Sunday, December 3, 2023
Sihanoukville Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


travel guide

Sihanoukville, commonly known as ‘Kompong Som’ (Khmer: កំពង់សោម), is a seaside city in Cambodia and the seat of Sihanoukville Province. It is situated at the point of an elevated peninsula in Cambodia’s south-west at the Gulf of Thailand.

The city is surrounded by a virtually continuous stretch of beaches along its entire coastline, as well as coastal marshlands that border the Ream National Park to the east. A number of sparsely populated islands — administered by Sihanoukville – are close to the city, and in recent years, modest growth has helped to draw a substantial share of Asia’s individual travelers, young students, and backpackers.

In 2008, the city, named for former King Norodom Sihanouk, had a population of around 89,800 people, with an urban population of approximately 66,700. Sihanoukville city includes the majority of four of the five communes (Sangkats) in the Mittakpheap District of Sihanoukville province. It is a young city that has grown in tandem with the development of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, which began in June 1955 as the country’s entrance to direct and unrestricted international sea commerce. Cambodia’s sole deep-water port comprises a mineral oil terminal and a transportation logistics center. As a result, the city expanded to become a major national hub for trade, commerce, transportation, and process manufacturing.

Sihanoukville’s many beaches and neighboring islands have made it Cambodia’s leading seaside resort, with continuously increasing numbers of national and foreign visitors since the late twentieth century. A continually rising number of seasonal and permanent foreign inhabitants make Sihanoukville one of Cambodia’s culturally most diverse and dynamic population centers, owing to its economic variety, natural beauty, and significant recreational possibilities. In compared to neighboring Thailand, the tourist industry remains tiny as of 2014. The ability of the authorities to successfully balance management in order to protect and conserve natural resources on the one hand and the necessities of island – and urban development, increasing visitor numbers, expanding infrastructure, the industrial sector, and population growth on the other will largely define Sihanoukville’s future.

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Sihanoukville | Introduction

Sihanoukville – Info Card

POPULATION : • Total 89,846
• Urban 66,723
• District 89,846
FOUNDED :    1964
LANGUAGE :  Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
RELIGION :  Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
AREA :  80 km2 (30 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  15 m (45 ft)
COORDINATES :  10°38′N 103°30′E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 48.80
 Female: 51.20
ETHNIC :  Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
POSTAL CODE :  18000
DIALING CODE :   +855 34

Tourism in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville, with about 150 conventional hotels in all price ranges and an unspecified number of guesthouses, can comfortably accommodate existing tourist quotas and can typically meet all standard expectations. As of 2016, the islands have more than enough lodging options, ranging from low-cost guesthouses and bungalows to an international 5-star resort. Despite these qualities, the city and its surrounding area are still regarded as under-explored by international visitors. To adequately handle the expected increase in tourists, Sihanoukville’s infrastructure would need to be upgraded on a vast scale.

Sihanoukville is a colorful but sad upstart in a nation with thousands of years of history. A combined French-Cambodian initiative excavated a camp out of the bush and began construction on Cambodia’s first deep-sea port fifty years ago. The thriving port and its beautiful beaches quickly lured Cambodia’s jet-setting elite, generated the first Angkor brewery, and spawned the modernist seven-story Independence Hotel, which locals allege hosted Jacqueline Kennedy on her whirlwind tour of Cambodia in 1967.

Unfortunately, the party came to an end when Sihanouk was toppled in a coup and Cambodia sank into civil war in 1970. The town, renamed Kompong Som, quickly ran into financial difficulties. The triumphant Khmer Rouge used the Independence Hotel for target practice, and the port was attacked by the US Air Force when they kidnapped an American cargo ship. Even after Pol Pot’s dictatorship was deposed, the hilly road to the city was known for banditry, and the beaches remained deserted.

Peace returned in 1993, after historic elections organized by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), and Sihanoukville has been busy cleaning up the pieces in the 10 years since. Guide books still mention bullet-scarred walls, but any evidence of conflict are difficult to find in today’s Sihanoukville, whose new icon seems to be the building site. After 30 years of housing only ghosts, the Independence Hotel is back in business, more Khmers and expatriates are settling here to open bars and restaurants, and word of what the New York Times termed “Asia’s next trendsetting beach” is spreading.

Because Snooky is a relatively young city (1950), it evolved with the steady expansion of tourism, and all of the bad characteristics came with it. After 21:00, it is not safe (even for males) to stroll alone on the beach; there are many glue sniffing youngsters, java (methamphetamine) smoking girls and boys, and a price-fixing tuk-tuk cartel.

Climate of Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville has a tropical monsoon (Am) climate. There are two seasons in the city: rainy and dry.

The highest mean temperature is about 30 °C, while the lowest mean temperature is around 24 °C. Maximum temperatures of more than 32 °C are typical, and they may reach more than 38 °C right before the rainy season begins. In January, the coldest month, minimum night temperatures may dip below 20 °C. May is the hottest month, albeit it is heavily impacted by the start of the rainy season, since the location lies on the easternmost edge of the south-west monsoon. Tropical cyclones produce very infrequent damage in Cambodia.

The average yearly rainfall is between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters (39.4 and 59.1 in). The highest levels are recorded in August and September. Throughout the year, relative humidity is high, sometimes surpassing 90%. During the dry season, daily humidity levels average approximately 50% or slightly lower, increasing to over 90% during the rainy season.

Geography of Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is situated at the extremity of a peninsula in the Gulf of Thailand, surrounded by undulating hills. It climbs up to 15 metres (49 feet) above sea level in the north-west and center, then gradually flattens out to broad coastal plains, marshlands, and beaches in the south and south-east. These hills, which give a wide range of housing options as well as excellent views of the coastal plains, beaches, sea, and islands, define the region’s natural character and value. Another appealing feature is the Gulf of Thailand’s shallow depth and mild temperature, in contrast to the South China Sea to the east and the Indian Ocean to the west, where taifuns and monsoonal extremes are constant threats.

Architecture And City-scape

Sihanoukville is distinct from other Cambodian metropolitan centers due to its clearly defined mission, its short but stormy past, and its location. There are no bourgeoiscolonial type quarters in Kampot, Siem Reap, or Phnom Penh, which were established following the era of the French Protectorate. Modern ideals of reduction and utility are applied to architecture and street planning. Vann Molyvann, a well-known Cambodian architect, created attractive items, public structures with specific functions, some of which are still in use. This short phase of New Khmer Architecture came to an end in 1970, with inconsistency and disorder throughout the city’s protracted civil conflicts having a considerably bigger influence on the city’s present image.

The city’s original urban plan, anticipating a population of 55,000 people, was finished in 1959, and it contained cycling routes and green areas. The design features precisely delineated zoning for the port, the railway network, the town center with municipal offices, commercial and residential buildings, and a tourism zone to the south along the beaches. The United States Operations Mission (USOM) conducted a feasibility assessment on drawing additional water supply from the Prek Tuk Sap and existing lagoons, which were then upgraded (closed off from the sea) and utilized as the first source for town supplies. The reservoirs are still operating, however they are inadequate to meet current needs.

The years of upheaval that followed ensured that just a small portion of the original plan was carried out. The present condition of structural irregularity is a result of decades of upheaval, since layout design was never a matter of aesthetics and practical sciences.

A modest grid of streets extends from the port up to Weather Station Hill (Victory Hill) and along the local (Victory) beach. One of the few places in town that seems to have been designed in advance is the area between the National Bank building and the Victory Beach Pier. The region is linked to the city center by a single roadway via typical uneven successions of residential structures devoid of distinguishing characteristics and monuments. These roads were built to link the few and widely separated genuine village foundations. Because of a one-dimensional infrastructure, the communities lack closeness. The city’s core is a series of alternating single blocks of solid urban edifices such as banks, middle-class hotels, gas stations, pharmacies, Chinese bakeries, and electronic retailers, followed by long rows of low-end food stalls, makeshift shops, motor-bike repair services, mini-markets, laundry, gas, lock-picking services, and mobile phone shops.

Economy of Sihanoukville

The business imperatives of the international port and its adjoining oil terminal define the economy of Sihanoukville City. A cargo storage and logistics facility that is continually upgraded serves multiple shipping firms, freight forwarders, suppliers, and maintenance contractors. All of these are located near the harbor.

Other significant economic areas in the city include fisheries, aquaculture, and frozen shrimp processing, the textile industry, food production (the Angkor brewery), the massive tourist business with its ever-expanding service branch, and the resultant real estate boom.

Economy of Sihanoukville

The area code for Sihanoukville is 034.

There are several Internet cafés, as well as some guesthouses and hotels, that provide Internet connection. Many now offer Wi-Fi, some of which is free.

The new main Post Office sits on the left side of the road as you approach Victory Hill, near Victory Park. There is also a branch in the market downtown, however you may only leave your postcards here during office hours because there is no exterior mailbox.

How To Travel To Sihanoukville

Get In - By plane

Sihanoukville Airport is located 17 kilometers east of town, on the outskirts of Ream National Park. It is served by Cambodian Angkor Air.

Get In - By train

Passenger train service between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville (via Takeo and Kampot) resumed in 2016. At the time of writing, services are only available from Friday through Sunday, with two options: air conditioning or no air conditioning. Royal Toll Railways operates the service, which takes around 7 hours.

Get In - By bus

Buses run frequently from Phnom Penh (4-5 hours), Siem Reap (10-12 hours), Ho Chi Minh City (10-12 hours), and Bangkok to Sihanoukville.

Hourly bus services from Phnom Penh are provided by Phnom Penh Sorya Transport, GST Express, and Mekong Express, and take 3-5 hours and cost USD4.50-10, depending on the quality of the bus and the number of stops. The first bus leaves Phnom Penh at 7:00 a.m., and the last at 17:45 p.m. All buses arrive and leave from the downtown bus terminal near the Central Market. Tickets may be purchased through bus company offices, travel agencies, and a variety of guesthouses. To ensure a spot, make a reservation a day in advance. National Road 4 between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is one of the greatest highways in Cambodia.

Rith Mony, Bun Thou, and Virak Buntham Express provide daily air-conditioned minibus services from 08:30 to/from the Thai border at Koh Kong/Hat Lek, which takes around 5 hours. This route is served by “local” and “tourist” minibuses; they are often crowded, and the ride might be unpleasant. The price of “local” service varies depending on how much room you want (a full seat, half a seat, or a spot on the roof); Westerners should expect to pay between USD6 and USD8. They will also usually arrange pickup in front of the offices on the town’s main street around 07:30. (after which they simply drive over to the station to wait until the 08:30 departure time.) For a fee, you may be able to arrange for pick-up from your hotel. There are buses that leave at 14:00 on occasion, although the service may be provided only if there is sufficient demand, and ticket costs may be higher (USD15).

Virak Buntham Express began a bus service from Ha Tien, Vietnam, to Sihanoukville in 2010, through the new Xa Xia/Prek Chak border station. (There is a ferry from Ha Tien to Phu Quoc Island, another major tourist site.) Despite what contemporary travel books claim, this journey has recently become simple and uncomplicated. Visas are available on arrival for USD25/VND550,000.

Get In - By taxi

A chartered taxi from Phnom Penh’s Central Market can make the journey in less than three hours and will cost between USD25 and USD40 each car, depending on the day’s gas price and the condition of the vehicle. You can save money by sharing seats, but be aware that Khmers will cram as many as eight people into the vehicle, including two in the driver’s seat, so most people will need to purchase two seats for comfort.

Get In - By boat

Boats used to travel every day from Koh Kong/Hat Lek (the Thai border crossing), lasting about 4 hours and costing USD20/700 baht. However, the service was halted in 2008, and it is uncertain if it will be reinstated, given road travel is now cheaper, safer, and just as quick. Several sources cite “persistent rumors” of a forthcoming ferry connection to the adjacent Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc, but nothing has transpired.

A small number of cruise lines, like as Oceania, provide one-day port calls, generally in conjunction with additional stops in Vietnam on route to or from Bangkok.

How To Get Around In Sihanoukville

The distances between the beaches are too great to stroll comfortably, but getting about is simple since the roads are broad and bike taxis (motodop) are plentiful. The typical fare is USD1 each journey, but expect to negotiate if you’re traveling late at night or across a lengthy distance. They’ll happily accommodate two people and their stuff. Car taxis may be ordered by phone for bigger parties (flat USD5 to most places around town).

There are many of the ubiquitous tuk-tuks in the vicinity of the new bus terminal and the lodging areas. They are some of Cambodia’s most persistent and overcharging drivers; they have formed a “association” for price fixing – a trip to the bus station, which costs USD2 in Phnom Penh, costs USD3 if your bus company pays, but they will charge you USD6 if you arrive at the bus station and want to go to the beach. If you know where you’re going to stay, you can arrange for a pick-up. Even though it isn’t free, it may help you avoid overcharging.

During the day, the trip from the new bus terminal to Serendipity Beach should cost no more than USD3.

Renting a scooter is another excellent option for getting about. With a little haggling, you may obtain it for USD4 per day or more, depending on the season. Fuel is not inexpensive (around USD1.25/L), but it is available at numerous roadside shacks. However, as of 2009, renting scooters to foreigners is legally unlawful, and you may be stopped and fined by the authorities.

Prices In Sihanoukville

Tourist (Backpacker) – 34 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) – 103 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.


Milk 1 liter $2.25
Tomatoes 1 kg $0.90
Cheese 0.5 kg $16.00
Apples 1 kg $3.75
Oranges 1 kg $3.50
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.00
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $8.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $
Bread 1 piece $1.25
Water 1.5 l $0.75


Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $12.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $19.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $4.50
Water 0.33 l $0.40
Cappuccino 1 cup $1.67
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.50
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.00
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.70
Coctail drink 1 drink $


Cinema 2 tickets $6.00
Gym 1 month $44.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.07
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $1.30


Gasoline 1 liter $1.05
Taxi Start $
Taxi 1 km $
Local Transport 1 ticket $

Sights & Landmarks In Sihanoukville

The town itself does not have much to offer in terms of attractions. Serendipity Beach, Otres Beach, Victory Beach, and the many islands off the coast are the primary tourist attractions of Sihanoukville.


The main reason to visit Sihanoukville is the beaches. They are not as crowded as many of those in Thailand, but can be cramped on weekends and holidays. Like many beaches in Southeast Asia, they are often covered in a lot of rubbish.

  • Independence Beach (Also known as 7-chan beach after the seven-storey Independence Hotel).
  • Ochheuteal Beach (ឆ្នេរអូឈើទៀល – Chnay Occheuteal). Sangkat No. 3 has a long, narrow stretch of white sand beach. The northern half is now known as Serendipity Beach, a famous beach with Western visitors renowned for its modest guesthouses located on the beach. There are around 30 beach huts providing excellent value meals and a broad variety of beverages, a golf course development near the southern end, and a cluster of mid-range hotels and restaurants in the center. The beach is lined with grass umbrellas, rentable beach chairs, and little drink huts from one end to the other. A number of cheap traveller/backpacker focused bar/restaurant/beach hangouts have sprouted up farther south along the beach in front of the golf course development, providing chairs, umbrellas, beverages, and a chill-out ambiance. Expect noise and exhaust emissions from the area’s many 2-stroke jet skis. Swimming may be risky, and jet skis have killed numerous people.
  • Otres Beach (SE of Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches). A stunning 4 kilometer length of pure, white beaches. Less busy and more peaceful than other Sihanoukville beaches. Every season, new beach bars and guesthouses spring up along the beach. Tourists may stay in rooms or bungalows (prices range from USD5-30), such as Cinderella Beach Bungalows and Castaways Beach Bar and Bungalows. Except for the Secret Garden Resort at the far end of “Old Otres,” which is located at the far end of “Old Otres,” no air conditioning is offered in Otres Beach hotels, as it is in most of Sihanoukville’s inexpensive housing (Otres 2). Otres Beach is ideal for relaxed sunbathing, but there are many other things offered (catamarans, windsurfing, kayaks, various boat trips, bicycles.) In contrast to Serendipity Beach, marijuana and marijuana-based baked products are freely and securely smoked and sold in beachside bars/guesthouses and on the beach itself, which is now attracting a young Western population. A second section of Otres Beach, referred known as “Otres 2,” is roughly a 5-10 minute tuk-tuk ride away and is starting to draw visitors searching for a less congested beach than the easygoing main strip of Otres Beach. Otres 2 is much less developed and popular, yet it only has a few activities and sites. Otres 2 has no shops of any type, however there is a bank machine on the main strip of Otres 1. On the way in from Occhuteal, there’s a Khmer town with a few Khmer eateries and a contemporary US-style tiny convenience store on the side road out of the village that goes to and from Occhuteal. Otres has a distinct climate than Snooky; it may be sunny all day while downtown Sihanoukville and neighboring beaches are flooded. It’s also recognized in the region for having the finest sunset, and visitors staying at nearby beaches often drive out to view it from there (with few vendors or other harassment unlike closer to the city). Away from the beach, Otres is rather big; side roads link to different regions interior, notably along the little river that runs through the vast plains inland from the beach strip. Along the way, there is another hamlet, a few tiny resorts, and, during the busy season, a small public market with entertainment. Nearby are a few resorts and pubs there, including a wacky westerner-run backpackery bar and stage, as well as a more contemporary one with a dining room and a stage. The river may be kayaked, and native Khmer eat fish caught in it. The beach in Otres is relatively shallow for a few hundred meters or more out, depending on the tide. When there are no waves, the bottom is soft sand and clean, making it ideal for youngsters and inexperienced swimmers.
  • Serendipity Beach (Connected to Ochheuteal Beach). Guesthouses and bar/restaurants on the beach that are open till the early hours of the morning. This beach is the most popular and usually has the most people on it.
  • Sokha Beach. Sokha Beach Resort is the owner. It’s private, but you can get access to it for a few bucks. There will not be many individuals begging or attempting to sell you anything here.
  • Victory Beach (S of the commercial port). On Weather Station Hill, there is plenty of low-cost lodging. This beach is located near the ports.


  • Kampong Pier Nup Lok (2 km N of the commercial port). The historic fishing harbor. It has some excellent vistas.
  • Koh Rong (Monkey Island). Koh Rong is a tiny island 2-3 hours by boat from Sihanoukville that provides a peaceful position away from the crowds, a long beach, a little forest to hike, and a handful of bars, restaurants, and guesthouses on the beach spanning an area of just approximately 2 km. Ferries from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong depart 3-4 times per day from several piers and ferry companies in Sihanoukville. Ferries may be booked via any hotel or travel agency. Round-trip tickets range in price from $5 to $15. A visitor may be offered a higher price for the boat, but this may be bargained down to less than USD15. On the island, dorm beds (USD7) and private rooms (USD15-30) are also widely accessible. Fishing, diving, and snorkeling are all offered at costs comparable to the rest of Sihanoukville. Most establishments on Koh Rong operate on generators and normally have power from sunset to midnight, while a few bars will run throughout the day and stay up until 4:00 a.m. There is no ATM in Koh Rong. USD5-15.
  • Ream National Park. A beautiful mangrove natural reserve located about 30 minutes from Sihanoukville. For USD2, take a moto to the park headquarters. Park rangers then provide walking excursions for USD5 or boat cruises for USD20 (4 people). Call ahead of time. The organized tours from Sihanoukville might be disappointing since they occasionally fail to provide a professional guide and the cuisine can be questionable.

Things To Do In Sihanoukville

  • The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project (CCPP) (On Serendipity Beach Rd). An NGO that helps disadvantaged Cambodian children. The youngsters collaborate with volunteers to make art, which is subsequently sold to benefit the children’s families and the initiative itself. Children are given access to schooling, painting supplies, sports activities, two meals a day, and medical and dental care as part of the programme. To deal with the children’s family, social workers are hired. You may contribute by volunteering, contributing painting supplies, purchasing a painting, donating money, or organizing an exhibition of children’s art.
  • Golden Spa & Massage (Opposite Monkey Republic),  +855 11 921110.Massages, manicure care, and body cleanses are all available.
  • Scuba Diving. There are several coral and fish-filled islands off the Cambodian coast. All diving boats depart from the harbor area of Sihanoukville. Scuba Nation PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre, the pioneers of diving in Cambodia, provides complete diving and snorkeling services, day excursions, liveaboards, nitrox, and a full spectrum of PADI courses from novice to instructor. The secret is flexibility: you may perform training sessions while visiting in Phnom Penh, then end with a liveaboard on Cambodia’s only custom-made diving boats. EcoSea Dive also provides SSI courses. Island Divers, the largest and newest diving center, has the largest boat, which has just been refurbished to accommodate divers. Angkor Dive is headquartered on Koh Rong Samloem and offers overnight visits to the island to not only dive but also experience life in a Khmer fishing hamlet. The primary scuba diving area is on Koh Rong Samloem Island, 23 kilometers offshore, and on Koh Tang Island, 56 kilometers from Sihanoukville. Overnight excursions are required to reach Koh Tang. There is also some shallow diving at Koh Tas, which is about 10 kilometers from Sihanoukville, although it is usually used when the weather is too harsh to go all the way to Koh Rung Sanloem. The greatest diving in Cambodia is found on overnight expeditions to the Koh Tang group, where giant pelagics may be seen on a regular basis and visibility is twice as good as at other spots. Two dive day excursions range from USD59 to USD85, while overnight vacations range from USD185 to $325 all included.
  • Snorkelling. Snorkeling is possible on most of the islands, with the finest visibility, reefs, and fish found on our outermost islands. Many eateries on Serendipity Beach promote a snorkeling tour for USD15, but most are unable to adequately describe what is included. Most will be the same tour organized by one of the travel agencies, which includes (basic) breakfast on the beach, two snorkeling stops, and a three-hour lunch break at Koh Russei (Bamboo Island). If you are serious about snorkeling, you should consider visiting one of the three scuba diving shops to verify you have the right equipment.
  • Unspoiled Island Day Trip. Aside from the exclusive Sokha Beach, finding a pristine and unspoilt beach near Sihanoukville is difficult, but may be found a couple of hours away on the island of Koh Rong Saloem. There are daily boats that may take you there in the morning, as well as one-day cruises that include snorkeling, fishing, lunch, and a light breakfast. This specific firm transports its guests to a 5 kilometer stretch of secluded beach. It’s operated by Robert, an extremely amusing and interesting German. On the island, there is additional lodging at Lazy Beach. EcoSea Diving also provides overnight excursions to Koh Rung Sanloem, where lodging is in modest basic huts. Unfortunately, the island is infested with sand flies. Get ready to get bitten. USD15.

Food & Restaurants In Sihanoukville

There are several food vendors and restaurants along the beaches, particularly at Ochheuteal Beach, providing grilled pork, poultry, and fish with chips/fries and a beverage for USD3-4. There are also a lot of eateries in town. Sihanoukville’s food is surprisingly diversified.

  • Angelo’s Restaurant (Near Golden Sands Hotel). Excellent barbecue (try the ribs!) and Greek fare.
  • The Beach Chalet (Otres Beach). Fresh and inexpensive Cambodian and Western cuisine. Prices are constant throughout the year. Friendly staff that are always willing to assist you with everything you want. Try the BBQ barracuda or red snapper.
  • Castaways Beach Bar and Restaurant, Otres 2, Sihanoukville (at the far end of Old Otres, a few places before Secret Garden Resort),  +855 12 998492, e-mail: [email protected]. early to 11 pm. A relaxed family-run restaurant and bar serving home-cooked Khmer and Western cuisine at moderate costs. Dine in the covered bar/lounge, on one of the sofa sections in the sandy courtyard, or directly on the beach, watching the magnificent sunsets of Otres. This was the first tourist resort and restaurant in Otres, and it is the only Khmer-run and owned establishment on the whole island. Marasprao, Luclak, and Amok meals, delicious chicken curry and tom yam, and omelettes and pancakes on the Western menu. Or just ask the owner, Ouk, what he would suggest and let him surprise you with something not on the listed menu. The drink menu is extensive. Excellent atmosphere and rustic authenticity (and good pool table) $2.25-$5.
  • Cinderellas Coffee Shop (Serendipity Beach Rd, opposite Monkey Republic),  +855 12 613380. Very nice coffee shop/café near Ochheuteal Beach, with comfortable indoor and outdoor patio seating. Menu is reasonably priced and includes Western, Korean, and Asian foods. In addition to coffee, beer, wine, and cocktails are available.
  • Ernie’s Burgers. You may create your own burger from a selection of over 24 free toppings.
  • Grand Restaurant Kampuchea (Next to Angelo’s and across the road from the Beach Club on Tola St). The chicken amok curry (served in a coconut) is a standout (USD3). Traditional Khmer cuisine.
  • Happa (Serendipity Beach Rd). apanese teppanyaki
  • Ku Kai (Serendipity Beach Rd). Japanese restaurant.
  • Look Bar and Restaurant (On Victory Hill in Bar St). There’s a free pool, many TVs, Wi-Fi, and a large variety of beverages and snacks. Live blues/rock/rock’n’roll music and BBQ with Latino music are performed on a weekly basis.
  • l’Luna d’Autunno (On the right hand side of Ekareach St, a short way before the bend down to the Golden Lions). Italian. The personnel is well-trained and kind, and the pricing are reasonable. Pasta or pizza for around USD8-9.
  • Maharajah (Royal Indian Cuisine Halal) (Victory Hill), +855 15 966221.The renowned Indian restaurant in Siem Reap has recently launched a sibling location in Sihanoukville. USD3-10.
  • The Mexican (Serendipity Beach Rd),  +855 12 315338. Mexican, Western, and Khmer cuisine.
  • Mick and Craig’s Restaurant and Guesthouse (Near the Golden Lions). A Sihanoukville tradition that has been serving comfort cuisine in the city since 1997. Their Mexican cuisine and Sunday roast are two of their most popular dishes. There are other rooms with a fan and a bath located in a tropical garden. Cleanliness and comfort are guaranteed. Rooms range from USD8 to USD12.
  • Noh Kor Phnom (Occheuteal Beach (inland, on first road to beach when coming in from town)). Friendly, no-frills seafood restaurant with over 200 items on the menu.
  • La Paillote (Victory Beach),  +855 12 632347. French-Khmer cuisine at one of the country’s best restaurants. USD5-11.
  • Pim’s Restaurant (Ochheuteal Beach). Western a la carte cuisine, as well as a BBQ and wok menu. Evenings in Cambodian style. Mini-golf, boules, darts, pool, and table tennis are all available.
  • La Reserve Sihanoukville (Victory Hill). Table de France serves gourmet French food prepared by renowned chef Patrick Escribe.
  • Same Same But Different. Reasonable cuisine, reasonable rates, and kind personnel. Thai green curry to die for.
  • Sunshine Cafe (Otres Beach),  +855 12 828432. On the more relaxed Otres Beach, there’s a great café and beach bar. A Polish woman and her family own the restaurant, which serves delicious meals. It has a good sense of community. Her Khmer partner offers boat excursions to more fascinating locations than the other boat tours for USD15. When there are enough people, he also offers night fishing boat excursions. They also offer a limited quantity of modest oceanfront accommodations available for USD5.

Shopping In Sihanoukville

There are numerous modest stores in town, as well as a typical Cambodian market (‘Psaa Leu’). Although tourism is booming, large-scale tourist markets are not on the horizon.

Several clothes and souvenir stores are sprouting in downtown and surrounding Victory Hill and Ochheuteal.

ATM machines may be located all around the city. ATMs are available downtown from ANZ Bank, Canadia Bank, and Acleda Bank. ATMs may also be found at the “Golden Lions” on Beach St, at the CCS Hotel, and at the Golden Sands Hotel on Occheuteal Beach. In Otres 1, there is also an ATM.

Nightlife In Sihanoukville

Golden Lion Plaza on Occheteal Beach has ten friendly pubs on one block, all of which are used to pick up prostitutes. Unless you’re seeking for it, avoid this place.

On Serendipity Beach, the tendency is to promote a continual happy hour, which generally means drinks for USD2-2.50 and draught Anchor beer for as cheap as USD0.50-0.75. In average, beer costs jump to USD1 at night, while drinks stay between USD2-2.50.

  • Dolphin Shack (On Serendipity Beach). USD0.50 happy hour draught, USD2 vodka mixers, outside dance floor. The most popular beach bar for both visitors and locals, particularly late at night.
  • JJ’s Playground (On Serendipity Beach). A late night bar operating on Serendipity Beach, drawing a huge Western population and offering affordable beverages throughout the day and night, is the major rival to Dolphin Shack and Nap House. JJ’s, unlike Dolphin Shack, does not let local “bar ladies” in.
  • Maybe Later (On the way to Serendipity Beach). Tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos, and other Mexican dishes are available late at night. Good cocktails and high-quality beverages.
  • Nap House (On Serendipity Beach. From Golden Lion Roundabout, go Beach Rd south and continue on steep road down to beach. The last plot on the right, closest to the shore). Open till late. Disco in the open air. A large number of individuals.
  • Sky Bar & Restaurant (Just off Serendipity Beach). Happy hour draft for USD0.50. 09:00-19:00. Cocktails for $2.50, Western and Khmer cuisine, and four incredibly pleasant sisters manage the show. A nice spot to meet new people and chill out.
  • Utopia Guesthouse (On the hilltop on the main street above Serendipity Beach). Open till late. Beers start at USD0.25 throughout the day and rise to USD1 at night. A combination of a low-cost guesthouse and a huge bar. After 23:00, the calm environment of the beach bars starts to get packed. Utopia is the major late-night drinking establishment in the Serendipity neighborhood that is not on the beach.
  • Captain Morgan (Golden Lions Plaza). Open till late. Open till late. Friendly personnel and a nice-looking bar. Snacks and food
  • Emerald Bar (Near the bus station downtown). Irish bar founded in 2004. This restaurant and pub provides Irish whiskey and Guinness, as well as a delicious selection of traditional Irish cuisine.
  • Cheers Cambodia (About 1km past CT Clinic going towards the new bus station), +855 34 934585, e-mail: [email protected]. Sihanoukville’s first all-gay boutique hotel, restaurant, and bar. There is now seating for over 60 people and standing space for over 200. The pub is located behind the hotel and is surrounded by palm trees and gardens, making it quite secluded. LEDs are used to illuminate the bar in a stylish manner. All of the accommodations are luxury. All rooms have en suite fully tiled baths, 4-6m square with Panasonic hot showers, and are furnished to the highest standards with Malaysian furniture, the latest LG LCD flat screen televisions and air conditioning, cable TV, handmade curtains, custom made beds, in-room refrigerators, and free Wi-Fi in all areas. All-inclusive air-conditioning deluxe: USD39-69.
  • Star Bar (Downtown, behind Shell gas station). It was quite chilly. draught Anchor beer (happy hour USD0.50, rest of the day USD0.75). Pleasant waitresses. Excellent pool table. A decent kitchen with a Western-focused cuisine. USD2 for a popular Wednesday evening BBQ.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Sihanoukville

While violent crime is exceedingly uncommon, handbag snatching, pick-pocketing, and petty theft are quite frequent throughout the day and night on and around Serendipity Beach. Women should not carry handbags holding anything precious, and should avoid carrying any purse at all if at all feasible. Young youngsters often surround ladies leaving beach bars at night, take off their handbags, and flee. Furthermore, robbers on motorcycles would often steal a lady’s purse and then drive away throughout the day and night, pulling the victim after them until they release go and escape with the bag. The bulk of this activity is limited to the Serendipity region, and visitors visiting Otres Beach or the remainder of Sihanoukville should be cautious but not worry about criminality.

Sihanoukville’s medical services are relatively limited and poor. The CT Clinic provides the greatest medical care. This is the only clinic in Sihanoukville that foreigners trust. The public hospital should be avoided at all costs since it is dreadful. Evacuation is required in the event of a serious incident.

Although HIV/AIDS is no longer as common as it once was, the infection rate remains very high in particular high-risk populations, such as female sex workers. The infection rate for brothel-based female sex workers was reported to be 14.7% in 2006, however government interventions have increased the percentage of accurate and consistent condom usage to more than 90%. However, since many sex workers are increasingly working outside of brothels, the rate in this category might be substantially higher.



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