I have read some postings on Trip Advisor about it being unsafe in Sihanoukville beaches. Does anyone have knowledge of safety there and also of recommended beach and place to stay. I was really looking forward to a relaxing stay there in May. Thanks!
I wouldn't say they're unsafe, but I would say that if you choose to walk down a beach at 2am drunk, by yourself, anywhere in the world you could have some problems. It just happens that Sihanoukville has more than its fair share of drunk backpackers wandering around on the beach at 2am.
If you use your common sense you'll most likely be fine.
The biggest problem is stuff getting knocked off the beach.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,767
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there are 4 beaches in town and one-otres beach- futher afield. ochateuelles is the most popular and crowded one. sokha is private cause a big hotel sits in the back.hawai beach is not bad as well as independent b.-the latter gets full of locals on weekends. they are all safe-more or less. no worries! try max´s ying&yang behind shiva shack on ochateulles-you ´ll feel safe there.
#3 wolfman has been a member since 31/5/2006. Posts: 80
Thanks, somtom2000 and wolfman, for your replies. They lead me to another question. We are a middle aged couple with an 18 year old son, all travelling together. So being drunk and up late is not for us! That should increase our being OK. But what beach do you think is good for a family? Would we be out of place at Serendipity? Thanks, again!
Serendipity is fine -- if time allows do a daytrip or overnighter to Ko Russei, a small island just off the coast -- it is well worth a look.
There's a bunch of places that might suit you clustered around the busy end of Serendipity, and also running up the hill away from the beach. Take a look at the Serendipity listings for details.
#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,767
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as somtam mentioned-serendipity,which is the western end of ochateulles beach is a choice. it´s mainly a hangout for the young partyfolks,but noone is out of place there. you´ll find all type of accomodation-from cheap charlie´s to luxury. the hotels on beach road are a real bargain!
ko russei is a must. the trip to the island is offered by bar rue-close to serendipity,take the first road to the right from the golden lion-
hope this helps a bit
#6 wolfman has been a member since 31/5/2006. Posts: 80
a nice guest house (but you must reserve, it's usually fully booked, near ocheutal is the "orchid" guest hous : bungalows near the swimming pool 15 $
the best beach for a quiet afternoon is hawaii, there are lots of guest houses on victory hill nearby...
in serependity and ocheutal there are more people (it's not unpleasant though...) but the sea is not so nice. sokha beach is not bad but itseems the guards from the hotel try to stop strangers (to the hotel) from getting there.
lots of places to have dinner in the breeze in serependity/occheutal
#7 shakill has been a member since 31/10/2006. Posts: 2
we're heading to Thailand next week and the plan is to visit Vietnam shortly afterwards. Any suggestions on getting a Vietnam Visa. I 've heard that it is pretty straight forward ($33 and 5 minutes) at the Sihanoukville Vietnamese Embassy
#8 forrest has been a member since 1/11/2006. Posts: 1
We had no safety/security issues at all staying with our two kids (2 & 7) on Serendipity Beach. Never felt unsafe or out of place. That being said, it is a party area. Drugs, prostatution and partying are present, and more visible the late at night and further down the beach (east).
The beaches are pretty nice, but the water (at least in November) is not very clear and it is evident to me that run off and pollution are decimating what little inshore coral reef that still exists. Unfortunately for Cambodia, I don't see this coast rivaling others in SE Asia for snorkeling/diving. Maybe it will rival others for a cheap, pretty beach, ocean-scenery place to party.
In general, Sihanoukville was not our favorite town. In fact, it was our least favorite place we travelled. Depends on what you're looking for: if you want to meet people and party, it's probably great for you. If you want beauty and tranquilty on the ocean, go somewhere else: Kep or Ko Tonsay would be our choices.
#9 docgliv has been a member since 24/9/2006. Posts: 8
mmmm, i'll be ending up in southern Cambodia at the end of my trip and wanting a bit of time to relax on a beach after trekking around - where can I go??? I've read all the posts and info on Sikanoukville - and it sounds like tourist crap! Can anyone advise a gorgeous island, with romantic bungalows, maybe off Kep coast? Or a bit more info on Ko Tonsay?
#10 razzy has been a member since 15/12/2006. Posts: 9
Sihanoukville is not tourist crap, even if the occheutal area is quite busy... Now the water there is not streamclear and the sea is quite strong. Hawaii Beach (named after the restaurant of the same name)
is in my opinion a far better option.
I don't remember the name of that island off occheutal/serendipity where you can stay in very simple bubgalows near the sea (and wher'e's there's no electricity)
I guess Kep might be a better choice though. My next destination.
#11 shakill has been a member since 31/10/2006. Posts: 2
I am pushing 70 so can perhaps relate better to the original posters of this thread.
I was in Sihanoukville earlier this year and having a better budget than your standard backpacker I was able to stay in the Sokha Beach Resort with its private beach, guards etc. In fact for those on a not too tight a budget and wanting to avoid a constant stream of touts on the other beaches it could be a good choice. From memory you can get a non seaview room with a full buffet breakfast for about $84US. There is free use of the gym and spa, a good swimming pool, beach towels etc - all the things that you would expect in a 4* hotel - no, I am not connected in any way with the place. They have a free bus in the evening which will take you to Serendipity Beach for the evening activities. I was able to get my meals at bars in Serendipity for about $3-4US. Even at my age I was able to join in with the backpackers for a few drinks and a talk in the evenings - mind you they could drink considerably more than I could!. A modop back to the Sohka costs about $1 at night. At the Sohka the drinks are very expensive and the meals, though quite cheap by western standards, cost a lot more than at Serendipity.
Another place worth considering is the Malibu Bungalows. They are located on a headand between Sohka and Serendipity - a few minutes walk each way to either. I haven't stayed there but had very good reports and they have a very small but sandy beach which is quite private. From memory an air conditioned bungalow is about $30 per night.
As for safety - well I never made it to 2am so cannot comment on that score. I did manage close to midnight a few times and, other than a few very merry backpackers, saw nothing untoward. The biggest danger seems to be kids pinching cameras etc - often in collusion with the police. A further danger is the quality of the water on the backpacker stretch of beaches. Tales of sewage from the numerous small guesthouses being pumped into the sea abound. I think that you can avoid this at Malibu or Sohka.
I fully agree with the comment that, apart from the nightlife and beaches, Sihanoukville is a bit of a dump.
My advice therefore to the original posters is for the parents to book into Sohka Beach Resort and let their son book into a cheapie on the beach. He has to grow up sometime and he can always use the room at the Sohka to get a decent shower!!
I will be back in Sihanoukville for 15 days in mid Feb and hope that I can bump into some of my fellow posters here at Coasters on Serendipity Beach where I will be eating in the evening - look for the oldest bloke in the place and its probably me. Happy holidays.
#12 TonyL has been a member since 19/12/2006. Posts: 46
we stayed for six nights in Sihanoukville. very nice place. only had some problems with a tuktukdriver who kept following us for more than one hour.
you can stay on the beach for 'free' (stayed here 1 night). you have to take now and then a drink or eat. new christmas guesthouse has very nice (5 n.) and well runned by very kind people. $6,- a night, cold water, but what is better on a hot day?
did also 3 day SSI open water diving course. best place to go for a dive is koh keang kang, corner bay. the visibility must be good enough.
after all the feeling on the beach was nice, but also confrontating with very poor people... every time saying 'no thank you' is not what we liked.
Me my wifeand 2 years old child went to Bayon restaurant for a dinner..The place is aftergolden lions at serendipity road up of the hill which cross road of occehataulbeach..Owner is 47 years old fat coiffeur which have barber shop nearrestaurant..Every restaurant was full because of chinesee year but this placewas totaly empty..We ordered one dish with beef and said well done cooked..Thewaiter didnt understand anything what we ordered because he doesnt speakenglish he said in the dirty smallkitchen the cook which is 17 years old onegirl also she doesnt speak english too no one understand us..I said with acts that I want english speaking people for order foodand they called from near shop owner woman..I said to her we will give thisfood to our child and we want good cooked no any blood..We were alone butwaited 25 minutes after food came..It was terrible plate of dish we cut pieceof meat it was full blood ..Because I explained 10 times before I wasshocked..I said to waiter to cook more didnt do anything I took plate enteredkitchen for cook more kitchen was small dirty mess .Cook girl swear to my facein khmer language and refused to cook again..I said I never saw this kind ofplace before and we went out in this moment I heard scream of my wife..Thismonster fat strong owner woman was holding and turning the hands of my wife andshouting you will pay tou will pay..I entered inside and hardly I could stopthis monster for not hurt my wife ..Owner woman hold my hands strongly and wasshouting you will pay you will pay..
I said tomy wife take the child and run to hotel..She could escape with our baby..Ownerwoman was hitting me and shouting that I will pay 3 dolar..I tried to explainwe didnt eat this bloody meat and refused to pay..The waiters were makingtelephone calls nonstop and suddenly 7 or 8 khmer man came to hit me..Irealized that I am in big trouble I was shouting call police call police to tuktuk drivers and they called..These men total 7 or 8 people were around of meand started hit suddenly I found myself fight with many men for nothing.In thismoment two strong looking tourist were at there and I asked help to me..I amappreciating this two man a lot that helped me for backup and police came..Iwas happy that police would protect me but I was totaly mistaken..These manykhmer man and this owner witch came to police point.It was writing TOURISMPOLICE…Only 2 police were..They asked my passport and learned which hotel whichroom I stay..I explained everything and I said I am lawyer I know the law thatI am right..One police was speaking with this woman and her group and thepolice wrote the one paper 100 usd..I didnt understand anything..Police said ifI pay to this woman one hundred dolar problem will finish.. I said to police Ididnt do anything wrong why will I pay this Money?.Police said that because Iam tourist and here CAMBODIA…I have problem with cambodian thats why I mustpay..I couldnt believe this outlaw polices how exist..I refused to pay ..Policegave my hotel and room number to these bandit mafia group to bring my wife andchild to bring police point..This group hurrily went to my hotel..I was shockedand said to polices how can do this they are my enemies they will kidnap mywife and child..Police turned looked at me and said then I have to pay OR…???Itwas blackmail and I realized my situation that moment..
I said ifthey will not do anything to my wife and child and if he call this bandit mafiagroup back I will pay..Police said o.k and telephoned to them to not touch mywife and child..
I paid thisMoney to owner of Bayon restaurant but I dont know how she shared with thepolices..
Afterimmediatily we moved from outlaw sihanoukville to safe Thailand
#14 hakus has been a member since 7/3/2012. Posts: 3
The good beach is Ocherteal. And the good guesthouse is Aquar Riem, it's so closed to the beach.
#15 Vickyjin has been a member since 15/4/2012. Posts: 15
'I guess Kep might be a better choice though.'
There is no beach at Kep just some muddy sand and dirty water.
Otres is the only clean beach left in Sihanoukville the rest have been ruined by trash.Ocheteal is a health hazard with the water full of rubbish brought out by the tide and sewage pumped out less than 20 metres from the beach.On the other hand there is good seafood to be had in the nightly barbeques there.