Koh Rong Samloem is one of those places you want to keep only for yourself. That’s why we call it the secret island. A hidden gem without tourists, roads, ATMs, and main electricity. All the resorts are powered by their own gasoline generators or solar panels. There is a permanent laid back vibe echoing through swinging lazy hammocks, palm trees, serene beaches with crystal water and beautiful landscapes.
No wonder why the Huffington Post named Koh Rong Samloem as one of the “places you need to tee in the next decade“, so our advice to you is; better get to this island before it becomes touristy.
Our polish friends and hosts living in Phnom Penh suggested us to share a taxi to Sihanoukville and from there catch the ferry to Koh Rong Samloem. The objective was to get away from the busy city life and take a break from “reality”. (One-way ticket cost around $10 by Speed Boat – 45 min. For the same price you also have the Party Boat – 1h30min).
Surprisingly, they knew a couple who were building a resort on the island located on Saracen Bay Beach – The One Resort, the only place with a swimming pool and an English chef specialized in European and Asian cuisine.
We spent 3 amazing days detoxing from modern day life, without wifi, laptops, mobile phones, completely isolated from the world, relaxed and admiring the idyllic surroundings.
There’s not much to do on the island, a few snorkeling and diving spots, trekking to the other side of the island through a wild jungle to catch the sunset at Ma-Pai Bay. Or visit the old lighthouse situated on the southwestern corner for a spectacular view over almost the whole island.
As you can imagine, it was hard to say goodbye to Koh Rong Samloem where we had several moments of yūgen. It made us think on how traveling holds the magical possibility of reinvention, an occasion to dream and remember, that you might find a place you love, to begin a new life and never go back home.