Welcome to the paradise spots of the Cambodian Coast. Get ready for the bluest of blue waters and white sandy shores with the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem. This includes how to get there, what to expect, where to stay, and more, with this guide, you’ll be sorted!
Koh Rong Samloem is an absolute paradise! Seriously you will be amazed by the impressively clear shores, white sand, and calm lapping water. So no doubt, while here you need to check out the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem. Seriously the beaches here are some of the best I have ever experienced, on all my travels around the world, Cambodia is certainly a highlight.
No matter where you go on Koh Rong Samloem no doubt you will find some beautiful serene spots. Though if you are not wanting to put in the effort of wandering until you find this, or perhaps want to book accommodation on one of the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem. Well lucky for you there are so many to choose from, though you will find the issue is actually to do with getting to them.
There are two main beaches on Koh Rong Samloem called Saracen Bay and M’Phey Bei which are where the speed boats and ferries arrive. Therefore this is where the majority of people choose to stay since it is easily accessible. Though are the beaches overrun? Are they even worth visiting? And where are the peaceful deserted spots for ultimate relaxation?
I have always traveled Koh Rong Samloem around March/April which meant the days were always great, but you may find a storm or two rolling through in the evenings. Luckily we were given more than enough time to explore this gorgeous spot and discover a few of its incredible beaches.
Get ready for calm seas, white sand, and impressive views as I list the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem that you need to see on your visit!
The 6 Best Beaches On Koh Rong Samloem You Need To Visit
- 1. Lazy Beach
- 2. Saracen Bay
- 3. Sunset Beach
- 4. M’Phey Bei
- 5. Sandy Beach
- 6. Military Beach
- 7. Clear Water Beach
- What To Pack When Visiting The Best Beaches On Koh Rong Samloem
1. Lazy Beach
Welcome to number one for the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem list, and the spot that really thrust the island into the spotlight bringing in a boom of tourism, Lazy Beach. This paradise place was actually named number 2 on the Top 21 Beach in The World by National Geographic. Seriously if that doesn’t back up my claims of the beaches on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem being some of the best on this planet nothing will!
What makes this spot really spectacular is that it is a small alcove tucked away on the less populated Western side of the island. The shoreline stretches for 700 meters of yellow sand and this is the perfect spot for sunset where you can watch the sun dip right into the ocean. Because it is quite isolated you can truly enjoy the beauty of the place with the sound of mother nature.
There is one resort on this beach called Lazy Beach Resort. It is actually among one of the oldest accommodations on the entire island of Koh Rong. The team here cleans the beach daily so you won’t find trash washed up while playing in the waves. This is often the case at other beaches on the island where you commonly find rubbish bags, bottles, lures, and netting from nearby fishing boats.
Be aware it is not the easiest to access Lazy Beach. To get there you have two options. The first is the across-island jungle trek, which I have actually done. It isn’t overall difficult and generally takes around 30 minutes. Though there is no way you could do it if you were traveling with suitcases as you do need to do a get of climbing and scouring over rocks. The second option is a private taxi boat from Saracen Bay which the resort can organize for guests.
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2. Saracen Bay
Welcome to one of the most popular beaches on Koh Rong Samloem, Saracen Bay. This slice of paradise is where the main pier is for arriving ferries and boats from Sihanoukville and Koh Rong. Being such a popular spot there are numerous restaurants, cafes, shops, and accommodation options situated alongside the shoreline.
As you can see this is no doubt the most convenient beach on the island, and surprisingly it is equally as beautiful. The shoreline is calm, the waters are clear and as it is such a large beach it never seems overcrowded. The only thing I will say is it is quite shallow so you do need to swim out a while to actually be in shoulder-depth waters. Though this is perfect if you are traveling as a family with young children.
There are approximately 20 different accommodation choices spread out along the beachfront. From affordable hostels, basic guesthouses, and luxe resorts. Seriously there are so many choices making it perfect for all types of travelers. My favorite choice is Sara Resort where they have air conditioning, decent wifi, and accept credit cards, all of which are a rarity in island life.
3. Sunset Beach
Another awesome beach on Koh Rong Samloem is sunset beach. This is a bay or so over from the incredible Lazy Beach on the Western Side of the island. Here is one of the best spots for snorkeling on the island where you can find plenty of underwater life a short swim from the beach. I stayed here during one of my trips to Koh Rong Samloem and ended up snorkeling with numerous small stingrays.
As the name suggests this is one of the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem to watch the sunset from. You have a perfect uninterrupted view of it slowly dipping into the ocean straight out in front of you. The sky will then put on a sky changing to hues of pink and orange, the perfect ending to a relaxing beach day.
This may be a bit more of an isolated spot as you need to complete the 30-minute across island jungle trek to get there. So keep that in mind if you are booking your accommodation on this beach. Though it is totally worth it. There are also a surprising amount of activities to do here accommodation owners have banded together providing plenty of hammocks and chill-out spaces as well as games and water activities.
I personally stayed at Sleeping Trees during my stay which is a French-owned glamping spot. This was certainly a more basic experience without air conditioning or wifi, but the location and hospitality were absolutely next level.
4. M’phey Bei
The main and basically only village on the island of Koh Rong Samloem is called M’phey Bei, also the number 23 in Khmer. This has become a hotspot for travelers on a budget where many local families have opened their doors and become guesthouses providing for tourists. There are also a few hostels in this location, though if you are looking for a luxe resort you won’t find one here.
Rather the travelers and fisherman coexist peacefully and support one another. Here you will find some of the most affordable accommodation and restaurants on the island, oh and of course some fresh seafood as well. Rooms are known to go as cheap as $5.00 a night in the low season which is ridiculously affordable! No wonder people call this backpacker heaven.
As this is a village where the majority of locals are fishermen, the main beach is generally used as a pier and for docking their boats. Though the reason this has still ended up on this best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem list is that just a short walk away you will find a beautiful paradise beach perfect for swimming, snorkeling and simply just relaxing. This spot is called Long Beach, thanks to the fact it stretches out so far. You can also come here at night to experience bioluminescent plankton.
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5. Sandy Beach
The following last couple of best beaches are among the lesser known spots on Koh Rong Samloem, but they are still equally as beautiful as the rest. The first one we will talk about is Sandy Beach. This is located on the same side of the island as Saracen Bay, though more closer to the main city of Sihanoukville.
This spot is definitely more exclusive thanks to the fact it is not the easiest to get to. The only way here is via a taxi boat or a poorly marked jungle trek. The taxi boat will take around 15 minutes and can be organized from Saracen Bay. Alternatively, if you are down for a bit of an adventure why not do the jungle trek? To start this trek you will need to venture to the far end of Saracen Bay until you reach Jungle Bay Eco Lodge. At the end of this resort, you will find the path, and a 50/50 chance of there being a sign, leading to Sandy Beach. Follow the path and when you come across the wall walk around it, and then over the giant rock hill. At the top just simply continue walking down until you see the village located behind Sandy Beach.
You can either venture over as a day trip or you can book one of the resorts located on this beach. The most popular one is called Tube Resort thanks to its unique design.
What is unique about staying in this location is the fact it looks straight over to the city of Sihanoukville. At night you can watch the lights light up the night sky and twinkle against the lapping waves on the shoreline.
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6. Military Beach
Technically this beach actually has no name, though it is known around Koh Rong Samloem as Military Beach. This is due to the fact there is a small military base built on it. You may even be surprised to know that some of the small bungalows have soldiers living in them.
Though don’t let this put you off visiting. It is an excellent spot to venture to if you are looking to beat the crowds and want to go on a bit of an adventure. It is located relatively far from the main tourist center of the island. Though the downside is because there is essentially nothing there and not many people visit, the beach can get quite overtaken by washed-up rubbish. This is especially the case if you are visiting in the wet season or after a storm.
To get there you will need to walk to the south end of Saracen Bay to Dolphin Resort. Once here take the road up the hill and into the jungle. Continue this until you reach a sign written in Khmer at an intersection. Once here turn right and continue until you reach the coast. It is quite a trek and will take you about an hour so remember to bring plenty of water.
7. Clear Water Beach
Our last, but in no way least beach on our best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem list is called Clear Water Beach. It is located in the North of the island and is an absolute picture-perfect location. Think calm clear waters and soft white sand. Many people say this is Lazy Beaches lesser visited counterpart that is equally as beautiful.
Though the downside of Clear Water Beach is actually getting there. From M’phay Bei it will take you about an hour and a half to walk there, so once again make sure to bring plenty of water. Half of the walk will be under the shade of the jungle, but the other half will be on the beach straight under the hot sun so prepare yourself, both physically and mentally. Alternatively, you can take a taxi boat which will cost $5.00 per person.
Also in more recent times, there has been a lot of development on this little-known spot, so who knows what the future holds. Rumor has it that some Chinese investors are wanting to build a huge resort with overwater bungalows, aka a mini Sihanoukville. Though local laws prevent multi-story hotels on the island, so everything is a bit unknown at the moment.
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What To Pack When Visiting The Best Beaches On Koh Rong Samloem
Make sure you pack the following when checking out the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem to make the most out of your experience.
Money: You will no doubt either need a little bit of money for the taxi journey to the beach or to hire a beach chair while you are there.
Sunblock: Let’s avoid looking like a lobster and bring a reef-safe sunblock along with you!
Towel: Bring along your towel! Even bring two! You’ll be in and out of the water all day and it’s likely your towel won’t completely dry properly between swims.
Camera: Of course, you can’t forget the camera. You will want this when you are visiting these picturesque spots.
Go Pro: For sure bring along your Go Pro if you have one. The underwater world here is pretty damn good.
Sunglasses: It’ll definitely be worth bringing sunglasses along with you. The sun shining off the sea can be super bright so protect your eyes by bringing along a pair of sunglasses.
Where To Stay On Koh Rong Samloem
Even though this is a less populated island, you can still find an assortment of restaurants, cafes, and types of accommodations. Whether you are wanting an all-inclusive 5-star resort or a cheap dorm room, you can easily find it here.
Honestly, there is nowhere that I would stay “don’t stay in this location” etc, all the beaches here are pretty good spots to stay at. Though instead, it is a matter of booking somewhere that meets your needs. Whether that may be air conditioning, wifi, hostel, onsite restaurant, or deserted beach. I have personally stayed at both Sleeping Trees and Sara Resort while staying on Koh Rong Samloem. They both provided different experiences with the latter being more of a luxe option but were equally excellent for what we were requiring at the time.
A glamping-style hotel on an excellent snorkeling beach. Prices from $20.00 per night.BOOK NOW
A popular hostel chain throughout Cambodia. Grab a dorm bed from $10.00 per night.BOOK NOW
My top choice. Rooms start from $36.00 per night with air-con, 24/7 power, and awesome wifi.BOOK NOW
An affordable hostel on the main beach of Saracen Bay. Dorms start from $6.00 per night.BOOK NOW
Other Things To Do While On Koh Rong Samloem
Well considering Koh Rong Samloem is the more laid back of the two islands there is a lot less to do here. if you are looking for a place with plenty of activities both on and out of the water then I recommend Koh Rong as your best option. Though for relaxing and enjoying the views Koh Rong Samloem is the best spot. Nevertheless here are a few other things, apart from exploring the best beaches on Koh Rong Samloem, that you can do here:
Biolumance Tour: Now one of the more popular things to do here is partaking in a Biolumance Tour. You are able to see the bioluminescence on either Koh Rong or Koh Rong Samloem. The tours are surprisingly affordable starting around $6.00 per person. You will take a boat to a dark area of the island with no lights from nearby villages and plunge into the dark waters. It’s a scary thought, but doing it and watching the world light up around you is incredible.
Scuba Diving: Of course when you are here you got to experience life in the ocean. Even though scuba diving can be more of a pricey activity, it is 100% worth it, and still a lot cheaper here than in many other places in the world. The Scuba Diving Center is located on Saracen Bay.
Waterfall: Nearby Freedom Island Resort you can actually find a little waterfall. This is in a beautiful jungle area and the pool at the bottom of the waterfall is the perfect place to relax on a hot day.
Lighthouse Visit: If you are down for a bit of exploration why not venture to the lighthouse for a pretty damn epic view of the surrounding landscapes. You will find the start of the walk near Paradise Villas and Dolphin Bay Resort.
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