We are returning to Cambodia this year. Last year we went to Siem Reap and this year we want to return to see more. Visiting PP, Kep and Kampot . I also want to visit Sihanoukville with some hesitation – seems to get a pretty bad rap but also some people like it - I feel like I need to check it out and make up my own mind as otherwise I will feel I missed out and always wonder.
I am travelling with my husband and 12 year old son and am having a hard time trying to decide somewhere to stay. Nothing jumps out. We want to stay somewhere near the beach but not in the party area and away from the sleazy bits or anywhere that is ok with sex tourism involving minors. Happy to go up to $100 a night but would prefer less. Also don’t want to stay at what looks like the awful tacky and very expensive Sokha Beach Resort – we hate big resorts but my bones need a bit more than a backpacker digs – got to have air condition (at least I think we do as we will be there in June) and hot water – any suggestions ?
There are a few alternatives for you:
- Seabreeze. It may be at the lower end of your range but it's a decent place run by an Ozzie and at the very quiet Independence beach. A bit isolated but it might serve your needs well. I have no idea about the food there though.
- Independence Hotel. Great location and great beach but I find the hotel over priced for what they offer. They advertise/pretend to be 5-star resort but they aren't. Nice enough place though if you don't mind the money.
- Near Ocheuteal beach there are some decent family places as well but the beach is full with people you probably want to avoid. Same goes for most of the other beaches
- Pagoda Rocks is a new place with a great position on a hill and great views. Not near any beach but you can easily access all beaches by moto or tuk tuk.
As for the sex tourists and pedophiles. Although it is a common thing to see western sex tourists, there are also westerners with a khmer wife or steady girlfriend and/or their children. It's difficult to tell which is which sometimes.
Just to add a little nuance to your worries
Wow thanks so much Eastwest for such a detailed reply. Where would you suggest for near Ocheuteal beach there are decent family places? I don't mind being around people - just don't want blaring music at 3am. I also did find Pagoda Rocks that looked amazing but it gets some bad feedback as far as getting into town at night to eat - which we want to do – I love walking up a beach and picking somewhere to plonk and have some great local for dinner and then wandering afterwards back to where I am staying.
"some great local for dinner". I know it's a typo but still made me laugh
There are plenty near ocheuteal. Do remember that that beach is by no means deserted and you will most likely see the people you were trying to avoid.
All places below are within walking distance of the beach, have aircon rooms and a swimming pool. Most have rooms in $30-70 range. And all are also within walking distance of the evening restaurants.
- Reef Resort is great and has great reviews. I'd start with that one if I were you. Has friendly staff.
- Orchidee. The main building is unassuming (if not unattractive) but the new rooms in the back are good value for money.
- Coolabah. Doesn't do much for me but it's of good standard. I believe no swimming pool though.
And there is a host of other places Khmer or western run. If you have the time you could check them out while you're there.