Koh Rong Jungle Trek
The journey was worth it. After a hike through the jungle and a descent down a cliff, I had arrived at Long Beach on the island of Koh Rong, Cambodia. White sands stretched for seven kilometers, and I was one of four people who had the entire beach to themselves.
The trek was easy to do, even for me, a person who has little experience. Grab a backpack, stock up on at least two big water bottles and some snacks, make sure you have bug spray and sunscreen, then head out to the Khmer side of the village near the pier. You’ll see a sign pointing you in the direction of Long Beach. Just follow the foot-flops and the red paint. Sounds easy enough, but I encountered three people on the trail who ended up taking the wrong direction.
The first part of the journey takes you through the village before you ascend the first cliff. It’s not that difficult. A rope is there for support, but it’s not necessary. You’ll find several rock ledges for support.
After getting to the top, you’ll walk for a bit before seeing the path diverge. Take the high road, which is the path that veers slightly to the right. You’ll walk in the open sun for about five minutes before finding cover under the trees. You’ll spend between 10 to 15 minutes on this part of the trek, and the path keeps getting smaller due to jungle overgrowth. Prepare to swipe a few branches out of the way and deal with the insects. There are two points where you could possibly get lost. Make sure to keep looking for the red paint or foot-flops.
After the jungle portion, the vertical part of the trek begins. Rocks jet out the side of the ledge for you to step onto. Sometimes, you’ll have ropes for support. Other times, you’ll need to use vines. It took me about 30 minutes to get down, but I’m sure some people can complete it faster. Just make sure to go slow. The last thing you want to do is fall and break something.
At the end of the descent, you’ll come to a resort, which is a term I use loosely. It’s more just a collection of bungalows with a restaurant and a bar. It closes for the rainy season, so don’t expect to stock up on supplies here.
Once you walk down to the beach, you’ll see some hammocks in a hut where you can lounge, or you can head straight to the beach. Two people told me that boats hang out near the bungalows to take people back to the island, but don’t count on it. I didn’t see any when I was there. That means you’ll want to leave with plenty of daylight to get back to the other side of the island.
Have fun on your trek and enjoy the beach. It’s quite a workout, but it’s certainly worth the view and experience.