The Koh Trong Guide! That’s right kids you did not read that wrong Koh Trong. To say this is a bit off the beaten track would be doing it a great disservice! In fact when you Google Koh Trong, you will get results for Koh Rong. Koh Trong is nothing like Koh Rong.
Not gonna lie I fell in love with the place that much, I immediately purchased the domain for the island.
Table of Contents
- What is Koh Trong?
- How do you get to Koh Trong?
- What is there to do on Koh Trong?
- Where to sleep on Koh Trong?
- Eating and drinking on Koh Trong
- What is special about Koh Trong Kratie?
- How long should you stay on Koh Trong?
So, what is Koh Trong?
I’m so glad you asked! Koh Trong, also spelled Koh Treung, or Keoh Trung (with various combinations) is an island located literally opposite Kratie. And by opposite I mean less than 5 minutes on a rickety old boat.
Kratie itself is another unsung gem of Cambodia. You come here to see pink dolphins, which is what brought me to the town. Kratie town itself is not all that amazing. Like a smaller version of Stung Trung.
Through the Asia Foundation and organizations such as Oxfam the aim was to turn Koh Trong into an eco-tourism type resort. Homestays, guesthouses, cafes etc were created, but sadly we are now in Covid times. Many of these places are now closed
This means that during usual times it has tourists flowing through. These are not normal times. Kratie s struggling, so therefore so is Kok Trong. But the island is about much more than tourism, so there is very much life here. If you have the chance visit Koh Treung now, before the world opens and the masses discover the place.
To read the guide to Stung Treng lick here .
How do you get to Koh Trong?
Very easily and cheaply! You get yourself to Jasmine Boathouse Restaurant in the center of Kratie. It is literally next to the boat terminal. Theres a big boat and a small boat. It costs 25 cents, or 1000 Riel each way.
To read about how Cambodian currency works click here
The journey literally takes less than 5 minutes and then you have arrived at the island/sandbar. From here its a 5 minute walk into Koh Trong Town. Technically there is no such place, but I have christened this area the capital of the island. It is where the most shops are, and the tourist office.
The tourist office is also where you can hire a bicycle for $2, a motorbike for $5, or other various forms of transport such as being pulled around on cow pulled cart. It is also where you can arrange to plant your own tree, but more on that one later!
What is there to do on the island?
This is a place to come and enjoy nature in a laid-back Khmer countryside setting. All within the confines of an island that can be walked around. It is like Nauru? No it is not.
But leaving aside the obvious here’s a photo of the EXACTLY 15 attractions that are listed for the island. I won’t delve into each one, as you’ll see from the photo! I am not sure information centre, or Homestay 2 are exactly attractions for example.
Walk/cycle, or bike around Koh Treung
I am no stranger to walking around islands, having done so on the previously mentioned Nauru. You can ride, cycle, or walk the 7km from start to finish on Koh Trong. There is also a 9km trek, which takes you a bit more “off road”.
How long the journey takes is up to you, but with so many things to see and do there is really no rush. Everything about this is island is about relaxation and nature.
Eat Pomelo (and other fruits)
There are numerous farms growing pomelo and one could easily just go around picking the fruit. In fact you don’t need to, pretty much wherever you stay, or whenever you meet someone you get given a pomelo. Aside from pomelo there are fruits literally growing everywhere, such as bananas and even jujube! There was even some sour leaf plant that we got to just pick and eat. I’m definitely forgetting some fruits here, but the island is literally a great big fruity heaven. If you like fruit visit Koh Trong!
Want to know the difference between a pomelo and a grapefruit? Check this link .
Go to the beach on Koh Trong
Koh Rong might be slightly more famous for its beaches, but Koh Trong has them too! There are two main beach areas, one being where the boat docks, the other being further down the island. There is rather ambitious painting as you arrive on the island depicting beach life here! See below
Keep in mind this is a river beach, so mud rather than sand. This mean that certain parts are hard. You can camp here, or just come out at night and admire the moon. See photo!
Swim at the only resort
Theres one “resort” on the island. It looks great, but is not exactly great value during the current climate. They do though have an amazing swimming pool. It costs $5 a person for non-residents to swim in the pool. It’s hot on Koh Trong and this was very much enjoyed.
Plant a tree and look at flying foxes
For $5 you can plant a tree, or for $8 have your name put on a sign that looks a little bit too much like a grave for my liking. A cool and cute thing to do. It is also right next to where most of the flying foxes “live”. You can get great photos of these flying beasts here! Extremely fun.
Go to the Vietnamese Pagoda
The pagoda itself is not all that special, and no one really seems to know why it is even here! But it is right at the end of the island, which means absolutely great views! Also an ideal place for a sunset.
Talk to the locals and people watching on Koh Trong
Theres a small English school on the island, meaning that children will shout hello and goodbye at you! Sadly that is about the extent of English people speak. To interact you will need the help of a Khmer person. If you don’t have that it really doesn’t matter and you can stop and interact regardless. There are numerous rice processing areas, that look a bit like haystacks, where our can watch people separating the rice for example.
Where to sleep on Koh Trong?
As part of the eco-tourism thing people were encouraged to make homestay places. They were sadly not encouraged to make inventive names. You therefore have Homestay 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. Homestay 5 is now called Pomelo Homestay.
Most of the homestay offer $4 a person, plus an extra $4 for dinner and breakfast. Outstanding value. Homestay 2 also offers one AC room with ensuite for $20 a night.
Theres a place called Arun Mekong Guesthouse that has rooms for $25 a night. Sadly it was closed, but apparently will reopen.
This leaves Rojabori Villas. They have excellent rooms and an amazing swimming pool, but charge $50+ per night. Currently they are a bit lacking and not really great value for money. Although being under new ownership I am sure things will improve when the tourists come back. They do though have an amazing swimming pool.
I would certainly recommend Pomelo Homestay , or if you need that bit of extra luxury go to Homestay 2 and take the AC room. If you want to use the pool at the Rojabori then it costs $5 for non residents. This makes staying in the AC room at Homestay 2. getting a home cooked meal and just using the pool here the best value deal.
Eating and drinking on Koh Trong
Due to the times many cafes, bars and restaurants have currently closed. Although you can see where they will theoretically be. Thus the only “bar” is at the Rojabori Resort. The cocktails were OK, but the best bet is just grabbing some Cambodian beer from the store and hanging sitting on the beach and watching the moon!
Food wise again Rojabori would be the only “fine dining” establishment, although most of the menu currently isn’t available.
There are though numerous places selling fried noodles, fried rice and of course street food. I’m gonna do a street food Koh Trong article later. Although don’t expect it to be as long as this one!
So, what is special about Koh Trong Kratie?
I feel like I could write thousands of words on this, but I will try to keep it as simple as possible ( I kind of already have)
Koh Trong is a tiny island of around 9 square kilometers. You can ride around it on a bike leisurely in about an hour. But, to truly enjoy it it will take a good few hours. There is so much beauty that you will regularly want to stop, take pictures, grab a drink, see stuff, or interact with the locals.
In essence there really isn’t all that much to do here, if you are looking to party this is not the right place to go. If you want nature, serenity and to see the rural Cambodia of old then Koh Trong is frankly paradise.
How long should you stay on Koh Trong?
It is hard to say, you can do it easily as a day trip, or stay one night. I personally felt it worthy of staying for two days and in all honesty I could have probably done a third. Of course much like anything, it all depends on you!
But in case you missed the main message, Visit Koh Trong! Help a small rural community and truly enjoy the beautiful Cambodian nature.