Koh Rong Sanloem, Cambodia

Koh Rong Sanloem is one of the island off the south cost of Cambodia. There are 2 main islands, Koh Rong, which is the larger of the 2 and mor of a party island and then there is Koh Rong Sanloem which is more chilled out.

Altogether I spent 3 days on the island Koh Rong Sanloem, 2 days in m’pay bay and 1 in Saracen Bay. Both were enchanting in their own way. 

M’pay bay was at the north of the island and had many hostels along the beach, offering fairly cheap accommodation, we paid $12 a night for our bungalow with a fan and private bathroom. It was basi but was all we needed.

The sea was really nice in the sense that the water was really clear, however the beach itself was a bit dirty and unkept. I’m not sure whether this is because it was theoff  season or whether it is always like that, however it was not very inviting! 

Despite that there was an unpolished charm about the place and we had some really nice food here. There are a couple of places where anything off the menu costs $2, so great it you are trying to be thrifty! 

Our favourite place was probably Babbaganus which was a Turkish place which was on the pier. It was a very relaxed atmosphere with small tables and cushions to sit on, where you could here the sea lapping against the pier below. This place had a range of breakfasts, sandwiches and main meals.

We also ate at a place called Bong’s, we had breakfast there one morning and burgers for dinner another night. The staff were really nice too and offered us pancakes just because they were making some for themselves. 

In terms of things to do on the island, I didn’t think there was that much. They do boat trips around the island where you can snorkle and we got a kayak one day and explored a near by bay. 

For me this side of the island was a little too chilled out and although I enjoy relaxing, I just felt it didn’t have the nicest beach that I could chill out on. Therefore after 2 nights we ended up going to the other side of the island.

Saracen Bay is a beautiful 3km stretch of beach on the east side of the island. The sand is white and the water really clear. This side has less hostels and more resorts, making it more expensive. Having said that we did find somewhere for $15 dollars- however it was the worst place I have stayed in Cambodia! Despite having a mosquito net got bitten so many times, we had the weakest fan ever so that room was actually hotter inside that outside and the worst thing was the water. The water out of the shower and tap were brown and in the toilet it looked like Coca-Cola when you flushed it! It was honestly disgusting- I almost threw up everytime I flushed the toilet! Needless to say I didn’t actually shower when I was there! 

Apart from this I did enjoy Saracen Bay- the afternoon we were there it was beautiful, weather was great, I felt like I was in paradise! Then in the evening although it was east facing the sky was amazing at sunset. There was an orange glow to the sky, was incredible.

We had a BBQ fish platter for dinner that night which was nice but not too filling so we walked further along the beach and found a place which had pancakes for dessert! 

I did prefer this side of the island, however it was so much more expensive than the other side. We had planned on staying another night, however when we woke the next morning (after a horrible nights sleep in the oven room) the weather was pretty rubbish so we decided to move on.

I would recommend Koh Rong Sanloem if you like to chill out on a beach and do nothing! However, if you want a bit more hustle and bustle I would head to Koh Rong, where there is a bit more going on.

There are also no ATMs on the island so make sure you withdraw all the money you need before going! Between two of us we spent just under $250 dollars on the island, but we really like food, you could probably spend less! 


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