sandflybites Cambodia koh rong somloem

Sandflies in Cambodia (Please take care especially in Koh Rong, Koh Rong Somlem, Song Saa Private Island)

Sandflies In Cambodia: You will find sandflies on nearly all wonderful beaches of Cambodia. Koh Rong, Koh Rong Somlem, Song Saa Private Island

Sandflies in Cambodia

Within the beautiful South-East-Asia Cambodia is a destination, which offers a wide variety of possibilities. From exploring the Unesco World Heritage of the temples of Angkor with the main temple Angkor Wat, over diving into the capital Phnom Penh, discovering the nation’s history and learning about the Cambodian culture after the cruel Pol Pot and Red Khmer regime, up to visting the fascination ecosystem of the Tonlé Sap lake –  Cambodia is well worth a visit!!!

But: make sure you pay a visit to the beaches of Cambodia as well.

What about sandflies and sandfly bites in Cambodia?

We have to tell you: yes, there are sandflies in Cambodia on nearly every beach. Sorry for this. But lets have a look at some destinations.


The most touristy Cambodian beach area is Sihanoukville. In many Cambodia guides it is rated a top go-to location for a beach holiday in Cambodia.

Sihanoukville is not only a city with the name but also describes the whole area. To be honest: spoiled as we are through many wonderful lonely beaches we have experienced in the past we didn’t really like Sihanoukville. Through the big impact of Chinese investors and their construction boom the area is always packed with people, the traffic is always next to collapsing, unfortunately there is a lot of littering and the whole area is about to loose the Cambodian culture. Bus as you might like a bit of hustle and bustle lets have a look at the beaches of Sihanoukville…

Otres Beach: Many Sandflies 😈😈😈

the Otres Beach is a beach a bit outside of Sihanoukville (with a motorbike or taxi about 20 min from the city center) and is considered to be one of the nicest and most beautiful beaches of Cambodia. Compared to many of the other beaches of Sihanoukville it is quite laid back and clean. But: Chinese investors have bought much of the land so it has much construction going on, which leads to dusty air. Nevertheless: our recommendation for Sihanoukville!

Serendipity Beach: No so many Sandflies 😈

This beach is more lively than Otres beach. It has a high frequency of tourists, big and full restaurants and is packed with sunbeds and people. If you are tired of lonely beaches and you want a flavor of Mallorca in Asia – go there…

Ochheuteal Beac: Many Sandflies 😈😈

Ochheuteal Beach is the area which is at the end of Serendipity Beach and is more quiet – still a lot going on but a bit less than at the Serendipity end of the beach.

Sokha Beach: Many Sandflies 😈😈😈

Sokha beach is only a short walk from Serendipity beach and offers a more quiet surrounding. It is quite narrow and with a bunch of small restaurants you can easily chill here, take a dip and a bite.

Independance Beach :Many Sandflies 😈😈😈

rumors say that this beach is closed to the public but it is open. For now it remains a quite option for Sihanoukville but this may change quickly because here as well: land has been bought, construction sites are going on and it will be a mass tourist spot in a short time.

As you might read between the lines Sihanoukville is a main (Chinese) tourist area of Cambodia and we would always recommend to leave the mainland in favor for the islands. If you do so, Sihanoukville is still unavoidable for you because the ferries to the Cambodian islands leave from there.

Koh Rong: Many many  Sandflies 😈😈😈

  • Sok San Beach
  • Lonely Beach
  • Koh Touch
  • Long Set Beach
  • Palm Beach
  • White Beach

Ok, now we are talking… White beaches, turquoise water, lonely bays… This is Koh Rong. If you search for a beach in Cambodia – go there! We stayed at the Sok San Beach Resort, which is a bit higher priced but worth the money if you want to spoil yourself a bit. The bungalow options at Sok San Beach are really very basic and don’t come with 24h electricity or warm water. So what we did was to sleep in one of the huts of Sok San Beach Resort, take advantage of the sunbeds (we’ll come to this later) but don’t eat or drink there but rather enjoy the local community in the village restaurants and bars. We thought this was a healthy mix…

Koh Rong Samloem: Many Sandflies 😈😈😈

  • Lazy Beach
  • Saracen Bay

The smaller island close to the bigger Koh Rong offers an even stronger Robinson Crusoe experience than Koh Rong. Only basic backpacker accomodation, very few tourists, true hippie and downtempo. The beaches are lonely, you can not really do much than lying in the hammock or on the beach and chill all day. We are sure that this will change in the future so go there soon.

Sandflies in Cambodia – OK, but now we have to talk…

It is clear that we prefer the islands and recommend to go there instead than Sihanoukville.

But: PREPARE!!!!! Because in terms of sandfly bites and mosquito bites the islands of Cambodia mean serious business.

Sihanoukville might be packed and crowded but you can apply the general rule: the more tourists – the less sandflies. You might get bitten by a Chinese for not singing karaoke but you might not so easy have a sandfly bite in Sihanoukville.

This will change when you come to the islands.

We have hardly ever seen as many sandflies or mosquitoes than on Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem!!! No joke.

The sandflies in Cambodia on these islands are really very, very tiny. At first we thought there were none because compared to the ones we know they are super tiny. When practicing yoga on the beach in the morning there were swarms of them surrounding us and we had to run back to our bungalow. So we were lucky to have sunbeds at the Sok San Beach Resort. Sunbeds will not prevent sandflies to bite you but the extra space between you and the sand is an advantage.

We also tried to avoid the sand in the morning and sunset time when sandflies are very active.

On Koh Rong we applied Deet every day all day to stand an extra chance to avoid sandfly bites.

The same with mosquitoes. We had dozens of them in our bungalow on Koh Rong. Every day we did a 30-minutes mosquito hunt to clear the bungalow but they were back the next day. The hide under beds, in the cupboard etc. and we couldn’t prevent this.


As you will only find local shops with a limited selection of supplies you have to make sure to stock on thew follwing items before you go to Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem. You will not have a chance to buy this there:

  • mosquito net – high quality and the finest you can get as the mosquitoes are tiny
  • mosquito prevention with high percentage of Deet (buy before because it might even be hard to find in Sihanoukville)
  • bite away mosquito stick – you will bet bitten! no doubt about this and this will help you to ease the pain
  • zam buk to help stop the itching
  • hydrocortison lotion (if you might have an allergic reaction)
  • long and light clothes for sunrise/sunset

So go to the islands of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem but don’t go there with a blind eye!!! It is worth it.


Another thing to consider in Cambodia: Cambodia has difficulties with fresh water supplies and water cleaning. In Cambodia a lot of dirt is released into the sea. So even if the sea might look crystal clear and turquoise it has a lot of bacterias in it. Don’t swallow the water while swimming and if possible find a shower when you come out of the sea. On Koh Rong it is quite common that you can get an ear infection through the bacteria – the infamous „Koh Rong ear“…

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