Kien Svay (also called Koki Beach)

Be on your guard

No pic at the moment -- Sorry!

What we say: 2.5 stars

Located 15km east of the Monivong Bridge on NH1 toward Ho Chi Minh City, Kien Svay is a popular spot for locals from the city. A sign for Koki Beach is on the left but easy to miss, so watch your odometer and keep your eyes peeled as you get near the 15km mark. A huge tree marks the turn, which is right before a temple. Or take a share taxi or bus from Central Market. The bus ride will cost you $1 to $2. Don't even consider visiting on Sundays as this is the only day most Cambodians get off of work so it's absolutely packed. During the week you should have very little competition for a pleasant patch.

Though there isn't really a beach per se and swimming is best left for the locals and their practised immune systems, Koki Beach is a relaxing, calm spot. Thatched rent-able huts on stilts line the shore. Bargain a price with the owner in advance to avoid an unpleasant surprise at the conclusion of your lounging -- expect to pay $4 to $5.

Vendors offer all kinds of local foods -- once again, bargain a price first. One way to avoid being ripped off is to bring your own food which is considered an acceptable practice. Stories abound of tourists being presented with huge bills at the end of the day, and even some locals no longer go to Koki Beach because of unscrupulous business practices. Boat trips on the river are readily available, and should cost less than $ 3 an hour. A few nearby villages are known for weaving and sell handmade kramas. These are often way overpriced for foreigners.

Though this isn't in the same league as the beaches of Sihanoukville or Kep, it might fit the bill if you just need a day out of Phnom Penh's heat.

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15km out of Phnom Penh
Last updated: 19th September, 2014

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