Once you step off the boat onto the island of Koh Rong Cambodia you’ll be transported into a world of beauty… And it will only take a few short hours after you arrive before hearing someone mention the words Long Beach! Having gone to the Cambodian islands on a whim, we had done little to no research. It wasn’t until we arrived that we first heard someone describe Long Beach on Koh Rong as “heaven on earth.” After hearing more about this paradise in Cambodia, we had to find out what the hype was about and hike to Long Beach!
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About Long Beach on Koh Rong
Now we have seen countless beautiful beaches around the world, but Long Beach Koh Rong is truly different. Maybe it’s the deep seclusion it provides or the adventurous hike that takes you there.
No matter what it is there is one thing is for certain. Long Beach in Cambodia holds its own against any beach paradise in the world!
On the opposite side of the island, far away from the dozens of hostels dotting the coastline, hides the infamous Long Beach. Cut off from almost all civilization, the clear aqua blue water beach stretches for miles, and the sand is so soft it melts like butter between your toes.
However, don’t think a destination like this is just going to be handed to you. Your adventure begins with a grueling hike to Long Beach!
Hike to Long Beach Koh Rong
We’re no stranger to hiking and have done our fair share of it, but honestly this was hard. Maybe it was the 100 degree heat, or not knowing what was actually waiting for us at the end… Either way, this will not be a casual walk through the jungle!
Leaving the main town of Koh Rong, you’ll follow a paved road that eventually turns to dirt up the mountainside. The start of the hike to Long Beach on Koh Rong can be confusing so make sure to follow the signs.
Arriving at the top of the first steep incline, you’ll be greeted with the beautiful view below. Now the fun is about to begin!
What to Expect on the Hike to Long Beach
Your next hour will be spent climbing, crawling, and traversing boulders, as you literally move to make your way up and over the island. About half way to Long Beach in the dense Cambodian jungle is when reality will hit you.
Everyone that we talked to in passing had been so mesmerized by the final destination, that they had failed to really explain the intensity of the hike. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVED the adventure. Yet, some other travelers we passed in bikini’s and flip flops were not feeling the same excitement.
6 Tips for the Hike to Long Beach on Koh Rong
1. You are hiking up and over the island of Koh Rong so be smart. Make sure to pack hiking boots or sneakers, and lots of water.
2. There is only one place to buy water or beer at the start of Long beach! The problem is that it’s just a lady with a cooler, and she’s not always there. With that said, make sure to pack enough provisions for your entire day.
3. It is HOT and there is almost no shade. Sunblock, hats, and water are a must!
4. Stay for the magical sunset. More on that later!
5. Take a boat back to town. Not only is it super cheap, but it’s amazing to see Long Beach Cambodia from the water.
6. GO NOW! One sad fact that I didn’t touch on is that they just started to develop Long Beach. It will only be a matter of years before resorts take over this stunning stretch of sand.
Almost to Paradise
At the sign that says “Windy Stone” you’ll want to head straight down the rocks behind it. It may not look like much of a path, but it eventually turns into a trail after some light boulder climbing. As you come towards the end of the hike you will be tired, dripping in sweat, and most likely about to faint.
The good news is that you don’t have to do the hike on the way back! Every night during the magical sunset, fisherman from all over the island come in small boats and offer rides back to the main town.
Even for the most frugal of backpackers now is not the time to be a cheapskate. The hike to Long beach is hard enough during the day. So there’s no way you should attempt it running out of sunlight on the island of Koh Rong.
Relaxing on Long Beach Koh Rong
Most people would plop down and spend the entire afternoon soaking in the water. However, for some strange reason we decided to walk the entire Long Beach.
Yes, the entire stretch! While 90% of Long Beach Koh Rong is unpopulated, at the farthest tip there was a permanent camp for the French version of the reality show “Survivor.”
Funny enough, they were actually filming the American Survivor while we were there! Did we try to sneak up the coastline and see what was going on? Of course, but the guards with large guns didn’t appreciate that!
Camping on Long Beach Cambodia
Want to know the wildest part about Long Beach on Koh Rong? It’s a safe haven for campers! The entire beach was scattered with pop-up tents and makeshift campsites.
At one point, a girl (who to be honest looked like she had spend one too many days in the sun) was begging us to take over her camping spot.
It was complete with her tent, fire pit, and jars of rice and beans. I guess that’s the way of the island! When you’re done, just pass on your spot to the next traveler who sets up camp until their days on Long Beach come to an end. For all of you wondering, we did not take her campsite.
It was one of those wild spur of the moment experiences where we found ourselves thinking. Hmmm… Should we just stop on this beach in the Cambodian Islands and live in this random girls tent?
With all of our belongings at our bungalow back in the main town, we had to pass!
Update: We went back to Long Beach 4 years later in 2019 and it looks like the camping is over with! There was a few more hotels built, but this beach still retains its beauty.
Long Beach Koh Rong Golden Hour
The golden hour. That magical time of day when the sun is setting, and the fading light turns everything perfect. I kid you not, everything is more beautiful on Long Beach!
While the beach may have felt secluded during your afternoon hours, there is a strange force that takes place during sunset.
Everyone is pulled to the beginning of the beach where you enter from the path. Travelers from all over the world drink refreshing local beers and take in the incredible view.
We may have had a slight panic attack about missing a boat back to town. This stemmed from the frightening reality that we could have to make the strenuous hike again.
Still, learn from our mistake and don’t freak out. While the sun is setting, dozens of men from Koh Rong will be there to take you on their boat back into town.
Some boats will be packed to an unsafe capacity, while others might only have a few people. Just remember, a stay on the island of Koh Rong is not complete without catching a sunset at Long Beach. Don’t our word for it though, check it out for yourself!
Have any questions about this article or want to share your own tips for the hike to Long Beach Koh Rong? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar!
Where To Stay In Koh Rong Cambodia
Ultra Luxury – The Royal Sands Koh Rong – Since Koh Rong is still so untouched, very few luxury resorts exist. The Royal Sands is one of the first of it’s kind to break ground. It features all the luxury amenities you’d expect at a five star resort. Not to mention, it’s private beach is one of the nicest you’ll ever see!
Fun Vacation – Coconutbeach Bungalows – If you need something more off the radar than the royal sands, check out these set of bungalows in Coconut beach! Offering a tranquil beautiful beach setting with a restaurant, you’ll never have to leave here if you so choose!
Hostel Life– Nest Beach Club – If you’re not up for camping on Long Beach Cambodia, you can always opt for the hostel life of Koh Rong. Nest beach club has all the stuff you love about a hostel, with the incredible island setting you need!
Cambodia Travel Planning
Cambodia: Make sure to check out all our Cambodia articles including our popular 2 to 3 Week Cambodia Itinerary! We cover everything from Siem Reap and Angkor Wat to the Kep Crab Market and Kampot boat tour!
Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and private transfers while traveling through Southeast Asia.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Cambodia. You can book everything from an Angkor Wat small group sunrise tour to visiting the Kompong Phluk floating village, and even take a Cambodian pottery class!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.
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