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Koh Thmei

Koh Thmei is an almost uninhabited island flanked by mangrove forests and beaches. It's part of the Ream National Park. The government has sold a substantial amount of the island to the highest bidder.

Right now the island is mostly empty; although a few families live on the island, there's not so much as a village and the only current accommodation is Koh Thmei Resort. Their owners believe that they were allowed to open because of their eco-friendly policies; they power it by day using solar panels and have a complex natural water filtration system. You'll often find the local police drinking beers there.

The island is almost completely untouched and much of it is so thickly forested that it's only accessible by boat, making it the perfect island for a secluded weekend getaway.

For now, though, the island is practically pristine. Flanked by mangrove forests, the island is a natural paradise that is as far from Sihanoukville as night is from day. Koh Thmei is the habitat of many types of interesting wildlife, particularly birds. Over 150 types of birds make their home in the park and a trip to the island offers ample bird-watching opportunities. To be fair, they seem to have their share of bugs as well.
Many threatened animal species like the Sambar and fish cats have made their home here. Schools of dolphins swim along the coast and you will have the opportunity to observe sea-eagles hunting.

Directly in front of our door you will find a nice reef with a lot of young fish living between the corals. Snorkellers will be happy with the possibilities around the coral reefs and the beaches are piled with exotic seashells for those who don't want to go underwater. Athletic types can kayak and when the weather's right, surf.
You could go hiking in the forest, but there are no routes available. People are friendly, but somewhat reserved.  

 

The bungalows on the island have solar power and that means that the bungalows have electricity almost all day - a rarity on the islands - although there's no reason to spend much time indoors when there are beaches littered with exotic shells, a coral reef ripe for snorkelling, and more than a hundred species of rare birds to observe.

 

If you come from Sihanoukville your trip will take 45 minutes by car. From Phnom Penh around 3,5 hours. You reach the resort on the island Koh Thmei by boat. It takes 45 minutes from the Koh Kchhang Fishing Village.

 

From a Travel Blog:

 

Once we finished the 1 hour boattrip with the wind coming inland and stepped out on the Island (and washed off our salt crust) there was instant relaxation.
The bungalows are very roomy and have (for southeastasian standards) gigantic bathrooms with a dividing half-wall between the shower and the rest. The water is very clean (something you will appreciate especially if you just came from Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, like we did), The balcony offers hamocks and seats and the restaurant is just a tiny stroll down the beach away.
There you can eat really good food at a decent price, have a nice drink (really big cocktail selection), select a book, a magazine or a game, find friendly people or just watch the dogs, the pony and the little wildlife pass by. We are glad we came, even though we would have liked to stay longer. Oh, and we never needed earplugs to sleep.
We were once woken by a gecko inside the bungalow, but other than that everything was very peacefull.

 

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