You Know You Live on Koh Rong When…

I went to Koh Rong for a week and ended up staying for a year.

That’s how it generally works. People rock up to this undeveloped island, 25km off the coast of Cambodia, and plan to relax for a few days before continuing on to the rest of Southeast Asia. And then they stay.

When I arrived with my friend Frankie about two and a half years ago, we never planned to stay as long as we did. However, one week turned into two, which turned into a month, which turned into monthly rent, full time ‘jobs’ (as though working on Koh Rong is ever really work) and some of the best memories of our lives.

Although I left the island about a year and a half ago, I still have such fond memories of this crazy little corner of the world, and despite all the cold showers and tropical diseases and creepy crawlies, I wouldn’t change a thing about the time I spent there. It’s so funny seeing people that I know still living on the island (how are you still alive, seriously?!), and seeing that nothing ever really changes. With this in mind, I decided to put together a list of things that happen to you when you live on Koh Rong. Some of the details might be a little dated (maybe air conditioning is a thing now??), but for the most part, the Koh Rong experience is pretty much still the same.

So, how do you know when you’ve been living on Koh Rong for too long?!

pups in paradise koh rong island
Pups in Paradise fundraiser!


You gossip about dogs more than people


You know every food menu off by heart and have eaten everything at least 10 times


You don’t remember what it’s like to sleep in a bed with no sand


You have fond memories of your first worm and may have even given it a name


You are friends with so many random Cambodian people on Facebook and you have no idea how


You don’t remember the last time you went 24 hours without a Joss shot


You know almost every dog on the island by name


“Mr Boombastic” doesn’t make you think of Shaggy (unfortunately)


Walking home after a night at Police Beach or 4K could result in stepping on a King Cobra


You know more facts about mosquitos, bed bugs, ticks and sand flies than Google


90% of your wardrobe consists of Koh Rong singlets (Bongs, Mathilda, Klang…)


You know who says the phrase “DO NOT TOUCH WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW”


You wouldn’t be able to live without a bum gun


You share your bedroom with geckos, mice and cockroaches


You know never to ask for a “hurricane” at Island Boys


Royal D is the answer to all life’s problems


You’re used to being covered in a layer of sweat at all times


You wake up to the sound of roosters and/or building works every morning


Glitter, glitter, glitter. Everywhere


You don’t remember when you last wore a bra


You have very strong opinions about which boat company is the best


A holiday for you is a trip to Sihanoukville for a hot shower and air conditioning


You hate Coco’s without knowing why


“Have you seen the plankton?”


You live on the island but you’re paler than every single tourist because going to the beach is just SO much effort


Your feet are really really messed up


You’ve been to the mainland and forgotten your shoes at least once


On that note, shoes? What are shoes?


EVERY bug bite you have gets infected


But yet you continue to drink on antibiotics against all medical advice


The words “Royal Group” make you SO angry


But you know that despite everything, this messed up little island is home and you wouldn’t change a thing about it

koh rong island cambodia

Are you currently living on Koh Rong? Did I miss anything out? Are the showers still cold and the beers still warm? Share your experiences with me in the comments section!

If you liked this article and would like to support my work, please click the button above to donate a couple of bucks and buy me a coffee. The ad revenue that I receive on this website is minimal, so support from my readers enables me to keep creating content that you (hopefully!) love to read.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.