Koh Rong Saloem: Bliss on a Lazy Beach in Cambodia

Lazy Beach-2006When I tell people that the place with some of my favorite beaches in the world is in Cambodia they look at me as if I am maybe I am delirious from heat stroke. Cambodia is known for many things, a lot of them we want to bleach from our memories, but beaches? Yes, beaches. World class, white sand, clear water beaches. And best of all, for however long it will last before it is discovered, still blissfully off the well-worn tourist trails of Southeast Asia.

Lazy Beach-2060The island of Koh Rong Saloem, in the Gulf of Thailand is not the easiest place to get to. Yes, there are occasional flights to Sihanoukville, the town located nearest the island, but most people choose to start from the capital of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and take over land transport, about a three and a half hour drive to Sihanoukville. From there you are deposited at a dock where you meet a rickety old boat that will, in about two hours; transport you across gin colored waters to the tiny island and seemingly a
different era.

Koh Rong Saloem’s main, and about only, place to stay is a “resort” known as “Lazy Beach”. I use the term resort in the most generous of terms because “resort” conjures up scenes of bow tied waiters delivering rum drinks to coconut oiled vacationers in chaise lounges sitting by the pool, trying to find a few days bliss before getting on an airplane and returning to their cubicle. All Lazy Beach has to offer is the bliss; and that is what to me makes it perfect.

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Lazy Beach-6436After you are dropped at the dock – well on good days you are dropped at the dock, on bad days you have to get in the water and wade to shore – you are escorted to the restaurant / lounge / reception area and given a welcome drink. After a quick briefing about when electricity is available and restaurant hours you are given a key and directions to your hut. Yes; your hut. No A/C, no hot water, no screens on the windows, no television, no Wi-Fi. But, there are mosquito nets, cool tropical breezes and the sounds
of surf.

Lazy Beach-6532Days at Lazy Beach are spent frolicking in the water, snorkeling, hiking in the jungle and well; being lazy. It takes a while but eventually you start to unwind and quit checking the time. You learn to pick favorites from the delicious restaurant menu and take the time to actually savor them (the chef has left cookingfor five star hotels for the relaxed island life.) You start talking to the other residents and the cosmopolitan staff. You start petting the resorts rescue dogs, watching the parrots and the butterflies,
and begin to have a bit of amnesia about the stress of real life.

Lazy Beach-0425One night while walking, phosphorescence began to cover the beach and in the moonless sky the stars looked close enough to reach out and stir with my hands. One beautiful early morning I came across some monkeys looking for crabs on the beach. That is what I take away. It is one of those places that is hard to quantify. When people ask me why I like it so much I can’t put it into words. It is more like a feeling. A wonderful feeling and a favorite among many.

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42 thoughts on “Koh Rong Saloem: Bliss on a Lazy Beach in Cambodia”

  1. my wife and I spent 5 nights there a few years ago…it was a great wind down from our 6 weeks of travel pre lazy beach.

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  2. You are right, we also found the paradise in cambodia!! Although koh rong saloem was incredible, long beach in koh rong island definetely stole our hearts!! :) best beach ever!!

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  3. How cool was that? I will never get to another country or far away place again but its cool to see other people do it.

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  4. Those pictures are amazing, and I would of loved to of seen the monkey on the beach! That is my favorite photo!

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  5. Jonathan certainly has a way with words! I enjoyed reading this and will definitely check out his site.

    I think everyone needs to have a weekend or two at a place like Lazy Beach.

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  6. I never would think of Cambodia as a great beach vacation destination. Your pictures are beautiful and the way you describe it makes me want to add it to my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. These are such stunning images you were able to capture. I have never seen Cabodia portrayed so beautifully like this!

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  8. Oh this looks perfect! We have had our eye on Koh Rong for sometime and we will get there. Just arrived into Bangkok today and will spend a little time in Thailand first. So glad you wrote about this.

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  9. Wow, the word I see in my mind is tranquil when I read this post! And my family would love to see monkeys int he wild, especially this species with their seafood interest!
    thanks,
    Mitch

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  10. Look so beautiful and makes me want to dive in the water. Nothing beats white sand. I want to get half buried and just lay down there for few hours.

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  11. It looks beautiful, although the baboon would scare me. I love that picture you took of the boat partly under water. I would say it is picturesque!

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  12. What a view! You are right when i here Cambodia i have never heard beaches mentioned.. Those are some great pictures to illustrate your point!

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  13. While I have not visited that part of the world, I can see how peaceful it could be. I love just sitting near the water and listening to the waves.

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  14. Wow! I never knew that Cambodia had such beautiful beaches. To be honest, I’ve never known much about Cambodia!

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  15. I wanted to visit, but my husband said, and he’s probably right, that our little one is too little for the trip (he’s 6). There are several places in the area I’d love to see.

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  16. What a gorgeous place to visit. I love your pictures. What a gorgeous beach for relaxing on. I could almost feel the feeling you loved so much with the monkeys looking for crabs. It was nature at its best. Thanks or sharing.

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