Koh Rong is like the modern day equivalent to the Thai Islands in the '70's, in that it's only been discovered and put on the map by backpackers. Still unknown to the Lonely Planet's and Trip Advisors, it's an Island made up entirely of young travelers and native locals. If you're on any sort of backpacker route in SE Asia, Koh Rong is not only known, it is the gem of all gems.If I was selfish I would want to keep this secret treasure of a place all to myself. But more than anything I want you to go see and experience this place for yourself, because before I'de arrived here, I truly didn't know places like this still exist. But they do, and landing to the shores of Koh Rong will change you forever. This place is definitely developing rapidly so go now. Like, tomorrow. Then please tell me your tales, because this place is a dream for all.
KOH RONG IS FOR YOU IF...
You truly want to go off the grid. Tune in. It's impossible to not go off the map when you arrive here. Be with young, fellow travelers. Drink rum on deserted beaches, wake up in bungalows and jungle trek to find your own treasures.
WHY IT'S PARADISE
A turquoise-laced coastline, phosphorescent waters, white sand beaches. No tourists (just young travelers), lovely, friendly locals. BBQ's and bon fires. Everyone is there to live slow and unwind, and eat the most delicious Red Emperor whole.
A two-hour local boat ride off the coast of Sihanookville will get you here, yet once you pull up to the shores it's entirely up to you when you'll leave. Some people stay for days turned to weeks. Others for months. Boats run every morning, so grab some fruit or a sandwich and enjoy the ride. Night buses run from Bangkok to Sihanookville, or Siem Reap if you're coming from the North. This is also a great place to stay en route to Krabi, Kreb or southern Vietnam.
At least four nights. Leave it for the beginning or end of the trip, or some time in-between when you want a break from the bustle of city-jumping. You can likely still get a bungalow for about $10 or $15 a night. There's also plenty of beach hostel accomodations, as well as nicer, private bungalows on the other side of the Island.
Breakfast -- Rainbow colored fruit plates and fruit shakes. Or noodle soup shack along the pier. Morning bliss.
Dinner -- $5 BBQ'S on the beach at night get's you a full fish plate (usually red emperor, nanyqy, spanish mackeral) of all you need and more. There's also western options, and $1 noodle soup.
Fruit shakes. Rum. Water. Fruit shakes.
Words of hard-earned wisdom: Be careful of the backyard K'hmer rum and whiskey they sell at the local shops. I'm not about telling anyone to not do anything, but let's just say it's strongly discouraged.
All day. In the water, on boats, hiking through the forest. Go for a swim in the morning, in the evening (look for the phosphorescence!) and every moment in between. Hike to the other side of the island and G-I Jane your way down to a nearly deserted beach. Let the sand slide through your fingers. Watch the sun set, casting the most pigmented golden glow. Revel in solitude, meet strangers who are here to talk, connect and experience a true human connection, sans cell phones and technology. It's a beautiful thing.