Koh Ta Kiev: A Guide to Your Island Stay

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Coconuts: ✔ Clear Ocean: ✔ Treehouses: ✔ Those were the three main things we wanted to find on our island stay, and each one surpassed our expectations on Koh Ta Kiev!

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We had planned to stay in Cambodia for about a week (NOT ENOUGH TIME!!!) and wanted to escape on a boat to somewhere for a few days. After a lot of research, we decided on booking two nights on Koh Ta Kiev, a tiny island off the coast of Sihanoukville through booking.com.

If you’re looking for a relaxing and peaceful couple of days then I can’t stress enough how you should book a trip here. If you’re looking for something else, come here anyway and you’ll fall in love with the place.

Enjoying the sunset in a treehouse on a remote island - heaven!

READ  Your Ultimate Guide To Travelling Cambodia

Transport

We’d seen a few different prices for the boat across to Koh Ta Kiev in the range of $10 and $25 before we arrived but weren’t sure whether to just book the boat with the hotel and risk being ripped off, or to find our own way.

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In the end, we forgot to book the boat so we didn’t have many options…. We mentioned to our hotel in Sihanoukville that we weren’t sure how to get to Koh Ta Kiev, and they happened to run a boat across each day.

FAB! $24 for two people return – everything else was so cheap so we didn’t complain.

Next morning, we waited outside the hotel for our (free) tuk-tuk to the boat’s pick up point. An hour later we were speeding off, albeit slower than usual I’m sure because they shoved A LOT of people onto the boat. The sea was beautifully clear and we couldn’t wait to paddle in.

Our wish came true much quicker than we thought because the boat stopped near some rocks and everyone grabbed a snorkel and jumped into the water. What!? It turns out that the boat we were on was actually a day trip boat to the island. Most of the others had paid to snorkel, cliff jump and spend a few hours on Koh Ta Kiev before being brought back to the mainland.

So, we were able to join in with the fun before we had even got to the island! Kev jumped from Elephant Rock and I definitely did not, but it was great (horribly scary for me) to watch everyone almost break their backs smashing into the water…!

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On the way back, the boat stopped again twice for snorkelling and once for the cliff jump. If you’re visiting Koh Ta Kiev, definitely try to get a day trip boat to make the most of the time!

We did actually hear one group leaving the island and asking about how much the boat back was – the staff had a boat going back to the mainland anyway so let them jump on for free. A bit of a bitch for those who have paid for that service but if you want to risk it, just turn up and ask. We tried asking to jump on for our journey back because we wanted to spend more time on the island but they didn’t have a boat going that particularly day so we were unlucky.

Accommodation

We stayed at Coral Beach, a less than ten minute walk from Long Beach which is where we were dropped off. Some people were staying in hammocks but that’s a bit too rustic for me, plus there’s no privacy. Anyway, our tree bungalow was super basic but we spent a limited amount of time inside.

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The bed was comfortable and had a mosquito net – if you’re really fussy then maybe bring your own because ours did have a fair amount of holes in it. A huge tarpaulin sheet covered the entrance but you could roll it back up during the day.

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The bar was fun – there were board games and darts, as well as a cute little treehouse area that gave you INCREDIBLE sunset views. The staff were friendly and helpful (but also read the note below) and the food was delicious and fresh.

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The two ‘bathrooms’ offered a bucket flush toilet (not too bad) and a bucket shower (weird and awkward = mental hair for entire stay. If anyone successfully washes their hair in a bucket shower then please share your tips!).

They were very clean although one thing I did note was that there was no hand soap. I understand that they’re not going to offer free toiletries but hand soap is a different matter altogether. We used our own hand sanitiser each time but I just questioned what the chefs were using??

Overall, Coral Beach was a great place to stay on Koh Ta Kiev. We would definitely stay here again – for £10 a night on this amazing island, who wouldn’t!?

READ  The Best Budget Hotels In Cambodia

Check prices for your dates and real guest reviews at: Booking.com

Food

Food in Cambodia was great, but Coral Beach didn’t offer many traditional local meals. Instead, they cooked French dishes, which were absolutely incredible.

The portions were usually massive and at $6-7 for lunch or dinner each, were very expensive but we expected that whilst on a remote the island. You also could only eat at the set times they provided, so if you get peckish in between meals then bring some snacks!

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We visited the fishing village on the other side of the island and were served freshly caught crab by the local family there. It was amazing! The journey took us over an hour  in the 35 degree Celsius weather, but this was because we got lost.

Not only did we get lost, but we met 8 other people trying to find the same bloody place. In the end we all trekked through the trees together and managed to stay on track by following the blue splodges of paint on the trees we had all missed before.

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Once we arrived, we found shade next to a kitchen and a lady came out and gave everyone a can of Coke. She also tried to ask us if we wanted food by repeating ‘yum yum’ over and over at us, so we repeated it back and hoped for some lunch.

We watched her walk over to the small pier, lift out a net full of live crabs and stroll back into the kitchen. Ten minutes later, those crabs were on our plate covered in the best sauce (like a sweet chilli glaze), along with a fish we didn’t ask for but were very grateful for, and two large bowls of rice.

There were roughly 4 or 5 crabs between TWO OF US and there was plenty of meat to be shared. It was such an amazing lunch, and we gladly paid the lady $4 each. They rely on tourism heavily and the meal was definitely worth the money so we’re not complaining.

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Activities

You can spend a whole week doing absolutely nothing here, or you can get up and explore the island a bit. Either way, you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery and meet like-minded people ready to forget time exists.

We only had 2 nights here so decided to spend a lot of time in the sea snorkelling (free equipment from our accommodation – first come first served though so we had to be quick!) and avoiding the sea urchins!

They are freaking huge – you do not want to be stabbed by their long black spikes on a remote island in Cambodia. They’re apparently not poisonous but we didn’t take any chances and stayed far enough away!

Unfortunately, the absinthe distillery relocated to the mainland recently. We were was extremely upset about this as we didn’t have time to visit it when we got back, although I did mange to sample some of the last of the island’s supply and my God it’s strong!

I chose the pink one, and watched as the girl behind the bar set it on fire and dripped sugar into it. We would suggest visiting the distillery in Sihanoukville to try the different types!

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There’s no wifi on Koh Ta Kiev, and limited electricity so our advice would be to spend your days exploring, and your evenings making friends!

One last thing….

Everybody was high during our trip – both the staff and a lot of the guests! This meant slightly annoying but also slightly funny slow customer service and a stronggggg smell of weed drifting throughout the bar.

We’re not into it but we’re not about to complain – we had already read a couple of reviews that mentioned it so just accepted that people liked to escape reality and live on an island for a few months whilst they ‘found themselves’.

koh ta kiev, cambodia, coral beach ktk, koh ta kiev accommodation, treehouse, snorkelling koh ta kievWe also made friends with a honeymooning couple who we later bumped into on the mainland, who told us a hilarious story about how they had bought some cookies and got so high they couldn’t feel their legs and slept for 48 hours. Not my idea of fun but it’s one to tell the grand kids, right?!

Things to Remember

Koh Ta Kiev is very remote and unlike most islands you’ve probably been to before! You can’t just pop to the shop for a beer, or ring up an ambulance to save you. Here are a few things to remember on your trip to the island!

Head torch – Most places lose power in the evenings as they turn off their generators. Be prepared and have your own personal light for night-time bathroom trips!

Small first aid kit – You won’t find a doctor on the island (unless they’re enjoying their own holiday!) so bring an emergency kit for minor injuries. Your accommodation will most likely have one, as well as first-aid trained staff, but you wouldn’t want to fall ill the day they run out of supplies!

Sunscreen– This is an obvious one, but make sure your bottle is full enough for your whole Koh Ta Kiev trip because there’s no 7/11 nearby!

Mosquito spray – Mozzies will try to get you wherever you are in a hot country, but stocking up before you get here is much more imperative!

Toiletries– Hotels usually offer free toiletries but Koh Ta Kiev is really a back-to-basics kind of place, so you’re unlikely to be treated to shampoo here! Bring your own (if you think you can master the bucket shower, that is!)

Shawl/travel blanket – If there’s a storm, the evenings can get quite cool. Most accommodation options will be huts or even tents which won’t keep out the wind!

Books – If you get sick of swimming, snorkelling and exploring, you might just want to relax with a good book. Once you’ve finished yours, you can usually swap it for another in the book exchange at your resort too.

 Cash – There are no ATMs on Koh Ta Kiev. You’ve been warned!

 Snacks – Just make sure the packaging is fully closed to avoid any unwanted late night visitors.

Hammock– In some places, you can bring your own hammock and pay a small fee to stay the night in between two trees! 



Booking.com

Have you ever been to Koh Ta Kiev? Share your experiences below!


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About Two Tall Travellers

Hi! We’re Jade and Kev, a twenty-something English couple who decided to leave the country to explore the rest of the world!

60 comments on “Koh Ta Kiev: A Guide to Your Island Stay

  1. Pingback: Travelling Overland From Beijing to Bangkok! - Two Tall Travellers

  2. Pingback: Travelling Overland From Beijing to Bangkok! - Two Tall Travellers

    • It’s all part of the experience though right 😉 we felt safe leaving our things about – there is quite a community feel about the place. Plus, yes, the food was amazing!

  3. “people ready to forget time exists” . . . I like this concept! Thanks for this suggestion it is always cool to have an island like this one in mind after some days of mainland Cambodia exploration. There were different ranges of accommodation (budget to luxury) on the island?

    • Same! Actually no, it’s such a small island that there are only a few resorts there and they’re all geared towards to budget backpackers who want to experience something different! A lot of people also just end up camping on the beach somewhere!

  4. Looks very “authentic”. Your story of the boat being heavy didn’t surprise me as safety and boats don’t necessarily go together in Asian countries. Looks like similar safety issues with that tree house, but doesn’t it look fantastic and I would still love to put my head down here to sleep.

    • true! it was a great place to stay, would highly recommend to anyone wanting to get off the grid for a few days!

  5. Looks like an amazing place to stay! Sadly we never got down to Sihanoukville as our visas for vietnam were starting. Bit of a screw up by us. We had a similar experience in Kep, but it wasn’t an island. Great post

  6. Wow this just looks like paradise! What an amazing place to experience! And the accommodation is so affordable! They look so cosy too and if they come with incredible views of the sunset then I’m in haha!

    • I know, we were surprised at how cheap it was but then again I suppose there aren’t that many amenities so you get what you pay for (plus those amazing sunsets)!

  7. I love the tree house ~ most my kids would think this was the coolest thing ever! I would love the food it looks amazing – and the area looks just gorgeous. I am not sure about that washing my hair in the bucket LOL and lack of hand soap! But I guess all part of an incredible experience !

    • Yeah it was great – we were as excited as kids haha. The food was amazing but yeah bucket showers were an interesting way to start the day!

  8. Good stuff guys. It is fun to get off the beaten path sometimes. We visited Sihanoukville in 2012 but never got out to the island. Probably impossible anyway since a huge typhoon slammed into the area all week, the remnants of a monster storm that destroyed the Philippines a few days earlier. We got 6 days of thunderstorms and 1 day of pure sun and bliss. Love that area.

    Ryan

    • This particular island is being renovated to be a tourist hub, in the next decade it will lose it’s wilderness charm. get there while you can!

  9. We’re yet to visit Cambodia but we had a very similar experience in the Philippines. There is something totally amazing about spending some time on a beautiful remote island. Also the food looks incredible!

    • The food WAS incredible 🙂 I really hope to do it again some time. I’m glad you experienced this too though, we want to go to the Philippines and try it out.

    • It won’t be affordable soon. There were many rumors of big businesses bulldozing large areas of the forest on the island even when we were there.

  10. My kids would love to stay in the house! I guess I could forgo washing my hair for a couple of days in exchange for peace and snorkelling! Sounds idyllic – I hope it doesn’t change too much.

    • It is certainly suitable for children. However i would worry they would get bored after a couple of days or so. Not much to do but relax and listen to the waves.

  11. Loved reading about Koh Ta Kieve Island. Such a lovely place. The beautiful coastline and islands of Cambodia get overshadowed by Siem Ream and the Angkor Wat temples, hence not many head this way. So loved this fresh perspective of Cambodia, beyond Angkor Wat.

  12. I’m so jealous!
    I’ve been planning to go to Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh where I stay right now.
    Hope I can still have the time before I head back to the Philippines next week.
    Glad you had a great time!

  13. The tree house look pretty damn good! I would love to try that cliff jump too, but I think I would back at the last minute like I normally do. Haha

    • Yer I did it twice and the second time i entered the water at the slightest of angles and my manhood was slightly crushed…. Didn’t go back for a third.

  14. Great to see that you went that extra mile so to speak and headed for this little island. Many travellers head to Sihanoukville but there really are some amazing destinations from here and Koh Ta Kiev definitely seems to be one of them! Here’s to coconuts, beaches and a good old bit of cliff jumping!

  15. I spent three weeks in Cambodia, but Koh Ta Kiev Island never even flickered across my radar! Fascinated to learn about it here. It seems like a delightful, rustic getaway. Sorry the absinthe distillery was relocated before you could catch it, though!

    • Haha luckily they still had a few bottles of absinth left from the original distillery. So we could experience it in spirit at least, pardon the pun…

  16. Koh Ta Kiev definitely sounds like an experience! I’m going to a really remote island this summer and your tips about what to bring had me jotting down a few notes of things I need to get organized for my trip.

    As for the bucket shower, I managed to wash my hair with the bucket showers when I trekked in Nepal last spring. When you’re desperate for clean hair after a sweaty day, you figure it out.

    • Trekking in Nepal sounds like a completely different scenario altogether! We had the sea to splash around in as well haha. I hope you have a great time.

  17. LOVE the look of this place. I’ve never been a fancy luxury traveler and those charming bungalows and hammocks call to me. I also appreciate the no wifi part, so you can disconnect, detox and get out and explore. What a fantastic find, I hope to visit soon!

    • It was very strange suddenly being completely cut off. after a couple of hours though you just embrace it and totally relax. Hope you manage to get out there.

  18. You had me at NO WIFI! Koh Ta Kiev sounds perfect to me from the snorkelling to the fresh Crab lunch! What an amazing rustic beach resort to explore and just detox. This is definitely getting added to my Cambodia Bucket List and we are going to look into Coral Beach.
    Good tips too cause Darcee would hate me if I forgot the bug spray…she is like a little white meat buffet for them.

    • Haha Hopefully they haven’t installed a massive antenna on the island and you have to deal with wifi the whole time. Jade is exactly the same, she gets basically eaten alive. I hope you manage to get out there!

  19. Those tree houses look awesome! I’m okay with roughing it as long as I’m well feed and the food on Koh Ta Kiev looks wonderful. I hope that I can visit some day!

  20. I love the look of Koh Ta Kiev, sounds like a great place to unplug and unwind. I’m sad I just found out about it by reading your post. Guess that means I’ll have to book another trip to Cambodia!

    • Yeah you’re so right! One of the boats broke down on the way back and we had to go save them and then the two boats got stuck together and started leaning over…. Amazing maybe not but an experience nonetheless.

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