How to visit Koh Ta Kiev – the best island in Cambodia

Koh Ta Kiev (sometimes Koh Tar Kev) is a Cambodian island in the Gulf of Thailand, only a few kilometers off the coast of Sihanoukville.

Although relatively big, it seems to be frozen in time and an eternity away from Sihanoukville, Koh Rong, and even further away from Thailand. It’s funny how we found in Cambodia what we expected to find in Thailand – a paradisiac island to relax and be away from everything!

If you are planning to travel to Cambodia, we strongly advise you to visit Koh Ta Kiev.

What is Cambodia Famous for?

How to travel to Koh Ta Kiev?

We didn’t plan to go to Koh Ta Kiev – we wanted to go to Bamboo Island (Koh Russei)! After asking around, we found a day tour right from serendipity beach to Koh Russei. GREAT! It looked tailor-made for us! We walked around Sihanoukville and returned by the end of the day to buy the tickets…

Best things to do in Koh Ta Kiev
Koh ta Kiev Beach

Yeah, the “tour” wasn’t exactly what we were told in the first place (Now, I wonder if it was the same tour at all). The boat goes to Koh Ta Kiev and then we need to get another boat to Bamboo Island… This was an open ticket, meaning one could stay in Koh Ta Kiev and return on another day.

We didn’t like it, it wasn’t what the sellers told us initially, but we went with it anyway. After all, we would probably be able to see 2 islands for the price of one :). Also, we heard somewhere that Koh Ta Kiev was OK.

Cambodia or Laos, where to go in Southeast Asia?

Again, the tour wasn’t exactly what we were told. It’s a 3-island tour! Hopefully, it would stop in Koh Ta Kiev as sold so that we could get to Bamboo Island. We now understand that’s an actual tour (not just a ferry) with snorkeling in Koh Preus, lunch and swimming in Koh Ta Kiev, and then snorkeling again in Koh Tres…

Despite not being what we expected, it was a fantastic experience, with plenty of activities and relaxation. Don’t forget your camera, particularly if you have a GoPro with underwater housing. You’ll want to film and take pictures of this.

How to travel to Koh Ta Kiev
Boat to Koh ta Kiev

The 3-Island tour

Snorkeling in Koh Preus

Snorkeling in Koh Preus was fun! We are starting to really enjoy this snorkeling thing! But then again, how can we not enjoy the warm and clear water, swimming right from the boat and enjoying the view underwater, full of plants, coral, and fish… It’s a 3-D colorful whole new world to discover!

We found that the water wasn’t as clear as in Phi Phi Islands, but there was a bigger variety of fish. These were 30 to 40 minutes that were really well spent! In other countries, it would be worth the price of the 3-island tour by itself.

Snorkeling in Koh Preus Cambodia
snorkeling on the way to Koh ta Kiev

Lunch in Koh Ta Kiev

The second stop was Koh Ta Kiev! The crew told us that if we wanted to stay on the island, we should get accommodation for the night right after we stopped and then return for the free lunch! Even before arriving at Koh Ta Kiev we noticed the long, yellow, sandy beach!

As we approached, things looked even better. We start to notice how the water is clean and pristine… When we jump into the water, we feel it is warm, and the sand is soft, really soft… Koh Ta Kiev beach is very close to being the perfect beach!

Koh Ta Kiev Island Cambodia
Koh ta Kiev Beach

We liked Koh ta Kiev so much that we ended up staying for 3 nights (instead of one), despite not even being able to go to Bamboo island!

We stayed right in the middle of the main beach in Nak’s Shack and decided to go no-frills! Only a Shack with one bed with mosquito net, no internet, and electricity only for a few hours at night, but it was in front of the almost deserted beach, our beach!

We got lucky in Koh Ta Kiev! Even without realizing it, we found exactly what we were looking for: a stress-free beach, with few people, where we could rest and enjoy ourselves. These were the best beach days we have ever spent. Paradise is a Shack by the beach in Koh Ta Kiev.

Our Shak in Koh Ta Kiev
Our Shak in Koh Ta Kiev

Snorkeling in Koh Tres

After 2 days in paradise, we got back and finished the tour. The last stop of the tour was snorkeling in Koh Tres. It was pleasant and fun, but not as good as the first. Anyway, after Koh ta Kiev and everything we got on the trip, it really didn’t matter 🙂

Snorkeling in Koh Tres Cambodia
How to go to koh ta Kiev

Best things to do in Koh Ta Kiev

Nothing really happens in Koh ta Kiev, so these were 3 days of doing nothing… Well, not really! One ends up finding a lot to do, though away from everything!

What to do in Koh Ta Kiev
Things to do In Koh ta Kiev

Walking in Koh Ta Kiev

One of our favorite things to do in Koh Ta Kiev was walk on the beach while taking our time and enjoying ourselves! You can also venture into the island, but we didn’t really do it for more than a few dozens of meters… The opposite of what we did in the Perhentian Islands!

What to do in Koh Ta Kiev
Swing in Koh ta Kiev

Snorkeling in Koh Ta Kiev

If you want to snorkel in Koh Ta Kiev you have to go to the edges of the long beach, where there are less sand and things actually to see! There’s no point in snorkeling on the long beach itself because there’s only sand. It’s fantastic to swim and play but really useless to snorkel!

Snorkeling in Koh Ta Kiev Cambodia
Snorkeling in Koh ta Kiev

Kayaking in Koh ta Kiev

The beautiful warm waters of Koh ta Kiev make it a perfect place to do some Kayaking! The island isn’t that big, so if you are in good shape, maybe you can even kayak around it! Furthermore, it’s very cheap at only 5 USD per day! Where else can you kayak for 5 USD??

Swimming in Koh Ta Kiev

Koh Ta Kiev is pretty impressive for anyone who loves swimming and playing in the water. The water is clean and warm, and the sand is soft. The beach is very long and with few visitors. It gives the feeling of owning the beach. I don’t think we have ever spent so much time in the water like the 3 days we’ve been in Koh ta Kiev.

We always wanted to have a night swim… and we did it in Koh ta Kiev! At night, the beach is deserted, and with the moonlight, it becomes like a movie scene 🙂

Best Island in Cambodia Koh Ta Kiev
Koh ta Kiev Beach

Chilling in Koh Ta Kiev

Everything in Koh ta Kiev is great! The beach, the water, the night swims, the island itself… but what really takes it to the next level is the sense of being away from it all, which is exacerbated by not having internet! You just chill and relax… and maybe read a good book! We strongly advise you to take a good book 🙂

How to go to Koh Ta Kiev
Sunset in Koh ta Kiev

What to eat in Koh ta Kiev

The 3 or 4 hostels/bungalows/Camping sites in Koh ta Kiev have a restaurant, and that’s where you need to eat! They serve typical Khmer food but are a little more expensive than in the mainland. We ended up always dining in Nak’s Shak and really enjoyed it!

At lunch, we ate every day with the guys from the day tours. It was very cheap, fresh food, and it was pretty cool to have people watch the newcomers. If you want to do it, you just need to approach the guides and ask if you can join. It cost us 3 USD per person.

Eating in Koh ta Kiev Cambodia
Food in Koh ta Kiev

We got lucky, really lucky! Nothing seemed to be what we expected, but in the end, we found exactly what we had been searching for for a long time in South East Asia. Koh ta Kiev isn’t in many Cambodia itineraries, but it’s the perfect place to relax by the beach.

Helpful information about Koh ta Kiev and the 3 islands tour

  • Price of the 3 islands tour: 15 USD – yes, 2 snorkeling spots, boat ride, and lunch = 15 USD!
  • Price of a bungalow in Koh ta Kiev: 12 USD per night; Yes, 12 USD to wake up every day in paradise!
  • Time required: Tour started at 9 am and ended at 15:30! Well, 3 days later, but that was up to us…
  • How to get to Koh ta Kiev: just buy the ticket at Serendipity pier and hop on the boat 🙂 Later, we read that you can also get a boat from Otres Beach.

Further Read:

If you are planning a visit to Cambodia we strongly advise you to check this very complete travel guide and follow this two weeks itinerary to Cambodia.

12 thoughts on “How to visit Koh Ta Kiev – the best island in Cambodia”

  1. I did a Cambodia tour last year, but never made it to the south of the country. The pictures remind me of Ko Chang in eastern Thailand.

    • We haven’t been to Ko Chang, but Koh ta Kiev was miles better than any other place we have been in Thailand. If you have the opportunity there 🙂

  2. Wow, looks like you had an incredible time — and so affordable! Love that everything worked out for the best:)

    • Sometimes you have to go with the flow and enjoy what you get… this time we got really lucky with it 🙂

  3. Ah that’s so cool! It looks like paradise indeed. it is funny how things work out when you just go with the flow 🙂

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