Many of the best things to do in Koh Rong take full advantage of the fact that the Cambodian island is virtually undeveloped and completely unspoilt. You can enjoy the many beaches, the beautiful seas and the virgin rainforests of the hilly interior in a number of exciting ways, ensuring that you have no reason to ever get bored of this stunning destination.
The list of things to do in Koh Rong also extends into some more unusual activities which are becoming increasingly popular, including giving something back by engaging in responsible tourism. These kinds of activites help to make sure that the residents of Koh Rong enjoy your stay just as much as you do and they can also be extremely fulfilling, unique experiences.
The main activity people come to Koh Rong for is relaxing in a tropical paradise. There are no fewer than 23 beaches just on the main island, with several more on Koh Rong Sanloem and the other nearby islands. The fact that the islands are all largely undeveloped means that the beaches are mostly unspoilt, with soft white sand, clear blue seas and shade provided by nearby trees. The more popular ones, like Koh Tui Beach, Long Beach and Saracen Bay, have just enough facilities to provide drinks and food to improve your relaxation without spoiling it by making it too noisy or busy. Read More...
There are some excellent dive sites around Koh Rong and particularly around Koh Rong Sanloem, with a number of reputable dive shops available on both islands. With very clear and calm water, the conditions are excellent for beginners and those taking their first PADI training courses. The more popular dive sites feature a wide array of colourful fish and corals, including sea turtles, stingrays, parrot fish and nudibranchs.
If you don’t fancy diving, but still want to explore the underwater world of Koh Rong, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of fantastic places to go snorkelling. There are snorkelling boat trips available from the main tourist hubs of Koh Tui and Saracen Bay, or you can make your own way to top places with your own gear to explore the pristine marine ecosystems at your own leisure. The best sites are found at Lonely Beach on Koh Rong and Sunset Beach on Koh Rong Samloem, though there are also great spots by Lazy Beach and near Dolphin Resort on Saracen Bay. As with diving, you will be able to see some fantastic coral reefs and beautiful tropical fish.
Kayaking and Paddleboarding
Being under the water isn’t for everyone, but those who still want to take advantage of the stunning seas around Koh Rong can try exploring the area from a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Available for rent by the day or the hour (about US$12 or US$5 respectively) or as part of an organised tour, you can get around with a bit of independence and see some really cool and beautiful sights, including remote waterfalls and islands.
Still want to explore the islands, but don’t want to do the paddling yourself? Boat tours are available from the main tourist hubs on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem and can take you around the best of the sights which are inaccessible from land and a very long way by kayak. You can also arrange a trip with a local fisherman and try your hand at fishing.
High Point Adventure Park
Explore the beautiful natural jungle of Koh Rong with a zip line adventure through the canopy. High Point offers a 400 metre course including 25 platforms in the jungle canopy, starting just a short walk from Koh Tui Village and ending with an exciting 130-metre line. The park was built among Koh Rong’s tallest trees, with one of the platforms an impressive 25 metres off the ground. The guides are well-trained and the equipment is properly maintained, making this a fun and safe family-friendly activity.
- Opening Hours: Daily 09:00 – 18:00
- Location: Just south of Koh Tui Village, Koh Rong
- Tel: +855 16 839 993
- Price Range: US$30 per person
Trekking is arguably more of a necessity than it is a leisure activity on Koh Rong as the island has no roads or public transport, other than boats. If you want to get from Koh Tui Village to Long Beach, it’s either an expensive boat trip or a walk through the jungle. The same goes for the long and narrow Koh Rong Sanloem, where clear and regularly used footpath link the main points of interest around the island. Be sure to take comfortable footwear and plenty of water with you and you will be rewarded with sights of undisturbed nature and virgin rainforests. Some resorts offer guided treks for around US$5 for two hours.
A slightly faster alternative to trekking, the clear paths between beaches and attractions on Koh Rong and particularly on Koh Rong Sanloem make it a good place for cycling. Mountain bikes can be hired from many resorts and offer the best combination of speed, convenience and affordability of any of the ways to get around the islands – plus it’s good for your health and lets you explore the beautiful interiors of these unspoilt isles.
Why not give something back to this beautiful destination during your stay? There are short- and long-term volunteering options available, from helping out with beach clean-ups to doing some manual work around the local villages to teaching conversational English. These can be arranged through Frends of Koh Rong. Inn the Village in Daem Thkov fishing village is often looking for volunteers to help run their guesthouse, restaurant and bar, but ask for a minimum commitment of two months, in return for free accommodation, meals, drinks, Khmer lessons and discount scuba diving.
Exploring Abandoned Buildings
Those with a taste for urbex will find a couple of interesting spots on sleepy Koh Rong Sanloem. The most interesting is the abandoned lighthouse right at the southern end of the island, though there is also an old military camp on the nearby beach to check out. Naturally, exploring either of these sites should be done with great care and at your own risk. A covered pair of shoes is advisable too, rather than a cheap pair of flip flops.