If you are joining the hundreds of travelers exploring the popular Southeast Asian tourist circle (including Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia) you might begin to hear of backpackers flocking to an island called Koh Rong in Cambodia. Just a (slightly nauseating) 50-minute boat ride away from Sihanoukville, Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia and now a well-rumored party spot.
Just a few years ago, Koh Rong was a quiet island with less than a dozen bungalows for tourism. Now, with recently secured wifi and a section of its coast lined with hotels and restaurants, the island is becoming known for its backpacker visitors, expat business owners, and beach party scene. Luckily, there are still miles of untouched nature available to explore and enjoy, as well. Move quickly to experience it though, because the word has gotten out and the crowds are multiplying.
Tips for an Awesome visit:
Stay on the beach at Koh Rong Island Boys, hang around with outgoing backpacker staff members, and enjoy an awesome happy hour and (cheap) delicious grilled food.
Note, if there's bad whether you won't get wifi anywhere so be prepared to unplug. I damn near had a heart attack on my first unplugged day.
Escape the scene to Long Beach's 7km of untouched nature and snorkeling opportunities along the western shore, or hang back during the afternoon to grab Tsigi's famous Thai food before he randomly decides to bounce for the day (sorry, it's not Khmer food but it's out of this world delicious).
Coco's BBQ is also a lovely chill spot for freelancers and vacationers alike, as they offer plenty of outlets and wifi with decent food.
Enjoy Koh Rong, loves! If you are heading to or from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, don't worry there are a ton of buses you can arrange right at the pier.
How did I keep well over there with lupus? Sounds like a big party scene, right?
Well, I limited my alcohol intake, put on lots of sunscreen all day, relaxed by the beach (under the shade), and tried to eat local as much as possible (as opposed to burgers and such). Playing trivia and dancing was fun, but I understood when it was time to go to bed. :-)
Lastly, I left the island after two or three nights because I knew I needed a quiet night's rest and to detox. A great vacation results from knowing your limits and balancing it with a fun time. For me, it was a great time to relax on white sand beaches and float in clear blue water after spending a week in the busy city of Phnom Penh.