The word for island in Cambodian
is ‘Koh’ and like many places in
The south coast of Cambodia is a desert island hotspot with no less than 61 tropical Cambodian islands set against the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Easily reached from the coastal centres of Sihanoukville, Kep and Koh Kong, they're largely undiscovered with tourism taking its first tentative steps. If you stick to the local or small ex-pat run concerns, the Cambodian islands offer everything from palm fringed deserted beaches, traditional village life to the peaceful beach shack living.
The Cambodian islands are one of the few places left in the world where you can enjoy beautiful stretches of white sand beach all to yourself.
None have paved roads, cash machines or 24-hour electricity, but what the islands lack in amenities they more than make up in natural beauty. Unfortunately, development is just around the corner, so move fast to get there before the laid-back atmosphere is destroyed by the approaching planned luxury resorts.
Many of Cambodia’s islands take their name from a legend. The most popular are:
- Koh Kong – you can only day trip to this military-run island close to the border with Thailand.
- Koh Russei - the most popular stop off on the Three Island Boat Tour, Bamboo island is just an hours boat ride from Sihanoukville. Here you swap TV and mobile coverage for turquoise painted beach bungalows, a great seafood lunch and a spectacular sun downer.
Koh S’dach – King’s island
sits in the Gulf of Siam
half way between Ko Kong and
Sihanoukville, a daily stop
on the bullet-boat service.
For an unadulterated
experience of a Cambodian
fishing village, a Koh
S’dach guesthouse fits the
The main beach is home to golden sands and crystalline waters ideal for snorkelling and don’t forget to sing your heart out at the beach’s premier karaoke bar!
- Koh Tonsay translates as Rabbit Island just 20 minutes from Kep, once French Cambodia’s premier resort in the 1920’s. Today its palm fringed beaches house a series of bamboo huts on stilts for visitors to enjoy island living at its best.
- Koh Ta Kiev is already being developed by a Malaysian company who won a 99 year lease to develop 30-40% of the island into an eco-tourism resort with beaches, a golf course, marina and theme park. The island is also home to Jonty’s Jungle Camp camp, offering the ultimate eco-friendly, “back to nature” experience staying in quality tree-house accommodation, you can trek deep into the jungle, acclimatise in the sauna/steam room or simply just laze in your hammock.
Song Saa resort spans the two islands of Koh Ouen and Koh Bong, connected by a footbridge over protected waters. The name Song Saa means "Sweetharts" in Khmer.
Song Saa Island lies secluded in this magnificent seascape, just 30 minutes by boat from the international airport of Sihanoukville.
- Further south of Koh Rong is the smaller and quieter island of Koh Rong Samloem. It's about 4 kilometers North of Koh Rong. There is a small fishing village and many beautiful, nearly deserted beaches. The island is not developed, but if you go there you can stay on one of the few beach bungalows.