After spending the night in Sihanoukville, it was time to hop in a tuk tuk to the Ochheuteal Beach pier so we could travel to Koh Rong with Buva Sea.
As always in Cambodia, we used PassApp to book our tuk tuk and it was only 3,000 Riel ($0.75) for both of us for a 10-minute journey.
Pro Tip: The currency in Cambodia is both USD and Cambodian Riel. You will usually get USD from an ATM and then shops, bars and restaurants will usually give you your change in Riel denominations if it’s smaller than US $1.
Watch your step
I mentioned in my route review from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville just that Sihanoukville was not exactly what we had expected it to be, as much of the city is under construction, so getting around is a bit difficult.
Our tuk tuk couldn’t even get all the way down the road to the Buva Sea check-in desk because of the road conditions, so we had to get out and walk a couple of hundred meters to get there. Getting into the actual Buva Sea office is quite the tremendous feat as you have to climb up very uneven and wobbly steps, all the while trying to avoid the overflowing sewage that lines the streets.
Once got to the Buva Sea office. The staff member behind the desk was insistent on holding my phone himself while I showed the confirmation and booking reference, something that seems to happen a lot in Southeast Asia.
We were provided with a lanyard with our boat pass on it and then told to make our own way down to the pier. It’s pretty easy to spot where you need to be going; just head for the giant body of water!
On the walk down to the pier, we stopped off at a pharmacy to pick up some masks as the air quality in Sihanoukville is pretty poor as there’s so much dust and dirt everywhere.
We then sat and waited at the pier for half an hour before it was time to board the boat. There are no clear instructions on where exactly you should wait or where you should be for the boat to Koh Rong, so just ask fellow travelers or a member of staff if you’re not quite sure.
The pier itself is pretty nice and you can see the beach stretching out along the water’s edge. There was no one on the beach as it was so early in the morning and I’m not 100% sure if many people do even frequent it as it didn’t look the cleanest.
The ferry ride to Koh Rong
At 8:00 am, we began boarding the boat and as we were only going to Koh Rong for a day trip, we didn’t have our big backpacks with us. I was actually very grateful for this fact as the staff were piling everyone’s luggage in the on-board toilet which really didn’t look too clean at all.
The boat departed at 8:15 am, 15-minutes after the scheduled departure. Late transport in Southeast Asia doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to when I first started travelling as I know that it’s to be expected pretty frequently now!
The journey was actually very lovely – not too bumpy or wavy and I didn’t feel seasick at all (although that probably had something to do with the anti-sickness tablet I took just before we got on the boat).
We pulled up at Long Beach on Koh Rong just after 9:00 am, but it was quite chaotic as everyone was trying to determine whether they should get off or not. Unfortunately, the staff on board this particular Buva Sea boat didn’t speak much English at all and there was a good few minutes of confusion before people got off the boat.
However, less than 5-minutes after the boat had pulled away from Long Beach, it pulled right back up against another pier, this time at Koh Toch Beach, which is where we got off!
I was impressed with how quick the boat journey from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong was and despite Sihanoukville not being my favorite place in the world, I had high hopes for Koh Rong.