There’s so many amazing beaches to explore on Koh Rong Sanloem, but there’s something special about M’Pai Bay that separates it from the rest. The once quiet fishing village has turned into a backpacking hotspot in just the last few years. Budget travelers and tourists alike flock to this beautiful cove for it’s incredible island setting and easy accessibility from other parts of the country. We’ll explain how to get to M’Pai Bay from Sihanoukville, and everything else you need to know about this amazing new beach town in Cambodia!
M’Pai Bay beach is accessible by boat and there are a few different ways to get there. If you’re coming from Sihanoukville you can easily get a direct speed ferry with GTCV Speedboat.
From Saracen Bay, you can also get an inter-island boat towards M’Pai Bay Cambodia. There are several ferry companies who offer rides for $5 USD from Saracen, and plenty of private operators who can take you to M’Pai from there.
Just make sure to check the times as they can vary! Also, if you have any questions before arriving, your accommodation can send you all the names of the boat companies. This way you can make your trip stress free!
Before traveling from Sihanoukville to M’Pai Bay you should know the backstory! Up until recently, M’Pai Bay was a traditional fishing village. This quaint beach gets its name from the sacred number 23 as that’s what it means in the Khmer language.
The sleepy little seaside town has since picked up steam with a backpacker movement slowly shifting from the Thai islands to Cambodia. We’ve heard different stories, but apparently just a couple years ago there was only 2-3 restaurants and guesthouses dotting the beach. That number has only slightly increased, but you can tell it’s starting to get busier in this little cove.
Our favorite part about M’Pai Bay was just a short walk away at the connecting Long Beach. The Cambodian islands feel largely unexplored, and the M’Pai Bay beaches are the perfect example of this. If you take a right out of town and head past the Yellow Hostel, you’ll quickly spill out into this gorgeous paradise.
Relax on the smooth sands and clear blue water of one of Asia’s most beautiful and uninhabited beaches. Most people don’t even know about it, so you should only be sharing the sand with a few other travelers. Aside from the one patch of bungalows on the far end of the beach you won’t see anything built up here either!
There’s only a few M’Pai Bay restaurants to choose from, but they’re all pretty decent. You’ll find everything from Turkish food to Cambodian dishes, and plenty of western options as well. We had all our meals right on the ocean which was especially awesome at high tide!
If you need a recommendation, Touch Restaurant is right near the main harbor and serves a delicious curry. The prices aren’t terrible for the islands, and local beer shouldn’t cost you more than $1 USD. Take in the scenic views of the bay as you enjoy some great food and plan out the rest of your day.
Clearwater Bay is about a 45 minute hike from the end of Long Beach. It’s another beautiful place where people often spend the day swimming and snorkeling. This is a great day trip if you’re already staying in M’Pai Bay in Koh Rong Sanloem!
Make sure to wear shoes as you’ll be hiking through the jungle. Also, pack a lunch and snacks as there’s nowhere to get food in Clearwater Bay. Much like Long Beach, it’ll be just you, the ocean, and the green islands in the distance!
If you don’t get your fill of underwater fun at M’Pai Bay beach, Long Beach, or Clearwater, there’s plenty of day trips available. Prices can range from $10-20 for a day filled with swimming, snorkeling, and even diving if you’re certified.
This is definitely worth the time and money as your driver will take you to all the best spots around Koh Rong Sanloem. M’Pai Bay in Cambodia has a very friendly and close knit atmosphere, so don’t be surprised if you get offered a trip by someone just walking by.
Once you’ve had a full day of exploring and floating around at M’Pai Bay beach, it’s time to take in the glorious island sunset. From the first night we arrived, the Cliff Hostel was our go-to sundowner spot. Enjoy a nightly happy hour from 5-8pm where they offer .75 cent draft beers to go along with the sunset.
You can even walk down the steps and snorkel before the sun goes down! The scene is magical as you watch the boats sail off into the distance, and the colors of the sky turn orange and red. You’ll certainly be glad you came to M’Pai Bay after seeing this!