The Southern Islands
Cambodia's southern islands are the tropical Shangri-La many travellers have been seeking – as yet untouched by the mega-resorts that have sprouted across southern Thailand. Many of the islands have been tagged for major development by well-connected foreign investors, but the big boys have been slow to press go, paving the way for DIY development to move in with rustic bungalow resorts.
That's not to say that all small-scale development is fine. Koh Rong, in particular, has changed dramatically in the past couple of years due to unchecked construction in the Koh Tuch area. But for the most part, Cambodia's islands are still paradise the way you imagined it: endless crescents of powdered-sugary-soft sand, hammocks swaying in the breeze, photogenic fishing villages on stilts, technicolour sunsets and the patter of raindrops on thatch as you slumber. It seems too good to last, so enjoy it while it does.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Southern Islands.