Lying in clear blue waters roughly halfway between Sihanoukville and Koh Kong, just off the coast of Koh Kong province, the small rocky island of Koh S’dach (King’s Island) gets its name from the legend surrounding the royal spring behind the port, which is said to have gushed forth miraculously when the king and his army were desperate for drinking water as they battled invaders here. Supporting a population of a couple of thousand, Koh S’dach may not look too exciting at first glance, but is refreshingly authentic, has wonderful snorkelling and fishing (even quite close to shore, though you’ll need your own equipment) and is a good base from which to explore little-visited, and still largely undeveloped outlying islands. It is also, by fishing village standards anyway, quite a prosperous little community due to the village’s ice factory, which supports the fishing fleet.

Koh S’dach is just a couple of kilometres long, and 1km wide. There’s a rocky beach on its seaward side, reached by a path through the compound of the simple pagoda, Wat Koy Koh. The beach isn’t brilliant, but vivid coral and shoals of fish found close to shore compensate.

The best of the nearby islands is Koh S’mach, just 1km away, home to a small fishing community and with some sandy beaches. Tiny Koh Totang, 2km off Koh S’dach, has a population of just seven (plus a few dogs) that almost doubles during the dry season when the owners of Nomad’s Land, the island’s only accommodation option, return to set up shop. Aside from this it’s completely undeveloped and you can wander through the wooded interior to seek out hidden beaches.

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