Last time the Visit Koh Rong team went to Koh Rong, we decided to make a trip to Lazy Beach to see how good the snorkelling is over on that side of Koh Rong Samloem. For those of you who do not know, Lazy Beach is a small beautiful bay on the west side of Koh Rong Samloem – A 40 minute walk through a jungle trail from the main pier on Saracen Bay.
Sunset on Lazy Beach
In this short review, we’ll focus mainly on the snorkelling at Lazy Beach – For those of you who would like to know more about Lazy Beach itself, read: Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem.
On our arrival, we were told that the best place to snorkel is at the far end of the beach, relative to the main bar area. Here, amongst the rocks, is the best collection of coral, fish, and vegetation. Apparently even a very small shark likes to swim around these areas! The cost for hiring a snorkel and fins is $2 per person, and a small deposit is to be left behind the bar.
Now, when we visited Lazy Beach last December, the tide had been out. The beach was really wonderful – Soft, clean yellow sands; brilliant turquoise ocean waters; and a quiet serene atmosphere. This time round the tide had come in, and to our disappointment the beach was covered in woodland clutter (trees, branches, etc.). The views are still fantastic, but we would recommend you visit here before April to really appreciate its beauty.
The beach on Lazy Beach
Upon making our way to the far side of the beach, we put on our gear and embarked on our snorkelling adventure. Many divers and snorkelers have told us to look out for the miniature eco-systems, seahorses, and nudibranches that are everywhere around Koh Rong Samloem, and we weren’t disappointed – Almost immediately we were met with all sorts of different coloured coral, exotic fish of all shapes and sizes, and a variety of creatures we couldn’t put a name to.
The water transparency wasn’t great that day, but nonetheless visibility was of a good standard, and our team certainly enjoyed the experience greatly.
Our favourite was a section just a little away from the rocks where collections of small and large multi-coloured fish were relaxing next to some wonderful coral. Swimming amongst all of this exotic scenery was really something special!
Exotic marine life at Lazy Beach
A word of warning however, please do watch out for the black spiky Sea Urchins – Although it is easy enough to avoid them, there are lots of them around, and their spikes can be very painful if touched.
A tip – If you, like we did, have a member of your group that cannot swim very well or is not a proficient snorkeler, ask to borrow a life jacket from Lazy Beach – it really is much easier with one. Otherwise, enjoy your trip!
Q: When is the best time to visit Koh Rong Samloem?
A: The best time to visit Koh Rong Samloem 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 to Koh Rong Samloem?
A: There are now 5 modern ferry services from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem – 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 the island 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 beach (Saracen Bay) on the island. If your hotel is not on Saracen Bay, please read Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem.
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 Koh Rong 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 on Koh Rong Samloem.
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.
Explore the exotic jungle habitat by foot.
Sparkling like a starry sky all around you, the bioluminescent plankton are a wonderful sight to behold at night times. Please speak to your hotel about booking a plankton tour.
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. Saracen Bay and M’Pai Bay 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 Koh Rong Samloem?
A: There is currently no ATM on Koh Rong Samloem. However, many resorts now take card (e.g. VISA, MasterCard, etc) and you can take money out using an Eftpos terminal (10% fee). It is also possible to do a WING transfer if you are desperate for cash. Please ask someone when you are there for details.
You can 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?
A: There is currently no medical facility on Koh Rong Samloem. However, Koh Rong has a medical facility on Koh Touch (the main tourist area). 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 Koh Rong Samloem. Please see our Hotel Guide and Beach Guide to learn more.
Q: When is the rainy season?
A: The rainy season on Koh Rong Samloem 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 island 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 Samloem in Rainy Season