When it comes to getting to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, virtually the only option is to take the boat. There is no bridge or airport on either island. If you want to really splash out, you could take a helicopter, but tickets from Phnom Penh Airport start at about US$4,500++.
For those travelling directly to Koh Rong from overseas, the nearest airport is Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS). You will then need to get to either the ferry terminal at Serendipity Pier or Sihanoukville Port. Before you book a boat ticket, it is very important to know exactly where you are going as arriving at the wrong pier could mean either an expensive long-tail boat ride or a long overland trek to reach your resort.
Boats to Koh Rong
There is a number of regular services from Sihanoukville to Koh Tui Village (though the schedule often changes).
Speed Ferry Cambodia uses 125-seat catamarans, which cover the journey from Serendipity Pier to Koh Tui Village in 45-90 minutes, depending on whether or not they also stop at Koh Rong Sanloem on the way. They sail three times per day and an open return ticket costs US$20.
Buva Sea Ferry operate 50-seat speed ferries from Serendipity Pier and sail to Koh Tui, Long Set Beach, Sok San Beach and other piers around Koh Rong. There are seven daily sailings and tickets cost US$20.
GTVC offer the cheapest service, with return tickets costing just US$12, but they sail from Sihanoukville Port, which is more inconvenient to get to, and stop only at Koh Tui. They do offer a hotel pick-up service for guests staying in Sihanoukville, which helps. They sail four times per day.
Island Speed Ferry Cambodia is sometimes called Cambodia Island Speed Ferry, Island Speed Boat Cambodia or TBC. They have only two boats – a brand new 150-seater, with air conditioning, and an older one without climate control. Both take about 90 minutes to make the journey to Koh Tui because they make two stops on Koh Rong Sanloem, with return tickets costing US$20. There are three sailings per day and, like GTVC, they depart from Sihanoukville Port, with hotel pick-ups available.
The bright yellow supply boats take locals and cargo from the mainland to the Koh Rong islands, but visitors are welcome to use them, too. Comfort and even life jackets are far from guaranteed, the boat takes about two hours (three if the weather is bad) and it depart from the New Royal Pier of Sihanoukville Port, with only one sailing per day. However, a one-way ticket costs just US$5.
Some boats from the mainland operate to other small piers around both Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, but the schedules change on quite a regular basis. If you are staying at a resort away from Koh Tui, it is best to contact the resort directly to get the best and most up to date information on how to get there.
Getting Around Koh Rong
There are currently absolutely no roads on Koh Rong – only well-worn trails through the dense jungle terrain. As such, trekking isn’t so much a pastime as it is the only way of getting around the island over land. Fortunately, most of the resort areas and villages are compact and simple to navigate and a lot of the key points of interest are close together, with few obstacles in your way.
For those wanting to go to more remote parts of Koh Rong, it should be noted that there are no good maps of the available routes and there is no internet available for checking online. It is therefore essential to have either a guide or a compass and a good sense of direction. Be sure to take plenty of water with you as long jungle hikes get very hot and sweaty.
The much easier and safer alternative to long hikes is to hire a long-tail boat to take you from one beach to the next. You will have to negotiate the price with the boat owner, with prices varying depending on the distance you want to go. Approximate prices include:
Koh Tui Beach to Sok San Beach: US$5-20 per person
Koh Tui Beach to Long Set Beach: US$15 per person
Koh Tui Beach to Lonely Beach: US$60