It may be because it’s easier to pronounce, the word carries a certain wishful mystique and it’s the name of the primary road that leads to Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beaches but Serendipity has taken a stronger hold on people’s minds than its actual size merits.
To be clear, Ochheuteal Beach refers to the 3½-kilometre stretch of goldy-sand that extends south of the ferry pier at the bottom of Serendipity Beach Road. On the other hand, Serendipity Beach is the rocky (litter-strewn) outcrop that extends a few hundred metres just north of there, and if that introduction doesn’t sound too beguiling, bear with us. That small corner of the world called Serendipity Beach has distinct charms all of its own.
Starting off with Serendipity Beach Road, this was paved about four years ago giving an opening boost to the slow evolution of the area from backpacker and sleazebag hangout to backpacker and sleazebag hangout with a sprinkling of slightly unsettled looking tourists in moccasins and freshly ironed shirts. As that evolution takes pace, the gradual gentrification of the bars and restaurants in the area steps in alongside. Standards will no doubt continue to rise. and hopefully bring everyone else with them.
Also on Serendipity Beach Road, you’ll find a lively selection of bars and restaurants, including Maybe Later (great tacos, strapping cocktails), La Rhumerie (infused rums, great music, welcoming service) and The Gypsies (quirky, friendly and fun). There is still space for the beach bars and their high-energy, hijinks but this area is already starting to look a little more mixed, which is good for everyone.
Part of the drive for that will come from the accommodation available on Serendipity Beach itself; a step apart from the sweaty dorm rooms along Serendipity Beach Road. Quite a large step apart. Buried in between the trees on the low hill overlooking Serendipity Beach are stacks of wooden and bamboo bungalows with gorgeous views straight out to sea. Redefining relaxed (aside from the low boom-boom from the beach bars), these guesthouses offer a shady, classier, respite from the grunginess of Ochheuteal.
Carrying along the path that snakes along the top of Serendipity Beach brings you around the headland that connects with Sokha Beach. Part of a marine conservation area, this lovely rocky, green outcrop rewards the adventurous with a fun clamber. Be very aware though that in among the rocks are young thieves waiting to relieve tourists of their bags, cameras and other belongings. Take nothing with you if you go down here.
By Nicky Sullivan
Last updated on 31st May, 2015.