Otres beach is the better, if lesser known, of Sihanoukville's beaches with its whitish sand and calm tides. Fewer beggars and children are around selling bracelets and the beach has a far more relaxed vibe than neighbouring Ochheuteal beach.
A wave of development in 2008 and 2009 transformed this once barren coastline into a bustling seaside strip of similar eateries and repetitive bungalows, but what it lacked in originality, it more than made up for in natural beauty.
Then in 2010 pretty much all the accommodation was bulldozed to make way for some ghastly development, which, not surprisingly, is yet to appear. Most of the accommodation is now found on the road directly behind the beach, where some cool new options have appeared.
Since then, the road to Otres Beach has been paved and a feverish -- well, by Sihanoukville standards -- building spree has been going on. Thanks to low-rise zoning restrictions and some creative architecture, Otres Beach is as chilled out as ever -- for now, anyway. By the end of 2012 Otres Beach could even boast of its own Weekend Market inspired by the weekend markets of Goa, India.
The relatively developed end of the beach -- which people arrive at -- comes to a sudden end when you reach a big billboard displaying the development scheme. Then there's a kilometre or two of empty beach, but push on and more hangouts are located past there.
During low season Otres Beach is even quieter than the rest of Sihanoukville and many places do close up shop.
With so few people, so much sand and the sprawling sea, this could be the deserted island you've been searching for ... and you don't even have to leave the mainland -- fancy that.
Text and/or map last updated on 2nd January, 2013.
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