Featuring several stretches of pristine sand and cool, clear water, Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s most popular beach resort. Located in the south of the country, this is an ideal place to soak up the sun for a few days. Although more people travel here to simply chill out on one of the area’s beaches for a while, there are a large number of attractions in Sihanoukville to explore.
Keen divers and snorkellers will want to take the time to explore the tiny islands that are located just a few miles offshore, as their waters are teeming with colourful coral and a diverse range of marine life. Each of Sihanoukville’s six main beaches have a distinctly different feel, meaning that beach bums will be able to spend plenty of time exploring the coast.
Public transportation in Sihanoukville is limited and by far the easiest way to reach more of the attractions in the area is by booking a tour with one of the numerous small operators that line the beaches. However, those with a strong sense of adventure and good navigational skills will be able to hire a motorbike, grab a map and head out on their own.
Ream National Park
Situated just 12 miles from Sihanoukville, this is the Cambodia’s main National Park. Visitors will be treated to a boat trip along the Prek Tuk Sap River in a canvass-roofed motorboat past mangrove forests and tropical jungles.
Entrance to Ream National Park is restricted to tour groups, which can be booked in Sihanoukville guesthouses and agencies. Lasting for the entire day, these trips include a trek through the jungle and a fish BBQ lunch on one of the park’s islands.
Kbal Chhai Waterfalls
Situated on the Prek Tuk Sap River, just a 30-minute drive from Sihanoukville, this is an ideal place to explore with private transportation. Cascades of water fall from between three and five meters within dense jungle vegetation. By far the best time to visit is during the wet season, which lasts from July to October, as this is when the falls are at their fullest and visitors can swim in the cool, clear pools at their base.
Also known as Bamboo Island, Koh Russei is a pretty place to visit for those who like pure peace and quiet. Anyone who has ever dreamed of spending time on a deserted tropical island will feel right at home as only around 30 people live on the island.
Those who want to spend the night will have three modest bungalow resorts to choose from at around US$15 per night. Contact the owner at the Sunset Cafe on Occidental Beach the day before you plan to go. Trips cost around US$10 return.
Named after the Independence Hotel, Independence Beach has a laidback atmosphere, making this the ideal place to lay back on the sand and drift away for a while. There are also a number of modest bars and restaurants located here, while shops hire out sun loungers as well as snorkel equipment.
The most popular of Sinhaoukville’s beaches, Ochheauteal Beach is lined with bars, restaurants and restaurants. Stretching for more than a mile along the coast, large numbers of travellers and local people gather here each and every day to sunbathe by day and party after the sun sinks behind the horizon.
A popular place to enjoy the sunset, Victory Beach is located to the north of the Sihanoukville peninsula. Also known as Hawaii Beach, this beach is known for its party atmosphere.