STOP EVERYTHING! We’ve found the most beautiful beach in the Cambodia! Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem should be a must visit on your trip to the islands. From the moment our boat pulled into the harbor we knew we were in heaven. Join us as we tell you all about this beautiful island, and what you’ll find on Saracen Bay Beach.
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Arriving on Koh Rong Samloem
Walking down the long jetty, it was hard not to notice the group of locals covered from head to toe and holding signs for different hotels. Almost every decent hotel on the strip offers private boat service so make sure to email them before your arrival for a pick up!
The beach walk is fine for us, but the boat transfer is helpful for many people who decide to drag large rolling suitcases down the sand.
On a side note, if you’re coming to the Cambodian islands try to travel with a backpack! Immediately, you’ll want to ditch your things and join the few dozen others who are soaking in the sun.
The sand will melt between your toes and the water is clear and refreshing. Due to the shallow sandbar at Saracen Bay, you’ll have to walk out to where the water changes from light to deep blue to get past your knees. Join the others travelers by laying down in the clearest of blue waters and soak in paradise.
→ We use 12go when traveling through Cambodia. You can search the different companies and book your ferry from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong Samloem!
Sunrise Over Saracen Bay Cambodia
Almost every morning we dragged ourselves out of our bungalow at 6:15am, and headed down to the beach for sunrise. Saracen Bay faces the east, and the sun rises over the far peak of the moon shaped bay.
No matter how tired you are make sure to watch at least one sunrise on the island. The early morning hour is quite a surreal experience on Koh Rong Samloem!
Sunset on Koh Rong Samloem
Don’t forget about the sunset at Saracen Bay! Just know you’ll have to make the 25-30 minute hike to the other side of the island for that. Both Lazy Beach and the rightfully named Sunset Beach are great places to do that. Honestly, they’re all so stunning. They even might have you doubting what’s the best beach in Cambodia!
Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Samloem
At the time of writing this they had recently built a large path to walk from Saracen Bay to Lazy Beach. If you stay for sunset make sure to have a light source for the walk back in the dense jungle. Either way, you should be walking with dozens of others who made the trip.
→ How to Hike to the Beautiful Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Sanloem
Sunset Beach on Koh Rong Samloem
Right now there is only a thin jungle path to get to Sunset beach that includes climbing over boulders and using ropes to get down the mountainside. If you want to watch the sunset we don’t recommend walking back in the dark. However, you should consider spending a night at either the Sleeping Trees or Robinson Bungalow hotels.
High vs. Low Tide at Saracen Bay Beach
There are two massively different tides on Saracen Bay Beach. At high tide the water line comes right up to where the bars and restaurants set up their chairs. While at low tide you’ll have to walk far out before getting more than a few inches deep in the water.
Relax and Enjoy Saracen Bay Cambodia
The best thing you can do is to give into the lazy beach days. Wondering how we passed the time? Here’s your Saracen Bay beach guide!
- Wake up for Sunrise
- Have an epic breakfast Overlooking the Water
- Soak in the Sun
- Cool down in the Ocean
- Take a Long Beach Walk
- Find an Overwater Hammock and Relax
- Grab an Ice Cold Beverage
After being in Asia for 6 months and traveling non-stop, Saracen Bay on Koh Rong Samloem gave us the rest and relaxation we desperately needed! Hopefully you’ll find it as peaceful and beautiful as we did.
Where to Eat, Drink, & Chill
The good news is that you never have to eat a meal that isn’t on or overlooking the beach! After several days we found the best local and international dishes near the best beach in Cambodia. There’s sure to be more yummy spots than the ones we tried so please leave any recommendations you have in the comments below!
Sara Restaurant: We actually stayed here for a few days and it was our go-to blogging spot. Wifi is great (something you don’t say often on the islands) and the views are gorgeous. Everything from local to western food is served as well.
The Big Easy Koh Rong Sanloem: This place is slammed at night and it’s easy to see why. The food is delicious and they have massive servings. The menu was definitely made for meat lovers with burgers being the star of the show! If you don’t eat meat there is a yummy veggie burger, too.
Cita Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant: What better reward is there after a long beach walk than a big pizza pie? Located at the far end of Saracen Bay, this pizza is good and not just by Cambodian standards!
Srey Oun Mini Mart: Not a restaurant, but good to mention that this is the only real store on the island. Stock up on all the water and snacks you need when passing by here.
Onederz: This hostel also serves solid food and cheap beer. We had the seafood Amok twice and loved it! Good local food at inexpensive prices.
Restaurant Next to Onederz: We don’t remember it’s name and can’t find it online, but this was our go to fish spot. At night a massive grill is set up on the beach, and you can order freshly caught whole cooked fish. The red snapper was one of the best we’ve had so keep your eye out for it.
Koh Rong Samloem After Dark
When the sun goes down that doesn’t mean the whole island stops. Several years ago this may have been the case, but it’s much different now with the influx of travelers! It’s important to know that the neighboring island of Kong Rong is considered the party island.
So if you want wild beach parties and dancing until the sun comes up Koh Rong is probably for you. If you prefer a couple casual beers, talking to other travelers, and a more laid back scene then you’re sure to like Koh Rong Samloem. Bioluminescence can also be seen in the water at night here!
Prices on Saracen Bay Beach
Time for another essential part of planing your trip… How much will paradise actually cost you? Well if you compare it to the rest of Asia quite a bit.
Hostels beds that cost $3-4 USD on the mainland will run you more like $10-12 here. In addition, hotels that are normally $20-30 will now cost upwards of $60-100.
These prices reflect high season. So if you are on a budget consider visiting Saracen Bay Cambodia during the low or shoulder to save money. Just check before you visit because some of the businesses shut down during the slow part of the year!
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. 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.
Hostel Life – Onederz Koh Rong Sanloem – Right on the main strip, this is the perfect hostel to meet others, soak in the sun, and enjoy the island. This hot spot sells out fast so make sure to book in advance!
Have any questions about Koh Rong Samloem or Saracen Bay Beach? Let us know in the comments below! Also, feel free to share your own experiences and tips.
Brigitte & Jake
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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!
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!
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