Koh Ta Kiev is Sihanoukville’s closest island. Here’s how to get there.
The picture-perfect island of Koh Ta Kiev off Cambodia’s southern coast is easy to reach from the mainland, with options including longtail boats, privately chartered boat trips, and scenic snorkeling tours. Although the island is pretty small, it’s still worth doing your research and making a reservation somewhere before you go, so that you don’t have to brave a hot and sweaty 30- to 45-minute trek through the jungle in the middle of the day with your bags.
Looking for more information on Koh Ta Kiev? Check out our guide.
Getting to Koh Ta Kiev
Located in Ream National Park on the eastern edge of Sihanoukville, Koh Ta Kiev is just a stone’s throw from the mainland. Although the island is most easily reached from Ream, where pick-ups can be arranged through Monkey Maya or Ream Beach, the majority of boats leave from Otres Beach. Another possibility is to arrange a privately chartered boat from Serendipity, Ochheuteal, or Victory Hill during the high season (November through May or June, depending on the weather).
The easiest way to get to the island is by hopping on one of the resorts’ longtail boats from Otres every morning. These depart at around 11 to 11:30 a.m., cost between $10 and $13 for a round-trip ticket. They take about an hour to reach Koh Ta Kiev. When you make a booking online the resort will email you details of pick-up and prices for the boats. They give priority to people who travel over on their boats; be aware that if you choose to travel on another resort’s boat, you may lose your reservation. Find out more about the island’s different resorts here.
You can also charter your own private longtail boat from Ochheuteal, Serendipity, and Victory Hill. Ask your guesthouse or a local travel agent about how much it costs to hire a boat for a one-way trip or a private day tour. You may be able to save a few bucks by asking the hawkers on the beach, but we recommend going through a travel agency—it’s more reliable that way.
If you fancy a slightly more adventurous journey, there are also three-island boat tours, such as the Otres Island Hopper Tours, that depart from Otres, Ochheuteal, and Serendipity. These stop off at other islands en route for snorkeling and then swing by Koh Ta Kiev for lunch. An island-hopping boat trip costs between $15 and $20 including lunch, snorkeling gear, and water and beer. If you ask them nicely they will be more than happy to drop you off on the island for a night or two. It’s a great way to check out some of the other islands and explore the local marine life and coral reefs, but bear in mind that the boat will probably drop you off on Koh Ta Kiev’s Long Beach, in which case you may have to endure a trek through the jungle if you choose to stay on the other side of the island.
Those who happen to have their own boats are advised to check with their resort first about whether they’ll be allowed to dock on the resort’s private beach. The island is very eco-conscious and certain resorts, for instance Kactus, will not allow private charters in their bay, including speed boats or even jet skis. Although you can sail to the Long Beach side of the island, it’s also worth noting that there are lots of hidden reefs and rocks around the shore—especially at Ten103 and Crusoe—so it is advised that only the most experienced captains dock their boats there. There is also a $2 docking charge per boat, payable to the military.
Getting to Koh Ta Kiev in low season
Come low season, everything changes. With monsoons on the horizon and the weather becoming more unpredictable, most resorts will organize their own transport from Otres to Ream to avoid the longer trip from shore on turbulent seas. From Ream it only takes a few minutes to cross the water. If the waves are still too choppy then the boat will normally arrive and depart from the local fishing village on the island’s northern shore. Although it’s a bit of a trek from the fishing village to the resorts, it’s also a great way to take in some of the island’s most interesting and varied scenery, and the rustic fishing village is well worth a visit.
Getting around Koh Ta Kiev
Unlike Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, her bigger and more popular cousins, Koh Ta Kiev relies mainly on trails through the jungle for transport, rather than boats around the island. It is possible to join fishing or sunset cruises around the island, and there are boats available if you want to charter one to get from one side to the other. (Just make sure you contact the resorts for information in advance.) But since the island is pretty small and all the resorts are within a 30-to-45-minute walk of each other, most people choose the jungle trails instead.
The interior of the island is truly spectacular, and trails are marked and signposted throughout the jungle. As a safety precaution, always tell someone where you’re going and never trek on your own. Read more about the island’s geography and beaches here.
Leaving the island
When you’ve finally had enough of life in paradise and are ready to return to reality, there are several departure options available. Most resorts only run an open-ended return ticket service, but if you’re going to split your time between resorts then you can see if they’ll give you a one-way ticket on the way to the island so that you can jump on any of the longtail boats heading back to the mainland. Most of these leave around 9 a.m. but very occasionally afternoon departures are offered as well.
If you want to try your luck for a later departure you can also see if any of the day-tour boats are willing to let you hop on as they head back to the mainland. Most of these leave at around 2 p.m. If you walk down Long Beach any time after noon you will be able to haggle a price with one of the vendors. But make sure they’re heading back to where you want to go, or you could face a costly tuk-tuk ride home.
Those looking to head over to Ream can ask for drop-off at Monkey Maya or Ream Beach. Or they can walk over to the fishing village, where they’ll be able to find a boat that can shuttle them across to the mainland for around $5. If you choose to disembark in Ream, then a moto-dop or tuk tuk can take you all the way back to Otres or Sihanoukville for a reasonable price. This is also a good option for those who suffer from boat sickness and would prefer to travel back via road rather than enduring a long boat ride.
Those looking to travel onto Koh Rong or Koh Rong Sanloem are best off getting the early boat back to Otres, where they can book their tickets for the 3 p.m. ferries to the other islands. The price of the ferry ticket to the bigger islands also includes free transport from Otres to Serendipity Pier, which makes visiting the bigger islands first, then heading to Otres and from there to Koh Ta Kiev, the more economical choice.
Below are the high season transport schedules. Please double-check during low season to make sure they are still running.
The boat departs from Mien Mien (opposite Wish You Were Here) on Otres 1 at 11:30 a.m. daily. The return boat leaves at 9 a.m., and the journey takes about 45 minutes.
Return tickets cost $8 if accommodation is booked online, $10 if you pay on the boat, or $12 if you book with an agent. Crusoe Island is at the northernmost end of Long Beach, and you can also jump on a tour boat and walk for 15 minutes to reach the campground. As with everywhere on the island, it’s well worth booking in advance, but Crusoe has plenty of tents, even if the bungalows are all full.
Hop on the boat to Plankton Beach at O’Beach (opposite Wish You Were Here) on Otres 1 at 11 a.m. daily. The return boat also leaves from Kactus at 9 a.m. and the journey takes about 75 minutes.
Return tickets cost $13. Kactus’ bungalows are popular and advance booking is normally required. Anyone who has booked must travel on the Kactus boat to secure their booking, and those who arrive at the island on a tour boat not only face the hot and sweaty trek through the jungle, but upon arrival might find that their bungalow has been given away.
The Last Point boat departs from Seagarden on Otres 1 at 11:30 a.m. daily and leaves the island at 9 a.m. in the morning. The trip takes about 90 minutes.
Return tickets cost $12. Accommodation fills up quickly but there are plenty of hammocks so fear not if you haven’t managed to secure yourself a room before you arrive. Just like Kactus, Last Point is on the other side of the island from the tour boats so it’s well worth hopping on the resort’s own boat and joining a local boat trip around the island for sunset and cliff jumping, rather than going over on one of the tour boats and having to trek through the jungle to Last Point.
Nak’s Shack/Koh Ta Kiev Bungalows
Although Nak does have his own boat, at the moment he only runs on-demand departures from Ream Beach for $5 per person. All the tour boats pull up just outside, so Nak’s Shack is the perfect choice for those who fancy going snorkeling and checking out some other islands en route. You can also hop on the Ten103 or Crusoe Island boat for $10 to $12 return and walk down the beach instead.
Ten103 Treehouse Bay
The Ten103 boat, like the Last Point boat, also leaves from Seagarden at Otres 1 at 11:30 a.m., so make sure you get on the right boat. In the other direction, the Ten 103 boat leaves the island at 9 a.m. The Ten103 boat takes about an hour. You can also arrange to be picked up from Banana Beach on Otres 2, but this needs to be arranged in advance.
Tickets cost $12 return and can be booked on the boat. Although it is advisable that those who have booked a treehouse hop on the Ten103 boat, the tour boats actually tend to arrive earlier, so just let the Ten103 folks know you’re going to be coming over on an island-hopping trip instead and they can make arrangements accordingly.
Written by Cassie Wilkins
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