Long Beach, Koh Rong
As Cambodia’s largest and most developed island, Koh Rong tends to get all the attention, with the majority of travellers heading straight to Koh Touch. However, peace remains easy to find, thanks to the island’s 28 beaches. Long Beach (also referred to as Sok San Beach) is undoubtedly one of its finest, with the seven-kilometre (four-mile) stretch of blindingly white sand that crunches beneath your feet flanked by deliciously clear waters. A true tropical paradise, the coastline provided the setting for the 32nd season of the reality TV show Survivor. It is home to a sprinkling of guesthouses, upmarket Sok San Resort and the recently-opened, luxurious five-star Royal Sands Koh Rong.
Lonely Beach, Koh Rong
The clue is in the name, with Lonely Beach sitting at Koh Rong’s isolated northern tip. Development is yet to hit the area and there remains only one resort there, meaning guests pretty much have this secluded paradise to themselves. If you’re lucky, a late-night dip may light up the waters, as bioluminescent plankton like to hang out here. Make sure you remember to pack all the essentials because there isn’t a shop in sight.
Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem
While the island of Koh Rong Samloem is a long way off from becoming over-run by tourists, if you truly want to escape, then head to Lazy Beach. Situated on the west side of the island via a 40-minute walk through the jungle — or, Lazy Beach resort guests can take a speedboat from Sihanoukville — from the main tourist beach of Saracen Bay, the long stretch of pristine beach provides the perfect prescription to follow its namesake: kick back, relax and immerse yourself in tropical island life.
Otres Beach, Sihanoukville
Although undoubtedly still a quieter alternative to Sihanoukville’s other offerings, Otres is becoming increasingly built-up, with concrete accommodation that includes swimming pools and AC. These buildings almost outnumber the bamboo huts that line the sand. Boasting a chilled-out vibe, Otres attracts the more laidback traveller. The beach is edged by shacks selling food and drinks, as well as cheap places to rest. On the other side of the dirt track sits more upmarket accommodation and even more bars and restaurants.
Koh Tonsay, Kep
Koh Tonsay, or Rabbit Island, sits about a 20-minute boat ride from Kep. Development is sparse on the small island, with accommodation in the form of a few basic wooden huts on the shoreline. Most visitors stop off at the island for the day to splash in the shallow waters, feast on the local food served from the few basic restaurants and relax in the hammocks that swing beneath the palm trees.