Only 20 km off the coast from Sihanoukville lies Koh Rong, a laid back small tropical island in the Gulf of Thailand. It is a very calm and peaceful place and the three days we spent there in a simple beach hut were some of the most relaxing at all on my whole travels. And the weather gods were also on our side.
Staying in a Beach Hut at 4k Beach
There is not too much choice when it comes to accommodation on Koh Rong. There are a few fancy places for absurd prices (I saw a villa for $5000 per day), but most of the accommodation offered on the island is rather simple. But that’s exactly what I was looking for. So we found these cute beach huts at the 4k Beach on the South East coast of Koh Rong. The bungalow was built on stilts and made out of wooden boards. This meant that it was by no way sealed, and I heard stories that during heavy tropical rain, it can happen that the hut is leaking and the bed gets wet. There was also no hot shower, and the electricity on the island was sometimes not working. We could hear funny animals sounds (that we were unable to identify, my guess is: frog) during day and night. As I said, really simple conditions, but incredible romantic and beautiful.
I guess the name of the beach comes from its length (although it seemed shorter), but that’s really not important. What’s important is that since there is so little accommodation at this beach, it basically felt like we had the beach to ourselves. There were no noisy tourists, no loud music, no jet skis, parasailing, and so on. We could listen to the sound of the waves and the wind the whole day, and due to the open bungalow, also the whole night. It was really somehow too good to be true.
If there is one thing that I should complain about, it was to quality of the food. I don’t mind eating simple meals, but after having a fish soup one evening my stomach strongly protested, and since that day, I had more or less digestion problems. While I think it is perfectly ok for the beach huts to be simple, I think the kitchen of our beach hut resort should have taken better care of the hygiene. Sometimes there were dogs walking in the kitchen from the beach, etc. And along the beach there are not too many other food options available either.
About the Island
One day I went for a short run to the interior of the island, and there things are even simpler and less developed. Again and again though there were new bays with remote beaches, some cliffs, deep blue water, and peace. There is only one tourist village in the south of the island where there are beach parties twice a week and that’s where most of the noisy tourists stay. Apart from the bass of one of the parties during our first night, we did not notice anything from this village. What really surprised me on Koh Rong was the excellent mobile network at 4k Beach. We had high speed Internet that was faster than in most places in South East Asia that we had visited. Oh, I guess this would be a nice place for digital nomads.
Moving on to Laos
I guess I could have stayed on this island for another week easily, but as we want to see more places on this trip, we decided to move on to Laos after three nights on Koh Rong. I will miss Koh Rong and it was a forgiving end to our overall very mixed experiences in Cambodia. I hope I’ll make it back here again one day. And I also hope that Koh Rong will remain as underdeveloped for at least another decade and not fall to mass tourism as Sihanoukville did.