We have a thing for hard-to-reach beach destinations. But even then, we thought the journey to Koh Rong Samloem wasn’t justified as the island was rather average. It took a 6-hour car ride from Phnom Penh airport to Sihanoukville, and another 40-minute boat ride to the island.

But if you’re still keen on making the trek down, I recommend staying at Sara Resort. The staff were especially lovely, and I say that not just because they gave us a sweet upgrade to the beachfront family room, but they were always happy to greet and serve us. One of them even made sure we were entertained throughout our entire 3-night stay…

koh rong samloem cambodia
Meet Jenny, the resident pup.
koh rong samloem cambodia
We arrived on a rainy afternoon, so the beach looked drab.
koh rong samloem cambodia
But the yummy 3 cheese pizza prepared by the in-house restaurant made us feel a lot better.
koh rong samloem cambodia
Got acquainted with the resident kitty too.
koh rong samloem cambodia
In front of our beachfront room.

When the rain cleared, we set off on a 30-minute rainforest walk across the width of the island. Other than the mozzies, it was a nice, easy, leisurely stroll that ended at Lazy Beach, one of the largest, cleanest, emptiest beach I’ve had the luxury to enjoy.

koh rong samloem cambodia
Hard to find beaches as expansive and untouched these days…

So we bobbed around in the sea for a long time, soaking up whatever little sun there was. When dusk approached, it was time to head back for some food. That’s the best thing about beach holidays isn’t it? Laze around all day, walk just a little bit, eat, and enjoy the pure bliss of not having plans.

koh rong samloem cambodia

Popped into a random place because it looked local and “legit”. The eager pup and fish amok (a classic Cambodian curry dish) made my night.

Day 2

It rained all night and most of the morning. When the skies were finally done with it, the dogs rejoiced. They were all out and about, trotting beside us, weaving in and out of our paths, and Jenny our resort’s labrador was all about chasing the poor fish that were trapped in the shallow puddles.

koh rong samloem cambodia

But it was getting too hot for this German Shepard, who laid like this for quite a while to cool off.
The main beach is filled with made-for-Insta swings and hammocks. Too bad the overnight storm washed up all the unsightly twigs and things that gave the waters a dark tinge.

There’s another route that cuts through the island and leads to a secluded Sunset Beach, so we walked straight into it, thinking it was going to be as easy as yesterday’s. It turned out to be a level 2 hike filled with muddy paths which ate our slippers multiple times, as well as steep rocky ascents and descents. Definitely not recommended to traverse in slippers.

More of an adventure than we were prepared for.

Lesson learnt… ALWAYS look trails up online before attempting it. I’d love to say that the beach was worth the effort, but it really wasn’t. HAHA! It was quiet and lovely, but the waters were still green, not the turquoise blue that I always yearn to see on a beach holiday.

At least it lived up to its name; the sunset was beautiful!
Reluctantly paid USD10 each for a ferry back to the main beach in order to save ourselves from making the trek back in the fading light.
This romantic view accompanied us all the way back.

DAY 3

View from our balcony.

Glad we finally got the full-on burning beach sun on our last day here. And only when the sun is at its brightest can the waters look a little bit turquoise. So we lived our final beach life moments at our favourite spots on this island — mainly sunset beach, and our resort’s restaurant.

And this is how I will always remember this holiday…

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