Koh Rung island is home to more than thirty, pristine white sandy beaches. The beach where everyone stays offers many bungalows, locals, bars and restaurants making for easy access to all your daily needs. With beaches up to seven kilometres long, undisturbed white sandy coast line awaits your visit. Smaller, more isolated beaches which you’ll be the only one enjoying are easy to find as well. It’s the beach life that keeps people here for many months more then they originally planned on staying.Seven Kilometre Beach offers the nicest waters I’ve ever swam in. The water is soft to the skin, and is clear as glass. The water is warmer than most showers you’ll be able to find in Asia and the white sandy bottom stretches out for nearly a hundred meters. When you’re out as far as you can go, standing on your tippy toes, you can look down and see your toes digging into the sand.The island offers much more than relaxing on the beach to those who are more adventurous. Trekking tours happen every afternoon, and were highly recommended to me a number of times. Unfortunately, I never did make it on any of these trips.I was too busy enjoying the beach life, with everything from volleyball games with fellow backpackers to relaxing on a slackline at ocean front. Some make sand castles, and some just lay on their towel soaking up the suns rays. After all, it’s a great way to get your daily dose of vitamin D!More into the water life than the beach life? The snorkelling on the island is supposed to be amazing. But I never even thought about checking this out. When I snorkel, it looks more like a beached fish hyper ventilating and choking.Once the stars come out, swimming with plankton is an absolute must! Imagine a 3D disco, under water. It’s unbelievable the way in which plankton light up in moving water. Something I’ll never forget!More adventurous yet would be to go diving! Even though the backpacker trend is to learn to dive in Koh Tao, more and more people are learning to dive on Koh Rung as well. It’ll definitely be less touristy than the diving around Koh Tao. I’m not sure about the price difference, but I would guess that Koh Rung is cheaper. Definitely something to look into before you book your dive course.
Once the sun goes down, card games break out and many people begin to enjoy a night out on the beach. Sometimes it stays mellow, but it can also get quite rowdy as well with some party goers going until the early hours of the morning. It can turn into what you wish, but only be as much of a party as you make it!There are plenty of accommodation options on the beach. However, I would advise anyone going to take the 8:00 AM boat to have the least stressful time trying to find a bed. It can, after all, take a fair bit of walking back and forth across the beach to find what you’re looking for. Keep your ears open when carrying your bags and you’ll hear someone shout out offering you a bed. Quite likely this will be another backpacker who hasn’t left the island in over a month and is now working there!Be warned, Mangos Bar and Bunna’s Place are where the party happens. You won’t be getting much sleep in these places. Even when it’s a slow night they’ll still have the music pumping. Chances are the subwoofers will be right under your bed!Further down the beach from the dock will offer much quieter options. If you are like me, and you can sleep anywhere, noise isn’t a problem. Ear plugs are also a great alternative.On the main beach of the island, near the dock, bungalows generally start at $15 a night for a double. Dorm beds can be found for anywhere from $5 -$10. Try Bunna’s Place for the cheapest beds on the beach, but also some of the loudest. Koh Rung Backpackers is a good vibe as well, with $8 beds and western management.Seven Kilometre Beach also offers one restaurant, a bar, a dorm and a few bungalows. Here electricity isn’t turned on often and Wifi doesn’t exist. With seven kilometres of beach to explore and very little noise, anyone looking to relax isn’t complaining. Especially when they can sit alone and watch the sun melt into the ocean night after night after night. Dorm beds here go for around $10 a night and a double bed bungalow will cost you 25 buckaroos. But maybe for you, it’s worth it!There are two options to get to the other side. Take a boat: this is the pricey option at $30 a trip. Gather a group of people and you can drop the per person price dramatically.The other option is a self-guided trek through the jungle which is free! This does have some elevation gain and a steep decent. As long as you don’t have too much stuff with you, it won’t be an issue. Or maybe you’re a mountain guide and then it’ll seem like a short walk in the park.No matter what beach you’re staying on, the trek through to the other side is an experience in itself and is another must do! Be warned, children will be in the jungle trying to offer to be your guide. This will cost you a pretty penny. You’re much better off just following the red markings on the trees.I was surprised to find out, once I did the trek to Seven Kilometre Beach, that the food was only about 20% more expensive than on the main beach. This means that a plate of fried noodles with chicken, in what can basically be described as heaven, still only costs $3.50.The main beach offers eats starting from two bucks, for Asian-styled food. Western food can also be found at prices from $3 – $6. Top dinner picks, were Cocos Beach BBQ, and pretty much everything on Koh Rungs Backpackers menu!Activities here are generally free since most of them involve relaxing on the beach, or games with other backpackers. I went out fishing for the day which cost 10 well worth it dollars, even though we were supposed to get much more than a day of fishing. Snorkelling, swimming, and sunset on the beach was supposed to be included. I suck at snorkelling, and it was a bit of a cloudy day, so I wasn’t bothered.
This means that living on a budget is more than possible. Dorm bed at $5? You probably aren’t going to do any money zapping activities other than maybe rent snorkelling gear or buy a frisbee. You’ll likely find yourself buying a bottle of water for 75 cents (cheapest at the “mini mart”) and refilling it a time or two for 50 cents at any of the restaurants around.If you eat an English breakfast in the morning, fried noodles for lunch and maybe treat yourself to a Mexican burrito at Koh Rung Backpackers or Coco’s BBQ for dinner, food for the day will run you around $10. Cocktail Happy Hours are generally two for $3, and a can of beer is $1. Add however many drinks you’ll consume in a night to a $20 budget and you’ll be living very comfortably on the island.Cambodia isn’t yet Thailand. The beaches are still pristine and haven’t been sold out to big western developers. These times are changing. I strongly believe that soon Cambodia will follow Thailand’s foot steps. If you’re not a fan of beaches with resorts on them, get here before it becomes the next sell-out.It’s currently still possible to only walk twenty minutes and have a beach to yourself. The island is under development and this is going to change. Luckily the current developments are geared towards budget travel, with only more bungalows and dorms being built.However, I’ve heard rumours around the island that Russian developers are planning on putting in 5 star hotels, golf courses and even an air strip. If this happens the scene on the island will change dramatically. Rich westerners will take over on their week vacations, and prices will sky rocket. It will no longer be the beautiful, budget travel destination it is today.