A sleepy little island off of Cambodia’s coast, Koh Rong Sanloem felt like a peaceful vacation from our vacation.
To get to the island you need to take a ferry from Sihanoukville. The ferry is about 45min ride and around $20 round trip for the speed boat option. We were there in the low season so obtaining tickets wasn’t a problem but if you go in the high season I recommend securing tickets ahead of time. Don’t let the atmosphere of the town bring you down (commonly referred to as Shitsville), it really is worth it to get to Koh Rong Sanloem or it’s neighboring big brother Koh Rong. We did our research on the two islands and decided to go to Koh Rong Sanloem due to it’s more chill and low key reputation, we were very happy with our decision. If you’re looking to party, Koh Rong is more your speed although I can’t confirm as we only spent our time on Koh Rong Sanloem. After arriving by ferry on the east shore of the island we walked the white sand beaches looking for a place to stay. We ended up at Blue Green Beach Bungalows. They accommodated us perfectly for what we were looking for. We booked initially for 1 night but ended up staying a 3 since we loved the island so much. There are no cars on island, we walked everywhere but you could pay a long boat to take you to your next destination on island if you prefer. There is also no power grid, so everything is run off of generators, the lack of Wi-Fi and seclusion is exactly what we were looking for to reconnect with ourselves and the brilliance of the journey we were embarking on.
Our first night we enjoyed some green curry on the beach with the waves lapping onto shore less than 3 meters from our table. After dinner we stopped at The Big Easy to grab a beer and play some pool. We returned to our room and enjoyed a long nights sleep finally able to enjoy island time again on our trip. We woke up and wandered out to the shore to find some breakfast.
After talking to some locals we decided to walk to the other side of the island to check out Lazy Beach. We packed our things and set out for the day. It was a short walk down a paved path from the east to the west side of the island. We arrived at Lazy beach and found a place to hang our hammock. We enjoyed the day relaxing, reading, playing *ukulele*, swimming, and just hanging out.
*Ricky purchased a Kala Waterman Ukulele along our travels in Vietnam. He was missing his one at home and this was a great purchase since it is waterproof and super durable for travel!*
As late afternoon approached, naturally we decided to head to the other beach on the west side rightfully called Sunset Beach. The trek to this beach would be best completed in Tevas or sneakers but we made it work in our bathing suits and flip flops. This area was even more secluded, the rocky terrain of the hike was well worth it. We found a nice piece of driftwood to relax against. Ricky played the ukulele and we watched the cotton candy skies with the sun setting on the horizon against the never ending ocean. It was one of the most beautiful and surreal sunsets I’ve ever been blessed to experience. As the light faded away we began our journey back to the other side of the island. We reached the east side just as darkness began to creep in. We grabbed a bite to eat and returned to our room. We enjoyed our cold showers which surprisingly felt so good after a long salty and sunny day. To unwind for the night, we grabbed our incense and candles and sat out at a table on the shore. We played cards and watched the full moon rise up into the sky before retiring to our room for the night.
The next morning we had a delicious breakfast and had to get some things sorted out on Wi-Fi for our Indian visa. Once we finished we put on our swim suits and did a beautiful yoga flow on the beach. After ending our flow with a dip in the ocean we decided to explore the island some more. We changed into hiking clothes and set off for the hike to the lighthouse on island. It took close to an hour on a fairly well traversed path through the jungle. The lighthouse stands on someone’s property who charges $1 per person to climb the lighthouse- well worth it. Climbing the abandoned lighthouse was fun in itself but the views from the top were amazing.
After relaxing at the top and soaking in the views of the ocean surrounding us on this tiny little island, we climbed down and made our way back to our beach. Our dinner that night was amok- the national dish of Cambodia. Ricky had veggie and mine was fish, locally caught off shore of the island. It was delicious and was one of my favorite meals of the trip. After dinner we played cards under the moonlight until we went to bed. That night the generators cut out and woke us up around 4am and we couldn’t fall back asleep. So it was the perfect opportunity to wrap up in blankets and sit on the shore swings to watch the sun rise above the mountains. The water was calm and the sun illuminated the sky in pastel pinks and blues. It was the perfect way to spend our last morning on island.
We returned to bed for a few more hours of sleep before waking up and making breakfast on our porch. We had our granola we made with soy milk and fresh fruit we purchased from the small market on island. After breakfast we went to enjoy the beach again with a yoga flow. We sat in the sun and reflected on our time on island. Before we knew it, it was time to walk to the pier and board our returning ferry to Sihanoukville. The round trip ferry ticket is good for whatever day/time you want to leave Koh Rong Sanloem, just make sure you hold on to it til you’re ready to go.
We arrived in Sihanoukville and had to hangout til our night bus to take us to Siem Reap. Our time on Koh Rong Sanloem was incredibly relaxing. It was so nice to disconnect with the outside world, in order to really reconnect with our own inside worlds. If you have any questions regarding our time on island or need help planning your trip drop a comment and we would love to help 🙂 Peace & Light, Nicole
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