Located in the sunny south of Cambodia, the seaside town of Sihanoukville contains the most popular beaches in the country. People travel from all over the world to explore this tropical paradise, which features pure white powdery sand fringed with palm trees and clear blues water lapping the shore.
Sihanoukville’s main attraction is its multitude of beautiful beaches. There are six picturesque stretches of sand to choose from here, namely Victory Beach, Independence Beach, Sokha Beach, Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and Otres Beach. The cheapest accommodation can be found around Victory Beach, while Otres Beach is the least crowded and the Ochheuteal Beach is the most vibrant as it offers a large collection of bars and restaurants.
Brief guide to Sihanoukville
Formerly known as Kompong Som, Sihanoukville takes its name from Cambodia’s beloved Prince Sihanouk. Many people travel here via the Koh Kong/Hat Lek border crossing that connects with Thailand, while buses travel to Sihanoukville from major destinations such as Phnom Penh.
Sihanoukville is a great place for diving, as there are a number of nearby islands where you can take a boat trip and dive deep into the clear blue waters. Snorkelling is also popular here and the waters around Koh Russei – also known as Bamboo Island – are a particularly good place to spot shoals of colourful fish. Koh Russei is celebrated for its natural beauty and many visitors are tempted to spend the night here in the tranquil surroundings where the only noise is the song of birds and the wind in the trees.
Many of the small tour agencies along the beachfront offer a number of day trips, with the most popular being Ream National Park. A great way to explore is by hiring a motorcycle and simply driving wherever the mood takes you. Drive two kilometres north to the Kampong Pier Nup Lok for pretty island views and discover the temples of Wat Leu and Wat Krom.
Food lovers will find plenty of interest in Sihanoukville. Fresh fish barbeques make an appearance at dusk, enticing diners with their mouth-watering aromas. Although there are a good number of restaurants serving tasty international dishes, this is also a good place to try traditional Khmer cuisine such as creamy coconut curry.