April 12, 2017 Danny Bamboat

Best Tropical Island in Cambodia

About 5 km off the coast of Kep is a small island called Koh Tonsay. Also known as Rabbit Island, we think it’s the best tropical island in Cambodia! To get here, we took a 25 minute boat ride early morning. As we approached the island, you could see palm trees lining the beach. The jungle seemed to reach up to the edge, and through the trees, there were a few rows of bungalows peeking out. We docked and almost immediately found a bungalow for the night (for $8!). The accommodation on the island was basic, but with a bed and mosquito net, we were set for island life.

Simple bungalows lining the beach surrounded by palm trees on the best tropical island in Cambodia

Bungalows on Rabbit Island

A beautiful beach on the best tropical island in Cambodia, with a boat in the water and palm trees around

Main beach on Rabbit Island

Beautiful, untouched beaches

First of all, there are some great beaches on Koh Tonsay. The main beach where the boats dock is called Sunset Beach and is also where all the accommodation can be found. We went for a short trek through the jungle and came across a smaller, but beautiful beach, where you can easily snorkel; it isn’t the best coral but its always fun to see tropical sea life. The water was crystal clear and we could see the mainland in the distance. The day was sunny until an unexpected thunder storm arrived. It was warmer to stay in the water and wait it out.

A tropical thunderstorm in the distance seen off a beach on a small island in Cambodia

Thunderstorms in the distance

Further through the jungle is another beach called Long Beach. Here you won’t find anything but a small bungalow where a family quietly lives. We continued around the island as far as a fishing village before going back to Long Beach for another swim! There weren’t many tourists around so it truly felt like we were on the best tropical island in Cambodia.

A long beach with crystal clear water and white sand lined with palm trees, blue skies

The long Long Beach

Fresh and delicious island food

As for food on the island, seafood is the way to go. You can have fish, crab, and squid cooked in the famous Kampot pepper sauce. For vegetarian options, fried rice or fried noodles will serve well. Or you can always have the delicious banana, lime, and sugar pancakes (served all day). The local families living on the island run the restaurants at the bungalows, giving them a homey feel.

The highlight of Rabbit Island

What we liked most of all our trip to Rabbit Island was the phosphorescent plankton at night. To see it, we waded into the water and with a movement, we could see the plankton glowing around us. A note—a flashlight is a must because electricity only comes on for a few hours at night.

Hammocks hanging in straw huts on a sunny day on the best tropical island in Cambodia

Hammocks to chill on by the beach

So…hammocks along the beaches, fresh seafood, beaches with clear water, jungle treks, and eating with the locals…sounds perfect, right? We definitely recommend a trip to Koh Tonsay! If you can’t stay the night, check it out on a day trip from Kep.

A beautiful sunset seen from the beach with a boat passing by on the water

Beautiful sunset on Koh Tonsay

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