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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.
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 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 is the beach just south of Occheuteal Beach and is similar, although less developed.
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.
Just west of Sokha beach is Independence Beach, which is a very nice beach with few visitors.
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.
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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Sihanoukville International Airport (KOS) has reopened in 2007 and has limited service.
There is a train to Phnom Penh but it is painfully slow, taking over 12 hours.
It is possible to rent a car for the 3.5 hour drive to Phnom Penh.
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.
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.
Near the beaches are several guesthouses that double as restaurants and turn into bars at night.
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.
|Coolabah Resort||Ochheuteal Beach Road||HOTEL||-|
|Kangaroo Kitchen GuestHouse Restaurant And Bar||Street 109 SihanoukVille||Guesthouse||-|
|Mick and Craigs||Serendipity Beach Road||Guesthouse||77|
|Sunday Guest House Sihanouk Ville||No 16 Street Sereypheap, Sangkat 4, Khan Mittaphea||Guesthouse||73|
|Beach Club Resort||Tola 23 Street||Hotel||-|
|Tranquility Guesthouse||Serendipity Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Aqua Resort||Kanda Street||HOTEL||-|
|Garden Hill||Modul3, Sangkat 3, Khan Mittapheap||Guesthouse||-|
|Ocean Walk Inn||Serendipity Beach Rd||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Mushroom Point||Otres beach||HOSTEL||82|
|Grand Sihanouk Ville||Street 23Tola||Hotel||-|
|House of Malibu||Serendipity Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Dont tell Mama||Otres Beach||HOSTEL||-|
|Golden Sea Hotel & Casino||Eakareach Street, Sangkat 3||Hotel||-|
|Wish You Were Here... Guesthouse & Bar||Sangkat 4, Mittakpheap Otres Beach||GUESTHOUSE||78|
|Big John's Chil-axn Hostel||360 Ekareach Streat (Victory Hill)||HOSTEL||-|
|Whiskey Guesthouse||358 ekareach st victory hill||Guesthouse||-|
|Ten103 Treehouse Bay||Koh Ta Kiev Island||CAMPSITE||-|
|Rainbow Guesthouse||No.1 Phnom Kieu||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Led Zephyr||Serendipity Beach Road Sangkat 4, Modul 4||HOSTEL||68|
|Everythang||Sangkat 4, Mittakpheap Otres Beach||HOSTEL||-|
|Pagoda Rocks Boutique Guest House||Village 3, Quater1, Preash Sihanouk city Next to Wat Leu||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|New Sea View Villa||Serendipity Beach Road||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Golden Sand Hotel||Steet 23 Tola, Sangkat 04 Ochheuteal Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Done Right||Otres Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Gekko Guesthouse||Street. 23 Tola Sangkat 4||HOSTEL||-|
|Cambodian Resort||Polowai Street, Group 15, Village 4, Sangkat 4 Sihanouk Ville||HOTEL||-|
|Zana House||Mondol 4 Sihanouk Ville||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Panda Guesthouse||Golden Lion Circle Serendipity Road / 2 Thnou St||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Indigo on Otres||Otres Beach||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Crusoe Island - Beach Camping & Bungalows||Koh Ta Kiev Island||CAMPSITE||-|
|Moonlight Rock Resort||Otres Beach||Hotel||-|
|Crusoe Island||Otres Beach||Campsite||-|
|Koh Rong Backpackers||Koh Touch Village, Koh Rong District||Hostel||-|
|Independence Hotel Resort & Spa||Street 2 Thnou Sangkat No: 03 Khan Mittapheap||Hotel||-|
|Sea Garden||Otres beach||Guesthouse||81|
|Koh Ru Island Resort||Koh Ru||HOSTEL||-|
|Seahorse||Group 14, Village 4, Quarter 4 Mittapheap District||HOSTEL||-|
|Sun Island Eco Village||Ko Rong Samloem Island Saracen Bay||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Vincent Guesthouse||133, Ekareach Street||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Above Us Only Sky||Serendipity Beach (to the right of the pier)||GUESTHOUSE||-|
Sokha Beach Hotel located on Sokha beach, this hotel is the nicest in all of Sihanoukville.
English teachers are always needed and many NGO are starting to work with the large number of street kids.
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.
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.
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.
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