We had read that Koh Rong Sanloem island off the coast of Cambodia was pretty amazing and ‘unspoilt like the Southern Thailand beaches were 25 years ago’. We really wanted to go somewhere special by the beach in our first few weeks of travel to just chill out and relax, so when we came across Secret Paradise Resort we thought it ticked all the boxes.

Like most good places it’s not that straight forward to get to. We decided to break the journey up over 2 days and stop overnight in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. So our trip to get there went like this:

  • Bus from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh (6 hours)
  • Tuktuk to our hotel from the bus station
  • Pick up the next morning in a minibus, drive to Sihanoukville (4 hours)
  • Get tuktuk to ferry office to get tickets
  • Get another tuktuk to the pier
  • Take the speed ferry to Koh Rong Samloem pier (45 minutes)
  • Take a motorised dinghy to the resort (10 minutes) – there are no cars on the island

YAY WE MADE IT!!

We travelled with Giant Ibis who were pretty good, the bus and minibus were both air conditioned and with WiFi that worked about 2/3rds of the time. Unfortunately poor Sophie was sick both times, her motion sickness is really starting to kick in 🙁

On the Giant Ibis minibus on the main highway south
On the Giant Ibis minibus on the main highway south

 

All aboard the speed ferry to Koh Rong Samloem!
All aboard the speed ferry to Koh Rong Samloem!

 

But all that travel was certainly worth it to be in paradise for a week. Our beach hut was virtually on the water’s edge and the kids were in the water from 7.30 in the morning until the sun went down at 6pm. The water was crystal clear with water as warm as a bath, with fine white sand. It was very sheltered and shallow which made it super great for the kids.

Here are some pictures of our beach hut and the main beach we stayed on Saracen Bay.

The beach
The beach
Our beach hut at Secret Paradise Resort
Our beach hut at Secret Paradise Resort

 

View from our hut (excuse the togs on the balcony)
View from our hut (excuse the togs on the balcony)

 

IMG_0993

Sekret, the cute dog who lives there
The kids loved playing with Sekret, the cute dog who lives there

 

Breakfast with a view
Breakfast with a view

 

The bar and restaurant at Secret Paradise Resort
The bar and restaurant at Secret Paradise Resort

 

Yummy fruit.....
Yummy fruit…..

 

..and fresh coconuts
..and fresh coconuts

One day we did a walk through a jungle path to the other side of the island to a beach called Lazy Beach. We saw monkeys and hornbill birds on the walk (we found out afterwards that there are a few pythons and cobras in there too!) Lazy Bay was also beautiful, with more golden coloured sand and a few small waves that the kids loved surfing in.

On the way to Lazy Beach
On the way to Lazy Beach

 

Walking through the jungle
Walking through the jungle

 

Aptly named Lazy Beach
Aptly named Lazy Beach

We didn’t wear shoes all week apart from our jungle walk, and just spent the time in the water and chilling out. There is literally nothing to do on the island – one shop selling sunscreen and chips and only a few restaurants and bars so you are forced to relax. It was bliss.

Koh Rong Samloem sunset
Koh Rong Samloem sunset

 

This is as raging as the nightlife got - endless games of UNO
This is as raging as the nightlife got – endless games of UNO

Time isn’t standing still on Koh Rong Samloem however, while we were there we saw beach huts being built in 2-3 days and a lot of land being cleared to make way for development. Unfortunately it seems the days of it being a secret hideaway and not filled with big resorts are limited, so our advice is go there SOON!

We love Koh Rong Samloem
We love Koh Rong Samloem

After a week we were sad to say goodbye but ready to move on to our next stop, the seaside town of Kep.

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0 Comments

  1. I’ve been to the same island 3 years ago. Really nice water & beach.
    But getting there was really suffering, they didn’t even have speed ferry back then, we took a “open body” slow ferry full of people and supplies there, and it was a 2-hour trip…

    BTW, any plan of visiting China in your world-trip?

    1. Hi Lindsay, lovely to hear from you. Sounds like it was much harder to get there than now! It is very beautiful though. Sadly we are not coming to China, that is a whole other trip in itself another time! Take care, Mike and Kylie

  2. Wow, amazing. I like that Ive just found your blog. Ill be in contact. This place definitely looks like one of those little gems I search for to profile on Growing up Troppo.

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