sok San Beach resort.

Walking from the truck to the reception along the beach for the first time, the thing that hit us was the white sandy beaches with coconut trees and the blue ocean. What a treat! The lovely lady in the reception welcomed us with cold welcome drinks and told us about the resort and the different activities we would do. We were in heaven.

Sok San means happiness and I can’t think of a more fitting word for this place. Happiness is everywhere. From the tourist enjoying their stay to the staff at the resort having an aura of happiness around them. I was certainly happy there.

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White sandy beaches, beautiful sea and palm trees. This is my version of paradise. We got all this and more on this island. One of the best parts of this place is the fact that a lot of people don’t go and there are hardly any tourists.

Of course the resort is beautiful, the rooms are really nice with both hot shower and a/c. However what really made this stay for us was the staff. Walking around the place the staff will always greet you with a big smile. The staff really welcome you here and want you to feel at home so they do everything they can to make the experience better for you. They are also some of the most helpful we have come across on our travels. Always ready to help and I means always. Superb, the staff at Sok San Beach Resort deserve an A+ for the service they provide with a smile on their faces.

Lounging on the beach in one the many beach chairs, we ordered coconuts from the bar and just enjoyed the view. The coconuts have been kept cold which makes it tastes all the better

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There are so many activities do here if lounging on the beach and enjoying the view gets boring.

Activities

Kayak tour

Taking the first stroke with the paddle was fine. After 5 min. it felt like my arms were going to fall off. I guess not having done any exercise in forever will do that do you. A little while later my arms stopped complaining after they realised it wasn’t really all that difficult.

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The guide drove us to the starting point for the tour and off we went. Blue skies, amazing view of the mangroves in the distance, what could go wrong. It started raining a lot. A bit like the time when you took a shower but forgot to take off your clothes. Being here in the monsoon season it is one of the things you can expect. Lucky for us it stopped after 5min and it didn’t take long before our clothes had dried off again.

Our guide was from the beach resort and of course he was friendly and smiling the whole time. He happily told us all about the mangroves, how the fish and crabs come here to lay eggs and how the mangroves protect the fish and crabs while they are young from the big dangerous ocean.

The kayak tour is 2 hours however it felt more like 45min as we enjoyed the tour so much. One of the local fishermen came past with his children on the boat, scooping out water from the bottom of the boat. I guess that’s just they way it runs here.

Phosphorescence discovery

I have wanted to do this for so long now and finally I got to actually do it. Walking into the water our tour guide was so excited to show the water and all the glitter. It was so much fun just walking through the water feeling like Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, if only I could fly as well. Glitter everywhere. Throwing water in the air it looks like thousands of fireflies flying around. The “glitter” is called bioluminescence and it is when light is emitted from small organisms when they are disturbed.

Looking at someone walking in the water in front of you; its looks like there is a light or an aura around them.

We were very lucky as it wasn’t a full moon and it was the perfect conditions in order to take full advantage of this spectacular experience. I am aware this can be seen many places the world. Speaking with some of the other people on the tour who had seen this before in other places did said this was the best place they had ever seen it. Due to the fact its on an island with no light pollution around whatsoever it really does make the experience magical.

On top of this there are lots more activities to do like:

  • Scuba diving
  • Cycle round the island for the day
  • Sailing boats
  • Fishing
  • Snorkeling
  • Floating village trip
  • Massages
  • Water sports (water ski, wake boarding)

Restaurant

The Sok San Beach resort has a restaurant, a bar and a beach bar. We had breakfast at the restaurant every morning. I am a big breakfast lover. Like I really love breakfast. I will ensure I am always ready to eat breakfast and plan it so I can eat as much as possible in the time given and for that reason my favorite is a buffet. The buffet here did not in any way disappoint. One of the chefs at the resort is a pastry chef and makes all the bread and cakes in the kitchen there. So tucking into one of the many croissants or homemade breads with Lurpak butter (Danish butter, I love it). Eggs, cereal, waffle, fruit, toast, bacon, you name it they have it.

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Doing good in the community.

On top of being a lovely place to stay, they also help people from the local village. There is a nurse on the resort in case something happens to guest. When someone in the local village gets sick they will come and see the nurse and won’t charged anything for this service. If there is an accident in the Sok San village they will bring the injured to the resort and the resort will provide a speed boat free of charge to the hospital. At the moment they are trying to build a health centre in the village by working with both the government and the Sok San village. Of course this doens’t make the rooms any nicer, the sand whiter or the food tastier however knowing that they are doing what they can to help the local community for me is something I really admire.

Survivor – the TV series

A fun fact of this place is that is used to be called Sok San Base Camp. This place was built in 2012 by Survivor for the survivor crew whilst they filmed the popular TV show. On this island have shot 8 different shows from different countries including, Denmark, Sweden, USA and Bulgaria. The beach resort has what seems like every single DVD of survivor which you can borrow or they will put in the TV in the bar area.

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In Nov16 they finished of the last survivor and in Dec16 Sok San opened at the beach resort. I am pretty impressed by the resort already and I can only image how it will look once they have been open for even just a year.

The local village is not far away, 10 min walk. Here you can find a few restaurants, beach accommodation and a few small shops.

We had food in the village at the moon cafe a couple of times, this is both cheap and delicious and a good way to meet some of the locals from the village.

Getting there:

Sok San Beach Resort has a boat going from Sihanoukville a few times per day. Here you get greeted by the staff before you get escorted on the boat. Sok San have an office at the pier. The ride is around 1 hour depending on the weather conditions. At the other end once we hit the island they are ready with the truck to have us to the resort. So it’s super easy.

If you fancy staying at the Sok San Beach Resort, check them out here

4 thoughts on “Koh Rong Island, the undiscovered beauty of Cambodia

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