Just off Kep, Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island; population 25 families) has the nicest beaches of any Kep-area island – except Phu Quoc, whose loss to Vietnam is still bitterly resented. It’s so named because locals say it resembles a rabbit, an example of what too much local brew can do to your imagination. If you like rusticity, come now before the island is changed forever by development.
At the 250m-long, tree-lined main beach , which faces west towards the setting sun, you can dine on seafood, lounge around on raised bamboo platforms and overnight in family-run clusters of rudimentary bungalows for US$5 per day.
Many people say Rabbit Island is a ‘tropical paradise’, but don’t expect the sanitised resort version – this one has shorefront flotsam, flies, chickens, packs of dogs and wandering cows.
Other Kep-area islands include Koh Pos (Snake Island; about 30 minutes past Rabbit Island), which has a deserted beach and fine snorkelling but no overnight accommodation and small, beachless Koh Svai (Mango Island), whose summit offers nice views.