Sihanoukville and its Heavenly Cambodia Beaches


There isn't much in Sihanoukville (Sihanouk ville).

Just the top Cambodia beaches, soft white sand and warm azure waters.

And so many hammocks tied between thick Palm trees for you to nap in.

Oh, and the rows of beach-side pubs are a real hassle to walk around.

You are almost forced to sit and have a chilled 85 cent Heineken before you bathe in the sun and cool yourself in the clear ocean waters.

For a current Sihanoukville weather report and to learn more about the best time to visit the Cambodian Beaches here check out our Real-Time Sihanoukville Weather Report.

If you're coming down here from Siem Reap or over from Vietnam then Sihanoukville is a welcome sight to the road weary.


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Waking up in 2020

To a completely changed Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Wow, Sihanoukville is now just a shadow of its former self.

It has become a drug infested, crime-riddled Dump in the last 5 years.

The Chinese have permanently moved in and taken over completely. Where Chinese people go, they bring Gambling with them, and Gambling brings the crime and the crime brings the drugs.

This is no longer a viable place to visit as they have literally built massive casinos on the once pristine beaches. You should expect to get mugged at night and you should expect to be unwelcome.

The small slivers of beach that remain are littered with discarded building materials and the water has changed from a thing of beauty to a sewer.

Some have argued with me saying, "It's not as bad as you make it sound." I respond by informing them that I can't ignore my eyes, ears, and nose.

My job is to have people be pleasantly surprised by the places I recommend they see. I can't afford to be politically correct because my word is my reputation on this site.

If you visit Sihanoukville, then you must go with the implicit goal of getting the first boat to Ko Rong or any of the Islands that require you getting on a boat preferably before dawn.

There are a few of the old Guesthouses remaining but I'd guess that 80$ are under new ownership, catering to the Gamblers and the Gangs.

Mike and Craig's Guesthouse is still active, as is Coasters Bungalows. In fact there are a few holdouts, but where are you going to go?

What is there left to do in this once proud and Pristine City? I was there but 7 months ago, and it is OK if you remain in these Hotels.

No. You must make sure to arrive in either Kep or Sihanoukville before 3.30pm to catch a ride on the last Boat to Ko Rong, Koh Rong Samloem,  Koh Ta Kiev, Koh Russei (Bamboo Island), or Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island).

If you refuse to heed this warning and find yourself late for the final boat, then there is still some great places to stay.

I'm just saying that you will not be out at night and unless your hotel has a private beach, you're gonna burn through your cash in a hurry.

If you want a private beach then hit The Sokha Beach Resort, but if budget is a consideration then just stay at either Mike and Craig's Guesthouse or Coasters Bungalows.

So How Else to Get There?

Arriving by Bus

I arrived in Sihanouk Ville on the bus from Phnom Penh.

Choose your bus service and book online

Tickets from Phnom Penh cost between $11USD and $12USD.

But seriously, it was a war as of last July 2015. As of April 2020, it has become a Gambling Heaven, a drug dealers paradise, and a gang Members brotherhood.

The first time I was in Sihanouk Ville was in 2009. Harassment consisted only of prowling moto drivers vying to charge you too much for a short ride.

No big deal. But now there are majority Chinese and they are crazed by the Gambling freedoms, and they were followed by the underbelly of that Gambling Industry.

Hotel Prices are actually cheaper online

I've always used Mick and Craig's Guest House. It's a short walk to get to Ochheuteal Beach and it cost only $12USD for a single private room.

I expected a roach infested box with no windows for that price. What I got was a basic room that was clean and really quite nice.

My only complaint is that the drinks in the bar and food in the restaurant were very pricey.

A couple Cambodian guys took notice of me when I raised my hotel booking receipt for Mick and Craig's Guest House. They made their way towards me through the still thick crowds.

"Are you the guy who booked online?" One of them asked as he cleared a path for me. He didn't really look at me but around at the other backpackers being mauled by the flyer toting mob.

They escorted me out of the crowd. They bodies parted easily. It must be taboo to mess with other Guesthouses' customers.

I opened the door of the Guesthouse van and the air-conditioning hit me. I felt I had done well and smiled the whole journey to my Guesthouse.

Here's a cool map that you can use to have a good look around the city. Just zoom in or out with the controls on the top left corner of the map.

It's a satellite image of Sihanoukville and it might be a little bit of overkill but hopefully it helps.

Feel free to write about your experiences or anything else you may want to share with other visitors to this site.

Which was the best Cambodian Beach you ever saw?

I had to include this video below. It's short and yet provides a great overhead view of Sihanoukville.

The guy in the video films his ride over Sihanoukville in a lawn-mower-powered light airplane.

Flyover of Sihanoukville, Cambodia (2009)

In the video you saw most areas in Sihanoukville. You saw the beach and the inland houses of the locals, living away from the rich foreigners, who are lying on the beach sipping banana shakes.

It's beautiful countryside with the palm trees and the majestic blue color of the sea always glimmering in the background.

On the map you can find the "Seven Wonders of Sihanoukville". That's just something I made up but there really are only seven things to see.

Most of the "Wonders" are beaches as most people are there to relax on the beach.

I'll list the "Seven Wonders of Sihanoukville" quickly here and you can click on the heading if you want to know more.

The most popular beaches are Occheuteal, Sokha, Independence and Victory Beaches.

Ream National Park

Ream National Protected Park Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Ream National Park is 18 km from Sihanoukville in the South-East of Cambodia.

It's a patch of land 210km² in size; 150 km² of which is land and the other 60 km² is underwater or a 'Marine Habitat'.

That's boring talk for "It's friggin' beautiful!", despite the Chinese invasion of Sihaoukville 2020.

The park is well kept so that the beaches, mangrove forests, tropical jungles and over 150 different kinds of birds are well looked after.

They even have the dive-bomb bird. It can't fly but it keeps climbing the trees and then jumping with its wings stretched wide.

It appears to be hoping to fly but the bird just can't and doesn't seem to realize it. It just hits the ground in a thud and a wheeze then climbs back up the tree and does it again.

What a bird!

The park is also renowned for its monkey population. Some people don't like monkeys but these ones stayed away from me and everyone else.

They just made farting sounds with their fat lips and screamed as loud as they could.

Find out more about Ream National Park.

Ko Russei (Bamboo Island)

Bamboo Island Beach

Also known as Bamboo Island, Ko Russei is an hours boat ride from Sihanoukville.

I couldn't figure out why they chose this Island as the 'One to Go to' over the many others but, after seeing the beaches, I know why.

The nicest beach is located on the Southern end of Ko Russei (Bamboo Island). Pristine is the water and the sand is like god's tears between your toes.

Still doesn't compare to the beaches on Ko Rong Island.

The best part is the lack of harassing massage/pedicure/craft sales people that are a constant bother on the mainland beaches.

Find out more about Ko Russei (Bamboo Island).

Sihanoukville City Center (2020 Photo)

I can't think of any reason to go to the city center unless you need a doctor or you love hanging off of cheap bar-stools in foreign run pubs with girls on your arms telling you how handsome you are.

I'm ugly so I prefer the pubs in the beach hotels where the wind blows in off the water.

The beer is cool and the waves can be timed to match each guzzle because there is little else to do.

The City Center is where all major transport routes begin and end. So you'll end up there when arriving or leaving whether you like it or not.

Victory Beach

Victory beach is most ideally orientated for watching the sun set. It faces West so you get a good view overlooking many of the outer islands.

Once darkness takes over, you can watch the fishing boats far out at sea, blaring their lights into the water beneath their bows to entice their catch into their nets.

Squid.

Weather station hill is at your back if you are facing the water. It's about a 10 minute hike back up there where there are a variety of hotels and Guesthouses.

Get a good list of hotels at Victory Beach.

Find out more about Victory Beach.

Independence Beach

Independence Beach runs along the left-hand side of the map. It is closest to Victory Beach but faces North.

The beach was named after the old Independence Hotel.

When I found out the beach had been named after the hotel, I laughed.

Get more information on Independence Beach.

  • Ko Pos Beach

    This is a small beach best known because of the restaurant that graces its shores.

    That sounds funny but every expat I talked to raved about Treasure Island Seafood Restaurant and the seafood served there.

    Get more information on Ko Pos Beach.

    Otres Beach

    Otres Beach as it looked 4 years ago. It has shrunk since then and the water is not as nice

    This place remains fairly nice in 2020.

    I don't really want it to become a tourist hot spot more than it's already become.

    Until late 2015 Otres Beach was especially deserted on weekdays.

    As of 2020, it's not worth your time.

    Learn more about Otres Beach

    Sokha Beach

    Sokha Beach Resort 2020

    Sokha Beach is by far the best of any of the beaches in Sihanoukville. Sokha Beach is owned and dominated by the Sokha Beach Hotel.

    It was the first high-end hotel ever built in Sihanoukville, and it remains a nice place as of 2020.

    And everyone knows that. But the beach is fairly quiet compared to Ochheuteal and Serendipity beaches. I like that.

    It's not that I'm against other people being on the beach but the vendors and sellers on the beaches at Ochheuteal and Serendipity won't leave you alone at times.

    Plus I'm ugly and when I take my shirt off, women actually run.

    Get more information on this top Sokha Beach.

    Occheuteal Beach (Photo 2020)

    'Serendipity Beach' is a term you'll hear occasionally. It just refers to the top section of Ochheuteal Beach.

    This is where you'll find some of Shihanoukville's best hotels, a few mid-range places, and lots of bungalows.

    Because of all of this, you get the most touristy part of Sihanoukville.

    Learn more about Occheuteal Beach.

    Best of Sihanoukville, Cambodia?

    A short note on your favorite restaurant or that lovely beach hut that you might recommend to others?

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    Medical Care Sihanoukville 
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    Is there any good Scuba Diving to be done in Sihanoukville? We have gotten some mixed signals. Some tell us it's the best ever then others say it's …

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