Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Sihanoukville.
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 ... Read more about Serendipity Beach .
For an area so small, Ochheuteal has a surprising array of personality traits. Even the three-kilometre long beach from which the area takes its name changes character as you stroll or stagger along it, depending on your fancy. The area includes Serendipity beach, which is tacked like an arthritic knuckle on to the top of the long straight finger of Ochheuteal beach; Serendipity Beach Road with ... Read more about Ochheuteal beach .
When people talk dirty about Sihanoukville, they’re often really talking about Ochheuteal and its environs and all of the low-grade sleaziness that that place exudes like an infected wound. But there is very much more to Sihanoukville than this, with Otres a strong case in point. The beach itself is similar to Ochheuteal: three gently curved kilometres of soft, near white sand facing out to the ... Read more about Otres Beach .
Are the crowds on Ochheuteal beach getting you down? Do you want to go to the beach and not have to pick a lounge chair in front of a restaurant for the privilege? If so, it’s not a long walk from Ochheuteal to Sokha beach or a tuk tuk or motodop can get you there in minutes. While not exactly a secret beach, surprisingly few visitors to Sihanoukville take advantage of Sokha Beach. That’s ... Read more about Sokha beach .
If a walk along relatively quiet Independence Beach away from the hordes of Occheuteal appeals to you, go there sooner rather than later. The nearly finished Holiday Palace Casino & Resort is just the first sign of what’s to come; a green fence marks an area that, if the billboard on the road is anything to go by, will one day be a mega-resort. In the meantime, though, contrary to rumour, the ... Read more about Independence Beach .
Most Sihanoukville beaches have distinct personalities. Otres is relaxed, while Ochheuteal is hyperactive, and Victory beach is different again. More of a pastiche of identities than a single entity, there’s arguably something for everyone here, from backpackers to families in town for a resort-style ... Read more about Victory Beach and Hill .
Often overlooked, Hawaii Beach is a short 750 metre stretch of white sand under the shadow of Koh Pos, or Snake Island. It is much more popular with Cambodian families than tourists, which is why we liked it so much because wherever Cambodian families gather, you’ll always find good ... Read more about Hawaii Beach .
It’s the common view that Cambodia will never attract as many people as Thailand can for whatever happens to be the topic in hand. In the case of diving, Thailand is once again considered to hold the upper hand, to which we say, they can have it. Cambodia may certainly have a less active scene and more difficult conditions, but that is part of what’s so great about ... Read more about Diving .
Ream National Park, which boasts 210 square kilometres of forest and mangroves, was the first national park to be inaugurated in Cambodia after the civil war. In addition to extensive mangrove forests, low hill rises and freshwater marshes, the park is dominated by the Prek Toek Sap estuary which is fed by a network of water sources that converge at the Kbal Chhay Waterfalls some 18 kilometres ... Read more about Kbal Chhay Waterfalls .
Depending on your point of view, the good or bad news is that jet-packs are banned at Sihanoukville: something to do with people bursting out of the water at speed and frightening the daylights out of swimmers. That leaves the rest of the waters clear for a whole range of activities including, unfortunately, jet skis, which blaze their way along the coastline, even amid swimmers. We await the ... Read more about Sailing and water sports in Sihanoukville .
Just 17 km from central Sihanoukville, Ream National Park was formally inaugurated in 1995, the first national park in peace-time Cambodia. This stretch of forest and coastline was of major strategic importance when the Vietnamese launched their attack on the Khmer Rouge in 1979 as they needed to deny Pol Pot access to Cambodia’s only deep-water ... Read more about Ream national park .
If you want to throw a little culture into your visit to Sihanoukville, take a day trip out to Ream and the set of the 2009 film, Un barrage contre le Pacifique (The Sea Wall). Based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Marguerite Duras, the film starred Isabel Huppert and was directed by Cambodian Rithy Panh. If you don’t want to throw a little culture into your visit, do it anyway and treat ... Read more about On the set in Ream .
Hitting the open road on your own two wheels fills you with a sense of freedom and opens up a place to curious minds like nothing else can. Even a bicycle lets a space reveal itself in a way that two feet never can, affording ground coverage and unrestricted views, albeit with that additional frisson of an imminent ironing underneath a bus. But the most fun is to be had on a motorbike, whether ... Read more about Motorcycling in and around Sihanoukville .
Have you ever wondered what Cambodian families do on weekends? If they’re city dwellers, they pack up the family and go on a picnic. On special occasions, they go to park-like restaurants on the outskirts of town. Until recently, Sihanoukville residents didn’t have such a place to go, but now we do. Perched up on top of a mountain overlooking all of Sihanoukville, from the looks of things, ... Read more about Phnom Meas .
There are plenty of ways of getting around Sihanoukville on two, three or four wheels, but in all honesty horses beat them all hooves down (sorry about that). The sense of strength and freedom, and the closer connection with the landscape, that come from riding out in the saddle, comfortably loping through rice paddies, gently picking your way through the rough trails, fording waterways and then ... Read more about Horse riding .
As you tuck into a lavishly-topped, wood-fired pizza and glass of ice-cold beer after a lazy, hot day at a Sihanoukville beach it can be easy to forget that you’re sitting in a country long-ranked near the bottom of all the charts measuring human and economic progress. We don’t say this to make you feel guilty. In fact just by being here and devouring that pizza and beer, you’re already ... Read more about Local charities and the difference you can make .
At first glance, the shopping options in Sihanoukville might look slimmer than a mankini. But there are fun things to be found, some of which are even a little more practical, and attractive, than a ... Read more about Shopping in Sihanoukville .
The area to the south of Otres Village, known as Otres Riverside, has become a laid-back enclave and home to a jumble of alternative souls who favour a simpler life, and the odd wild party. There, along the banks of a squiggly river, the Ou Trojak Jet, they have established themselves among the newly developing resorts. They have also built the site for Otres Market, a weekly “bizarre ... Read more about Otres Market .
Sihanoukville's downtown area is a decidedly local affair well away from the beaches, and while it might not be on the top of most travellers' sightseeing list, it offers a chance to glimpse the local ways of life. At the centre of downtown is Psar Leu Market, which has been rebuilt in impressive fashion after the old market burned down in 2008. Psar Leu is where the locals come to shop and ... Read more about Psar Leu Market .
Cambodians are world leaders when it comes to holidays and religious festivals, as we’ve said before. One of the biggest, Pchum Ben (also called Bon P’chum Ben), falls on the 15th day of the waning moon during the Cambodian month of Pheaktrobotr, so mark it on your calendar. Not content with having more holidays than the rest of us, though, Cambodians generally get things started a couple of ... Read more about Pchum Ben at Wat Krom .