Sihanoukville Province is a small province located on the coast in southern Cambodia. Sihanoukville is named after the former king, Norodom Sihanouk. It is home to the only deep-water port in Cambodia. The province shares its name with capital, both being named Sihanoukville. Also known as Kampong Som.
Sihanoukville Province’s natural assets are a magnet for tourism. The coastal islands are immaculate with pristine beaches. Equally, The National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty which attracts visitors from around the world.
Sihanoukville offers accommodation that ranges from backpacker hostels to luxury resorts. More importantly, all at a fraction of the cost of other world-famous destinations.
Fresh BBQ seafood is served right on the sandy shores and an endless number of beach shacks offer western and Khmer cuisine and free wifi. In fact, you don’t even really need to leave your beach chair or hammock if you don’t want to. Here, cocktails and fruit, meals and fresh coconuts are brought directly to you on the beach. Massages, manicures and pedicures are also readily available.
Sihanoukville acts as a gateway to a number of tropical islands that dreams are made of. Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem are two of the most popular. However, more and more islands are becoming accessible, all of which are strikingly beautiful with crystal clear waters.
When the sun goes down, Sihanoukville hosts a spectacular sunset, and as the stars come out the party starts, with everything from mellow jazz to raging hip hop. Candlelit dinners right on the beach are popular and fireworks and fire twirling make for a magical evening.
The tranquil beaches adorned with swaying palm trees really do have a special magnetism. For peace, you need not look further than Sihanoukville.
The climate in Sihanoukville has an average temperature of around 27 degrees. The weather is warm all year round, reaching its hottest temperatures in April, and coolest in December and January. The best weather for the beach is the cool season (from November to January especially), where the temperature is still a warm 28 to 30 degrees during the day but drop to a cooler and breezy 16 – 20 degrees in the evening.
Cool season: November- March (20-28c)
Hot season: March-May (26c -35c)
Rainy season: May – October (24-34c, with humidity up to 90%)
Sihanoukville is home to a lot of pagodas. Including, for example, Wat Leu, Wat Kraum, Wat Otres and others within Ream National Park. Of particular cultural and historical significance is Wat Leu. This golden coloured temple is surrounded by a high wall of stone and graced with a beautiful elephant carved out of stone.
Things to Do
Ochheuteal Beach is on the East Side of Sihanoukville and runs from Serendipity Beach to Otres Beach. This is a very popular beach for tourists and is full of restaurants and bars. All of them with plenty of chairs and umbrellas on the beach for relaxing.
Serendipity Beach is, in fact, the last 200 metres of Ochheuteal Beach. While it doesn’t offer the best water for swimming, it’s just a short stroll from the action and is the only beach that offers accommodation along the shoreline. Not only that but also provides the most spectacular views. Admittedly, very peaceful during the daytime, however, in the evenings it springs into life.
Otres Beach is quickly becoming the most popular tourist beach in Sihanoukville. Both Otres 1 and Otres 2 offer perfect white sand and crystal clear waters. There are many beachside huts and accommodation options are forever increasing offering something for the budget traveller right up to the luxury seeking visitors. It’s a short tuk-tuk or moto ride away from Ochheuteal Beach so many combine the two beaches.
Other popular beaches include Victory Beach, Sokha Beach Independence Beach and Sokha Beach which is privately owned. The surrounding islands offer the best islands in South East Asia.
The Southern Coast of Cambodia is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Not surprisingly, many islands are easily accessible by boat from the coast. Some offer overnight accommodation as well as day trips. Boat trips are the best time to relax as you cruise along the crystal blue waters and view the endless white sandy beaches. The charm lies in the fact that the islands are almost completely untouched by development and provide only basic facilities in order to retain the natural beauty.
Koh Ta Kiev
Koh Ta Kiev is still relatively undeveloped, though this is soon to change. Home to three golden sandy beaches and is lined with swaying pine trees. It is the closest island to the shores of Sihanoukville and popular for day trips. There is also the opportunity for jungle trekking and wildlife spotting.
Koh Rong Island is recommended for the more adventurous tourists. There are many outdoor activities to participate in, including swinging through the treetops by rope. The nightlife is thriving. Dusk to dawn dance parties are particularly popular, however, parts of the island still offer solitude for the more relaxed traveller.
Koh Rong Sanloem
Koh Rong Sanloem is a secluded island. It is a wonderful hideaway and surrounded by dense jungle, coupled with an idyllic beach. Home to Saracen Bay and Sunset Beach this increasingly popular island is perfect for swimming, jungle hiking, sunbaking or sipping on cocktails. A surprising number of resorts offer authentic bungalows for overnight stays.
Koh Thmei and Koh Totang
Koh Thmei and Koh Totang are two eco-minded islands. Both have been largely undiscovered by tourists and feature jungle interiors and shell lined shores. Koh Thmei also has an awesome coral reef which is fantastic, especially when snorkelling.
Ream National Park
Ream National Park is home to mangroves, jungles and unspoiled beaches. Several species of endangered birds live here including the lesser adjutant, milky and painted stork that feed on the mudflats. Popular activities include boat trips through the mangroves, photography and jungle trekking.
Kbal Chhay Waterfall
Kbal Chhay, a collection of waterfalls located on the Prek Tuk Sap River, was discovered in 1960. The falls range from 3 to 5 metres high and cascade down during the wet season between July and October.