The best beaches in Koh Rong and the neighbouring Koh Rong Sanloem are the archetypes of tropical paradise, boasting white sands, turquoise seas and nodding palm trees. With many outstanding choices on the two islands near Sihanoukville, the deciding factors in which deserves the top position on this list become things like popularity, facilities and the calmness of the sea.
Koh Rong is said to have as much as 43 km of sandy coastline, though the fact that the island is largely undeveloped means that the only way to access much of it is by boat. This means that the more remote beaches have much fewer facilities, but are also much quieter. The following is a list of the best of the most popular beaches in Koh Rong.
Undoubtedly the most popular beach in Koh Rong, Southwestern Beach is known by a number of equally unimaginative names, including Long Beach and 7 km Beach. Locally known as Sok San Beach, it is in the southwest of Koh Rong and, at about 7 km in length, is the longest beach in the area. It is also known as the best beach in Cambodia, with pristine soft white sand, nodding palms and a good selection of accommodation available. The only rocks on or near the beach are right at the southern end, which is a great spot for snorkelling.
Found on the southwestern side of Koh Rong Sanloem, Lazy Beach is not among the largest of the area’s beaches, but it is one of the most beautiful and is kept scrupulously clean. With very limited accommodation and access, it is basically like having a pine-shaded private beach to yourself. Situated in a deep cove, the rocky headlands to either side create excellent opportunities for snorkelers and divers. Being far from any major population centres, the sunsets and evenings are absolutely stunning.
Long Set Beach
Long Set Beach is one of the better-known Koh Rong beaches, though it is more commonly named 4 km Beach. Quieter than its longer neighbour, 7 km Beach, it still boasts a good range of facilities, including several beach bungalow resorts. The main pier and population centre of Koh Rong is just a short walk away, making this one of the more convenient choices on our list. On the downside, the south-eastern view means you miss out on the sunset. However, once the sun has set, the waning moon reveals bio-luminescent plankton, which gives the beach a ghostly glow.
Sunset Beach is only one cove to the north of Lazy Beach and, despite being half the size, is much busier. Like its neighbour, it boasts beautiful white sands, bordered by rocky outcrops. However, the pine trees here keep the sun off a larger selection of accommodation, restaurants and facilities, including a dive shop. As the name suggests, this is probably the best place on Koh Rong Sanloem to watch the sunset, being almost directly west-facing.
Also known as Koh Touch Beach, this is probably the busiest place in Koh Rong, making it a good choice for those who want the desert island setting without feeling completely isolated. Despite being the home of the main pier, several accommodation options and the nearest thing Koh Rong has to a town, the beach is still glaringly white and the sea is still azure blue. While the heavy boat traffic obviously makes swimming and snorkelling off this beach inadvisable, there is a rocky headland at the eastern end of the beach, with a little extra bit of quieter beach just beyond it, where you can take a dip in peace.