Sihanoukville province is a small southern province of Cambodia. The capital sits on a peninsula with beaches and tropical islands around. Sihanoukville - also known as Kampong Som - was founded in 1964 to be the only deep-water port in whole Cambodia. Now it is gradually being re-invented as a tourist attraction, but despite the promise of massive Malaysian investment - a casino is planned for Naga Island - tourist numbers are still fairly low. Although its nice snow white beaches and several paradise islands have made it popular as a tourist destination. Sihanoukville is a bit of a strange place. Whilst some people love it, it’s hard to adore. It’s got most of Cambodia ’s best beaches, butone can somehow not call it a beautiful area. The whole point is to have fun, yet it can be a frustrating, demanding even bland place for a holiday. There are ways and means, secrets and well-known sidetracks, tips and tricks to get a lot out of the greater Sihanoukville area. Hand on heart Sihanoukville really does offer a lot – and not just bars, eateries, sand and sex – there’s great variety and something for most of us in its spectrum. First impressions Sihanoukville is a big, spread out place. Think several kilometres plus windy roads and hills to cover from one end of town to the other. There’s an impressive variety when it comes to eating, drinking and bedding down for the night. Food is generally good and very good value for Western options. There are Plenty of beaches. Sihanoukville is a big city, in that it covers a large area, but things are pretty spread out and that’s worth bearing in mind when you arrive or are planning a trip. Since journeys can easily take you several kilometres from beach to restaurant to bar to home, allow for it. The spaced out nature of the place can feel kind of strange, as if things weren’t finished and everyone walked off the job, or a mudslide removed large parts of town. In truth it isn’t ‘finished’ and the city’s population continues to steadily rise and construction gradually fills the vacant lots.
Sihanoukville has basically 3 seasons - if you can call them that.
Cool season: November- March (20-28c)
Hot season: March- May (26c -35c)
Rainy season: May - October (24-34c, with humidity up to 90%.)
The best beach weather begins with the end of the rains in November. The dry, warm, breezy weather that follows lasts through January. Night temperatures can get down to a chilly 20? but the days hover around 28-30. Many think December and January are best with their balmy temperatures and blue skies. At the end of January, Sihanoukville begins to warm and continues to get hotter through July (maximum 35). After February, cool 'mango showers' occasionally blow in from the north. December through June is said by some local outfitters to be the best scuba weather with clearer (though cooler) waters than the rest of the year.
Sihanoukville is now developing at full pace with significant construction projects dotted across the peninsular as well as rapid redevelopment of downtown space and around a couple of the beaches (such as the Sokha Beach and the Ochheuteal-Serendipity beach area). There are options galore for wining, dining and sleeping; read up and scoot around a bit and you can eat well -plus with great value- every meal, find a watering hole that appeals, and a place to stay that fits your requirements. Fairly rustic beach bungalows, mid-range comfort, bargain basement traveller ghettos, bland but comfortable Asian hotels, overpriced resorts are available, as well as more thoughtfully planned, special resting places just take your pick. Bear in mind that what part or town you stay in will affect where you may end up hanging out. Otherwise simply zip around town on two or four wheels – it’s a bit too big for most of us to conceive walking to and fro with much comfort come rain and shine. Sand, sea and ssss… Sun? Sex? Seclusion? Party? Activities? Chilling? Rain? Beaches are of course the key drawcard of Sihanoukville. They are not all the same by any means, so read up, take your pick and enjoy it out there. You know what you like, so it’s easy to avoid what you think sucks. Look for all that sparkles and gets you off – there’s no excuse for whining about having a bad time, you just didn’t get yourself to the right spots for you.
|Outbreaks of both Malaria & Dengue fever do occur in Cambodia, particularly in more rural areas of the country such as Ratanakiri province. Phnom Penh is supposed to be clear as most major cities are, but travellers have reportedly contracted malaria from the Boeng Kak lakeside area. Whether you take tablets or not, bring a mosquito net, although most guest-houses provide one & take the usual precautions, particularly at dawn/evening.
LANDMINES - There are still many thousands of land-mines & unexploded ordnance in more remote areas of Cambodia. The chances of approaching these areas unknown to you is very small. In rural areas, always seek local advice & don't stray from that path!
Deum Chhrey Beach is located in fornt of the City Hall. Few tourists swim here because there is a big restaurant nearby. It is popular with tourists who like to walk.
Independence Beach gets its name from the deserted hulk of the 7 -storey Independence Hotel at the north end. Locals call this beach 'otel bram-pil chann.
Kbal Chhay waterfall is located in Khan Prey Nup, about 16 kilometers north of the downtown Sihanoukville.
Koh Pors is an island about 1 kilometer from Lomhe Kay beach, off the coast of Sihanoukville. The beach is flat and very quiet. It is attrachs few visitors.
Koh Rong Island is a Cambodian Island in the Gulf of Thailand, at about 40km off the coast of Sihanoukville. Actually, the island is deserted, undeveloped .
Ochheuteal Beach, known as UNTAC Beach in the early 1990s and it is now the most popular in Sihanoukville, offering the full spectrum of beach venues.
Otres Beach is the next beach south of Ochheuteal Beach and resembles Ochheuteal in many ways - a three kilometer crescent of near white sand .
Phnom Leu is a nature and cultural site. There is a pagoda on the mountaintop, which offer visitors a panoramic view of the beaches and Sihanoukville
Picnic ResortNatioal Road 4,Kilometer Post 135, Kompong Seila District, Preah Sihanouk Province. unwind and relax in their beautiful, clean, natural and private wooden cottages.
Prampi Chaon BeachThe beach is short and narrow, and the waves are bigger that at other beaches, making it popular with locals, who favor it most after Sokha Beach.
Prek Treng BeachAlso known as the â€˜Hun Sen Beach,â€™ the Prek Treng Beach a few kilometers north of town is a long, narrow crescent of sand.
Ream Beach The untouched beach of Ream is located in the Ream National Park. Take Route 4 to the Airport road 18km north of town. Turn right, go 9km.
Sokha or Serendipity BeachSokha Beach adjoins O'Cheuteal Beach. It is also long though the water is deeper than here. The beach was once more crowded than O'Cheuteal Beach.
Victory Beach or Lomhe KayThe beach is located in front of Koh Pors (Snake Island). It offers a number of services, including comfortable restrooms, fresh water and good transportation.
Wat KromLocated at a distance of 3 kilometers from the provincial town, Wat Krom, Sihanoukville is one of the popular Tourist Attractions in Sihanoukville.
Wat Leu, Sihanoukville is one of the 5 main wats in the picturesque port city of Sihanoukville. These Wats, or Buddhist temples, are scattered around.