Koh Rong Guide: Planning Your Trip
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia.
Koh Rong is blessed with almost 27 miles of beautiful coastline and easy access from the mainland; however, much of the island remains underdeveloped.
The few roads that exist are dusty and unfinished. The infrastructure is basic at best: the island's police presence and medical facilities are limited.
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The Ultimate Guide to Koh Rong, all you need to know before travel!
The inland jungle and the scattering of remote beaches give Koh Rong an air of ruggedness. Some of the smaller bays only host one or two bungalow operations that are shared by word of mouth. Supplies and guests must be brought by boat. On some beaches, it is easier to find tents than bungalows.
For travelers looking for islands in Southeast Asia not yet dominated by tourism, Koh Rong is just the right amount of wildlife.
(The more developed beach and the town of Koh Rong are transliterated in a variety of names. We will continue with the name Koh Toch, but you will also see that it is spelled Koh Touch, Koh Tui and Koh Tuich).
Planning your trip
- Best Time to Visit: Koh Rong's dry season runs from November to April. The best weather can be enjoyed in December, January, and February, but these are also the busiest months to visit.
- Language: the official language is Khmer; however, the hotel and restaurant staff speak quite a bit of English.
- Currency: Although the Cambodian Riel (KHR) is the official currency, almost all prices are quoted in US dollars. There are no ATMs on Koh Rong, so bring enough cash.
- Getting Around: Getting around Koh Rong can be a bit challenging. You'll need to hire a taxi boat or ride the unfinished roads by mototaxi (or rent an expensive scooter) to reach many of the remote beaches.
- Travel Tip: Unless you visit Koh Rong primarily for fun and socializing, consider choosing a better beach, away from the night noise in Koh Toch, the largest town.
Things to do
Other than enjoying the bluest water and whitest sand, there aren't many things to do on Koh Rong, but that's a good thing!
- Boat Tours: Group tours include trips to nearby islands to snorkel or fish. You can join an existing tour or hire a private navigator to set your own itinerary. Some boat trips depart at night, offering a chance to see the glowing phosphorescent plankton that frequently visits the area.
- Scuba Diving: Scuba and PADI courses are available at a handful of dive shops dotted around the island. The Koh Rong Dive Center in Koh Toch is the largest operation.
- Pub Crawl: The twice-weekly pub crawl on Koh Toch is an organized way to meet other travelers. Ask about membership or find someone to wear one of the official shirts.
What to eat & drink
Koh Rong couldn't be easily celebrated for its culinary prowess, but some hostel restaurants offer hearty Western breakfasts.
It is always easy to find fish of varied quality; beach barbecues are popular, but the coolness varies from night tonight. Thai food seems easier to find on the island than Cambodian food.
On the remote beaches of Koh Toch, you may only have a choice or two of places to eat!
For an inexpensive breakfast and large portions, try the White Rose's lively restaurant.
Their fruit salad is the best deal on the Strip, and travelers celebrate giant breakfast burritos as a hangover cure.
For a better rate with an unbeatable view, take the many stairs up to the Sky Bar. Look for the sign and the start of the stairs near the Koh Lanta restaurant.
Alcohol prices on the island are surprisingly low. Some restaurants even offer a free beer (one of the local beers on tap) with dinner.
Koh Toch comes alive at night with parties and entertainment.
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