When you think of tropical beaches in Southeast Asia, Cambodia might not be the first country to come to mind. After all, the nation has very little coastline compared to most of the neighbouring countries. But this is exactly why beaches in Cambodia are such a hidden gem!
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Those with a bit more time to explore will discover that Cambodia has a number of beautiful islands off the south coast that are definitely worth exploring. So after you visit Phnom Penh and the temples of Siem Reap, consider heading to the coast to experience the best beaches in Cambodia.
Best Beaches in Cambodia
Koh Ta Kiev
Koh Ta Kiev is a small island off the southern coast of Ream National Park, close to the Vietnamese border. It’s one of the most untouched islands in Cambodia and remains a generally well-kept secret even among backpackers.
The jungle on the island is full of flora and fauna for nature lovers to enjoy on short treks while the beaches are isolated and perfect for sunbathing or swimming. Water sports are also popular here, and you’ll find plenty of opportunities for snorkelling, kayaking, cliff jumping, and boating.
Coral Beach, Koh Ta Kiev is one of the best beaches on the island. Located on the southern side of the island, Coral Beach is a great choice for you if you want to escape to a place that will make you feel like you’re on a deserted island.
Where to stay in Koh Ta Kiev
The Kactus Eco Village is the best place to stay on Koh Ta Kiev if you really want a slice of authentic island life. This treehouse-like accommodation is located right on the beach offering great views and a laid back atmosphere.
Even closer to the border with Vietnam lies the tiny island of Koh Tonsay, otherwise known as Rabbit Island. Koh Tonsay is one of the least developed areas on this list, but that is part of its charm.
You’ll find a jungle-covered national park in the middle of the island and postcard-perfect stretches of sand along the edges. Koh Tonsay is so small that you can easily reach all of its beaches, and the best part is that there isn’t a bad one among them.
Where to stay in Koh Tonsay
There are very few choices for where to stay on Koh Tonsay, but we recommend the Khim Vouch Iay for its rustic vibe and authentic homestay atmosphere. You can also stay on the mainland in Kep and make a day trip to Koh Tonsay.
The town of Sihanoukville, which also goes by the name of Kampong Som, is a city on Cambodia’s southern coast. Most people who visit Sihanoukville are simply passing through on the way to Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanloem, but those who do stay are there for the beautiful beaches. If you ask us, it is a town with some of the best beaches in Cambodia!
Otres Beach, Cambodia is definitely the best beach in Sihanoukville. It’s located a bit farther away from the craziness of the city while still being near enough to every facility you might need. The beach is also cleaner than some of those closer to the centre of town.
Where to stay in Sihanoukville
There are a lot of places to stay in Sihanoukville, but Woody’s is an especially great option. This family-style guesthouse is located only a few minutes’ walk from the beach. Learn how to get to Sihanoukville here.
Koh Rong Beaches
Koh Rong is perhaps the most popular island in all of Cambodia. It’s also the largest and has the most tourist infrastructure, making it one of the easier ones to visit.
Just because it draws more tourists doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit, though. It’s still plenty peaceful and there are lots of secluded areas to explore. With no roads on the island, you’ll have to navigate by jungle path or water taxi, so make sure you’re prepared before you go.
There are plenty of places to eat on the island and lots of guesthouses as well as hotels and resorts. If you want to be near the action, stay in the south part of the island near Koh Touch. If you’d rather be away from it all, head to the northern part of the island.
There are nearly 30 beaches on the island. Here are a few of the best ones.
Long Beach, Koh Rong can be found on the island’s west side. As the name implies, the beach is the longest on the island and stretches for over 7 kilometres. This is the perfect beach for couples or families that want to have the perfect blend of peace and facilities.
Another aptly named beach, Lonely Beach, Koh Rong is one of the most isolated beaches on the island. Therefore, it’s also one of the hardest to get to, but it makes your time spent there all the more enjoyable. This beach is for those who are happy with only a few lodging options as well as little cell service or other facilities.
Where to Stay in Koh Rong
If you want to be near Long Beach, stay at the Soksan Eco-Tourism Guest House, a basic but comfortable eco-lodge right on the water. If you’d rather be closer to the action near the main beach pier, stay at Monkey Island, Koh Rong, an eco-friendly collection of bungalows on the beach.
Koh Rong Sanloem Beaches
Koh Rong’s sister island, Koh Rong Sanloem, is even less developed and more untouched by tourism. It’s the perfect place to plan a great beach getaway where you can simply relax and be at peace. There is a small built-up area on Koh Ron Sanloem, but get away from it and you’ll be the only one off a path through the jungle that ends in pristine, paradise beaches.
Located on the smaller island of Koh Rong Sanloem to the south of Koh Rong, Lazy Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Cambodia. The beach can only be reached by hiking through the island to the south for about 45 minutes or by taking a private boat around to the other side of the island.
It’s nearly abandoned, making it perfect for relaxing and swimming in crystal clear waters.
Sunset Beach, Koh Rong Samloem can be found just to the northwest of Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Sanloem. As the name infers, it’s the best place to watch the sunset on the island. There’s a bit more going on here than at Lazy Beach, as you’ll find a dive centre and a couple of lovely accommodations.
Where to Stay in Koh Rong Sanloem
Although the best beaches in Cambodia on Koh Rong Sanloem are found on the west coast of the island, it’s best to stay on the east side to have a few more options, especially if you are looking for some eco-friendly alternatives. The Moonlight Resort is a great option if you’re looking for a little more luxury on your beach escape. For a more budget-friendly option, stay at the Sun Island Eco Village for an authentic, family-run taste of island life.
If you’re looking for party beaches and don’t mind crowds or trash on the sand, then Cambodia’s beaches are not for you.
On these beautiful islands and coastal towns, you’ll find the last of Southeast Asia’s hidden beaches that are yet to be overrun by tourism. They are all perfect for relaxing and catching rays as well as swimming and reconnecting with nature.