Cambodia’s prime beach destination Sihanoukville is a place that can only be enjoyed if well planned. While the town itself is not especially pleasant, with too many tourists, cheap parties and dirt, the surrounding areas offer some wonderful beaches with the infrastructure needed to have an unforgettable time. Additionally, 20km west from the city two gorgeous islands offer even better beaches and wildlife.
Otres beach, 7km southeast of the city is a long stretch of beach consisting of Otres 1, long public beach, and Otres 2. While the former has more hotels, restaurants, party places and an ATM, the later is a bit more isolated and completely quiet. Both can be reached from the city by a 20 min tuc tuc ride. There are plenty of resorts and good restaurants on both beaches, so it’s not necessary to stay in the city at all.
For those of you who want to emerge even deeper into the landscape two gorgeous islands less than an hour away are an absolute must. Koh Rong, the bigger one offers more accommodation and restaurants. Most of them are on the main Tui Beach, located on its southern end. Apparently even internet works there. Other beaches like Sok San beach and Long Set beach are less crowded and quieter.
The smaller island Koh Rong Sanloem is more relaxed, and even its most popular beach – Saracen Bay has no nightlife. In the Bay there are a dozen resorts of all different levels, but there are no parties, nor internet. Two other beaches Mpay Bay and Lazy Beach are pretty isolated, but equally beautiful. To reach them you have to cross beautiful rainforest inhabited by monkeys and exotic birds.
So what places should you pick as your bases around Sihanoukville?
One Otres beach and at least one island:
- If you like parties and gorgeous beaches then you should stay at Otres 1 and Koh Rong Island
- If you are looking for something quiet with pristine beaches but not completely isolated then stay at Otres 2 and Koh Rong Sanloem.*
- If your thing is isolated pristine beaches then Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Sanloem is the place for you. There is a large resort whose delicious restaurant offers gorgeous views.
If you are visiting Cambodia you should definitely visit Sihanoukville coast. Although it doesn’t have spectacular landscapes like Thailand, its secluded sand beaches and clear blue water will surely compensate. Apart from that, sunsets are unforgettable and massive tourism still hasn’t arrived. The city itself doesn’t have anything to offer. Its beaches are mediocre, bars and restaurants crowded and noisy, and it lacks architectural landmarks. But all the above mentioned places are easy reachable and definitely worth visiting.