Sihanoukille is on a small peninsula, jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand on Cambodia’s southern coast. It sports the most amazing stretches of sand, second-to-none in South-East Asia, with attendant picturesque islands offshore. It may not be as famous as Phuket, Krabi or Langkawi, but its certainly as beautiful.
There are several beaches – Ochheuteal and Otres being amongst the best to pass time watching turquoise waters lap the pure white sands. The more central Sokha and Independence beaches are easier to reach and, consequently, busier.
The town was founded by King Sihanouk in 1964 as the nation’s deep water port and it has slowly been trying to turn itself in to a ‘resort’ destination since the 90s. To be fair, the backpackers discovered Sinhanoukville quite a numbers of years ago and have been visiting as a secret fixture on the South East Asia party trail for quite some time. A more recent development has been the emergence of Sihanoukville as a popular weekend and holiday destination for Cambodians keen to see spend time next to the ocean. The last to catch-on are the more discerning luxury travellers and, for the time being, there are empty white-sand beaches still to be found around the headland and the unspoilt islands off the coast are a paradise awaiting discovery. But the developers are poised…
The town already has a good selection of seafood restaurants and trendy bars, set against the back drop of lush green mountains. Snorkelling and diving can easily be arranged, although the best diving lies quite a long way offshore and would require an overnight stay either on a boat or deserted island. Boat trips to Koh Russei, Koh Rong and other islands are popular and for something more adventurous, try the beaches of Ream National Park just 10 miles from Sihanoukville – a coastal park occupying 21,000 hectares, including two islands, Koh Thmei and Koh Ses.