BBC Article about Koh Rong Island
Koh Rong Island is an inexpensive, unspoiled island getaway with turquoise-green waters, miles of powder-white beaches, endless palm trees, untouched fishing villages and only a handful of beachfront bungalows. But do not wait too long. If you want to relive the Thailand of 20 years ago, when only a handful of backpackers showed up on its island shores — before roads, vehicles, development and tourism took their toll — many agree that Koh Rong Cambodia is as close as it gets. Unfortunately word has already gotten out. In 2006, Kithr Meng, a Cambodian tycoon, purchased a 99-year lease on the island from the Cambodian government. His 20-year plan includes building an airport for small aircrafts, a marina, a golf course, casinos and several five-star resorts. His goal is to make Koh Rong the most famous destination in Cambodia. But the beauty ofKoh Rong is that while there are some activities on the island, such as snorkelling, scuba diving and a somewhat bushwhacking trek through its dense jungles and mangroves, there is not much else to do. If is the goal is to disconnect from your iPhone or Blackberry, swim in pristine waters and follow the sun’s arch while reading a good book, there are few undeveloped island destinations better suited to unplug and unwind. So far development has been slow, with only a dirt road being blazed through the centre of the island. But eventually five fingers of roads will lead to expensive, upscale resorts. Legally, Meng can bulldoze the island’s four beach bungalow lodging options at any time, needing only to give the owners a month’s notice.