It's official, I'm addicted to island living.
However, when I first arrived to Koh Rong, I felt a bit overwhelmed: there were tons of guest houses, bungalows and bars along the beach with a heck of a lot more people milling about compared to Koh Ta Kiev island.
After a bit of an adjustment, I came to like Koh Rong quite a bit.
I ended up staying at a bit of a sketchy guest house down a strange little alleyway, with boarded walls that had cracks in the middle since the boards weren't quite straight. Made for some loud mornings when the whole fam would wake up ridiculously early and start banging around pots and pan whilst yelling at each other right near my room. At least it got me out of bed bright'n'early ;)
Lesson learned: take the early morning speed boat to the island from Sihanoukville and not the afternoon slow boat like myself - all of the guesthouses were full by the time I arrived, hence the strange accommodations.
Although the slow boat has some comfy seating ;)
Koh Rong is super chilled out and so flipping hot during the day that people don't do much more than hangout on the white sand beach, swim in the crystal blue waters (for hours, seriously). I'm pretty sure almost everyone on the island gets sunburnt almost every day with the 45C sun beating down. Good times.
I made the trek through the jungle path to Long Beach on the other side of the island.
There were much less people on this side, although snorkelling tours generally end here to watch the sunset. There are a few bungalows that you can stay in ($15) or a dorm ($6) or you can rent a tent ($5) and pitch it on the beach.
I didn't end up camping on Long Beach since it started to POUR down rain the day that I made the trek over there. It was cool to swim in the warm water with the cool(ish) rain pelting down after a long game of beach volleyball. I decided it wasn't the best conditions to camp in...I know, such a lame-o.
I ended up renting a tent with a travel buddy and we decided to branch out a bit and stay on 4km Beach (continue down the beach from Koh Rong to the left if you're looking at the water, past rocky beach and then you will see a long crescent of white sand beach, so beautiful!).
It was amazing: we got fried noodles, Oreos and beers in Koh Rong and set up camp at dusk. There was only one other couple camping on the beach, which was cool later on since they knew how to start a fire. I know, I'm super outdoorsy ;)
We went swimming with the luminescent plankton under the stars - the most amazing thing of all time!! I've never seen so much before, it was seriously like swimming through fairy dust.
Not going to lie, my sleep wasn't the best (we had no mattress and we somehow ended up having as much sand as the Sahara desert in our tent) but the sunrise (at around 5:30) made up for it.
It's crazy, though - as soon as the sun rises, it is instantly HAWT. It's potent fo sho.
There were really cool BBQ restaurants in Koh Rong, although slightly pricier than the regular fried rice and noodle stalls down the beach.
There are no roads on the island, it's the best feeling to never have to wear shoes! Although the sand does heat up during the day and you can see everyone running from one shady patch to the next.
Overall, although it's a bit busier and has more of a party vibe, I really enjoyed my time on Koh Rong island.
I mean, how could you not love frolicking for hours in this water, amiright?!