Back to the Beach

One last beach trip before traveling into the northern hemisphere!  We went to the beaches of southern Cambodia where the water is crystal clear, the weather is hot, and the breeze is amazing.

We visited two beaches in Cambodia – Otres Beach in Sihanoukville which is on the mainland and Koh Rong Samloem, a small  island that was my first glimpse of paradise.

If you are looking to travel to the beaches of Cambodia, Serendipity beach in Sihanoukville comes up at the top of the search. Skip it. It’s touristy, dirty, and kitschy. If you must keep to the mainland, visit Otres 1 or Otres 2. Quiet beaches with clear water, white sands, and a chill atmosphere.

We went first to Otres Beach and stayed two days. It was beautiful and very relaxing – spending our days swinging in a hammock, reading, drinking beer by the beach, or swimming in the warm, clear water.

Although Otres was lovely, there were several areas for improvement. First, the trash. Tourists leave their cups and bottles on the beach and the resorts don’t pick up after them. So the beach is dotted with trash, which washes into the water. It doesn’t leave you with a nice feeling swimming alongside floating cups and plastic bags. Second – jelly fish.  The water was literally filled with tiny jelly fish. They don’t sting, but they scare the hell out of me. And third, the vendors. There were dozens of vendors that would spend the day walking back and forth along the length of Otres Beach selling sunglasses, fruit, massages, or oddly enough, hair plucking. This is great if you desire these services, but if you want to sit and relax, it is bothersome to be approached every 10 minutes by often forceful and lingering vendors.

After a few days at Otres, we decided to check out Koh Rong Samloem – a small island that is a 2 hour ferry ride from Serendipity.

Koh Rong Samloem was the paradise that I hoped Otres would be. It was absolutely perfect. Since it is difficult to get there, it is nearly deserted. There are only a handful of resorts on the island, all with beachfront bungalows. There is no internet signal, no TVs, and no roads. Some resorts only have power for 12 hrs each day. This gave the island an exceptionally chill atmosphere. It was lovely! We stayed at “The Beach” resort. $20 a night for a private bungalow where you can look out your window and see the beach and have the sound of the waves sing you to sleep. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

The water was clear, turquoise, perfectly warm and calm. The shore is very shallow for hundreds of feet, so you can sit in the water far from the shore and have the waves gently lap around you. Or you can swing in a hammock in a tree house on the beach. The tree house quickly became my favorite spot 🙂 I could swing in a hammock all day long, listening to the waves and reading the savage tales of A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s good to have a little duality in your day.

And there was no trash, no jelly fish, and no vendors. It was perfect! We spent 3 magical days in Koh Rong Samloem and I wish we’d stayed longer.

Click here for more pictures!


2 thoughts on “Back to the Beach

  1. We had almost exactly the same experience, except our first stop was Koh Rong (trashy, dirty), before we found Koh Rong Samloem and stayed at Lazy Beach. It was fantastic!

    • That’s so funny you were there too! When we were leaving Otres to head to Koh RS, we passed a tuk tuk that had another couple we’d met at the same hostel in Luang Prabang. We must have all been chatting about the same places and taking notes 🙂

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