Photo: Tides are changing.

Hawaii and Victory Beaches

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The twin beaches of Hawaii and Victory lie to the northwest of the downtown area, just south of the huge port complex and are separated by a narrow headland.

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Often overlooked, Hawaii Beach is a short 750 metre stretch of white sand under the shadow of Koh Pos, or Snake Island, with Victory Beach lying to the northeast and Independence around the headland to the south. It is much more popular with Cambodian families than foreign tourists so, on the plus side wherever Cambodian families gather you’ll find good food but, on the downside, you’ll also find litter. Hawaii runs a close second to Victory in the grubby league and they’re both more exposed to rainy season flotsam and jetsam than the more protected beaches to the south of town. It’s also devoid of Ochheuteal or Otres’s myriad beach bars which could be seen as a plus or minus depending on your point of view.

Both Koh Pos and Hawaii were previously leased to what was supposedly a Russian development company but local legend claims the island was more just a private fiefdom for the oligarch CEO who had the bridge you see off-shore constructed to allow him to access the island. (The exaggerated height of the bridge was necessary as the route does represent the main container ship access to Sihanoukville port.)

Despite an estimated US$40 million price tag his personal Daimler is rumoured to be the only vehicle ever to have used it. Said oligarch is these days back in Moscow, or in a Moscow jail, and it’s now Chinese casino and resort projects that dominate both Hawaii and Victory Beaches.

In earlier days neighbouring Victory was a popular backpacker party beach while the back of beach Victory Hill area was Cambodia’s mini, albeit budding and bustling, sleaze alternative to Thailand’s Pattaya. These days the hostess-bar focus has shifted down to Ochheuteal while the party scene has dispersed to the islands, Otres and again Ochheuteal.

Undeveloped sections of the beach are decidedly down at heel with cleaner stretches corresponding to locations of the larger Asian style beach resort establishments. The few remaining local cafes now cater more to site workers than visitors. Frankly, we can’t imagine why anyone would choose to hang out at either of these beaches instead of one of the islands or at a push Otres or even Ochheuteal.


Location map for Hawaii and Victory Beaches

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