When speaking of beautiful white beaches with crystal clear waters, Cambodia is definitely not the first country that comes to mind. I’d rather think of the Maledives, Seychelles and Fiji! But don’t be fooled – Cambodia has some of the nicest beaches I’ve ever seen which I’ll share with you in this blog post!
Sihanoukville & Otres Beach
The city of Sihanoukville is a 3 to 4 hour drive by bus from Phnom Penh and a starting point for a trip to the islands that I’ll mention later on. I gave Sihanoukville a miss, since it’s quite a party city with not much to do. Instead I opted for a stay at Otres Beach which I’d heard great things about!
I’d recommend staying in Otres Village, I small, quaint village with a hippie vibe. There’s quite a lot of expats in this area and lovely little cafés. There’s a small river that runs through the village and it’s only a ten minute walk to the beach.
The beach is very quiet, there are a few guesthouses and restaurants but nothing exciting. If you fancy some quiet time after a stressful journey, this might be just the spot for you!
Koh Rong Island
My absolute favourite island I’ve been on ever! Once you get there on the boat from Sihanoukville (get the fast boat, the slow boat takes 4 hours as opposed to 1 on the speed boat!) you arrive at the pier of Kaoh Touch village on the south side of the island.
Once you walk off the pier, you’ll be standing in sand. Surprise, surprise, there are no roads here which is fab! Also, say goodbye to the internet for a while as only very few places have internet and the connection is not great.
The right hand side of the pier is the party bit of the island and the only spot I didn’t enjoy. It’s very party heavy and you can hear the music all night long, so if you want to get any sleep, avoid that area. I’d recommend staying on the leftern side of the pier if you want to be in the main village or walk further to the right side, there are some tree house bungalows there that look fab! On certain days, you can see the glowing seaweed at night on this side of the island, so make sure you check with locals!
Now the best part of Koh Rong Island is Long Beach, located on the Western side of the island. You can either walk there from Kaoh Touch through the jungle or you can take a boat. There’s no pier, so be aware that the boat will drop you off in knee high water!
The beach itself is the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It goes on for miles and the water is super clean and the sand is so fine and white that it squeaks when you walk over it!
Unfortunately, there’s something you can’t see in my pictures. The island was sold off to a Chinese investment company by the Cambodian government and when I was at Long Beach, they just started building a road and a ferry port and there were plans to build numerous hotels along this beautiful stretch of heaven. I’ve since read that development is getting into more advanced stages, so make sure you visit now!
It’s such a shame what these people are doing to this beautiful, untouched island and I am very happy that I went before everything was destroyed by people going for money. I do really wish that they would have kept it as it was one of the last untouched beaches.
Koh Kong Province
An often overlooked little gem is Koh Kong Province. It’s a bit hard to get to as there’s only one street going there from Sihanoukville and it’s surrounded by jungle. A bus to Koh Kong City takes about 3 hours.
There isn’t really that much to do in the city itself but it’s the perfect spot to start excursions to more remote places. I took a longtail boat trip to Koh Kong Island which is a huge uninhabited island in the Gulf of Thailand.
There are a few boats a day that go there but we had the whole beach to ourselves which was great! We had a barbecue on the beach and got to spent plenty of time there. Just a warning in advance: there are sandflies on the island which will bite you to bits, no matter how much deet you put on! Still, it was absolutely worth it!
On our way back to Koh Kong City, we took a detour through the Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary to see the mangrove forests and local fishermen. There’s a viewpoint there that gives you a great overlook of the forests!
There’s also the opportunity to go hiking in the jungle and stay there overnight. I would’ve loved that but sadly I wasn’t feeling very well at that point and had to skip it! Koh Kong City is also a good place if you want to cross the border into Thailand as it’s a lot less busy than the border crossing next to Siem Reap!
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