With all of my island hopping, I haven’t made it back to Koh Thmei in quite a while. I assumed, like all of the Cambodian islands that it’s probably changed a lot since then, but was happily surprised when Lauren Quinn visited recently and found Koh Thmei Resort just as quiet and relaxing as I remembered. Here’s her report:
If you’re looking to get away for it all, you couldn’t do much better than Koh Thmei Resort. The only resort on the remote Koh Thmei Island, a forty-five minute boat ride from the mainland, it’s easy to see why Koh Thmei Resort inspires guests to reference Robinson Crusoe.
The resort is composed of nine guest bungalows perched on a private beach, and has minimal phone and WiFi service. But this doesn’t mean guests have to give up all their creature comforts: the resort offers twenty-four-hour electricity and an impressively diverse menu, given that all the food has to be shipped in. This makes the resort popular with expats, families and low-key independent travelers. Activities include snorkeling, kayaking, bird-watching and hiking–but most guests choose to simply laze about the many hammocks and unwind. Suffice to say, it’s a far cry from the backpackers and sand flies of Koh Rong.
Single bungalows start at $25, and include a bed, mosquito net, blanket and en suite bathroom. Family bungalows begin at $40. But don’t let these prices make you think Koh Thmei Resort is a budget destination. Bungalow prices do not include water, food or the boat ride to the resort; guests can expect to pay an additional $25-30/day for these necessities. The prices are reasonable, again considering that everything has to be shipped into the resort, but the pay structure causes some guests to feel nickle-and-dimed. It’s best to consider this is $50-60/day resort.
The journey to the resort might sound complicated and arduous, but the owners really help to streamline the process. It’s definitely recommended to have a local phone handy during the journey, so that you can contact the resort if there’s any snags.
The owners are attentive, and the staff pleasant and efficient. The mellow remoteness of the resort inspires a friendly vibe among guests, and with a foosball table and plenty of board games on hand, it’s easy to while the hours away with new friends.
Koh Thmei Resort
Koh Thmei, Ream National Park
T: 097 737 0400; 089 897 830
Follow Lauren Quinn on Twitter.