M’Pai Bay Cambodia: Why You Can’t Miss This Island Beach Town!

M'Pai Bay Nothing Familiar

Koh Rong Samloem has so many amazing beaches, but there’s something special about M’Pai Bay! The once quiet fishing village has turned into a backpacking hotspot in just the last few years. Budget travelers and tourists alike flock to the beautiful Mpai Bay for its incredible island setting and easy accessibility from other parts of the country. Here’s how to get to M’Pai Bay from Sihanoukville, and everything else you need to know about this amazing beach town in Cambodia!

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Getting to M’Pai Bay Cambodia

M’Pai Bay beach is accessible by boat and there are a few different ways to get there. If you’re coming from Sihanoukville you can easily get a direct speed ferry with GTCV Speedboat.

From Saracen Bay, you can also get an inter-island boat towards M’Pai Bay Cambodia. There are several ferry companies who offer rides for $5 USD from Saracen, and plenty of private operators who can take you to Mpai Bay from there.

Just make sure to check the times as they can vary! Also, if you have any questions before arriving, your accommodation can send you all the names of the boat companies. This way you can make your trip stress free!

How to Get to M'Pai Bay

History of M’Pai Bay Beach

Before traveling from Sihanoukville to M’Pai Bay you should know the backstory! Up until recently, Mpai Bay was a traditional fishing village. This quaint beach gets its name from the sacred number 23 as that’s what it means in the Khmer language.

The sleepy little seaside town has since picked up steam with a backpacker movement slowly shifting from the Thai islands to Cambodia. We’ve heard different stories, but apparently just a couple years ago there was only 2-3 restaurants and guesthouses dotting the beach.

That number has only slightly increased. However, you can tell it’s starting to get busier in the little cove of M’Pai Bay on Koh Rong Samloem.

Sihanoukville to M'Pai Bay

Relaxing in Mpai Bay on Long Beach

Our favorite part about M’Pai Bay was just a short walk away at the connecting Long Beach. The Cambodian islands feel largely unexplored, and the M’Pai Bay beaches are the perfect example of this. If you take a right out of town and head past the Yellow Hostel, you’ll quickly spill out into this gorgeous paradise.

Relax on the smooth sands and clear blue water of one of Asia’s most beautiful and uninhabited beaches. Most people don’t even know about it, so you should only be sharing the sand with a few other travelers from Mpai Bay. Aside from the one patch of bungalows on the far end of the beach you won’t see anything built up here either!

Long Beach Location

M'Pai Bay Long Beach

Eat on the Ocean in M’Pai Bay Cambodia

There’s only a few M’Pai Bay restaurants to choose from, but they’re all pretty decent. You’ll find everything from Turkish food to Cambodian dishes, and plenty of western options as well. We had all our meals right on the ocean which was especially awesome at high tide!

If you need a recommendation, Touch Restaurant is right near the main harbor and serves a delicious curry. The prices aren’t terrible for the islands, and local beer shouldn’t cost you more than $1 USD. Take in the scenic views of the bay as you enjoy some great food and plan out the rest of your day.

M'Pai Bay Restaurants

Hike to Clearwater Bay 

Clearwater Bay is about a 45 minute hike from the end of Long Beach. It’s another beautiful place where people often spend the day swimming and snorkeling. This is a great day trip if you’re already staying in M’Pai Bay Koh Rong Samloem!

Make sure to wear shoes as you’ll be hiking through the jungle. Also, pack a lunch and snacks as there’s nowhere to get food in Clearwater Bay. Much like Long Beach, it’ll be just you, the ocean, and the green islands in the distance!

Clearwater Bay Location

M'pai Bay Koh Rong Sanloem

Take a Boat Trip From M’Pai Bay

If you don’t get your fill of underwater fun at M’Pai Bay beach, Long Beach, or Clearwater, there’s plenty of day trips available. Prices can range from $10-20 for a day filled with swimming, snorkeling, and even diving if you’re certified.

This is definitely worth the time and money as your driver will take you to all the best spots around Koh Rong Samloem. M’Pai Bay Cambodia has a very friendly and close knit atmosphere, so don’t be surprised if you get offered a trip by someone just walking by. 

M'Pai bay boat

Sunset at the Cliff Hostel

Once you’ve had a full day of exploring and floating around at M’Pai Bay Beach, it’s time to take in the glorious island sunset. From the first night we arrived, the Cliff Hostel was our go-to sundowner spot. Enjoy a nightly happy hour from 5-8pm where they offer .75 cent draft beers to go along with the sunset.

You can even walk down the steps and snorkel before the sun goes down! The scene is magical as you watch the boats sail off into the distance, and the colors of the sky turn orange and red. You’ll certainly be glad you came to M’Pai Bay Koh Rong Samloem after seeing this!

Cliff Hostel Happy Hour Location

M'Pai Bay Sunset

Have any questions about M’Pai Bay Cambodia, or have any more tips to share about this beautiful island? Let us know in the comments below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

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Where To Stay On Koh Rong Samloem

Ultra Luxury – The One Resort – Looking for absolute luxury in Koh Rong Samloem? The One Resort is a top of the line hotel with state of the art bungalows. This is a great place to relax if you have some extra cash to spend. Not that you need it with the clear blue ocean in front of you, but it’s also one of the only places with a beachfront pool on the island.

Fun Vacation – Bamboo Jam – As if the setting on Saracen Bay wasn’t enough, once you see the design and unique decor of Bamboo Jam it will be tough to leave! The comfy chairs and hammocks right on the water is everything you need to enjoy an island vacation.

Travel Couple – Beach House Cambodia – We stayed at this lovely new place on the end of M’Pai Bay, and were so upset when we could only book for one night! The rooms are brand new with air conditioning and beautiful balconies, which is a rarity on this part of the island. If you’re taking the boat from Sihanoukville to Mpai Bay definitely consider this accommodation. 

Hostel Life  – The Cliff Hostel – Set right at the island sunset hot spot, this is a favorite hostel of many. It has an outdoor style with lines of beds and individual bug nets. Quick walk into town and snorkeling is all just steps away.

For more places to stay near M’Pai Bay Koh Rong Samloem you can explore the latest prices here!

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Cambodia Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Thailand to Siem Reap Cambodia for under $50 USD!

 Transportation: 12Go is what we use to book ferries, trains, buses, and private transfers while traveling through Southeast Asia. 

 Accommodation: Compare competitive sites for hotels such as Booking.com and Agoda. Also, Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

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.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

Cambodia Travel

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