Koh Russei is still living under the shadow of its former self, as a package tour and backpacker hangout with dirty beaches. But these days, the island has renewed itself after a major bulldozing by the Cambodian government eliminated all but one set of bungalows and a small cafe.
At less than an hour from shore, Koh Russei, or Bamboo Island as it’s known, is the best island to visit if you’re pressed for time. The island is still popular with backpackers, but local expats and other visitors also find pleasure in the golden beaches and island barbecues. It’s worthwhile to stay overnight at long-running Koh Ru, which is on a quiet beach on the part of the island never visited by the tour boats. It offers simple beach bungalows and dormitory beds year-round.