Sihanoukville - Best Cambodian Beaches?

by Aaron
(Ho Chi Minh City)

My 'Best Of' contribution would be Nha Trang beach in Vietnam. I know that doesn't count because it's in Vietnam and not one of the Cambodian Beaches.


Sorry about that.

We are heading from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and considering a detour down to Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

Are the beaches there worth the bother? We started our trip in Vietnam but plan on visiting a few beaches in Thailand along the way to Bangkok where we'll catch our return flight home.

I'm also a bit worried about the time-wasting we'll be doing by having to backtrack to Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Bangkok.

Still, I keep wondering about Sihanoukville and Bamboo Island especially. I promise to write a 'Best of Sihanoukville' if we end up there.

Care to convince me to go or to turn away??

Thanks for the Help.

==================================
Answer from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

If Nha Trang in Vietnam is the high bar you've set as far as beaches go then you've set the bar very low.

Compared to the Cambodia Beaches and the Thailand beaches, Nha Trang is average at best. The criteria would include food, hotel cost, hotel services and even that of natural beauty.

Nha Trang doesn't sit in the same ball park. You have a lot of pleasant surprises ahead of you in the form of glorious beaches on Ko Chang Island in Thailand and Bamboo Island in Sihanoukville.

We know you'll be going there because there is no need to backtrack to Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Bangkok.

Instead you'll be going Sihanoukville - Ko Kong - Trad- Ko Chang - Bangkok.

You can take a fast ferry from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong. It'll cost you $25USD and takes between 3.5 - 4.5 hours to complete the journey.

This is the infamous ferry crossing that you may have already heard of. It takes on the roughest waters found anywhere in the South China Sea during its crossing.

If you are easily frightened and prone to sea-sickness, be aware that you will lose your lunch. But it is a riot and worth the troubles.

I didn't toss my lunch but 5 other people did. They were laughing the entire time though, green lunch exiting their noses.

There is only 1 crossing per day and even that will be quickly suspended if the rains get heavy and the seas extra-choppy.

But get that Ferry. It is a blast even if you throw up.

From Sihanoukville the Ferry will dock at Koh Kong. When you get off the boat you'll encounter hoards of tuk-tuk drivers, taxis and moto taxis once you get off the pier.

Choose your poison because it's about another 20 minute drive to the actual physical border separating Cambodia and Thailand.

Don't pay the drivers more than about $2.5USD but they will ask you for $3USD-$4USD every time. I will pay $3USD sometimes when the service is friendly and quick.

Visa Window Cham Yeam Thai BorderThe taxi will drop you off at the border and you must walk through the Cham Yeam border and show your passport before they'll let you into Had Lek, Thailand.

Keep in mind that the border closes at 17:00. If your speed boat arrived at Pok Long port after 16:20 then you are risking a closed border.

There is only 1 ferry so hope for calm seas otherwise you might find yourself stuck at the closed border crossing.

If you find yourself in this position then you'll have to overnight at the horrific Eingdoy Hotel, which is located just 500m before the
border.

There will be an air-conditioned minivan waiting to take you from Had Lek (Thai side of Border) to Trad city for about $3USD-$4USD.

Once you are in Trad city, you can catch a small ferry across to Ko Chang (Elephant Island), which has some of the best beaches in the world.

When your time runs short on Ko Chang and you have to get back to Bangkok for your flight home, you will have many transportation options available to you.

There are several buses that run from Trad city to Bangkok. The coach or minivan is best because of the good air-conditioning and the budget price.

They'll charge you $4USD - $10USD for the 89km journey over the well-paved roads that are smooth, fast and allow for a much needed nap.

**Do the Fast Ferry**

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