Koh Kong is a relatively small and peaceful town that is 425 km west of Phnom Penh. This city sits on the east side of the Koh Pao River and surrounded by untouched shorelines and beautiful water from the Gulf of Thailand. It is about 10 km from Thailand's Cham Yeam border crossing.
Even though most travellers see little of Koh Kong as they are passing through en route to or from the border with Thailand, there is plenty of development taking place that is making changes to city and creating a very worthwhile eco-destination.
A great place to explore on a visit to Koh Kong includes the jungle-rich Cardamom Mountains that span a large percentage of the province and offers the traveller great river, biking and trekking excursions. For a relaxing time there are plenty of secluded beaches along the coastline. Any of the best tour packages to Cambodia can include the adventure trips out of the main city.
The dining and places to stay in town are quite limited, but there is still a varied choice of mid-range and budget friendly hotels, while the dining opportunities include one or two riverside restaurants that specialize in fresh seafood dishes.
Cambodia has a tropical climate that is very humid and warm. During the wet season, there is plenty of rain that helps with the cultivation of the wide range of crops. However the year-round tropical climate makes this country perfect to enjoy the Cambodia adventure tours at any time of the year and helps to increase the development of tourism. Travellers are likely to experience an average temperature in the region of 27°C although for those travelling during the cooler months the temperature can fall to about 16°C. The hottest period of the year is March to May (29c -38c) and the coolest months are November to March (17-27c).
The province of Koh Kong is about 11,160 km² in size and situated in the west of Cambodia. It is bordered to the west by Sihanoukville and Kampot, to the south and east by the Gulf of Thailand, and to the north with Pursat. Most of the region is covered with lush-green rainforest and huge mountain ranges. This region of Cambodia doesn't have the large open wet areas that cover agricultural plantations, but does have several large rivers and creeks including the Stoeng Me Toek and Stoeng Kaoh Pa.
How to get there
Koh Kong is easily reached by road from Kampot, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. It can also be approached from the Cham Yeam crossing with Thailand. Plus there are a variety of bus companies that offer a direct bus route that travels between Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. There are no direct flights to this part of Cambodia.
Where to stay
Most of the places to stay in Koh Kong are located downtown with a choice of hotels and guesthouses. Guesthouses are quite basic with simple rooms that can cost in the region of $5-$15 per night.
In addition to the traditional hotels and guesthouses, there are also eco-accommodations available to travellers that are located close to the Tai Tai River and about 25 km outside of town in the Cardamom Mountains. This is a great area for the more unique experience and is still relatively undiscovered, very tranquil and thick with jungle.
Eat and drink
Even though this city is quite small, there are still a variety of restaurants available for the traveller to experience the local cuisine. Most of the eateries have an emphasis on seafood. Also, because of the close proximity to Thailand, there are plenty of Thai based dishes available. A great place to stop for lunch or dinner is at the restaurants on the riverfront like Thmorda Crab House or Cafe Laurent. There are plenty of eateries that offer the more western influenced menus. Plus, many of the restaurants that are popular with the tourist have the English language menu.
Things to see and do
A visit to Koh Kong and the nearby Cardamom Mountain range makes it a perfect destination for a trekking tour. Most of the region is blanketed in thick tropical jungle that provides excellent scenery with waterfalls, rugged rivers, local wildlife and unspoiled jungle. The Cambodia package holiday tour operators can offer the multi-day, full day or half day jungle treks that can be combined with village visits or kayaking for the more all-inclusive experience.
The local region of Koh Kong is rich in rapids and waterfalls. This is mostly thanks to the Cardamom Mountains and connected rugged rivers. The best time to visit the waterfalls is throughout the wet season when the water is fast and free-flowing. One of the best falls close to town is the Ta Tai Waterfalls which is reached after taking an 18 km journey to the Tai Tai River and a further 30 minute boat trip along the river. Most of the waterfalls are situated in a jungle gorge and can include several levels with drops in the region of 6 m. Other waterfalls within daytrip distance of Koh Kong include the Kbal Chhay Falls, Tuo Kokir Rapids and Koh Por Falls.
Koh Kong Island
A visit to Koh Kong Island is a great feature on the travel tours of Cambodia and is easily reached by taking a two-hour boat trip into the Gulf of Thailand. This island is 20 km in length to make the largest Cambodian island and has very few inhabitants, but with plenty of secluded lagoons and sandy beaches, as well as an interior that is rich in tropical jungle. A daytrip to the island can cost in the region of $20 to $25 and include swimming, snorkelling, visiting the mangrove forest and lunch. Plus for those travellers that wish to stay longer, there are beach bungalows on the island that can be hired for a sleepover.
Read more: Tours in Cambodia