Best Sihanoukville Beaches to Fall in Love With
Sihanoukville is a seaport town southward Cambodia with a population of about 200 thousand people. Oddly to say but the most of the fuss is concentrated at the coast. There are seven main beaches overall with another one less popular and located out of town heading out towards Kampot destined for desperate adventurists only.
So, let’s start our trip from the north moving to the south step by step.
The first one to mention is the Viсtory beach. This is a public beach with the port close at hand what explains its mediocre quality. Water with oil suspensions and characteristic odour is somewhat confusing.
Nevertheless lots of people chose this beach for permanent staying while in Sihanouk due to its decisive pluses. A budget tourist would find the place perfect in terms of accommodation starting with USD0.
Broad eatery options in the beach surroundings, i.e. restaurants, cafes, beach shacks, as well as casino and Airport club with a real An-something aircraft, make Victory beach a nice place to visit.
They say there’s no better place to see the sunset than doing it in one of the cafes facing the port. Being in the north and therefore the farthest part it is difficult to reach on foot. But it takes only 15 min. and USD5 max. (BARGAIN!) to get to the Lions’ monument in the centre.
Slipping down the map you’ll see Hawaii beach followed by the Koh Pouh bridge. Hawaii beach is a thinly populated area with a beautiful view over neighbouring Koh Puos island, smooth sand, calm sea and sweet-smelling pinewood edging the coastline. It is a perfect choice for family vacation. It explains great many locals with families especially during weekends.
There are pavilions and benches on the beach arranged for visitors to admire the sea and listen the waves plashing. The beach is lonely except for its northern part having hotels and townhouses offering rooms (USD15-25 per night) and houses/villas (USD25-50) in the walking distance to the sea. The beach territory is clean of beggars, vendors and garbage. If you don’t mind the locals in close vicinity that’s the right place to stay.
Next section is a 1km long Independence beach. This area is clean and pleasant. A part of it belongs to Independence hotel with sunbeds and cafes; another part – to Holiday Palace Casino. But you can easily join hotel guests tipping a couple of dollars.
The rest of the territory is the public beach with vendors, shacks and beggars. Don’t be scared, they are not so persistent, just avoid eye contact.
A ride to downtown takes about 10-15 min. Average tuk-tuk charge is USD3. As for lodging; it’s a pity Independence doesn’t situate low-cost housing right on the beach. So if you can’t afford to stay in those high-priced hotels work out to walk at least 1.5-2km every day to get a dip.
A lovely neighbour south of Independence is the Sokha beach. According to many it is the best of Sihanoukville beaches with clear water and fine ivory white sand.
Most part is owned by five-star hotel Sokha Beach Resort, having all the blessings of civilization. For a valuable consideration you can be a part of it and feel yourself a Cinderella.
There’s a fishing village, right at the beginning of Sokha territory. It will be very interesting to see the rural living of real fishermen against that fancy manicured Sokha surrounding conditions.
Eastern end of Sokha beach is open to all visitors. It locates comfy bungalows for a reasonable price of USD35-50. There’s no sun chairs or vendors here, only benches and a counter with soda and beer. Placid is the best word for this place.
Serendipity Beach & Ochheuteal Beach
The same can’t be said for the next beach called Serendipity and its southern part Ochheuteal beach commonly believed to be two sides of the same coin. Never-ending in-crowd would be the best description of the place. Lots of lodgings from cheapest cheapies (USD5-10) to respectable hotels are scattered here and there.
Due to crowds of people the beach is stocked with bars and shacks doing parties 24/7. Thieves, street actors, beggars, party promotors, vendors, masseurs, dogs, cows, all are here. Serendipity Road heading from the Lions’ circle to the pier is dotted with agencies and booking stores offering leisure activities (sea trip, town tours, hiking, fishing, etc.). All-in-all it’s noisy, packed, dynamic and intense.
The last but not the least Otres beach is not bad in every respect. It stands apart from the rest beaches and from downtown as well. It takes about 20 min. to get there (USD3-4 by tuk-tuk).
It used to be a kind of secluded place, but over recent years people managed to figure out this secret place and broke out onto it. Surely its tourist inhabitancy can’t be compared to the one at Serendipity but Otres 1 (northern part) strives to compete. Beach development, especially at Otres 2 and in the deep of Otres Village/Riverside (southern end), gathers speed implying more and more bungalows (USD25-50) and guesthouses (USD15-25) building.
Further afield: Kep
And yet another place to lie in the sun and taste the best crabs the area is famous for, is the Kep village. It takes about 2 hours ride from Sihanouk. You can take a minibus early in the morning for USD8, for example. Shop around, prices differ.
The beach in Kep features white sand brought from Otres and hospitality of the locals keen to provide you with the best services ever.
The village used to be a beloved beachside of wealthy people as shows the row of old French-style villas along the coast. Now some of them are restored for classy resorts and hotels.
Should you go?
To sum up Sihanoukville beaches are absolutely suitable for bathing, swimming and dipping. There are dozens of sea-based activities and what-not stuff to enjoy your time there, whether it’s a crazy breakaway or humble solitude. Local people are kind and friendly so you can leave all your worries behind and head for travelling.