Photo: Tides are changing.

Eat and meet

While it is fair to say Sihanoukville is no culinary destination, you most likely will not starve. Eateries are generally tourist-focussed and very well priced and you can still easily have a seafood dinner on the beach with an ice-cold drink (or two) and not have to spend the earth.

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Occheuteal and Serendipity Beach

Between guesthouse and resort eateries, the wide range of cafes along Serendipity Beach and Mithona Roads and the long strip of bars on the beach itself, Ochheuteal manages to cover most eating and drinking bases.

There’s good local cuisine and a varied selection of international; laid back spots to sup a cocktail and contemplate the ocean, addresses for socialising in a pub quiz team or pool tournament and of course still plenty of boisterous partying to be had.

Beachside BBQ squid.

Beachside BBQ squid. Photo: Mark Ord

Our highlights would be the refined and imaginative Khmer cuisine on offer at Sandan # and the top quality pub grub available at Irish Cottage but we’d make sure we had time to squeeze in some late afternoon seafood nibbles and a chilled glass of wine at Purple Bar # and a sundowner cocktail on the rocks at Serendipity. There are, of course, plenty more good wining and dining opportunities to be had so, read on.

You’ll be hard pushed to find anywhere in these parts offering uniquely Khmer food and most Ochheuteal eateries have those bit-of-everything menus ubiquitous wherever foreign tourists gather. However, in so far as Khmer food is generally mild—certainly in comparison with neighbouring Thailand—concessions for Western, or perceived Western tastes, often don’t need to go much further than making sure meat or fish is off the bone and that the chef is sparing with the prahok. Consequently, in our experience, local food in a Cambodian tourist orientated restaurant is generally a lot more palatable to Khmers than Thai dishes in an equivalent tourist eatery would be to Thais. Furthermore, though there are plenty of local tourists at Ochheuteal, the vast majority aren’t going to look further than a seafood beach barbeque which is, after all, what the place is famous for.

Many of the guesthouse restaurants and cafes along Serendipity Beach Road or the strip of beach bars on Ochheuteal do offer competent versions of popular Khmer standards. The latter cater to both foreign and local visitors anyway and the same barbequed seafood or kebabs keep all customers happy with just a change of sauce from say, mayo or ketchup if it’s served to foreigners, to the salt, pepper and lime dip for domestic punters.

Grazing at Purple Bar.

Grazing at Purple Bar. Photo: Mark Ord

It’s difficult to signal out any one of the strip of identical beach cafes—all of which have very similar menus at similar prices—and the same ambulant vendors with mobile grills for prawns, crayfish or squid move from cafe to cafe anyway. We did have a decent barbeque from Purple Bar with a full plate of salad, chunky French fries and choice of ribs, kebabs, chicken or prawns for a very reasonable $4. The set up here—as with the two dozen or so neighbouring bars—is a permanent (as much as anything in these parts can be) building in a row between beach and car-park with tightly grouped clutches of cane chairs and tables on the sand stretching down to the water level.

Back on the strip of Serendipity Beach Road eateries, it’s again tricky differentiating between a bunch of guesthouse and small resort cafes offering very similar fare. Some have lively bars and others good international offerings but for now suffice to say you can get a decent Khmer curry at for instance Monkey Republic #, The Reef # or Mick and Craig’s # in-house restaurant. A lot of these menu items do admittedly verge on the generic Asian with sweet and sour, stir-fries with cashews or ginger etcetera so, for some more refined and adventurous local offerings, we’d strongly recommend the excellent Sandan.

Sandan is found back near the Golden Lion circle just up the turning for Sokha Beach and is part of the Friends International group which includes Romdeng and Friends in Phnom Penh and Marum in Siem Reap as well as set-ups in Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. (There is one in Addis Ababa but that’s a tad out of our range.) The idea is to assist and train underprivileged local youths so restaurant profits are ploughed back into education projects. The food is almost always excellent and Sandan is no exception with some creative twists on more unusual traditional dishes and a few fusion flourishes. Prices are very reasonable considering the quality of food with for instance main courses such as Khmer Muslim style beef and peanut curry or twice-braised sticky pork ribs with Chinese five spices and Coca-Cola priced at between $6 and $8. There are plenty of vegetarian options, a full bar menu and lots of enthusiastic staff members.

Needless to say, the scope and variety of international food offerings in this tourist enclave do far outstrip the available local offerings. On Serendipity Beach Road Kamasutra # is a jolly good Indian with mains at around $4 to $5 and plenty of vegetarian fare while next door the popular Olive to Olive # specialises in large and seriously copious Mediterranean offerings. There are competent pasta dishes, steaks, well–prepared dips such as hummus, tzatziki and baba ganoush and probably the best value pizzas in town. (Pizzas from $5 up and pasta dishes around $7.) Further down towards the pier Falafel # also offers cheap Israeli fare with more hummus while 4 Seasons # is another joint serving up pasta and pizza with an open 24 hours marketing ploy. Pizzas go for between $5 and $9 (get a 3rd one free if you order 2) and they also include burgers and sandwiches on their menu for late night munchies.

As far as classic burgers go though it’s hard to beat Ernie’s #, just around the corner on Mithona, where the convivial Jordy, (he thought Ernie sounded better on the sign), offers a bewildering array of patties between $3 and $7 with a choice of no less than 22 free toppings. Decor is a fun American diner recreation and his music collection is spot on too. While we’re in the area next door you’ll find, Douceur du Cambodge #, a French-run (if you hadn’t guessed), bakery with a tasty selection of sandwiches, paninis, croissants and so on washed down with some damn fine coffee.

For our favourite Western dinner option, we’ll plump for a short walk to Irish Cottage #. The tiny pub style establishment is found in the unlikely setting of Sihanoukville Square, a Thai style bar complex located at the start of Tola Street, just off the roundabout. There are easily 20 to 30 hostess bars in the Square with just the one eatery situated pretty much smack bang in the middle but the food is worth dodging any number of “Hello welcome” or “Hello handsome man” to find. It’s more of a restaurant than pub and to call it pub grub would be insulting the chef so we’ll go for fine pub dining and the quality, size of servings and prices are exceptional. Mains go for between $5 and $8 and their enormous serving of ribs is a particular fave. Irish Cottage has only half a dozen or so tables which will be full at most times plus they close down early at 22:00 as the boss says that’s as long as he can stand the surrounding bar cacophony for.

Bars and nightlife
Being a fun kind of destination, Ochheuteal has at least as many drinking as it does eating choices going from poolside cocktails at a resort, a sundowner with a view on Serendipity’s rocks or your toes in the sand in an Ochheuteal deckchair, to a pub quiz and mojito at one of the Serendipity Beach Road’s bars or a game of pool or connect 4 at Sihanoukville Square.

The Beach Club Resort’s well laid-out pool would be a good spot for the former while Above Us Only Sky’s # wooden deck above the waves gets our Serendipity vote. Monkey Republic again, or The Big Easy #, are lively guesthouse options with lengthy happy hours, occasional live music, bar games and televised sport and the latter holds open mic evenings every Tuesday.

Also on the same road but at the opposite end of the scale, La Rhumerie # offers a classy setting with an imaginative cocktail menu in addition to the macerated house rums plus they propose plenty of tempting nibbles to accompany your drink.

Most guesthouse bars up this way close down relatively early, (since they do have attached rooms), so night owls drift down to the beach bars on Ochheuteal. The long-standing Sessions # and JJ’s Playground # are the most popular and carry on well into the night with the former being a bit more chilled and concentrating on classic and indie rock and the latter more full-on with regular DJs, pyro-shows, cheap cocktail buckets and seriously loud dance music. Both have extensive happy hours and attract a younger crowd so there’s a decidedly spring break kind of atmosphere.

Map of eating options for Occheuteal and Serendipity Beach

(1) 4 Seasons Pizza (2) Above Us Only Sky (3) Douceur Du Cambodge (4) Ernie’s Burgers (5) Falafel (6) Irish Cottage (7) JJ’s Playground (8) Kamasutra (See 12)(9) La Rhumerie (10) Mick and Craig’s (11) Monkey Republic (12) Olive to Olive (13) Purple Bar (14) Sandan (15) Sessions (16) The Big Easy (17) The Reef (See 16)

4 Seasons Pizza Serendipity Beach Road; T: (092) 583 372; 24 hours.
Above Us Only Sky Serendipity Beach; T: (088) 426 8030; Mo–Su: 07:00–22:00.
Douceur Du Cambodge Mithona St, opposite Coolabah; T: (088) 293 9608, (088) 293 9618; Mo–Su: 07:00–18:00.
Ernie’s Burgers Mithona St; T: (098) 844 400; Mo–Su: 11:00–23:00.
Falafel Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (087) 932 218; Mo–Su: 09:00–22:00.
Irish Cottage Sihanoukville Square; T: (088) 550 2025; Mo–Su: 17:00–22:00.
JJ’s Playground Ochheuteal Beach; T: (012) 769 109; Mo–Su: 10:00–late.
Kamasutra Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (097) 911 8539, (086) 531 856; Mo–Su: 09:00–23:00.
La Rhumerie Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (016) 489 213; .
Mick and Craig’s Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (017) 322 912; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00.
Monkey Republic Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (012) 490 290; Mo–Su: 08:00–22:30.
Olive to Olive Serendipity Beach Rd, corner of Golden Lion roundabout; T: (086) 283 151; Mo–Su: 08:00–23:30.
Purple Bar Ochheuteal Beach; T: (016) 545 228, (016) 698 456; Mo–Su: 07:30–23:30.
Sandan Sokha Beach Rd, c. 100m from Golden Lion; T: (034) 452 4000; Mo–Sa: 11:00–22:30.
Sessions Ochheuteal Beach; T: (089) 884 260; Mo–Su: 11:00–late.
The Big Easy Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (081) 943 930; Mo–Su: 08:00–00:00.
The Reef Serendipity Beach Rd; T: (034) 934 281, (012) 315 338; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00.

4 Seasons Pizza
Serendipity Beach Road; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (092) 583 372; Under $2
Above Us Only Sky
Serendipity Beach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (088) 426 8030; Under $2
Douceur Du Cambodge
Mithona St, opposite Coolabah; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (088) 293 9608, (088) 293 9618; Under $2
Ernie’s Burgers
Mithona St; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (098) 844 400; Under $2
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (087) 932 218; Under $2
Irish Cottage
Sihanoukville Square; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (088) 550 2025; Under $2
JJ’s Playground
Ochheuteal Beach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (012) 769 109; Under $2
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (097) 911 8539, (086) 531 856; Under $2
La Rhumerie
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (016) 489 213; Under $2
Mick and Craig’s
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (017) 322 912; Under $2
Monkey Republic
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (012) 490 290; Under $2
Olive to Olive
Serendipity Beach Rd, corner of Golden Lion roundabout; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (086) 283 151; Under $2
Purple Bar
Ochheuteal Beach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (016) 545 228, (016) 698 456; Under $2
Sokha Beach Rd, c. 100m from Golden Lion; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (034) 452 4000; Under $2
Ochheuteal Beach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (089) 884 260; Under $2
The Big Easy
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (081) 943 930; Under $2
The Reef
Serendipity Beach Rd; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (034) 934 281, (012) 315 338; Under $2
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Popular attractions in Sihanoukville

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Sihanoukville.

Sihanoukville town and neighbouring beaches

As with its accommodation offerings, Sihanoukville Town and surrounds offers an eclectic eating and drinking selection although with far less foreign tourists overnighting in the area there is a correspondingly narrower range of options. Do not miss a morning coffee and cake break at the superb Starfish; do grab a pool-side lunch at Don Bosco’s with perhaps either a beer and Khmer curry at Holy Cow or a great value paella dinner over at Victory’s Corner Restaurant and Bar to round off the day?

As usual, the town’s markets provide good opportunities to sample simple local fare and while there’s no longer a centralised night market as such evening vendors set up at various points along Ekareach providing noodles, Khmer style kebabs and so on. A good compromise spot for slightly more refined local food in a restaurant setting is Holy Cow # which includes a very good Cambodian sweet and sour soup and the dry curry cha kroeung on their menu. (Both around $3.50.) They’ve been around for a while but now have a new location two blocks west of Ekareach down from the Total station. This Anglo-Khmer business used to be reputed for its breakfasts and English pub grub offerings but as it seems to have since lost the Anglo part we can’t vouch for the Western options anymore. At present it’s an odd mixture of expat drinking hole and local coffee shop but, as we said, the Khmer food is good.

Support a worthy cause.

Support a worthy cause. Photo: Mark Ord

Back on Ekareach where Sarang Restaurant #, attached to the guesthouse of the same name, has one of those Jack-of-all-trades kinds of menus including a decent range of local and other Asian dishes at reasonable prices and receives regular local trade which is always a good sign. There’s an extensive inside seating area and a pleasant terrace. Another downtown guesthouse with a worthy eatery is the Small Hotel, also found in the same central area. They also have a choice of alfresco or interior seating and offer a wide range of well-prepared Asian and international dishes.

The classiest downtown setting though belongs to the highly recommended Starfish Bakery # with a delightful garden setting in front of a beautifully restored French period villa. Located down a dingy alley behind Samudera Supermarket we couldn’t help but feel it’s a shame they can’t just transport the whole splendid caboodle to a pleasanter location and it does require an effort to find the place. Their restricted menu and opening hours mean it’s only a brunch or lunch option though but you might not want to be walking down that grungy alley after dark anyway. Even if you’re not hungry do pop in for a coffee—it’s well worth seeing—and the accompanying handicraft shop is good for a browse. If you are hungry then there’s a fine bakery selection of quiches, toasted sandwiches, wraps and salads and a tempting array of cookies and cakes. The cafe is run by the Starfish Project whose profits support housing, sanitation, medical and educational programmes for local people.

Slightly away from the town centre but also in a very good cause and deserving of a visit is the restaurant attached to the Don Bosco School and hotel #. This is another scheme to assist underprivileged local youths and the foundation teaches hospitality skills—including cookery—and offers a full menu of local and international dishes. The dining room does seem a bit school canteen-ish but the food is of a surprisingly good quality and we have no complaints about the agreeable garden or roof-top eating areas.

We found our top international choice in the unlikely setting of sleazy Victory Hill where the long established Corner Restaurant and Bar # offers an exceptional value French and Western menu as well as serving up better than average Khmer fare. Funky decor, good music, friendly staff and good coffee complement an unbeatable couscous starting at $5.50 or cassoulet or paella at $7. Upstairs is the Niagara VIP Lady’s Lounge but that’s Victory Hill for you. This place is well worth checking out though.

Last but not least in our food selection and our solitary one for Independence Beach is the Small Hotel’s Small Beach Bar #. Run by the same crew who own the downtown guesthouse they’ve craftily set up their own cafe right on the central stretch of the beach and offer free tuk tuk rides there in the morning and back in the afternoon. An above average mixed menu and a fine little location with the choice of a roofed dining area or tables and chairs on the sand would make this our stop if we were passing by. With so much development on Independence, it’d be risky to recommend anywhere else even if we could find somewhere though there is still a short strip of more local style cafes to the side of Small Bar and you can always splurge at one of Independence Hotel’s fancy offerings.

Bars and nightlife
As developers move in, formerly lively Victory Hill is now dying a death and with over 50% of neighbourhood establishments displaying for sale signs, we can’t see this trend reversing. There are still a few irreducible Gauls carrying on with their pastis and petanque while perusing Kampot bar contracts and the aforementioned Corner Restaurant and Bar is still a great dinner spot but if it’s nightlife you’re after you’ll need to head down to Ochheuteal these days.

Mind you if it’s an early beer you’re after then where better than Southeast Asia’s largest brewery. Located just off highway 4 to the north of downtown the Angkor Brewery # thoughtfully provides a free tour and tasting every Wednesday between 16:00 and 18:00. You turn up at the security gate with perhaps some ID in hand just in case and they’ll point you in the direction of the bar. If you ask for the tour they’ll probably keel over and you should have in theory called in advance so expats and locals head straight for the bar where you help yourself to whatever you want out of the fridges. Very few tourists seem to know about this, (though to be fair it is a bit of a trek if you don’t have your own transport), but it’s certainly a good spot to meet both expats and locals as all the Angkor staff like to profit from the occasion too.

Another popular expat spot—there just aren’t that many tourists wandering around town in an evening—is the G’day Mate pub #on Ekareach next door to Sarang. We’ve got a sneaking suspicion it’s Aussie-run and their ‘grog and tucker’ menu includes burgers, pies, sandwiches and vegemite with bloody Marys intelligently located on the breakfast menu next to a full English, (sorry Pommy). There’s an 8-page drinks menu so you won’t go thirsty. It’s a convivial spot for a pie and a pint if you can’t be bothered to go further afield and what’s more, you can go there any time of day or night as they’re open 24-7!

Map of eating options for Sihanoukville town and neighbouring beaches

(1) Angkor Brewery (2) Don Bosco (3) G’day Mate (4) Holy Cow (5) Sarang Restaurant ( See 3)(6) Starfish Bakery (7) The Corner Restaurant and Bar (8) The Small Beach Bar

Angkor Brewery Off highway 4, north of Phsar Leu; T: (016) 979 299; We: 16:00–18:00.
Don Bosco Street Ou-Phram, Sihanoukville; T: (034) 934 478; Mo–Su: 06:30–21:00.
G’day Mate (012) 280 947; Mo–Su: 24 hours.
Holy Cow 203 St, 2 blocks south of Ekareach; T: (012) 478 510, (017) 650 222, (081) 650 222; Mo–Su: 09:30–22:00.
Sarang Restaurant Ekareach St, downtown; T: (034) 934 581, (012) 454 678; Mo–Su: 24 hours.
Starfish Bakery St 208, downtown, behind Samudera supermarket; T: (012) 952 011; Mo–Su: 07:00–17:30.
The Corner Restaurant and Bar Victory Hill; T: (092) 700 384, (017) 443 714; Mo–Su: 07:00–02:00.
The Small Beach Bar Independence Beach; T: (010) 488 999, (093) 245 153; Mo–Su: 08:00–21:00 .

Angkor Brewery
Off highway 4, north of Phsar Leu; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (016) 979 299; Under $2
Don Bosco
Street Ou-Phram, Sihanoukville; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (034) 934 478; Under $2
G’day Mate
(012) 280 947; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
Under $2
Holy Cow
203 St, 2 blocks south of Ekareach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (012) 478 510, (017) 650 222, (081) 650 222; Under $2
Sarang Restaurant
Ekareach St, downtown; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (034) 934 581, (012) 454 678; Under $2
Starfish Bakery
St 208, downtown, behind Samudera supermarket; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (012) 952 011; Under $2
The Corner Restaurant and Bar
Victory Hill; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (092) 700 384, (017) 443 714; Under $2
The Small Beach Bar
Independence Beach; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (010) 488 999, (093) 245 153; Under $2
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Best places to stay in Sihanoukville

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Sihanoukville.

Otres Beach

Between beaches number 1 and 2 plus the Village and Riverside areas, Otres offers nearly as much choice as Ochheuteal in both eating and drinking terms—enough to keep most visitors happy for a while without needing to venture far afield. Although quieter there are also a few late night options around so again you can party until the wee hours without requiring you to get over to Ochheuteal.

On Otres itself you’ll find a series of beachfront cafes, each with a slightly different character. Some specialise in certain cuisines such as the French (we suspect Corsican) owned Chez Paou and Italian Papa Pippo’s but they also include Khmer dishes on their menus while many other spots mix and match popular Asian and classic international options among their offerings. Chez Paou # served up an excellent Khmer curry and lok lak as well as having some tempting French/Mediterranean dishes on show. Papa Pippo’s concentrates on traditional, Italian, family style fare with a wide range of pasta and sauce options and some imaginative pizza suggestions.

At Chez Paou.

At Chez Paou. Photo: Mark Ord

Long-established and popular Mien Mien # is like a smaller, lower-key version of what you’ll find on Ochheuteal with a choice of tables in the main restaurant section or comfy beach chairs in the sand. The menu is similar too with grilled seafood plus a mixture of local and Western dishes.

Mushroom Point # guesthouse, with another beachfront location, also tries very hard with its culinary offerings and serves up some good Khmer dishes as well as a wide range of international options including salads, wraps, chilli, pizzas etcetera though personally, we’d draw the line at the chicken amok pizza. Although we didn’t rate their chalets Sea Garden’s popular beach cafe is worth a mention with a selection of cheaply priced but well–prepared backpacker classics including local, generic Asian and Western options though, as with most of the above, it could just as easily fall into either our bar or eatery categories.

Moving on to Otres 2 you’ll find a similar, albeit smaller, set-up with another series of beachside cafes belonging mainly to the hotels across the beach road. Footprint hostel’s # cafe is the cheaper, backpacker venue of choice with an ocean view seating area and accompanying Tokae Pizza # joint on the beach during high season and a quieter in-house eating area in the main guesthouse for rainy months. Quite how many pizza joints Otres needs we’re not sure and since it was closed for low season when we passed we can’t judge, but what was very good and rarer in these parts are their authentic Indian dishes knocked up by a genuine Indian chef.

Fancy Czech? Try Adam’s.

Fancy Czech? Try Adam’s. Photo: Mark Ord

Bamboo Bistro #—for once not part of a resort—is the closest Otres 2 gets these days to the old style Ochheuteal or Otres beach bars. We mean old style so, rattan chairs on the sand and a roofed dining area with barbequed seafood plus tasty Khmer and Western dishes and cocktails and beers but a distinct lack of fire-eaters, all-night neon parties and organised pub crawls.

Higher up the range, in what is primarily a boutique-style stretch, are Tamu and Secret Garden’s beachside efforts. No tired rattan with lumpy cushions here and varnished furniture and straw parasols they run each other close for classiest beach establishment award. The former even has lounger mattresses directly on the beach alongside low coffee tables if you fancy a free side order of sand with your burger. Don’t be put off by appearances though; neither is as expensive as you may expect and considering quality and service they represent excellent value for money.

Tamu’s menu is relatively straightforward with a standard selection of burgers, pasta, salads and local classics while Secret Garden has all those plus a few perhaps more imaginative fusion and Western dishes such as honey chicken in peanut and soy sauce and smoked ham and blueberry ciabatta. The former is only $7.25 while Tamu’s mains weigh in between $5 and $8 so, bearing in mind you can pay $5 for a carbonara on Serendipity Beach Road, this really is a good deal. Secret Garden also offer gluten free and vegetarian menus while Tamu tries a kids one.

Turning finally to Otres Village and Riverside we couldn’t find much in the local category except the standard guesthouse faves so if you can’t be bothered to walk down to the beach your choice is somewhat limited to a Khmer curry, chicken with ginger or fried rice at Sok Sabay or one of the two New Papa Pippo’s # joints. The latter do of course dish up some excellent Italian fare with a range of homemade pasta dishes and the ubiquitous pizzas and we got a large and very authentic style plate of lasagne for a bargain $5. The pizzas came in some imaginative formats without descending to amok pizza gimmickry. You have the choice between the well-laid out New Papa Pippo’s Resort # with pool and garden or just New Papa Pippo’s on the main village drag.

A slice of Italy at Papa Pippo’s.

A slice of Italy at Papa Pippo’s. Photo: Mark Ord

Something unexpected and decidedly different which we did come across in the Riverside area is the Adam’s Family Bungalows # with an accompanying Czech restaurant dishing up dumplings, homemade sausages, goulash, schnitzel and other central European specialities. There’s a pleasant garden setting, draught beer and reasonable prices and food gets rave reviews from local expats.

A little further down the same lane leading from Otres Village you’ll see another unusual eating option, the Frying Yorkshireman #. This traditional style English fish and chip shop does eat-in, takeaway or phone orders and fries up, in addition to fish; scampi, squid rings, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, battered sausages and chips with side orders of mushy peas, onion rings or gravy. Most items go for $3 with an extra $1 for chips and they offer free deliveries within the vicinity.

Back in the village the unimaginatively names Otres Pasta Menu # is worth a mention, if only as an alternative to Pippo’s, and while the unassuming cafe won’t win any charm awards it does serve up a decent selection of cheap pasta and classic local and seafood dishes including a heaped plate of grilled prawns for a mere $3. Service was friendly and there’s a pleasant outdoor seating area even if the view’s not up to much.

Bars and nightlife
Back on Otres Beach and holding the banner for all-night party mayhem, you’ll find what claims to be ‘The One and Only Psy Bar in Cambodia’ at the Last Hippie Standing@Otres Corner Bar #. Weekly events on offer include ‘Psy-trance Fridays’, ‘Mainstream Saturdays’, somewhat tame sounding movie nights and incongruous board-game evenings. If listening to progressive Suomi, (which Google assures us is late 60’s Finnish prog-rock), while playing hippie Monopoly, (we’re not sure what the house rules on this one would be), in the early hours on a Cambodian beach is on your bucket list then we’ve found just the place for you. Still, they do have a huge Facebook following so one shouldn’t mock and said page displays a comprehensive list of upcoming events. (They aren’t so popular with anyone trying to get to sleep within a 500-metre radius though.) Otres Corner is situated, logically, on the corner where the Ochheuteal road hits the beach, by the entrance to Queenco Palm Beach, and claims to open 24-7.

Another popular spot to let off some steam, although unfortunately only occasionally open, is the famous Otres Market # down by Otres Riverside. This is really a large bar rather than market as such with a stage for live music and a selection of food, drink and handicraft stalls in a spacious hall known as The Barn. Stalls have a distinct new-age tendency selling crystals, home-made essential oils and jewellery while food ones offer highly rated cheesecakes, burritos and the inevitable pizzas. The stage sees some good local and regional bands (including in the past Cambodia Space Project), and this address could easily fit into our nightlife, eating or shopping sections. All very well, though a major drawback is that at present it only opens on Saturdays and occasional Fridays. We’re not sure why and failed to find an explanation and while there are rumours this may be extended, at the time of writing it was officially operating just Saturdays from 16:00 until 02:00.

Open daily but closing earlier the Sea Garden beachside cafe # is a popular and convivial address for the backpacker crowd with cheap beer and mixed drinks while Tamu # and Secret Garden # from our eating suggestions have chic candle-lit, feet in the sand cocktails or wine for the boutique crowd.

Map of eating options for Otres Beach

(1) Adam’s Family Bungalow’s (2) Bamboo Bistro (3) Chez Paou (4) Footprints (See 16)(5) Mien Mien, Restaurant and Bar (6) Mushroom Point (7) New Papa Pippo Italian Restaurant (8) Otres Corner Bar, (Last Hippie Standing) (9) Otres Market (10) Otres Pasta Menu (11) Papa Pippo (12) Sea Garden (See 11)(13) Secret Garden (See 14)(14) Tamu (15) The Frying Yorkshireman (16) Tokae Pizza

Adam’s Family Bungalow’s Otres Riverside; T: (010) 710 183; Mo–Su: 08:00–23:00.
Bamboo Bistro Beach Rd,Otres 2; .
Chez Paou Otres 1; T: (016) 955 493, (086) 406 080; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00.
Footprints Beach Rd, Otres 2; T: (097) 262 1598; Mo–Su: 08:00–22:00.
Mien Mien, Restaurant and Bar Otres 1; T: (012) 514 078, (016) 305 031; Mo–Su: 06:00–22:00.
Mushroom Point Beach Rd, Otres 1; T: (097) 712 4635, (096) 887 1130; Mo–Su: 07:00–00:00.
New Papa Pippo Italian Restaurant Otres village; T: (098) 434 178; Mo–Su: 08:30–21:30.
Otres Corner Bar, (Last Hippie Standing) Otres 1Otres 1; T: (097) 579 5329; Mo–Su: 24 hours.
Otres Market Otres Riverside, Otres village; T: (081) 790 681; Sat: 16:00–02:00 Sometimes Fr..
Otres Pasta Menu Otres Village; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00.
Papa Pippo Otres 1; T: (010) 359 725; Mo–Su: 09:00–21:30.
Sea Garden Otres 1; T: (096) 253 8131; Mo–Su: 08:00–22:00.
Secret Garden Beach Rd, Otres 2; T: (097) 649 5131.; Mo–Su: 07:00–23:00.
Tamu Otres 2; T: (088) 901 7451; Mo–Su: 11:30–17:00 & 18:00–22:00.
The Frying Yorkshireman Otres Riverside, Otres village; T: (088) 409 6579; Mo–Su: 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–00:00.
Tokae Pizza Beach Rd, Otres 2; Mo–Su: 17:00–22:00.

Adam’s Family Bungalow’s
Otres Riverside; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (010) 710 183; Under $2
Bamboo Bistro
Beach Rd,Otres 2; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
Under $2
Chez Paou
Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (016) 955 493, (086) 406 080; Under $2
Beach Rd, Otres 2; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (097) 262 1598; Under $2
Mien Mien, Restaurant and Bar
Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (012) 514 078, (016) 305 031; Under $2
Mushroom Point
Beach Rd, Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (097) 712 4635, (096) 887 1130; Under $2
New Papa Pippo Italian Restaurant
Otres village; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (098) 434 178; Under $2
Otres Corner Bar, (Last Hippie Standing)
Otres 1Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (097) 579 5329; Under $2
Otres Market
Otres Riverside, Otres village; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (081) 790 681; Under $2
Otres Pasta Menu
Otres Village; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
Under $2
Papa Pippo
Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (010) 359 725; Under $2
Sea Garden
Otres 1; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (096) 253 8131; Under $2
Secret Garden
Beach Rd, Otres 2; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (097) 649 5131.; Under $2
Otres 2; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (088) 901 7451; Under $2
The Frying Yorkshireman
Otres Riverside, Otres village; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
T: (088) 409 6579; Under $2
Tokae Pizza
Beach Rd, Otres 2; Sihanoukville, Southern Cambodia
Under $2
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Sihanoukville? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.

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