This idyllic beach holiday won’t rip your wallet apart
Photos & text: Trip101
Trying to find a nice white sandy beach getaway that won’t break the bank can feel like a mere dream for some. But a great find lies in Cambodia, in the islands that dot Sihanoukville — in fact, you can probably save more money than you’d expect.
Koh Rong is one of the more developed islands off Cambodia’s coast, requiring only a short 45 minute-long boat ride. For biodiversity and amazing Instagram photos without the scary prices, here’s how to have truly self-spoiling weekend here on a budget.
Getting to Koh Rong is a two-step process. Begin your journey in Phnom Penh: The first step is catching a bus, and the second step is getting on a speed boat.
It is recommended to get a night bus from the capital that leaves at 1.30am, arriving in Sihanoukville in four to five hours before the first boats leave for the islands.
You can also book a taxi or minibus to the coast if you’re in a large group; prices for these trips can vary between 40,000 and 80,000 Cambodian riel (about $14-$28), depending on how many people you’re travelling with. This cost also covers the trip back to the capital, so you can arrange a time for the driver to pick you up back in Sihanoukville for your return to Phnom Penh.
If you would prefer to travel in the day, several bus companies leave in the morning or afternoon and cost between 28,000 – 48,000 riel, and can take four to six hours depending on the traffic.
Once you arrive at Sihanoukville, head to Serendipity Pier to catch your boat. This should be booked in advance in Phnom Penh or a day before in Sihanoukville to secure your place. The main departure times are 9am, 12pm and 4pm.
The speed boat trip to Koh Rong and back costs 80,000 riel.