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Koh Rong Samloem is located off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia and is still relatively unknown. The slightly larger neighboring island Koh Rong is at least known with some travelers in Asia.

During my stay in Sihanoukville I made a day trip to Koh Rong Samloem and was absolutely thrilled by the island. Koh Rong Samloem is a small paradise that welcomes you on arrival with a dreamlike white sand beach and crystal clear water.

Koh Rong Samloem – still an insider tip in Cambodia

Dreamlike beach on Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia

How to get to Koh Rong Samloem

To get to Koh Rong Samloem you can take the boat only. From Sihanoukville there are some boat connections to the small island. To get to Sihanoukville first, you can either fly there or take the bus, for example from Phnom Penh. Flights are best found at Skyscanner.

The boats to the island all start at the Serendipity Beach Pier in Sihanoukville. If you already have a booking for an accommodation on Koh Rong Samloem, they often organize the transfer to the island.

There are two daily boat trips from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem at 8.30 A.M. and 3.00 P.M. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes with a price between $10 – $15 per trip. The prices vary slightly between high and low season (June-September).

A small island on the way from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem
An island on the way to Koh Rong Samloem

For bus and boat schedules, times and prices, simply go to a local travel agency or directly to the bus or ferry terminal to buy tickets. Another alternative would be the website of 12go.asia. There you can also find times, connections and buy tickets online.

If you only want to do a day trip, you could choose the operator Sun Tours, which stops at Koh Rong Samloem and another island, Koh Tas. The trip starts around 9.30 A.M. and the price is $25. You will be back at the pier in Sihanoukville around 4.30 – 5.00 P.M. A small lunch is included in the price.

Note: There is Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. That means you should pay attention to which island you really want, when buying the tickets.

Accommodation on Koh Rong Samloem – our hotel tip

The Sara Resort is located directly on the wonderful beach of Saracen Bay, only a few minutes away from the pier. It offers rooms and bungalows for guests, all of which are equipped with air conditioning, free wifi and a terrace. The hotel also has a lounge, bar and restaurant, where you can have your breakfast with a sea view in the morning.

More hotels on Koh Rong Samloem in Saracen Bay (or on other beaches like M’Pay Bay) can be found here.

1. Snorkeling at Koh Tas

We did the day trip with Sun Tours and boarded the boat at 9.30 A.M. The trip started around 10.00 A.M. and then we drove about 1 ½ hours past many of the 32 islands that lie off the coast of Sihanoukville.

The view at Koh Tas off the coast of Sihanoukville
Koh Tas in the distance

The boat anchored off the coast of Koh Tas for another hour and all the guests could go swimming, snorkeling or jumping from the boat’s upper floors into the ocean.

The boat from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem

The water in front of Koh Tas was dreamlike. Very turquoise and clear, however, the underwater world was not really filled with life. There were lots of sea urchins, but we could only spot a few fish. Also, the water had heated up pretty much and was not cooling down as we hoped.

Snorkeling in front of Koh Tas

2. Arrival on Koh Rong Samloem

After snorkeling and swimming in front of Koh Tas we had a lunch buffet on the boat during the rest of the trip to Koh Rong Samloem. Various noodle and rice dishes, some chicken, vegetables and bread. Although not the very best food, it is enough to be satisfied.

To Koh Rong Samloem perhaps a 45 minute drive was before us and the island was already on the horizon. While swimming in front of Koh Tas was quite nice, I was excited to finally visit the paradise beaches I’ve seen on pictures.

The view at Koh Rong Samloem from the boat, Sihanoukville
Koh Rong Samloem on the horizon

Even the arrival at the Saracen Bay, where the boat docked at the pier, was fantastic. White gorgeous sand as well as turquoise and crystal clear water. That’s what I was looking for.

The view at the Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem in Cambodia

3. Saracen Bay

There are 3 beaches or bays on Koh Rong Samloem. The first bay with an amazing beach is the Saracen Bay.

This is where almost all boats arrive and most of the accommodations are right here on the beach. It is also the place where the most is going on. Nevertheless, it is still very quiet and idyllic since there aren’t many visitors at all.

Tobi at the beach of the Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem

In addition to the accommodations, there are a few small bars and restaurants, that are often attached to the bungalows. Furthermore, there is a small police station and apart from that just a peaceful tropical ocean environment. Perfect to enjoy a few quiet days on a true paradise island.

The police station of Koh Rong Samloem

The dreamlike beach of the Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem

A lonely boat in the crystal clear water of the Saracen Bay, Koh Rong Samloem

4. Lazy Beach

From the Saracen Bay you can walk across the island to the second beach, the Lazy Beach. It is a short way through the jungle of the island. There you can also meet monkeys or snakes. As there are no roads on Koh Rong Samloem, there is nothing left to do but walking.

The Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

Depending on how fast you walk, it takes you 20 to 30 minutes across the island. The Lazy Beach is still a lot calmer than the Saracen Bay and there is not much going on. If you want to stay overnight, you have the opportunity to stay at the Lazy Beach Bungalows. Awesome small bungalows right on the beach. Tranquility and seclusion guaranteed.

50 meters to the nectar of the gods - beer, a sign on Koh Rong Samloem

Beach bungalows at the Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

Otherwise, there is not much to do at the Lazy Beach, which is not the worst thing if you want to relax and rest a few days. You can go for a swim, exercise in the “open-air gym” or grab some food in the restaurant on site.

Open-air gym at the Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

The Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem

5. M’Pay Bay

The third bay of the island is the M’Pay Bay. Another small bay with a village and a fantastic beach, which is also very quiet and relaxed. Since I was only on a day trip on Koh Rong Samloem, I unfortunately could not visit this bay. But I will catch up on this next time and for the sake of completeness I wanted to mention it anyway.


I expected Koh Rong Samloem to be like paradise and it definitely met my expectations. It is a dreamlike, quiet island and I will come back one day for sure. Of course that won’t be for a day trip and I will probably stay a couple of days on the island.

To get to know the island or if your time is limited, I can totally recommend a day trip from Sihanoukville. It is absolutely worth it!

Have you ever been to Koh Rong Samloem? Did you like it? Which islands nearby can you recommend? Leave us some feedback below!

Thanks for the invitation to the Tourism Authorities of Cambodia and Thailand, who made this day trip possible. Opinions and recommendations are, as always, our own and we were not influenced by the invitation.


Hi, I'm Tobi, a passionate travel blogger and freelancer in translations and copy writing. Mostly I travel around Southeast Asia and work remotely from different locations. If you want to know where I am or what I'm doing, just follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.