Koh Ta Kiev life is designed for relaxing, but for those who want more the island offer opportunities for all kinds of adventures.
A small island, Koh Ta Kiev is ideal for exploring by land and by sea. Its jungle-clad interior is home to more than 250 species of birds, flying lizards, rare orchids, and rare carnivorous pitcher plants. You can also find freshwater ponds, rocky cliffs, hidden bat caves, and even an old Khmer Rouge runway cut into the heart of the jungle. Read our guide to the best beaches on the island.
It’s easy to lose an entire day wandering the island’s numerous jungle trails. Pick a route and head into the wilderness: the colorful signs and painted trail markers will keep you pointed in the right direction. Make sure you tell the resort staff that you’re heading out, and don’t forget to wear shoes and to take a flashlight and mozzie spray.
Some of the guesthouses also run organized trips for those who don’t want to trek through the jungle on their own.
Visiting the local fishing village
Follow the signposts through the jungle and you’ll come to a small fishing village where you can check out island life. Home to the island’s local population, this rickety little village is built mostly over the water, with houses, shops, and boat mechanics all precariously balanced on wooden stilts. Here you can enjoy freshly caught fish and crab grilled up local style with lemongrass, garlic, and chili.
Although the appeal of just kicking back in a hammock might be too much to resist, the island has plenty of beautiful beaches worth visiting. With over 13 km of coastline to explore, the island makes it easy to find a secluded spot to sunbathe or beachcomb for beautiful coral and shells.
Hints of the island’s volcanic past come into view if you go snorkeling around its rocky outcrops and colorful coral reefs. Most guesthouses offer snorkeling gear for $2.50 per day, and the staff can help you organize a boat trip or point you toward the best spots that can be reached on foot. Our favorite reefs for snorkeling are around the headland between Kactus and Last Point.
There is no better way to enjoy Koh Ta Kiev’s beaches and marine life than by kayak. Athletic types can kayak all the way around the island in a few hours, but it’s also possible to paddle out just long enough to relax and enjoy the view.
At the moment, Nak’s Shack and Crusoe Island are the only places on the island that offer kayaks for hire. Prices for a double kayak, paddles, and a dry bag normally start at around $5 to $10 per hour.
Boat trips and cliff jumping
After the morning drop-off and pick-up run, the resort boats are free to run private fishing, cliff-jumping, and sunset tours starting from $4 per person. The evening tours head to Elephant Rock, where you can take in the sunset as you leap from the top of an 8-meter-high cliff. Those who don’t feel quite so adventurous can enjoy a leisurely swim and sip a cold beer as the sun sinks over the horizon.
Fishing and spearfishing
Although the resorts normally run daily sunset boat trips during high season, you can also charter the boats for private fishing expeditions from $5 per person, which includes fishing gear.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can learn the ancient tradition of spearfishing under the water. But if that seems like too much effort, you can rent a fishing line at Crusoe Island or rig up a fishing net and catch your own dinner. The resort staff will happily help you set up a BBQ on the beach or you can ask the kitchen to grill it up local-style, served with rice, salads, and a selection of delicious sides.
Star gazing and plankton swimming
As darkness falls across the island, the night skies are truly something to behold. Thanks to the low levels of light pollution, the nights are filled with brilliant stars. You can head out into the ocean for a late-night swim accompanied by millions of stars twinkling above while a host of bio-luminescent plankton illuminate the dark ocean around you.
Ask at your resort about late night boat trips that takes you out into the ocean for the best night-sky views. Try your hand at night fishing or just lie on the deck and gave up at the Milky Way.
Written by Cassie Wilkins