Life’s a beach in Sihanoukville, and there are plenty of them to choose from.
Known specifically for its tropical islands, palm fringed sands and late-night atmosphere, each one of Sihanoukville’s beaches has its own charm and offerings. Some are easier on the eye, but less comfortable to relax on. Some are more crowded, but perfect for a party. Some are quiet and family friendly, but depending on what tickles your fancy you might get a little bored. Then again, with the views Sihanoukville has to offer, that is very unlikely. There are more beaches than you’ll know what to do with, but here is a general guide on how to make the most out of a handful of the more popular beaches in this area.
On the east side of town and surrounded by bars and accommodation, Serendipity a good place to start. Although the beach isn’t the cleanest and is does get pretty crowded, it is easy to find serenity in overlooking the deep-water port. There are a plethora of bars and restaurants on the beach front, selling both Western and local foods and amazingly cheap beer. During the evenings there are seats along the sand where you can relax and watch the sky change beautiful shades of pinks before the sun sets on the other side of town. Beyond 10pm, Serendipity is the place to be! The bars blast their music and people drink and dance along the sands.
A few kilometres beyond Serendipity beach is Ocheteaul Beach. Expect a similarly lively atmosphere to Serendipity on a slightly smaller scale. Brimming with stands selling fast foods and beer, it has a little less room to play with on the water front, but a great day party atmosphere. It is a little sleazy, but depending on your style I suppose that could be a good or a bad thing. I will leave that up to you to decide. However, South Ocheteaul Beach is two hundred metres of peaceful sands, ending in a rocky point, a river, and a bridge. So Ocheteaul is a best of both worlds kind of beach.
Beyond the bridge mentioned above resides Otres Beach. Otres raises the standards of the beach scene in Sihanoukville. It is well worth the out of town visit, and continues to blossom as time goes on. There are Otres One, and Otres Two beaches. Confusing, I know. I will break them down for you. Although both parts are extremely relaxing and family friendly, Otres One, the first stretch of beach is slightly busier than Otres Two, but nothing compared with the beaches we have already discussed. It is more affordable than Otres Two and features a beautiful quaint village with views of the river and a few fine dining spots. Otres Two is at the southern end of this stretch offering a sleeker atmosphere that doting couples might find more fitting. Otres beaches are the places to go for windsurfing, kayaking, and other fun beach activities too.
Koh Rong Island
With a handful of beaches on Koh Rong Island all equally beautiful, I figured it easier to throw them all into this one category. Koh Rong, also known as Monkey Island, is very easily accessible by taking a fast boat from Sihanoukville and is more than worth the commute. Koh Rong is the type of paradise that dreams are made of: crystal clear waters, immaculate write sands, and complete seclusion and escapism. A stand out beach on the island is Southwestern Beach. It has nearly five kilometres of untouched sands, palm trees, and turquoise waters.
Koh Rong Saloem Island
Another remote island just boat ride away from Sihanoukville is Koh Rong Saloem. A particularly breathtaking beach on this island is Lazy Beach, although there are three beautiful beaches in total. Given its name, you can imagine what type of beach it is I’m sure. With a daily sweep the beach remains spotless and maintains its beauty. It is perfect for snorkelling, and being captivated by the deep colourful sunsets.
Despite there being a handful of other beaches both is Sihanoukville and a stone’s throw (a stone that you throw onto a boat) away from Sihanoukville, these are of the most impressive and varied beaches on offer. With something for everyone, you will never want the sand to leave between your toes.
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Guest writer Clare Caddick from the UK recently spent a couple months travelling solo around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on Stray Asia’s Lot Pass. She loves nature and believes there is no such thing as fear in adventure!