With Laos, coast-heavy Vietnam and the island-rich paradise that is Thailand encircling most of Cambodia, it’s not surprising it’s often overlooked when it comes to seaside splendour. In fact, with a coastline of only 443km – roughly a third of the NSW coastline – there’s actually a surprising amount of undiscovered paradise in this short of sandy stretch.
Cambodia has a host of criminally under-appreciated beauties in the Gulf of Thailand, the body of water that’s home to better-known hotspots like Thailand’s Koh Samui and Koh Tao. Our advice is to take your towel, enough cash to last you a while without an ATM and start exploring.[related_articles]56238,54887,55846,55478[/related_articles]
Koh Rong Saloem
While Koh Rong proper is known as a party island, the quieter sibling of Koh Rong Saloem is more of a desert island fantasy. Although interest in the island is increasing at a rapid rate, the west of the island still promises some serious seclusion: Lazy Beach is about as idyllic as you can imagine, as are White and Sunset Beaches.
The island is also known for its stellar dive sites thanks to reefs teaming with underwater wildlife. Don’t feel like you need to come too prepared, as there are plenty of places around the island to rent both diving and snorkelling gear.
As an almost-uninhabited island of just 200 residents, Koh Thmei is about as isolated as it gets. With the majority of the island consumed by the jungle-like Ream National Park, Koh Thmei only has one choice for accommodation, the eco-friendly Koh Thmei Resort, which keeps the island clear of overcrowding. And it’s as basic as a true beach hideaway can get – think bamboo bungalows with front doors leading directly onto sand.
Nature lovers will find plenty to distract them on the island if beach bumming somehow manages to bore you: turtles are easily spottable in the water and inside, the rugged wilderness of Ream National Park, there’s wildlife galore, with hundreds of species of birdlife flying overhead.
You can look at Koh Totang two ways. The fact that this tiny island just 60km from Kampong Som (AKA Sihanoukville) and the Thai border is free of roads, restaurants, Wi-Fi, ATMs and fresh water is a signal for alarm for some or a sure-fire sign of adventure for others.
As there is only one resort on this island – Nomads Land, where bungalows are simple and rustic – you won’t be pressed for choice but you will have the area pretty much to yourself and as it’s part of the 12-almost-deserted-island archipelago. Think jungle walks opening out onto secret beaches, endless snorkelling and kayaking and getting back to nature.
(Lead image: Christian Holzinger)[qantas_widget code=PNH]Check out Qantas flights to Cambodia.[/qantas_widget]