Koh Touch is the main tourist area on Koh Rong Island. Easily accessible by all the main ferry services, the beach is full of bars, restaurants, guesthouses, and bungalows. If you’re staying on Koh Touch, there are 5 things that we recommend for you to see and do. P.S. You can book some of these activities online now and save up to 15%:
1) Drink at Sky Bar
For some fantastic views over the main beach area, be it at night times or during the day, visit the Sky Bar (you’ll see it up high as you arrive on the ferry). The atmosphere here is very pleasant, and it’s a great place to relax and take in the scenery with a nice cold drink.
The Sky Bar is a 5-10 minute walk up some steep steps – You’ll see a sign for it along the beach (heading right from the main piers).
2) Walk to Long Set Beach
If you’d like to see some outstanding scenery during your stay, then the walk to Long Set Beach is a must.
Named after a local farmer, this 4km expanse is breathtaking – soft white sands, crystal clear ocean waters, and a tropical jungle surrounding.
Long Set Beach on Koh Rong
The trip will take up most of your day, so it may be a good idea to set off early. If you head right from the main piers, past Paradise Bungalows and White Beach Bungalows on your left hand side, the next resort is Tree House. Follow the path around (you’ll have to go off the actual beach at times into the jungle) and after about 15 minutes you’ll reach this island paradise.
There are now 5 resorts on this part of Koh Rong, our favourites being – Pura Vita and Longset. Pura Vita provides a more ‘back to basics’ holiday experience, while Longset is much more comfortable. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay on Koh Rong, we would recommend either of these resorts, but bear in mind that they are better suited for a quiet laid back vacation.
3) Take an Island Tour
Koh Rong is a very big island – If you’d like to see some of the other stunning locations (and there are many), we recommend for you to take an island tour.
Long Tail Boat for Tours
The tour will take up a whole day, but some of the views are truly spectacular – From pristine untouched beaches, to wonderful little-known resorts, to world-renowned private islands and little fishing villages.
You can hire a tour boat quite easily on Koh Touch – You’ll see them advertised everywhere along the beach. A long boat can take up to 10 people or so, and you’ll be looking at paying roughly $100 between you for the whole day (try to set off early so that you can see all the sights before it starts to get dark).
One great thing about island tours is that you can stop anywhere along the way and choose how long you’d like to spend at each location. You can even go to all the best snorkelling areas or stop on desert islands (check out Pineapple Island).
Exotic Marine Life on Koh Rong
4) See the Glowing Plankton
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, Koh Rong’s bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times. (Learn why they glow on Wikipedia)
Although this phenomenon is abundant on the island, the glowing plankton can only be seen in places with very little light pollution. As such, the easiest way for you to see the plankton is by booking a boat tour (you can also walk to Police Beach on non-party nights (15 minutes left from the main pier) and Tree House Bungalows (15 minutes right from the main pier), or make your way to Long Set Beach around the corner from Koh Touch).
Glowing Plankton on Koh Rong
Booking a tour is very straight forward – You’ll see them advertised all around the beach. A trip to see the plankton will cost about $5 (leaving at 7pm). You can also see the plankton during boat trips that will include snorkeling, fishing, BBQs, and sunsets. These tend to cost around $10 and are from 1pm – 7pm.
5) Try the Local Fishing Techniques
If you’d like to do something different during your stay, experience a little bit of local culture with a fishing trip, then BBQ the fish right on the beach when you get back.
The Khmer are known for their fishing – But don’t be expecting any modern apparatus: You’ll be using a plastic bottle and a wire.
Traditional Fishing on Koh Rong
Now, don’t worry if you’re not a natural expert in this fine art – your captain will catch many fish for you (maybe offer a $3 prize for the biggest fish). In fact, it’s likely he’ll be pulling one out of the water every minute or so while you’ll struggle to catch 2-3 per hour!
The total cost for a trip should be $20-$30, but it might go up to $40+ if you have a very big group with you. This will also depend on how long you want to go for, and how far out you would like to go. Ask your captain to organise the BBQ for you when you get back – To the right side of Koh Touch near White Beach Bungalows is a pretty good spot.
Some other activities that are worthy of mention: A High Point Zip Line and Rope Park; An inflatable water park (Aqua Koh Rong – on the way to Police Beach); Bicycle rental to Long Beach; Kayaking (to a small island for snorkeling or to the Mangrove River on 4K Beach); Paddle boarding; Jet Ski rental (at either KM Watersports (located by Monkey Island Resort) or at Golden Bungalows (please be careful of people snorkeling or diving!); Blob Jump at Tree house Bungalows; Learn or rent windsurfing with Rong Wind (at Reef on the Beach – Long Set Beach).
Things to Remember
One thing that we would recommend you do is to stock up on any necessities before you go to the islands (e.g. Suntan lotion and mosquito spray – remember to bring plenty). Although there are several mini-mart style shops around, prices tend to be inflated. It is not uncommon to see tourists leave the islands red and covered in bites!
It is also useful to bring smaller denominations ($) with you, as it can be difficult to change large notes. You can now get cash on Koh Touch, but there’s a 10% charge, so perhaps consider taking enough cash with you.
Q: When is the best time to visit Koh Rong?
A: The best time to visit Koh Rong Island is between the middle of November and the start of May. During these months you’ll have beautiful hot days with very little cloud and low humidity. To give you a rough idea of the average temperatures over this past year:
Middle of November / December / January / February: Warm and dry. 25°C daytime.
March / April / May: Hot and dry. 35°C daytime.
June / July / August: Hot and wet. 35°C daytime.
September / October / Early November: Warm and wet. 25°C daytime.
Please see our Weather Guide for more information.
Q: How do I get there?
A: There are now 5 modern ferry services from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Island – Speed Ferry Cambodia, Island Speed Boat Cambodia, Buva Sea, Angkor Speed Ferry, and GTVC. (There are also a couple of $5-$10 ‘Slow Boat’ services that take 1.5 – 2.5 hours – These services are not professionally run and are not recommended).
It will take about 40 minutes to get to your destination if it’s the first stop. If the boat first stops elsewhere, it may take 1 hour or so.
All 5 services will charge roughly $25 return, though prices can vary depending on time of year, special offers, etc. All services leave from the Ochheuteal (AKA ‘Serendipity’) pier in Sihanoukville and go to the main tourist beaches on the islands. If your hotel is not on the main beaches (Koh Touch / Saracen Bay), please read Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.
The 5 services offer modern speed boats with comfortable chairs, life jackets, and the option to buy food and drink on board. Not all of the ferries have air-conditioning, but once the boats set off there is a strong cool breeze throughout the sitting areas which more than makes up for it.
All ferry services tend to be very busy – we strongly recommend you buy your tickets in advance. You can buy your tickets online now here: Book Ferry Tickets Online Now
Q: What activities are there?
A: Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
The islands are known for their stunning underwater panorama. Whether it’s snorkeling or scuba diving that you’re after, there are plenty of superb locations.
Kayaking & Paddle Boarding
Enjoy the crystal clear ocean waters by Kayaking or paddle boarding your way around – An ideal activity for couples and families alike.
Mountain Biking & Jungle Trekking
Explore the exotic jungle habitat by foot or via a mountain bike.
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, the bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times.
Jet Skiing & Windsurfing
For some fast paced action on the beautiful clear waters, hire Jetskis or Windsurf.
To learn more, please read our Activities Guide.
Q: Is it just a party place?
A: Please ignore what you might read elsewhere – Koh Rong is NOT just a party place! Yes, the main tourist area, Koh Touch, has a reputation for being quite lively, but there are MANY other areas that are peaceful, relaxing, and truly mesmerising. Even on Koh Touch itself there are beautiful, quiet areas a little further down the beach. Please read our Hotel Guide and Beach Guide for more information.
Q: Where are the best beaches?
A: There are many wonderful beaches on Koh Rong. To give you an idea, here are three beaches that we like (please read our Beach Guide to learn more):
1) Lonely Beach – Possibly the best beach on the islands (even bettering Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem), is Lonely Beach to the northern side of Koh Rong Island. Although it is not in the most convenient location, it really is absolutely stunning. The small alcove feels like a real island-paradise, with crystal clear ocean waters, soft white sandy beaches, and tall palm trees all around. The atmosphere is quite serene – so peaceful and quiet with just a few crickets chirping in the background. There are very few people around, so you feel quite isolated and secluded out in a truly beautiful setting.
2) 4K Beach (Long Set Beach) – We would say that 4K beach is number two on the list, though there are now several resorts built along this wonderful stretch of white sand, sparkling turquoise ocean, and tropical jungle wilderness. What’s great about this beach, apart from the stunning scenery and inviting pristine waters, is that it’s a short walk away from the main tourist area on Koh Rong Island (Koh Touch).
3) White Beach – At number 3 we are going to put White Beach – A 10 minute walk from the main pier on Koh Touch. Admittedly, there are probably better beaches, but the convenience of White Beach and the quality of the resorts around this area push it up a place or two. Despite what you might read elsewhere, this far side of Koh Touch is not a party location and does not suffer from the same setbacks that other more popular areas experience. The beach on this part of the touristy stretch is clean and well-kept, with soft white sands and beautiful clear ocean waters.
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: We recommend that you bring plenty of cash, mosquito spray, sun tan lotion, and any other necessities. Both islands have small shops where you can buy most of what you might need, but prices can be inflated so it’s a good idea to stock up on the essentials before you go.
Q: Is it easy to get a Cambodian Visa?
A: Yes – it is generally very easy to get a Cambodian Visa. Although there are tighter restrictions for Business Visas (which now require a Cambodian work permit), the Tourist Visa (1 month stay) is very straight forward and can be obtained at the airport / border crossing as you arrive. If you’d like to skip the ques, you can buy your visa online now here: Buy a Visa Online Now.
Q: Is there an ATM on the islands?
A: Although there is no ATM as such, you can still get cash out at any of the three Eftpos terminals on Koh Touch (the main tourist area on Koh Rong Island). There is an Eftpos terminal at Green Ocean Guesthouse, White Rose Guesthouse, and Koh Lanta.
Q: Is there a medical facility on Koh Rong?
A: There is a medical facility on Koh Touch (the main tourist area on Koh Rong Island). Please ask someone when you are there for directions.
Q: Is it a family-friendly place?
A: Yes, there are many quiet, family-friendly places on the islands. Please see our Hotel Guide and Beach Guide to learn more.
Q: When is the rainy season?
A: The rainy season on Koh Rong Island is from the middle of May to early November. During these months there will be short bursts of heavy rain during the day. One thing to note is that, although it is wonderfully hot throughout the peak season, there are several advantages of visiting the islands during the rainy season.
For example, those that visit during the rainy season get to enjoy half-priced accommodation and beautiful rainy scenes, and because it never gets too cold in Cambodia, swimming in the ocean is still a very pleasurable experience (the water rarely drops beneath 25°C). Take a look at this article for more information: 5 Reasons to Visit Koh Rong Island in Rainy Season
Q: Where was Survivor Kaoh Rong filmed?
A: Koh Rong Cambodia has hosted the popular reality programme ‘Survivor’ several times.
In 2012, a special edition of the French Survivor (‘Koh Lanta’) was filmed near Sok San Village with an All-Star cast. The production team returned in 2013 and again in 2016 to film the regular editions.
In 2015, the American version of Survivor produced Season 31 (Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance) and season 32 (Survivor: Kaoh Rong – Brains vs Brawn vs Beauty) on Koh Rong Island.
The 16th edition of Expedition Robinson (Sweden’s Survivor) was also filmed on the island.
2) Walking to Longbeach. Of course you should walk to Longbeach it is an hour walk through the jungle to get to the stunning Longbeach, 7km of whitesand and crystal clear blue water that leads to SokSan Village. Fair bit of construction going on there though….But the direction and information you provide are about Longset Beach (also known as 4K).
There is also Adventure Adam Tours that now offer a trip around the island that is great if you are alone or a small group and can’t afford to rent a private boat. They also have a western guide to give you lot of info as you explore the island.
I think you should have put Snorkelling on this list – We went for a snorkelling trip and it was great
Visit Koh Rong
Yes there are some great snorkelling trips that you can book on Koh Touch – We were planning to put them in but went for the fishing experience instead. Both activities are fantastic though so either or! (P.S. we briefly mention snorkelling above – click on that link for a more in depth article)