Exploring Cambodia’s Top Islands: Finding Your Perfect Paradise

In recent years, Cambodia’s islands have emerged as sought-after destinations, attracting everyone from backpackers to luxury travelers. Despite their growing popularity, these islands remain less crowded and more affordable than their Thai counterparts. Whether you’re seeking a secluded hammock on a remote shore, underwater adventures amid pristine coral reefs, or lively beach parties, Cambodia has an island to suit every taste and budget.

Departing daily from Sihanoukville pier, numerous slow and speed boat options offer access to the stunning islands off Cambodia’s south coast. Some resorts even provide boat transfers for a more comfortable stay. If you’re unsure which island is right for you, take a look at our recommendations below, each offering its own unique allure.

  1. Koh Rong – Party Island: Just an hour’s speedboat ride from Sihanouk Ville lies Koh Rong, Cambodia’s second-largest island. Known as a party destination, Koh Rong’s Koh Touch area is packed with guesthouses and bars, offering lively nightlife and all-night beach parties, particularly during full moons. However, beyond Koh Touch, the island retains its tranquility, with secluded beaches like Lonely Beach offering serene sunsets and mesmerizing bioluminescent plankton displays.

For those seeking adventure, Long Beach on the western shore provides ideal conditions for diving and snorkeling amid calmer waters. Accommodation options range from basic bungalows in Koh Touch to mid-range beach huts and luxurious resorts along Palm Beach and Sok San Beach.

2. Koh Rong Sanloem – Relaxing Island: Considered Koh Rong’s sister island, Koh Rong Sanloem offers a quieter and more laid-back atmosphere. Accessible by speedboat from Sihanouk Ville or a ferry from Koh Rong, the island features the developed Saracen Bay on its eastern side, boasting calm turquoise waters and a variety of accommodations, from simple bungalows to luxury villas.

On the opposite side of the island, Lazy Beach and Sunset Beach provide secluded getaways, perfect for unwinding in hammocks and admiring stunning sunsets. For a taste of local life, M’Pai Bay fishing village offers a genuine experience, with affordable accommodations and a relaxed ambiance.

  1. Koh Thmei – Nature-Watching Island: Situated within Ream National Park, Koh Thmei offers a pristine environment rich in wildlife. Home to monkeys, civets, and various bird species, the island provides excellent opportunities for birdwatching and nature walks. Koh Thmei Resort, the island’s only accommodation option, offers eco-friendly bungalows and activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking through the jungle.
  2. Koh Ta Kiev – “Back-to-Basic” Island: For a rustic island experience, Koh Ta Kiev is the perfect choice. Just an hour from Sihanouk Ville by boat, this untouched island boasts yellow sand beaches shaded by pine trees and vibrant coral reefs. Trekking trails lead to a fishing village on the east side and Naked Beach on the south, while birdwatchers can marvel at the island’s diverse avian population. Basic accommodations in eco-friendly bungalows offer a charming and unplugged stay amid nature’s beauty.
  3. Koh Russey, Koh Krabey, and Koh Ouen – Luxury Islands: For those seeking indulgence, Koh Russey, Koh Krabey, and Koh Ouen offer exclusive luxury resorts accessible only to in-house guests. Song Saa, Cambodia’s first luxury private island resort, spans Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, offering lavish villas, private pools, and a range of activities including snorkeling, yoga, and spa treatments.

Koh Russey Villas and Resort on Koh Russey boasts a pristine 1.2 km beach and luxurious accommodations blending seamlessly with nature. Meanwhile, Six Senses Krabey Island Resort on Koh Krabey offers private pool villas, wellness programs, and access to secluded beaches and organic farms.

When to visit the Cambodian islands?

The dry season (November – May) is the best time to visit Cambodia’s islands, with brilliant sunshine and minimal rainfall. During this period, the islands’ turquoise waters beckon beach enthusiasts, making it essential to plan your trip in advance. Contact Cambodia Travel today for expert assistance in securing your perfect island getaway in this tropical paradise.

Tom Starkey
Author: Tom Starkey

Tom Starkey is an International Development graduate from Sussex University with 12-years of experience across 4 continents, Tom's goal is that he wants to showcase his love for Cambodia, where he lives, works and now happily calls home.