Sometimes, I wonder why there are so many pretty destinations to come in Cambodia, which are also very cheap. Angkor is famous for the majestic and ancient beauty. Beaches are gorgeous with good tourism services. Koh Rong Samloem and Koh Rong are among the most famous islands in this country for the gorgeous natural beauty. The islands are not so far from Sihanoukville which take around 30 minutes on boat.
However, it is the route from Saigon to Koh Rong Samloem that matters which is a long and struggle distance. More than 1 time, I wish that the island is a bit closer to me so that I can come to it every weekend to escape from the bustle life, the social network to be alone on the island with the sea, the sand and my own bungalow.
To travel to Koh Rong Samloem from Saigon, you need to get on a bed seat bus to arrive at Ha Tien parking station where you catch a transferring bus to the border gate for exit procedures from Vietnam and immigration to Cambodia. These procedures take around 2 to 3 hours on holiday time. Arriving in the area of Cambodia, it also takes time to queue to wait for your passport to be processed. It is in need of some money to boost up the process unless, you shall be waiting until the midday. We will then face with some problem in vehicle. There is no bus or taxi at this border gate but just coaches. At the border gate, the coaches all look good with air conditioner.
After running for around 20 km, all the travelers are sent to another vehicle at worse condition without air-conditioner, people and animals are crammed on the coach. All the doors are opened under the terrible sunshine with dirt and heat tapping to the faces. After a long and tired journey of countless number of stops for releasing and receiving guests, you will arrive in Sihanouk at around 2 pm. A better option for you is to hire a car of 4 to 16 seats running straightly from the border gate to the Sihanouk.
From Sihanoukville, you can either hire a private boat or travel on a big ship to arrive at Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. Boat ticket can be bought right on the boat and remember to bring along medicine for waves sick or plastic bags in case of being sick. Koh Rong Saloem is gorgeous and attractive for the long beach of white fine sand and limpid blue water.
The place is not so crowded and hustle, so that it can be a great destination to hide away. Imagine, it shall be an unforgettable moment to be there with your sweetie in the vast space of sea and sky. There is no noise, no worry, but only both of you with the nature.
I stayed at Lengmeng Resort in a bungalow of 4 people at the rate of $70 per night. One of the most famous accommodation on Koh Rong Samloem is The Beach Resort with very nice VIP rooms and also dorm room for a group of tourists.
Besides, there are many options for you on this island including Orchid, Sun Island, Huba Huba and so on. Atamans Bungalows is one of the interesting address with the unique Tree House on the island which costs from $35 to $45 depending on the travel season.
As can be seen from the map, there are 2 beaches on the island including the front beach and the behind beach as well as the names of resorts in each beach. Whenever one beach is calm, the other one shall be waving with strong wind and vice versa. In general, the island has very few entertainment grounds with games, so it is suitable for relaxing activities only. There is also no mean of transport except for your foot. You can get the experience of trekking through forest to come to the very quiet, peaceful, nice and deserted beaches. The island seems to be an ideal place for people into the sea and the peaceful and silent space to relax.
Talking about cuisine, there is not many options for you on this island. One of the special thing is that it shall take you a very long time to wait for the foods after ordering. It is often 1 hour of waiting until you can have your meal. Thus, it is suggested that you bring along foods from Sihanouk for to the island if possible. Some of the interesting experience you can get on the island with your friends including camping, having BBQ party or dancing, singing and so on. Be noted that you book for the returning vehicle as it shall be very crowded on holiday time.
On the day I came back from the island, it was lucky that I booked the ticket in advance so it did not take time to wait. For other people who did not book ticket in advance, they need to wait for several boats to get their turn.
In my opinion, this pretty island can be a great destination for your weekend. From Saigon, you can catch the bus to Ha Tien from the evening of Friday and come back from Sihanoukville to Saigon on Sunday evening. You shall arrive in Saigon at around 9.a.m on Monday and can be late for work for some hours, but I hope it is not the big problem. Total cost for the tour is from 2 to 3 million dong and can be cheaper if you choose to stay at dorm room in The Beach.
Hope you to have the great time on Koh Rong Samloem!
Experience other beach of Cambodia: Kep!