Cambodia’s beaches are often neglected in favor of Thailand’s. But slowly, surely, the country’s idyllic islands and shining white sands are becoming known to the world’s beach lovers.
There are 3 best beaches in Cambodia that really stand out, and match up to anything its more popular neighbors have to offer.
1. Southwestern Beach, Koh Rong
Koh Rong is easily one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most gorgeous islands, with 43 kilometers of beach. On the southwestern side of Koh Rong the beach stretches for nearly five kilometers — 5,000 meters of untouched white sand fringed with palm trees and dazzling turquoise waters.
At the southernmost end of this beach are rocks where snorkelers can watch schools of colorful rabbitfish, sergeant fish and parrot fish.
Getting there: From Sihanoukville, catch a boat to Koh Rong with any of the guesthouses on the island. The trip takes between two to three hours.
Monkey Island (southeast side Koh Rong; +855 81 830 991; monkeyisland-kohrong.com)or Paradise Bungalows (southeast side Koh Rong; +855 34 933 664) are based on the other side of the island but can organize your boat tickets and help you hire a fishing boat (or hike) to the western side of the island.
2. Long Set Beach, Koh Rong
The southernmost cove of Koh Rong hosts a beach that the locals call Long Set, after the farmer who lives there growing coconuts, mangoes and cashews.
With nearly empty white sand beaches and placid aquamarine waters, Long Set Beach is just a short walk away from the accommodations on the main part of southeast Koh Rong and is an ideal place for sunning, collecting shells and crabbing.
On nights where the moon is waning, night swimming can reveal bio-luminescent plankton that cause a ethereal phosphorescence in the water.
Getting there: From Sihanoukville, the boat ride to Koh Rong takes two to three hours. The guesthouse closest to Longset Beach is Treehouse Bungalows (southeast side Koh Rong; +855 16 594 177).
3. Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Saloem
All of the beaches on Koh Rong Saloem, an island two hours off the coast of Sihanoukville, will have you gaping in awe, but Lazy Beach is particularly beautiful.
Shaded by pine trees and benefiting from a daily sweep to keep it spotless, the golden sands of Lazy Beach make for excellent daytime sunning.
The waters around the beach have many snorkeling options and other parts of Koh Rong Saloem are a favorite of divers and fishing enthusiasts from the mainland. Evenings, you can watch the deep pink sunsets from the beach with a tropical cocktail in hand.
Getting there: Book accommodation in advance with Lazy Beach (western side, Koh Rong Saloem; +855 16 214 211; lazybeachcambodia.com). From Sihanoukville, catch the Lazy Beach boat to Koh Rong Saloem from the Serendipity Road pier.