Tropical charm, hospitality and some of Cambodia’s best known beaches define the appeal and popularity of Sihanoukville. Just over 100 miles south-west of the capital, this coastal town has undergone a rapid expansion over the past 20 years or so, and is now a firm favourite for many visitors – from backpackers to luxury tourists.
The beaches range from packed all-day and all-night beach parties to quiet, secluded and relaxing slices of paradise – ensuring there really is something here to suit everyone’s tastes.
Ochheuteal Beach is a long, narrow strip of beautiful white sand with plenty of amenities and attractions. The northern section is affectionately known as Serendipity Beach, and with guesthouses and bars right on the beach this is hive of nightlife and a magnet for younger travellers and backpackers.
In contrast, Otres Beach to the south-east is more relaxed and less crowded, tending towards a calmer, more laid-back atmosphere. Bookended with strips of beach bars and guesthouses, Otres is a long, gorgeous and pristine stretch of sand that is fantastic for watersports, boat trips or simply lazing in the sun.
One of the most popular places to spend a Saturday night in Sihanoukville is at Otres Market, which features food, drink, live entertainment and a real festival atmosphere right through to the early hours.
There are plenty of other beautiful sandy stretches of shoreline to be found in and around Sihanoukville, some of which are public, while others – such as Sokha Beach – are privately owned. Here, an entry fee rewards you with a quieter, more exclusive beach experience.
For those looking for a slight change of scenery, there are plenty of other activities to be enjoyed around Sihanoukville. Ream National Park is around half an hour from the centre, where you can explore an amazing mangrove nature reserve on food or by boat. There’s also Buddy Land Water Park, featuring slides, pool and general watery fun.
Snorkelling, scuba diving and motorbike tours are popular options for the more adventurous travellers. Plus, while you’re in Sihanoukville there’s also plenty of opportunities to visit the nearby islands of Koh Russei (Bamboo Island) and Koh Rong.
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