A rustic reminder of a paradise lost
BY KARLA CRIPPS AND JOE YOGERST
Perched on the eastern side of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Rong offers a glimpse of what Thailand’s heavily touristed Ko Samui was like 30 years ago. With more than 20 beaches -- most encrusted with white sands and placid aquamarine waters -- Cambodia's second largest island is a beach hopper’s dream destination, while the heavily forested interior beckons those in search of nature.
Most of the accommodation is backpacker friendly while the upscale Song Saa Resort -- located just off the northeast coast on its own private island -- appeals to island-hoppers who take their seclusion with a higher dose of service and comfort. Among the most beautiful Koh Rong beaches is Lonely Beach, located on the north side of the island and accessible by a three-hour boat journey from Sihanoukville on the mainland.
Forget the name though. Lonely is likely the last feeling you’ll experience while spending your days floating in clear turquoise seas lapping at frosty white sands and towering palm trees. There’s a nearby reef for snorkelers and a fishing village just under an hour’s walk away.
Best of all, there’s only one resort there -- also called Lonely Beach. Its comfortable but basic bungalows aren’t for luxury seekers to say the least. But for those in search of a truly rustic beach experience in which the sea and sand play the starring role, Lonely Beach has it covered.
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Nature lovers will be wowed by Lonely Beach’s birdlife, with ospreys, hornbills and eagles found in the skies above the pure white sands.
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