Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia: A Romantic Getaway
Are you looking for a romantic break from the bustle of Southeast Asia? Are there too many tourists, touts and Bob Marley songs on other islands? Head to Koh Rong Samloem, where the water is clear, the bungalows are private and the beach is almost deserted.
There are actually a few different beaches to stay at on Koh Rong Samloem, and making the right choice on which to stay is crucial. I don’t usually plug guesthouses, but in this case it is unavoidable. Lazy Beach is the only option on what seems like the best beach. There is another one about 15 minutes walk away that is packed with bungalows and tents, which offer a lot less privacy than Lazy Beach.
Lazy Beach’s bungalows are spread out along the beach, and each has a great view of the sand and ocean. We stayed at the furthest one from the restaurant, around a 5 minute walk, which would have been annoying if it wasn’t for having the nice beach to walk along.
Lazy Beach’s near neighbour, Saracen Bay, isn’t too bad, but it definitely lacks the romance factor of Lazy Beach. It’s your typical Southeast Asian island scene – beach bars, tightly packed beach huts (some of which actually look pretty flash) and plenty of tourists floating around (actually there wasn’t that many tourists, it just seemed like a lot after being at Lazy Beach!). If you are looking for romance, Lazy Beach is your best bet.
Most romantic places in Asia come at a steep price, and Lazy Beach is no exception. We paid $50 USD a night for our bungalow, and while it was nice, at the end of the day it’s still just a basic beach hut. You are paying for the privacy, the beauty and the relaxation, and it turns out to be a small price to pay for what you get. The bungalows sleep up to 4 (2 big double beds) so it’d be pretty cheap if you had 4 people, but maybe not so romantic (unless you are into that kind of thing). The food is also expensive by Cambodian standards. This probably isn’t the kind of place you’ll come on a backpacking trip but it makes for a great weekend escape.
Activities are limited to a couple of forest walks, snorkelling, diving and maybe a boat trip if you can organise it. We walked over to Saracen Bay and tried to sort out a boat trip to Koh Rong, but we had no luck. At that point it was actually frustrating not to have touts pushing their trips and tours, and I couldn’t help feeling people were missing out on easy money.
All we really did at Lazy Beach was laze around and relax, and as the name suggests it’s the perfect place for it. Our biggest stresses were deciding which of the comfortable chairs we would sit on, which flavour juice to have and where to watch the sunset.
The only power on Koh Rong Samloem is provided by generators which run from 6pm – midnight. This could be a deal-breaker for the more high maintenance women (or men) who need hot showers and hairdryers, but getting away from it all on what often feels like your own private island far outweighs the lack of power.
Getting to Koh Rong Samloem
The only thing that wasn’t romantic about our trip to Koh Rong Samloem was the journey to get there. A 2 hour flight from Singapore was followed by a 5 hour bus ride to Sihanoukville, which was followed by a 1 night stay on Otres Beach and finally a 2 hour boat ride. To say it’s a hassle to get there is an understatement, but as soon as you spot the beach it all becomes worth it.
If you are looking for a bit of romance in Asia then Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem should be your first choice. If you are travelling long-term it’d be a great place to get off the tourist trail for a few days, and if you are just having a short break from work it’s a perfect place to unwind and spend some time with someone special.
Further reading: Planning a trip to Koh Rong Samloem? Check out this guide on Travelfish.org
Have you been to Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem, or any other romantic places in Asia? Let me know!