By Katie May
Lapped by the crystal-clear waves of the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia's southern islands boast a great variety of beach landscapes.
Let's discover with Cambodia Immigration Services about the best Cambodia islands for foreign travelers, who want to enjoy the white sandy, stretches of beach, and the midnight wonder of bioluminescent plankton. The time to depart is now.
When Is The Ideal Time To Explore The Beaches And Islands Of Cambodia?
The finest months to visit are between December and March when bright, sunny days are frequently accompanied by clear starry evenings.
Cambodia Immigration Services recommend avoiding these beaches between June and September since the islands are prone to heavy rain and the weather is quite humid. The water might sometimes turn turbulent, hindering your transportation to the islands.
Top 6 Islands In Cambodia Travelers Need To Pay More Attention
Each island has its own attractiveness and here are the top 6 Cambodia island destinations for you! Let's discover!
1. Koh Rong - Party paradise
Koh Rong island, the now-fabled party destination for backpackers making the Southeast Asia circle, is a tale of two halves. There's the Koh Tuch town area, where everything happens, and then there's the remainder of the island, which, despite development ambitions, remains largely undisturbed save for a few distant resorts and a few of itsy-bitsy fishing communities.
If you're looking for dance-till-dawn parties and Mekong whisky buckets, the basic crash pads of Koh Tuch Hamlet are the place to be - but don't expect to get much sleep.
Koh Rong is the real now-fabled party destination for backpackers
2. Koh Rong Samloem - Relaxing with peacefulness
The vast length of protected Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Sanloem may be the ideal beach idyll.
Head to the island's west for a more private retreat vibe and sand-between-your-toes lifestyle. The oldest resort on Koh Rong Sanloem is Lazy Beach, a retreat (on the same beach) all about hammock swinging and sunset drinks. Sunset Beach lies further north, with only a few modest sand areas. Expect a beach vacation with a real local flavor rather than beautiful stretches of white sand.
People enjoying the beautiful beach and sea in Koh Rong Samloem
3. Koh Ta Kiev
Tired of elderly tourists reminiscing about Southeast Asia's primitive island life? Put Koh Ta Kiev on your radar; it might be your chance to have that experience for yourself.
Only a few low-cost resorts along the west and southwest shorelines offer hammock and canvas sleeping alternatives, as well as dorm and basic hut options.
However, if you want to experience an old-school-style sandy refuge, the best suggestion is to arrive sooner rather than later.
Travelers can be relaxing on the deck overlooking the sea, Koh Ta Kiev
4. Koh Thmei
If the abundance of bungalow pads on other islands is causing you to lose your mind, why not narrow your search to an island where you have no choice? The practically deserted island of Koh Thmei is outside Ream National Park, surrounded by mangrove woods, with just the tiny, environmentally conscious Koh Thmei Resort dotting the coast.
This is a fantastic island for nature lovers: the beach is filled with unusual shells, there's a coral reef for snorkeling close offshore, and the rainforest interior is home to over a hundred different bird species.
5. Koh Tang - Best island for diving
Calling all outdoor adventurers! Koh Tang is Cambodia's biggest island and one of the country's most underappreciated destinations for true explorers who enjoy exploring the unknown.
This island is 90% covered in woods, with many parts unknown. With just one hostel on the island, it is exceptionally well-conserved and unmarked by tourists, so if Koh Tang is on your agenda, be sure to prepare ahead of time!
Koh Tang is also the only island in Cambodia where visitors may go wreck diving at night, as night diving is the island's most popular attraction.
6. Koh Totang - Best island for unplugging
Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it In the Koh Sdach Archipelago, Koh Totang is castaway chic with significant green credentials. Nomads Land, the island's sole resort, stands in glorious solitude on the coast and raises the flag for sustainable chic.
The five quirky and colorful bungalows are a bohemian beachcomber's dream, strung with hammocks and plenty of snug deck nooks for relaxing out - yet solar power supplies electricity, drinking water is sourced from rainwater storage, and restrooms include composting toilets and bucket showers. Nomads Land demonstrates that you don't have to give up style to live off the grid.
Birds eye drone aerial view of a single pier in crystal clear blue sea on a secluded beach on the Cambodian island Koh Rong
Quick tips for travelers coming to Cambodian islands
- Travelers need to apply for a Cambodia visa to enter the country but visitors do not have much trouble getting a Cambodian Visa. You can easily obtain your Visa at the airport or border crossing once you get there. But for sure, we advise you to apply for the Cambodia online visa before the trip to ensure the approval visa and don't miss your plan to visit Cambodia.
- Ferries leave Sihanoukville at least three times daily (schedules vary seasonally) for both Koh Rong's Koh Tuch Beach and Koh Rong Sanloem's Saracen Bay and M'Pai Bay. Private boats provided by the resorts are required for travel elsewhere.
- High season lasts from November through March, with the busiest months being December and January, when hotels fill up quickly and costs skyrocket. The rains begin in June, but if you don't mind looking out your porch at storm clouds building on the horizon, you get the added pleasure of snatching a bungalow bargain.
- Don't forget to bring enough cash to endure the trip (there are no banks or ATMs on the islands), sunscreen, insect repellant for the fiendishly vicious sandflies, and a flashlight.
Hope this article has assisted you in locating the best Cambodian islands for your next adventure in this stunning country. Let's enjoy a totally different vibe - a fresh, lovely vitamin SEA for all tourists to unwind from their busy work and stressful social lives.