Island-Hopping Cambodia: We Rank the 10 Best Islands

Cambodia has an island for every type of traveller. Lucky explorers who have swam or snorkeled their way around at least one of Cambodia’s unique islands will confirm that they each offer something unique. If your ideal vacation involves soaking in the local culture by connecting with the wildlife and nature, deep sea diving and exploring pristine blue waters, and dancing the night (and day) away with the locals and visitors alike, Cambodia’s got you covered.

We’ve ranked 10 of Cambodia’s islands that will help narrow down your island search to match your travel goals.

Travel to: Cambodia

  1. Koh Rong Samloem

Koh Rong is Cambodia’s most popular island, and we definitely see why. The beach resort island of Cambodia, Koh Rong Samloem is located in the Gulf of Thailand. You can choose between a forty-five minute ferry ride or a two hour fishing boat from the mainland to start your adventure.

Travellers choose Samloem for its tranquility and calmness, in comparison to the other islands in close proximity. Neighbouring island Koh Rong, is notorious for being a party paradise, while Samolem is a top choice for serenity and bliss. As it is less developed, it is free of air and noise pollution, making the days spent relaxing on the beach more pleasant.

Samolem is part of the Wonderful Wildlife of Sanolem project, which preserves and protects the natural beauty of the island and those who are living on it, including the diverse indigenous animal population.

  1. Koh Rong

The sister island to Koh Rong Sanloem, Koh Rong is the second-largest island in Cambodia.

Koh Rong lives up to its reputation of being Cambodia’s party island paradise, with bars lining the beaches, cheap alcohol, and affordable accommodation wherever you turn. Koh Touch is the main tourist beach, and with white beaches and clear water, it’s easy to find paradise on Koh Rong!

To take a break from the dancing and music, there are less congested beaches that offer a necessary balance. Long Set Beach, White Beach, Palm Beach, and Lonely Beach muffle the party atmosphere throughout the island.

Sunset in Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong, Cambodia| © Jakob Konig/Unsplash

  1. Koh Ta Kiev

Disconnect with the modern world and connect with nature on Koh Ta Kiev. With no wifi and limited development, the smallest island near Cambodia’s coastline will spoil travellers with beautiful yellow-sand beaches and coral reef coasts. Koh Ta Kiev is most popular for day trips for travellers wanting to snorkel, kayak, and cliff-jump.

Pack comfortable shoes to enjoy this island, as the only way to explore here is by foot. With no paved roads, there are no tuk-tuks or bikes to bring travellers from one end of the island to the other. This makes for a unique experience, differentiating itself from other Cambodian islands.

Koh Kchhang Fishing Village, Cambodia

An island fishing village in Cambodia | © Flashpacker Travelgroup/Flickr

  1. Koh Tang

Calling all wilderness explorers! Koh Tang is Cambodia’s largest island, and one of the most underrated spots for real adventurers who love exploring the unknown. This island is ninety percent covered by forests, with many areas left unexplored. It is very well-preserved and unmarked by tourists, with only one hostel on the island, so if Koh Tang is on your list, make sure to plan well in advance!

Koh Tang is also the only island in Cambodia where travellers can go wreck diving. Tour groups recommend spending the night, as night diving is the most popular attraction to the island.

  1. Koh Seh

Give a warm welcome to Koh Seh: Cambodia’s most recent tourist spot. Only a few years ago, Koh Seh was completely underdeveloped and merely an unrecognized fishing island.

Today, Koh Seh is home to some of Cambodia’s cleanest and most beautiful beaches. Boasting some of the best snorkeling and swimming, as the tides are low and waves are more manageable in comparison to other islands, Koh Seh is a family-friendly, laid-back island perfect for both relaxation and adventure.

A boat during sunset in Koh Rong, Cambodia

Can’t you imagine cruising along Cambodia’s islands? | © Alex Person/Unsplash

  1. Koh Russei

Koh Russei, also referred to as Bamboo Island and the new Cambodian Riviera, is part of the Ream National Park. “Russei” translates to bamboo in Khmer, reflecting the generous amount of bamboo covering the quaint island. Situated on the Cambodian river, Koh Russei is home to the largest number of endangered species on earth.

Travellers who venture to Koh Russei are in good hands. Not only are travellers drawn to the island because of the clear, turquoise water and yellow-sand beaches, there are countless cultural excursions visitors are encouraged to participate in. One of the most highly-anticipated attractions is a visit to Bokor National Park, which is a collection of historic French colonial buildings dating back to the 1920s.

Bamboo houses in Koh Russei, Cambodia

Koh Russei, also known as Bamboo Island | © Ian Cochrane/Flickr

  1. Koh Totang

Drop off the map and visit one of the 12 islands that make up Koh S’Dach. This undeveloped paradise is unheard of by most travellers, mainly due to its distance from the mainland. What makes Koh Totang so unique and special is that there is only one option for accommodation, and only two families (and their dog) reside on the island.

The resort, Nomads Land, makes group adventures solo trips more exciting with their free paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkelling gear readily available from the beautiful Sunset Beach. If you’re looking for a truly local getaway, Koh Totang may be perfect for you!

  1. Koh Pring

Koh Pring is a diver’s paradise. The opportunity for early morning and late night dives makes the stay worth your while. Visiting this island requires a bit more organization, as you must book all your dives at the Dive Shop located in Sihanoukville or on Koh Rong island. Travellers brave the 8-hour boat journey to dive, but also to view and learn about the diverse sea life.

This quiet, laid-back atmosphere is what pulls travellers to spend nights on the island. With little-to-no power or cell service, travellers can fully immerse themselves in the island’s culture.

  1. Koh Thmei

One of the most pristine islands, Koh Thmei is an eco-friendly island that welcomes nature lovers. The only accomodation on this island is the Koh Thmei Resort. It is solely powered by solar panels, and has a natural water filtration system.

The wildlife is what draws travellers to this small, peaceful island. With over 150 named bird types, it is a bird watcher’s paradise.

The sun setting over the ocean in Koh Tonsay, Cambodia

Sunset on Koh Tonsay | © James Antrobus/Flickr

  1. Koh Tonsay

Koh Tonsay, also referred to as Rabbit Island, is one of the most easily-accessible islands to travel to in Cambodia. This island is a local hotspot, and in fact it is where most Cambodian locals choose to spend their weekends away with friends.

When travellers aren’t relaxing by the beach, they are off exploring. It takes around three hours to see the whole island, and there are many little bays to swim in and enjoy the marine life.

It is a quiet, relaxing island, where the power goes out at ten o’clock. That’s right – the generators get switched off, so rest assured, you will get a good sleep while visiting this island.

If you still haven’t gotten enough of Cambodia, check out our video highlighting an exciting itinerary through Cambodia and Vietnam!

Have you been to Cambodia before? Tell us your best travel tips in the comments below.