Get your bucket list ready. In this guide, we’ll show you the best things to do in Koh Rong and how to experience them. Need help planning your trip? Check out our tips for visiting Koh Rong — you’ll find the best restaurants, where to stay, how to get around and more!
What to expect in Koh Rong
Have you been dreaming about those paradise islands that are sprinkled with white-sand beaches and shallow turquoise waters? Well, Koh Rong is pretty close to that idyllic image.
Koh Rong is located in the Gulf of Thailand, a short boat ride from Sihanoukville, but it feels a world away from mainland Cambodia.
With nearly thirty beaches on the island, you’re spoilt for choice on where to spend your day soaking up the sun and rejuvenating your body in the sea. And if you want to explore the waters a little more, there is great snorkelling and diving around the island.
Plus, Koh Rong has got itself a bit of a party reputation, so if dancing all night long is what you want to do, Koh Rong is ideal.
#1 Explore Koh Rong on a boat trip
A boat trip is one of the top things to do in Koh Rong and the best way to explore the island. In one day you can see all of the best beaches and the island’s nature in its full glory. And if you’re looking to go snorkelling, they’ll take you to all of the best spots.
And you’ll be glad to hear that the boat trips are super affordable, starting from $10. When picking a boat trip, you have two options: a private boat or a tour.
Private boat vs. group tour
If you’re by yourself then you can join a tour for around $10. The tours normally run from 1-7pm and include a BBQ and potentially a chance to witness bioluminescence at the end of the tour.
Alternatively, if there’s a group of you, you can hire a private boat for the day. This will cost around $100 for the boat. This might work out slightly more expensive, but having your own freedom and flexibility is worth it!
#2 Relax one of the paradise beaches
What else is there to do on a paradise island other than relax on the beach and spend every hour of daylight swimming in glorious turquoise waters?
Okay, there’s definitely plenty of other things that you can do on Koh Rong, but exploring its pristine beaches is something you have to do on the island. The beaches you can find on Koh Rong are exactly the kind of beaches most of us spend our days dreaming of. They’re idyllic and stunning.
During your time on Koh Rong, we recommend spending some time on the popular beaches, but make sure to discover some of the smaller and more secluded ones too. Here’s a quick run down of the top beaches to visit on Koh Rong:
Sok San Beach
The sand at Sok San Beach is so soft and white it almost feels like you’re walking on fresh snow, albeit not as cold. The contrast of the white against the sparkling turquoise water is spectacular.
Fringed with palm trees, this beach runs for 7.5 km, giving you plenty of space to find your own secluded spot on the beach.
Long Set Beach
Long Set Beach, also known as 4K Beach due to its 4 km of stunning shoreline, is one of the most popular beaches on Koh Touch. It’s a 45-minute walk from the main town of Koh Touch.
Its sandy bottom beach, and its shallow waters provide the perfect place to cool down. If you want to go swimming though, you’ll need to walk out pretty far to the deeper waters.
Koh Touch Beach
We probably wouldn’t recommend spending your day relaxing on Koh Touch Beach. There are plenty of prettier beaches across the island. Koh Touch isn’t the cleanest beach and feels quite busy with restaurants, bars and party-lovers from the night before, crowding the beach.
The name says everything about this beach, but it’s a good kind of lonely. Situated on the northern end of the island, here at Lonely Beach, you can escape the rest of the people not willing to make the journey.
The small and beautiful bay only has one accommodation, leaving it largely undeveloped. Instead, the shoreline is packed with swaying palm trees and serenity.
To get here, you’ll need to take a longtail boat from the pier in Koh Touch. A private boat costs $60 each way, so try to find a group of people to share the cost with.
#3 Go diving and explore the underwater world of Koh Rong
Between Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, you’ll find a number of great dive sites — some of the best in Cambodia.
These sites are full of opportunities to spot marine life such as scorpionfish, starfish, stingrays, eels, puffer fish, octopus and even sharks if you’re really lucky. There are also some beautiful spots with coral and tropical reefs.
How to go diving in Koh Rong
Diving with a reputable company is very important. Being metres underwater, you definitely want to feel safe. We recommend diving with Koh Rong Dive Centre located right by Koh Touch pier.
They offer PADI Open Water courses for $300, or a day of fun dives for $95.
#4 Splash about at Sok San waterfall
If you need a break from the salty sea water and fancy a swim in some rejuvenating freshwater, make a trip to Sok San Waterfall.
You can find it right behind Sok San village, only a short walk away. Whilst it’s probably not going to be the most impressive waterfall you’ve ever seen, it’s still nice to enjoy a waterfall shower and be surrounded by nature.
The best months to visit the waterfall are between October and December. Outside of these months the water volume is lower or entirely gone.
#5 Hike through the jungle from Koh Touch to Sok San Beach
The interior of Koh Rong is packed with thriving and luscious jungle that’s impenetrable in most areas, but you will find a few paths winding their way through the maze.
One path that we recommend taking is the one that connects Koh Touch with Sok San Beach. The sandy trail is pleasant and not strenuous at all, taking around 50 minutes to reach the southern end of Sok San Beach.
This is also a cheaper way of getting between the two beaches as the boat shuttle service starts at $6 each way. A private boat will cost you around $30 for the boat each way.
#6 Swim amongst magical bioluminescence
Bioluminescence is one of the most spectacular natural phenomenons on this planet. It’s almost mind blowing how magical and mesmerising it is.
If you haven’t heard of bioluminescence before, it occurs when organisms produce and emit light due to a chemical reaction that’s occurring in their body.
Swimming amongst these organisms is an unforgettable experience.
How to see the bioluminescence on Koh Rong
If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot the bioluminesce close to the shore from one of the beaches. It’s better to head to a beach with less light pollution such as Long Set Beach. And when there’s no moon.
For a greater chance of witnessing this natural wonder, you can join a boat tour. They start from around $5, leaving at around 7pm.
Some of the snorkelling trips that run from 1-7pm also offer the opportunity to see the bioluminescence at the end of the trip. These trips, as they are much longer, cost around $10.
#7 Hop over to Koh Rong Samloem
Koh Rong Sanloem is one of Cambodia’s best-kept secrets, but that’s quickly changing. Located only a 30-minute boat ride from Koh Rong, its smaller ‘younger brother’ is much less developed and a lot more tranquil.
If you’re looking for true island life where the real world feels like a thousand miles away, then head to Koh Rong Sanloem.
Spend your time on the island exploring the pristine beaches such as Saracen Bay Beach, climbing to the top of the lighthouse for some spectacular views or relaxing in the waterfall.
How to visit Koh Rong Sanloem
Whilst you can visit Koh Rong Sanloem as a day trip from Koh Rong, we’d recommend spending a few nights here to really soak up the relaxing atmosphere of the island.
#8 Fly through the sky on the Blob Jump
The Blob Jump is simple. You sit at one end of this giant inflatable blob that’s floating in the water whilst one or two of your friends jump from a 4 metre platform. Their weight then flings you up into the air, legs and arms flailing, before you splash into the sea below.
If you’ve never done it before, give it a go! It only costs $3, a small price to pay for a burst of adrenaline and some laughs.
You’ll find the blob at the south end of Sok San Beach.
#9 Kayak to Koh Touch Island
Look out towards the ocean from Koh Touch or Long Set Beach and you’ll spot a tiny island full of vegetation. That’s not the only thing you’ll find on the island. Koh Toch is also home to a pagoda and a few monks that live there.
Tours offer a visit to this island, but we think that kayaking there yourself is a lot more fun! The distance isn’t too far, you get some exercise in and it makes the whole trip an adventure.
Once you reach the island, after a visit to the pagoda there’s not much else to do as it’s that small. You can snorkel and swim around its shores though. For this activity, it’s more about the journey than the destination and that’s why we recommend kayaking there yourself.
You can rent kayaks in Koh Touch Beach for $5 per hour, or $12 for the whole day.
#10 Join the party at Nestival
How do you plan to spend your Saturday night in Koh Rong? If you’re visiting over a weekend, then your answer should be heading to Nestival.
Every Saturday, the hostel, Nest Beach Club, holds their own mini festival, aptly named Nestival. Throughout the night they host beach olympics, hold a fire show and provide a lot of free alcohol. Dance the night away under the stars and with your toes in the sand.
It’s guaranteed to be a good night!
Looking for a party every other night of the week in Koh Rong? The party hub of the island is Koh Touch Beach. We promise it won’t take long before you find a party.
Rounding it up
Now you’ve picked the best things to do in Koh Rong, it’s time to start ticking off that bucket list. Not sure how to plan your trip? Our Koh Rong guide is here to help! You’ll find out how long to stay in Koh Rong, where to eat, how to get around and more. Happy planning!
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.