Koh Rung Sanloem is Koh Rong's stunning sister island.
It is a peaceful relaxing destination with breathtaking scenery – clean white beaches, clear turquoise ocean waters, and a tropical jungle wilderness. It is often called an ‘island paradise’ by tourists.
If you want to lie back, unwind, and admire the magnificent views, or you want to learn about the historic Khmer culture, the island of Sanloem is a fine holiday destination.
Koh Rung Sanloem can be reached easily by boat from Sihanoukville. There are 2 main ferry services between Sihanoukville and Koh Rung Sanloem: TBC (45-75 min), Island Speed Ferry Cambodia (45 min to Saracen Bay only) Speed Ferry (40 min). Both services leave from the Ochheuteal (AKA ‘Serendipity’) pier in Sihanoukville. There are also a couple of ‘Slow Boat’ services that take 1½–2½ hours. These services depart from the local port of Sihanoukville and the piers at Serendipity beach and Victory beach. For up-to-date information and timetables, visit: Ferries to Koh Rong Sanloem.
Everything on this island can be done by foot, but if you want, you can rent a taxi boat. It is quite a small island, but still big enough to get lost on if you were to embark on a jungle trek. Another option for getting around is swimming or scuba diving.
The island is famous for its beautiful beaches, the longest and still unspoiled being Saracen Bay Beach.
Koh Rung Sanloem is the cradle of Cambodian diving. It's where all the dive companies based in Sihanoukville generally head when they take divers out. It also serves as mid-way point for dive trips heading all the way out to Condor Reef.
- Stay overnight in one of the tourist bungalows. You can experience the atmosphere of the small fishing village, the warmth of the villagers, the fresh fruit and inexpensive meals... at night, take a walk to Long Beach and take a dip with the bioluminescent bacteria that glows bright green whilst you swim: an incredible phenomenon.
- Jungle trek on various routes across the island to Sunset beach, Lazy beach, the lighthouse and M Pai village, etc. Bring plenty of water, mosquito repellent and sturdy shoes if in wet season. There is chance to see monitor lizards, monkeys, hornbills white belly sea eagles.
- Volunteers live on this island as well; they are conducting fish, coral and seahorse surveys for marine research.
- Sunset Rock is a wonderful place to watch the sun set over the ocean, if you are willing to trek over some boulders to get there.
- Snorkel M'Pai Bay Corals & Night Swim with Floro-Plancton in M'Pai Bay.
- If you are lucky, you can witness a Khmer wedding take place in the village. Look for lots of Klang beer, dancing around a table and massive subwoofers blasting Cambodian music.
If you're heading for Saracen Bay there are many activities available: snorkeling, kayaks and mountain bikes rental, jungle trekking.
Koh Rung Sanloem is still mostly deserted, except for a small fishing village of around 200 people. There are three small shops in the village selling basic conveniences such as soap, cigarettes, mosquito repellent, noodles, beer, and soft drinks.
Saracen Bay also offers small shops selling basic conveniences, however there is still no ATM on the island. Some shops or resorts might be willing to withdraw money from your card, but the fees they charge might be outrageous - they know there is no other way for you to get more money. Come prepared with enough dollars - you might want to prolong your stay.
M'Pei Bei village
- One's (Just to the left of the long pier). The family who run it is very sweet and they have a variety of options from "tai-kuch-ma" (hot tea with ice and honey) to Klang beer and a cooler of other soft drinks. A meal of noodle soup costs less than US$1.50.
If you are looking for a snack, delectable fruit can be found outside people's homes and shops very cheaply. They will even peel and cut it for you. Mangoes, pineapples, oranges, and other exotic fruits that you will just have to taste to see what they are!
Saracen Bay has various restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine.
Huah's "bar" has a pool table and they are the place to go if you are in search of alcohol and a good time. There are numerous other bars in the Saracen Bay. Expect to pay US$3 to drink a US$1 can of beer outside of happy hours (which vary from bar to bar).
- 1 Chill Inn, 1 Beach St, M'Pai Bay (boat from Sihanoukville or Koh Rong), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. In the traditional fishing village of M'Pai Bay on north coast of Koh Rong Samloem. Beach bar and guesthouse, dorm rooms available. The soundtrack in the bar features funky tunes.
- EcoSea Dive (on the northern part of the island). Offers overnight trips where you stay in their primitive bungalows. The overnight stay is severely discounted for divers. Snorkellers and people just looking to get away pay more for their stay.
- 2 Mad Monkey Hostel, Koh Rong Samloem Lighthouse, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 11:00. A little separate from the main pier, but all ferries go to it with no extra charge. It is the only hostel in the vicinity and thus is secluded from the other hostels on the island. The beers cost US$1 per can. They have hammocks and swings in the sea. Bioluminescent planktons can be seen at night if you go 30-40 meters into the water. Prices starting from US$10 per night per person.
Accommodation and bars in Saracen Bay seem to have WiFi, which is however not very good.