The beginning aka the long drive

Heading out of Battambang at early morning, we started our dreaded journey – the longest journey we’ve taken so far! 11 hours to be exact. Which, surprisingly (somehow) went quite quickly. Nothing but desolate, rural farm lands were the views we was getting driving by on the dusty, non-existent roads for endless hours. Time for Sihanoukville and Koh Rong!

Dinner & Drinks

When we (finally!) arrived, we checked into our accommodation – Mike and Craig’s guesthouse – before quickly heading out for somewhere to eat. We headed straight towards the beach to be greeted by millions of tables, neon lights and venders eager to take our business. There’s also another restaurant we visited called Earnie’s Burgers. A tasty American joint that lets you select your own burger with over 40 toppings you can choose for free!

After settling on a place for dinner, we headed to a collection of bars in what seems like shipping containers, called Tuborg (just like the beer). This is where all the Cambodian’s and Chinese go for nights out. After heavy investment from the Chinese, Shinoukville has quickly turned into a holiday resort caters towards Chinese tourists surrounded by high rise casinos.

Travelling to Koh Rong

Koh Rong and it’s neighbour Koh Rong Sanloem, are Cambodia’s hidden gems. 2 beautiful islands surrounded by clear waters and fine, white beaches on the Gulf of Thailand. Located less than 40 minutes away was Koh Rong, where we were staying for 4 nights. For $22USD return, we had the pleasure of relaxing here. Un-aware to us that it’s quite difficult to navigate around the island as the majority is an untouched jungle. Therefore, un-safe due to getting lost and unpleasant reptiles like snakes!

Accommodation

There’s not much accommodation available on the island. But, we booked for Green Ocean Guesthouse. A cute little guesthouse with a sea-view balcony close to the pier. With the added benefit of a common room and 15% off a nearby restaurant – the white rose.

Beaches

Gorgeous white sandy beaches surround the island. The only ways to get to them is walking through the depths of the jungle or via a longboat around Koh Rong. There’s not much to do on Koh Rong so the main activity is just chilling on the beaches. Our favourites were;

  • 4K Beach – Only located a mere 30 minutes away from the main pier, a beautiful white beach with sand as fine as flour. Clear blue waters calmly rolling up on the sand. Bars and restaurants are available throughout the coast.
  • Long beach – An isolated beach on the west side of the island with hardly any visitors.
  • Ko Toch beach – The beach the ferry arrives on, it’s relatively busy but naturally has all the amenities for an easy day at the beach.

Restaurants

  • White Rose Restaurant – a bar with loads of options both breakfast and dinner. Traditional Cambodian delicacies as well as, those truly-missed Western dishes. This is the restaurant where you get 15% off when you stay at Green Ocean Guesthouse.
  • CoCo’s – a place that does amazing pizza!
  • Da Matti? – a great Italian restaurant which is located on one of the piers. #2 on Trip Advisor too!

Health advice!

Despite being a beautiful island, with the governments intention for it to mimic the likes of Koh Samui in Thailand, the infrastructure here is not yet fully ready for flocks of tourists. Unfortunately, poor water sanitation and plumbing has plagued this island with bouts of food poisoning and poor hygiene. Although not enough to say you shouldn’t visit here, just be aware what you’re eating. Avoid ice, salad and definitely the water here. Food is usually ok in most areas, just make sure you research on trip advisor first and avoid anything that seems a little too dodgy. Our friends got ill on a fish soup so even though the fish is fresh, the other ingredients may not be, so just be careful!

Boat trip

For $10 you can book a boat trip from almost anywhere in the island. This takes you to numerous spots which are included in the tour. Snorkelling at Pineapple Island, fishing, relaxing at Long Beach. Followed by, dining on the beach with a BBQ overlooking the beautiful sunset. Watching the fiery oranges turn to rosy pinks until finishing up with swimming with plankton. The plankton is amazing to witness. Swimming around with neon green lights surrounding you copying your every movement.

Where next?

After this island, we are doing a quick stop at Kampot before going to the Philippines for Christmas!!

Tips

  • There are ways to make the trip to Shinoukville shorter e.g. going to Phnom Penh to Shinoukville is only a 4 hour ride.
  • Stick to what you know in Koh Rong in terms of restaurants. Either from recommendations or Trip Advisor so you know you are safe
  • Don’t eat the salad or the ice due to the water plumbing and sanitation not being as clean as you’re used to.

About The Author

Wanderlust Lab is a collaboration between Abbie and Luke for the sharing of travelling knowledge to help backpackers and travellers all across the globe. Live Wanderlust.

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