If you are looking for the ideal place to visit on your next vacation, then look no further than Koh Thmei Island. While many people may not consider Cambodia to be the ideal vacation spot, the truth is that this is rated one of the best vacation destinations, whether you are a retired couple, a family with small children, newlyweds, or just a single looking for a great place to meet other people. You will find that this is the ideal place to visit. In fact, The Guardian ranked Koh Thmei Island as one of the ten best places in the world to visit for your next vacation.
Located off the coast of Cambodia, this island is located in one of the ideal locations for spending your dream vacation. Many look at Cambodia as kind of a “backward” third-world nation, but the truth is that there is some great benefit from the fact that the nation is not as industrialized as some other vacation destinations. First, consider that there are not large cities like Paris or New York, so the night sky is not obstructed by massive lights. You can see some of the beautiful sunsets and starlight shows that you will ever witness, and none of it is obstructed by massive lights from buildings and roadways.
Secondly, you should also consider that the waters that surround KohThmei Island are some of the clearest and pure that you will find anywhere on the planet. They are not polluted by massive ships, heavy traffic, or large populations that have polluted the waters. Instead, the waters are beautiful and are perfectly safe for you and your family to enjoy. You will not find many places on the globe like it.
About KohThmei Island
Koh Thmei Island is located about 300 meters off the coast of Cambodia. Once arriving at the main airport in the nation, there is a short ride to the docks where you take a 50-minute boat ride to the island to begin your incredible vacation getaway. The cost of the boat trip is about $20 and usually is included as part of the vacation package that most people purchase when coming to the island resort.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Thmei is immediate to the southeast of the Sihanoukville headland. The island is located inside an area known the Ream National Park, which has been a protected area, however, in 2010 the government allowed a few development companies to lease the land for the purpose of a tourist resort. This has quickly made it one of the premier places to visit.
It is this lack of tourism to the tropical getaway that has made it so attractive. While not having all the historical landmarks that a Rome or Beijing has, the fact that Koh Thmei island has only been open as a tourist location for less than a decade means that it does not have the problems that you would find at these other locations, like congestion, pollution, and litter. This is a great place to visit because much of it is untouched.
On Koh Thmei island, you will find pristine beaches, clear waters, and breathtaking landscape that look much as it did 100 years ago. The waters are the most unreal color of blue that a person can find, and the natural beauty of the island is very much intact, making this a great place to see.
The island is only about 15 square miles in area and is 5.5 miles at its greatest length and 4.7 at its greatest width. There are 17.1 miles of coastline, with much of that being covered by beaches. On the side of the island that faces the sea, most of this region is covered by beaches along the shore. In these areas, you will find great fishing, incredible sea-life, and enough shells to last the lifetime of the most adventurous child. The inner areas have a large amount of vegetation that is primarily rainforest. You will find many plants in this area that you will not find outside of southeast Asia, and the animals and insects are really something to behold.
The highest point on the island is roughly at its center. There are two main peaks there, which are separated in between by the Prek Koh Krabei River. Each rise to a little over 100 meters and water from this region drains in all directions. Because of how flat the island primarily is the creeks, river, and estuaries are able to retain plenty of water which is used by the inhabitants and tourists alike.
Only 200 persons actually live on the island itself, with most of the living in the village of Koh K’chhang. This is a small fishing village that has existed for centuries. The fishermen provide a portion of the food that is eaten by tourists, and also provide much of the souvenirs that tourists can buy.
Part of the reason for such a small population on the island is the fact that this is located within a national park. This, by law, means that only a small number of people are enabled access to the island as a home, and that has traditionally been as part of the fishing village. There is a small pocket of people who work in the tourist industry who also live on the island, but most come in from the mainland by boat.
Tourists should be aware that in 2016 the island will undergo a domestication project. There is a growing need to develop more of the island for commercial use, including tourism, meaning there will likely be more bungalows and an additional village added. While they will take up a portion of the island’s natural beauty, this expansion will be done in such a way as to maintain the natural beauty of KohThmei Island.
Koh Thmei Map – Camodian Islands Map
When You Arrive
The island itself is 300 meters off the coast of the mainland, but transports actually travel to the other side of the island, which is about a three-kilometer trip. Once tourists arrive in Koh K’chhang they are transported by bus to their resort. On the island, there are seven seaside bungalows, each with a private bathroom and a balcony. There are family-sized bungalows that can hold up to five people. There are 40 of these available. Some other accommodations are also available, with there being the ability to camp out as well.
Surprisingly, the cost for these bungalows is incredibly reasonable. Even the seaside ones cost no more than $20 per night. The family-sized ones range from $20 to $40 depending upon the amenities opted for by the customer.
Visitors to the island should be aware that electricity is only available from 6:30 am to 11:00 pm each day. Because of the nature of the island, it is not built to accommodate large power needs. While some may find this an inconvenience, it also adds to the beauty of the island. The lack of lights on after 11 makes it easy to enjoy the amazing star-filled skies that are such a great part of the visit here.
The electricity is provided by solar panels that are discretely placed near the resort area. The tourism on the island is intended to be green-oriented, making sure that the island is kept free from as many man-made pollutants as possible. Even the oils that are used come from recycled kitchen oil.
When you arrive at the office, you will be checked in and shown to your bungalow. Tour guides are available, and you will be provided information on meals, events, activities, and happenings. There is plenty to do on the island itself, but there are also activities you will have access to on other islands in the region.
Because this is an island, there are obviously great many things to do in the water around Koh Thmei Island. It all begins with some of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see. Because so few people are on the island at any one time, these beaches are never crowded, and there are great estuaries and bay areas where you can swim. Parents can feel secure knowing their children cannot get too far away from them.
For the more adventurous types, there is great scuba diving and snorkeling that is available. You can either do this right along the shore of Koh Thmei Island or, if you wish, you can go out on a tour boat or rent a boat for the day and go out deeper into the Gulf of Thailand. You will see some of the most amazing animals imaginable. There is a great reef area to explore, and it is not uncommon to see large dolphin pods swim by. Boats, for rental, are extremely reasonable, costing just $12.50 per day, and can be rented from the offices of the resort.
There is also some incredible fishing available around Koh Thmei Island. Not only can you fish from the shore, but you can take a boat out and spend the day battling some of the tastiest fish you will ever catch. There are pits available to roast your fit once you have caught it, or you can ask one of the local chefs to prepare it for you. Either way, you will have a great day outdoors and get to enjoy a great meal courtesy of your hard work.
For those who love the water but want to do it with a lot more flair, there is some of the best surfing in the world you will find off the coast of Koh Thmei Island. There are incredible waves, and a large area of open water that allows for some of the most fun surfing you will ever encounter. These waves are challenging, so this is not for the faint of heart.
There is also some great kayaking you can do on the island. This can be done along the shore or in the river, and is quite an adventure. Solo kayaks and two person ones are available. It makes for a great day out on the water and is a great way to get around from one island to the next or to the mainland.
For those who came to the island for more time on land, there are incredible activities to do on Koh Thmei Island. First, start with the brilliant wildlife that is to be found. There are over 150 different species of birds on Koh Thmei. The sea eagles are one of the most amazing of the creatures that you will see, but there are plenty of others. Cockatoos, parrots, canaries and other birds come in many brilliant colors that will keep you awestruck for hours.
There are several species of animals on the island that are on the endangered and threatened lists. This includes the brahminy kite, the fishing cat, and the wetland feline.
There are also some other animals that will leave you gawking. The different amphibian and reptilian creatures are really something to behold, as are the small rodents that can be seen. You will also find the insect life something that you can astound your friends and family with when you share your pictures with them. They will not believe it until you pull out some photos to show them the spiders, ants, and other insects that are quite unique to this part of the world. It is incredible and we haven’t even mentioned that amazing vegetation you will see.
You may find that a nice walk through the jungle would make for a great morning, afternoon or all-day activity. Truly, it is. There are great trails you can follow that lead all over the island, and will surely take you to very best locations to see the wildlife. You can wander about and get a good look at the wildlife and beauty of Koh Thmei Island.
If you want to gain a greater appreciation for what the island has to offer, there are tours you can take that will show all that Koh Thmei Island has. These tours are less than $10 per person and give you the opportunity to learn about Koh Thmei Island’s history, plus its animal and plant population. These guides are amazing and you will enjoy their presentations greatly.
If you would like to get around, but walking isn’t for you, there are two options available. The island offers a bus system, really vans turned into small buses that will take you anywhere you want to get on the island. The roads are small and there are not a lot of these buses so be prepared for a short wait of 30-45 minutes for the next one to come.
You can also rent a bike for the day. There are trails and paths all over the island that accommodate both walkers and bicycle riders. These bikes allow you to get around to any location as quickly as your legs will get you there.
While Koh Thmei Island is beautiful all by itself, you may have enough time to enjoy some of the other islands in the area, including Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Seh, and Koh Sdach. You can join the tours of these islands that will take you around the different islands and let you explore, you can take a trip to another island and return later that day, or you can simply rent a boat and travel around as you would like. There is plenty to see in the Ream National Park and you have ample opportunity to see as much of it as time permits. The cost for these tours is usually no more than $40 per person.
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner you will find some of the most amazing cuisine to ever enter your mouth. The foods that are prepared are an assortment of local delicacies as well as favorites of people no matter where you are from. The fruits are as fresh and succulent as it gets, and the fish and shellfish are fresh from the Gulf each day. There are also pigs that are raised on the island to provide food for the tourists.
Most nights there is a luau style meal prepared for all the guests. This includes food, drinks and entertainment at the beach area near the resort. You can eat while you enjoy watching the sun go down, while listening to a local group perform for you. Dancing is encouraged as is mingling and getting to know your fellow islanders.
Whether you are coming for a few days or a few months, you will find that Koh Thmei Island is one of the best places in the world to take a vacation. If you are looking for a tropical paradise for your dream vacation, you will find that this island has everything you could possibly want for a great vacation. It does not matter how many are in your family or if you are just coming on your own. You will have a great time.
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