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Sihanoukville

Travel Guide Asia Cambodia Sihanoukville

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Introduction

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville

© All Rights Reserved Kirjava

In recent years travellers looking for something a little more lawless then Thailand have started to go to Sihanoukville in order to enjoy the sun and surf. This is the only deep harbor port in all of Cambodia and town was only created in 1964 as a last ditch effort of the French to hold onto their colonial possession before losing them. During the 1970s and 80s the town was largely ignored but as the Khmer Rouge lost power more businesses and tourists started to take interest in Sihanoukville.

Today Sihanoukville has exploded into a tourist haven, with most of its market being geared towards budget or mid-range travellers. Although a few luxury resorts have started to pop up in the last few years, and one of them just took over an entire beach, there are still plenty of budget options. Some of the other towns further down the coast have started to develop a beach infrastructure, although with 3.5 hour bus rides on perfect roads from Phnom Penh it can be tempting not to travel any further then Sihanoukville.

Some of the beaches can get a bit scary after dark and some travellers have been attacked while walking on the beach late at night. Also watch your belongings closely during the day on the beach because many people have had cameras, cellphones or wallets stolen. It is suggested to only bring what you need for the day to the beach and as little money as possible.

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Neighbourhoods

Downtown

The downtown area of Sihanoukville is home to most of the banks and consulates. Including a Vietnamese consult that can arrange visas in 15 minutes for no extra charge. The post office is located closer to the port. The downtown area is not super close to the beach and can feel a bit shady.

Occheuteal Beach and Serendipity Beach

Occheuteal Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Sihanoukville. This is a long white sand beach with many locals setting up lawn chairs and restaurants on the side. Recently the government forced many of these establishments to close for a new resort that is yet to be built. The north end of the beach is called Serendipity Beach and is home to some nice restaurants and a few guesthouses. There are more guesthouses along the road going up the hill towards downtown.

Otres Beach

Otres Beach is the beach just south of Occheuteal Beach and is similar, although less developed.

Sokha Beach

Sokha Beach is a privately owned beach by the Sokha Beach Hotel. This is a very nice hotel although the hotel guards will prevent anyone from entering the beach unless they are guest at the hotel.

Independence Beach

Just west of Sokha beach is Independence Beach, which is a very nice beach with few visitors.

Victory Beach

Victory Beach was the originally budget traveller beach and is still popular. Sadly this beach is located very close to the deep sea port. Although it is closer to downtown providing for cheaper lodging. It is also possible to hire boats at Vicotry beach to visit nearby islands.

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Sights and Activities

  • Islands - Hire a boat for the day and visit nearby islands.
  • Diving - The water near Sihanoukville is not the best diving but if your willing to take a take a day trip a little further there is some good diving to be found.
  • Ream National Park - This park is a great day trip especially with the possibility of spotting monkeys and dolphins and is a good chance to see undeveloped coastline. Most guesthouses arrange tours to the park.
  • Angkor Brewery Tour - Visit the Angkor Beer bottling plant just outside of Sihanoukville.

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Weather

Sihanoukville has a hot and humid tropical climate. The city is dominated by a wet southwest monsoon from May to October and a dry northeast monsoon from November to April. Temperatures are between 23 and 26 degrees at night, and 30 to 35 degrees during the day most of the year, though April can be very hot and humid and not the best time for a visit although it is better here and inland.

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Getting There

By Plane

Beach Life, Occheuteal Beach

Beach Life, Occheuteal Beach

© All Rights Reserved clampie

Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS) has reopened in 2007 and has limited service.

By Train

There is a train to Phnom Penh but it is painfully slow, taking over 12 hours.

By Car

It is possible to rent a car for the 3.5 hour drive to Phnom Penh.

By Bus

The 3.5 hour bus ride is the best option for getting to and from Sihanoukville. The highway was built by the United States government only a few years ago and it is flawless. There is also a bus to Koh Kong that is 6 hours.

By Boat

There are fast boats that go to Koh Kong everyday. It is best to take the bus during the dry season and boats during the wet season. It is possible to go to Thailand from Koh Kong.

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Getting Around

Moto's control the town and can ask way to much for rides. Remember to negotiate almost every price to half of the originally asking price.

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Eat

Near the beaches are several guesthouses that double as restaurants and turn into bars at night.

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Drink

At the very north end of Serendipity Beach there are some very nice bars. One nice thing about the nightlife at Serendipity Beach is that you will run into the people you met at the bars the night before chilling on the beach the next day.

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Sleep

Budget

  • Monkey Republic located on the road going to Serendipity Beach is one the best guesthouses in Asia. There is a great pool table, bar and movie room. The restaurant serves great western food with huge portions. And every night guests get 1 free drink at the bar. The only down side is that during the high season you have to check in as a pair. The owner doesn't make money from the rooms, he only makes money from food and booze sales.
PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Coolabah ResortOchheuteal Beach RoadHOTEL-
Kangaroo Kitchen GuestHouse Restaurant And BarStreet 109 SihanoukVilleGuesthouse-
Mick and CraigsSerendipity Beach RoadGuesthouse77
Sunday Guest House Sihanouk VilleNo 16 Street Sereypheap, Sangkat 4, Khan MittapheaGuesthouse74
Beach Club ResortTola 23 StreetHotel-
Tranquility GuesthouseSerendipity BeachGUESTHOUSE70
Aqua ResortKanda StreetHOTEL-
Garden HillModul3, Sangkat 3, Khan MittapheapGuesthouse-
Ocean Walk InnSerendipity Beach RdGUESTHOUSE64
Mushroom PointOtres beachHOSTEL81
Grand Sihanouk VilleStreet 23TolaHotel-
House of MalibuSerendipity BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Dont tell MamaOtres BeachHOSTEL78
Golden Sea Hotel & CasinoEakareach Street, Sangkat 3Hotel-
Wish You Were Here... Guesthouse & BarSangkat 4, Mittakpheap Otres BeachGUESTHOUSE80
Big John's Chil-axn Hostel360 Ekareach Streat (Victory Hill)HOSTEL-
Whiskey Guesthouse358 ekareach st victory hillGuesthouse-
Ten103 Treehouse BayKoh Ta Kiev IslandCAMPSITE-
Rainbow GuesthouseNo.1 Phnom KieuGUESTHOUSE-
The Led ZephyrSerendipity Beach Road Sangkat 4, Modul 4HOSTEL78
EverythangSangkat 4, Mittakpheap Otres BeachHOSTEL-
Pagoda Rocks Boutique Guest HouseVillage 3, Quater1, Preash Sihanouk city Next to Wat LeuGUESTHOUSE-
New Sea View VillaSerendipity Beach RoadGUESTHOUSE-
Golden Sand HotelSteet 23 Tola, Sangkat 04 Ochheuteal BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Done RightOtres BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Gekko GuesthouseStreet. 23 Tola Sangkat 4HOSTEL-
Cambodian ResortPolowai Street, Group 15, Village 4, Sangkat 4 Sihanouk VilleHOTEL-
Zana HouseMondol 4 Sihanouk VilleGUESTHOUSE-
Panda GuesthouseGolden Lion Circle Serendipity Road / 2 Thnou StGUESTHOUSE-
Indigo on OtresOtres BeachGUESTHOUSE-
Crusoe Island - Beach Camping & BungalowsKoh Ta Kiev IslandCAMPSITE-
Moonlight Rock ResortOtres BeachHotel-
Crusoe IslandOtres BeachCampsite-
Koh Rong BackpackersKoh Touch Village, Koh Rong DistrictHostel-
Independence Hotel Resort & SpaStreet 2 Thnou Sangkat No: 03 Khan MittapheapHotel-
Sea GardenOtres beachGuesthouse-
FootprintsOtres BeachGuesthouse78
Koh Ru Island ResortKoh RuHOSTEL-
SeahorseGroup 14, Village 4, Quarter 4 Mittapheap DistrictHOSTEL-
Sun Island Eco VillageKo Rong Samloem Island Saracen BayGUESTHOUSE-
Vincent Guesthouse133, Ekareach StreetGUESTHOUSE-
Above Us Only SkySerendipity Beach (to the right of the pier)GUESTHOUSE-

Upscale

Sokha Beach Hotel located on Sokha beach, this hotel is the nicest in all of Sihanoukville.

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Work

English teachers are always needed and many NGO are starting to work with the large number of street kids.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There are several internet bars near the beaches. Some are much better then others so shop around. Connection speeds vary as does the quality of the computers. The best places to go online definately are Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and outside of these centers it's generally also more expensive. In general prices are not much more than US1-2 an hour. Remember to take off your shoes when you enter as a sign of respect and to watch out for small shrines that are on the ground.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Most of the internet bars double as calling centers. The country code of Cambodia is 855. To call out of Cambodia, dial 001 followed by the country code and telephone number of the other party. Many of the internet bars also have international calling options and you can also arrange calls at post offices. Services are usually run by the governmental telecommunication network Camintel. You can find telephone cards in many shops, starting from serveral US dollars to around US$50. Samart, Mobitel and Shinawrata are the main mobile phone providers, with Mobitel offering the best and most widespread services, although calling from outside towns (countryside) is still tricky.

Post

Cambodia's national postal service offers a wide range of services, though in general things go slowly and are not always very reliable. That said, things have been getting better over the years, and you can expect for your postcard or letter to finally arrive after 5-10, depending from where you send it (avoid small towns) and to where you send it. Prices are around 2000-2,500 Riel to countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, and it's slightly more expensive sending it from more remote places in the provinces. Post offices in Cambodia generally are open from around 8:00am to 5:00pm, with some regional variations. Sendings parcels is only possible from the capital Phnom Penh and it's very expensive as well. You might be better to send it from Thailand, or otherwise check private companies like DHL, TNT or UPS, which are more reliable and might even be cheaper! The main post office is located near the port.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 10.62995
  • Longitude: 103.506729

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This is version 14. Last edited at 1:58 on May 24, 13 by sleepBot. 5 articles link to this page.

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