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Cambodia's premier (err, only) beach resort, some people love it, some people think they love it only to move here and lose the plot, and other people can take it or leave it. I'm closer to the final group and as such I haven't been here since July 2001.

While still a sleepy backwater, the place is changing rapidly and for the most current Sihanoukville information beyond what appears in The Talesofasia Guide to Sihanoukville and the South Coast.

Sihanoukville, aka Kompong Som, is bordered by Koh Kong, Kampot, and the ocean. Access is by road - Highway 4 to Phnom Penh is one of Cambodia's best highways, and by boat to Koh Kong. Some day they'll have a commercial airport which they claim will be international.

There continue to be regular reports of tourists being threatened and even assaulted when they did not agree with the motodops' ideas as to what guesthouse they should stay. Though none of the assaults have resulted in serious injury, the mere fact that a motodop would resort to violence over such an issue is quite serious; more so as these are not isolated incidents but appear to be a growing trend. If this happens to you waste no time making a major stink at the local police station, contact the Ministry of Tourism, your embassy (well, maybe not your embassy) and every regional.

That said, welcome to Snookyville. Four main beaches here, Occheuteal (upscale), Sokha (Khmers), Independence (ghostly old hotel), and Victory (backpackers). When I have chosen to lie on the beach it's usually been on Occheuteal, perhaps becuase it's farthest from Victory

Beach. In any event, no beach is gorgeous, but none would qualify as ugly though on a bad day, Victory can come close.

Budget accommodation is centered on Victory Hill, mid-range can be found downtown (not within walking distance of any beach), and the higher end joints are on Occheuteal.

There are a number of islands offshore and it's quite possible to get a boat out to one. Ask at your guesthouse.

Diving has been part of the Sihanoukville scene for some time and dodgy operators come and go. Fortunately, the scene has improved with the arrival of Scuba Nation, Cambodia's first PADI centre, Claude of Chez Claude has been around on the scene for awhile as well and is reputable.

'Beach town', 'port community', 'fledgling resort destination' - all describe Sihanoukville, Cambodia's premier beach town. Sihanoukville's white sand beaches and warm Gulf of Thailand waters combine with a laid back, beachy atmosphere to provide a great little tropical getaway. Sihanoukville is a place to unwind by the beach, enjoy the fresh from-the-ocean seafood, take in a snorkeling or scuba trip, and generally slow-down, lay back and chill-out.
Sihanoukville has a different look and feel than most Cambodian towns. Constructed as a port city in the late 1950s, the town is much newer, more urban and cosmopolitan than most Cambodian provincial cities. Nowadays, Sihanoukville is as much a beach town as it is a port town, catering to beach-going weekenders from Phnom Penh as well as a steadily increasing number of foreign visitors. Still, the pace of life in Sihanoukville is very relaxed. Cows occasionally wander the main road, outside town foreign faces draw smiles and curious stares, and most of the beaches offer only beach umbrellas, thatched roofed eateries, and a growing number of restaurants, bungalows and hotels.
Sihanoukville has a more than ample supply of accommodations, including a 5-star resort complex on Sokha Beach, several mid-range places downtown and at the beaches, a few 'upscale' three-star hotels, and dozens of budget guesthouses, especially on Weather Station Hill (Victory Hill). Considering the moderate number of visitors to Sihanoukville, the town offers a surprising number and variety of restaurants and bars. Fresh seafood, especially crab, prawns and ocean fish, has always been one of the town's biggest draws, but there is also a wide variety of places offering foreign cuisines - Australian, French, Indian, German, Sri Lankan, British, Italian, pizza places, a couple of western bakeries and even a espresso coffee shop. And these days Sihanoukville offers a pretty good night life as well with a wide variety of bars staying open well into the wee hours, especially on Weather Station Hill, in the downtown area, and the beach bars on Ochheuteal, ‘Serendipity’ and Victory Beaches.

Because the Mekong was long Cambodia’s major thoroughfare, the coastal region never developed as a trade center. With the Vietnam War, however, Cambodia was forced to look for alternate routes. A sleepy fishing village and almost forgotten container port on Cambodia's short coastline, Sihanoukville became of enormous interest to the government in Phnom Penh in the sixties, when the usual trade routes up the Mekong were suddenly cut because of the Second Indochina War. A road was built from Phnom Penh to the coast with American aid in 1960s. Sihanoukville was founded in 1964 by its namesake, underwent a name change under the Khmer Rouge to Kompong Som, and reverted to its original name upon the return of the king in 1991.

Sihanoukville has two entities, port and resort. This deep-water port in the Gulf of Thailand was developed with Soviet aid. Fishing is a major activity in Sihanoukville, with a cannery north of the main port. The national beer maker, Angkor Brewery, operates from Sihanoukville. There are plans to build an oil refinery, and international companies are exploring along the Gulf of Thailand for offshore oil and gas.1


Ou Chheu Teal beach

Locates at Sangkat No 3, Sihanouk Ville. The beach has the most beautiful characteristics-large beautiful sand beach, shallow water and quiet sea. We found the beach has specific either geographical aspect or the arrangement. Most of tourists who visit here are foreign tourists. They usually stay at Crystal Hotel and Seaside Hotel

Sokha beach

Has long length, deep water and crowded by local visitors. The beach has varied food for sale and available accommodation for visitors.

Pram Pi Choan beach

Has short length, marrow space and big wave. Most of tourists who visit here are local tourists. The beach is averagely crowded ranking after Sokha beach.

Deum Chrey Beach or Muk Sala Krong Beach

There are few tourists swimming at the Beach because the Beach has a big restaurant, which can pollute the swimming spot. However, most tourists like visiting here after swimming because the beach has beautiful park and statues for tourists to take pictures.

Koh Poos resort

Is the quiet island having white sand and locating at one –Kilometer distance from the beach. This island has not many tourists because the island has not been developed yet. Most tourists, who visit the island, usually as group, need to bring along their food.

Phnom Leu resort

Is the natural and cultural resort consisting of mountain and a pagoda built on the mountaintop, and has been called on by the local people during the festival days; at the mountaintop, tourists can view the beautiful scenary, especially the beauty of Sihanouk Ville beach.

Clan - water source of Kbal Chhay

Locates at Khan Prey Nup in seven-Kilometer distance from the Sihanouk Ville Town, then turning left more nine-Kilometers by a red soil road. The waterfall of Kbal Chhay has many sources from the mountain rank at the seaside. The history of Kbal Chhay waterfall was found in 1960. Until 1963 Kbal Chhay arranged as the clean-water sources for providing to Sihanouk Ville, but the arrangement was failed became a hidden place for Khmer Rouge. In 1997, Kbal Chhay was changed to the developing zone. In 1998 Kbal Chhay was for bid by Kok An Company on constructing road and changing this site as tourist resort for local and international tourists. Nowadays, the Royal Government of Cambodia has changed this site as the clean-water sources for providing clean water to Sihanouk Ville.


  • Victory beach
    Classification Operations of Recreation Parks and Beaches
    Location Road 2 Thnu, Sangkat 4, Khan Mitapheap
    Accessibility 4 km (7mn) From Provincial Town
  • O' tress beach
    Classification Operations of Recreation Parks and Beaches
    Location Shangkat O' chastress, Khan Mitapheap
    Accessibility 8 km (15mn) From Provincial Town
  • Prek treng beach
    Classification Operations of Recreation Parks and Beaches
    Location Road Samdach Hun Sen, Khan Stueng Hao
    Accessibility 7.5 km (10mn) From Provincial Town
  • Ream national Park
    Classification Operations of Recreation Parks and Beaches
    Location Road No.4, Sangkat Smach Deng, Khan Prey Npb
    Accessibility 18 km (20mn) From Provincial Town
  • Wat Leu
    Classification Historical Sites and Buildings
    Location Road No.24, Sangkat 1, Khan Miatpheap
    Accessibility 6 km (10mn) From Provincial Town
  • Wat Krom
    Classification Historical Sites and Buildings
    Location Road Sanntipheap, Sangkat 3, Khan Miatpheap
    Accessibility     3 km (5mn) From Provincial Town
  • Koh
    Classification Operations of Recreation Parks and Beaches
    Location Sangkat3, Khan Miatpheap

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