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Sihanoukville

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Sihanoukville (Krong Preah Seihanu), formerly Kompong Som and familiarly just Snookyville or even Snooky is a seaside town featuring Cambodia's best-known beaches.

Privately-owned Sokha Beach

Understand[edit]

In a land with thousands of years of history, Sihanoukville is a colourful but tragic upstart. A mere fifty years ago, a French-Cambodian construction carved a camp out of the jungle and started building the first deep-sea port of a newly independent Cambodia. Named Sihanoukville in 1964 after the ruling prince of Cambodia, the booming port and its golden beaches soon drew Cambodia's jetsetting elite, spawning the first Angkor Beer brewery and the modernist seven-story Independence Hotel which, claim locals, even played host to Jacqueline Kennedy on her whirlwind tour of Cambodia in 1967.

Alas, the party came to an abrupt end in 1970 when Sihanouk was deposed in a coup and Cambodia descended into civil war. The town – renamed Kompong Som – soon fell on hard times: the victorious Khmer Rouge used the Independence Hotel for target practice and, when they made the mistake of hijacking an American container ship, the port was bombed by the U.S. Air Force. Even after Pol Pot's regime was driven from power, the bumpy highway to the capital was long notorious for banditry and the beaches stayed empty.

Peace returned in 1993 following the historic elections organized by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia ( UNTAC) and in the ensuing ten years Sihanoukville has been busy picking up the pieces. First visited only by a few intrepid backpackers, guidebooks still talk of walls pockmarked by bullets, but any signs of war are hard to spot in today's Sihanoukville, whose new symbol seems to be the construction site. After 30 years of housing only ghosts, the Independence Hotel is up and running again, more and more Khmers and expats have settled down to run bars and restaurants, and the knowledge of what the New York Times dubbed "Asia's next trendsetting beach" is starting to spread.

Since Snooky is a relatively new city (1950) and did grow along with the steady growth of the tourists, all the negative elements came along. It is not safe (even for men) to walk alone on the beach after 9pm, there are plenty of glue sniffing kids and a lot of Java (Methamphetamine) smoking girls and boys and probably the worst Tuk Tuk Mafia (all with price agreements).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

The small Sihanoukville Airport (IATA: KOS | ICAO: VDSV) is located 17km to the east of town, on the edge of Ream National Park. Cambodia Angkor Air [1] started flying to and from Siem Reap on December 14th 2011 with three flights a week.

By helicopter[edit]

Sokha Helicopters [2] offers a VIP charter service between a private helipad at Sokha Beach Resort and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Charter rates start at US$1495 per flight hour plus 10% VAT & 10% SPT, with discount packages for stays at Sokha Beach Resort. Helicopters are modern, French-built Eurocopter Ecureuils with luxury leather seating for 5 passengers. Licenced pilots are from Australia and Europe. Flight time from Phnom Penh is 55 minutes and Siem Reap 1 hour and 40 minutes.

By bus[edit]

Phnom Penh Sorya Transport [3], GST Express, and Mekong Express operate hourly bus services from Phnom Penh, taking 3-5 hours and costing US$4.5-10, depending on the quality of the bus and the number of stops. The first bus leaves Phnom Penh at 7:00AM; the last bus leaves at 5:45PM. All buses arrive and depart from the bus station downtown near the Central Market. Tickets can be booked at the bus company offices, travel agencies, and many guesthouses. It is worth reserving a day in advance to be sure of a seat. National Route 4 between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is one of Cambodia's best roads.

Giant Ibis and Mey Hong offer 14-16 seat air-conditioned minibus transport[4] that is aimed at tourists and never have more passengers than seats. Tickets cost $10, although it can cost a few dollars more if you need pickup on Otres or far from their offices.

Rith Mony, Bun Thou, and Virak Buntham Express operate daily air-conditioned minibus service leaving at 8:30AM to/from the the border with Thailand at Koh Kong/Hat Lek, taking about 5 hours. "Local" and "Tourist" minibuses service this route; they are always jam-packed, and the trip can be uncomfortable. "Local" service price depends on how much space you want (a whole seat, half a seat, or a space on the roof); foreigners can expect to pay around US$6-8. They will also typically have pickup in front of the offices on the main strip in town at 7:30AM (at which point they simply drive over to the station to wait until the 8:30AM departure time.) You may be offered pickup at your hotel for a premium. Sometimes there are buses leaving at 2:00PM but the service may be available only with suitable demand and ticket prices may be higher (~US$15).

In 2010, Virak Buntham Express started a bus service from Ha Tien in Vietnam to Sihanoukville via the new Xa Xia/Prek Chak border post. (From Ha Tien, there is a ferry to Phu Quoc island, another popular tourist destination). Unlike even recent travel guides report, this trip now has become easy and straightforward. Visa on arrival for USD 25/550.000 VND (but bring a photo!)

The bus station is far from the city centre and you will need to take a tuktuk or a motorbike. Expect to pay anywhere between $ 1 and 4, depending on how many people there are in the tuktuk.

By taxi[edit]

A chartered taxi from Phnom Penh's Central Market can make the trip in less than three hours and will cost anywhere from US$25-40 per car, depending on the petrol price of the day and how beat up the vehicle is. You can reduce the price by sharing seats, but be warned that Khmers will squeeze as many as eight people into the car, including two in the drivers seat, so most people will need to buy two seats for comfort. As of May 2013, you can get a private taxi to Sihanoukville for $50 - $55. Many of these have an LPG tank in the boot, so one large case is the limit. If two people travel a spare seat can cater for a second large case. Most of the cars are relatively recent Toyota Camrys and comfortable enough. Order from Travel Agents around the city.

By boat[edit]

Boats used to run daily from Koh Kong/Hat Lek (the border crossing with Thailand), taking around 4 hours and costing US$20/700 baht. However, the service was suspended in 2008 and it's unclear if it will resume, since travel by road is now cheaper, safer and just as fast. Several sources quote "persistent rumours" about a future ferry service with the nearby Vietnamese Phu Quoc island, but nothing happened yet.

Modest numbers of cruise lines offer one-day port visits, usually along with more stops in Vietnam enroute to or from Bangkok, e.g., Oceania.

By train[edit]

There are no passenger services on the Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville railway line. It may be possible to hitch a ride with the freight train security guards - enquire locally for further information. As of autumn 2010, there are efforts to make the Cambodian railways operational again. Since October 2010, a freight service from Phnom Penh to halfway Sihanoukville (Touk Meas) is operational.

Get around[edit]

Central Sihanoukville

Distances between the beaches are a little too long to walk comfortably, but getting around is easy, as the roads are wide and bike taxis (motodop) are everywhere. The standard price is US$1 per trip, although expect to haggle at night or if the distance is long. They'll gladly pile on two people and their luggage too. For larger groups, car taxis can be called up by phone (flat US$5 to most places around town).

There are dozens of the ubiquitous tuk-tuks around the new bus station and the accommodation areas. They are some of the most persistent and over-charging drivers in Cambodia; they have formed an "association" for price fixing - a trip to the bus station, US$2 in Phnom Penh, costs US$3 if your bus company pays but they will hit you for US$6 if you arrive at the bus station and want to go to the beach. If you have decided where you will stay it can help to call for a pick up; even if its not free, it may save you some overcharging.

The ride from the new bus station to Serendipity Beach should cost no more than US$3 during the day.

Another great choice to get around is to rent a scooter. Haggle a bit and you can get it for US$4 a day or more - it depends of a season. Fuel is not very cheap (about $1,25/l) but can be bought at many roadside shacks. However, as of 2009, renting scooters to foreigners is technically illegal, and the police may stop and fine you.


WARNING# if you have purchased a long distance bus ticket from the bus station office (sorya station) in town, beware; they have a scam where they let you wait till after the bus has already gone without telling you, then try and force you into an expensive motoped to catch up with the bus on its way out of town. To prevent get there early and dont listen to anyone but the real bus driver

See[edit][add listing]

The town itself doesn't offer much to see.

Beaches[edit]

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 covered in a lot of rubbish, but Otres Beach is very clean.

  • Victory Beach, (south of the commercial port). Plenty of budget accommodation nearby on Weather Station Hill. This beach is close to the seaport.  edit
  • Independence Beach. Also known as '7-chann beach' after the seven-storey Independence Hotel  edit
  • Sokha Beach. owned by Sokha Beach Resort, it is private but you can access it by paying a couple dollars. You won't have many people begging or trying to sell you something here.  edit
  • Ochheuteal Beach. (Khmer: ​ឆ្នេរអូឈើទៀល - Chnay Occheuteal) is a long and narrow strip of white sand beach located in Sangkat No3. The northern section has now become known as Serendipity Beach, a popular beach with western tourists, noted for small guesthouse rooms right on the beach. There are around 30 beach huts serving good value meals and a wide selection of drinks,. a golf-course development at the southern end, and a cluster of mid-range hotels and restaurants near the MP base in the middle. Grass umbrellas, rentable beach chairs and little drink huts line the beach from one end to the other. Les Feuilles), within walking distance of the hotels. Further south along the beach in front of the golf course development, a number of budget traveler/backpacker oriented bar/restaurant/beach hangouts have sprung up offering chairs, umbrellas, drinks and a chill-out atmosphere. Be wary of a group of child thieves run by a Fagin type character. Girls and boys from approx 7-12 years old will walk the beach. Any unguarded belongings on the beach will be picked up and searched for valuables with the refuse thrown back onto the sand. Tip: Don't take ANY valuables to the beach.  edit
Ochheuteal Beach - Sihanoukville
  • Serendipity Beach. Guesthouses and bar/restaurants right on the beach, open until the early hours. This beach seems to be the most popular and typically has the greatest number of people on the beach. Serendipity Beach is connected to Ochheuteal beach. Be wary of a group of child thieves run by a Fagin type character. Girls and boys from approx 7-12 years old will walk the beach. Any unguarded belongings on the beach will be picked up and searched for valuables with the refuse thrown back onto the sand. Tip: Don't take ANY valuables to the beach.  edit
  • Otres Beach, (South-east of Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches). Amazing 4km long stretch of clean, white sands. Less crowded and definitely more relaxed than other beaches in Sihanoukville. It starts with a strip of beach bars and guesthouse called Otres 1 followed by a 1km long public beach that ends at Otres 2 – another (smaller) strip of beach bars and guesthouses. Tourists will find accommodation in rooms or bungalows (prices ranging from US$10 - 50 p/night). Otres Beach is great place for lazy sunbathing, partying and some other activities also available (catamarans, windsurfing, kayaks, various boat trips, buggy cars, bicycles and jet skis). The beach bars of both strips have a rich bar, sun beds and a local food / western food menu. Most of them also feature bungalows or simple rooms. Famous places/activities in the beach: * Otres Corner – The first bar on the Otres 1 strip (coming from the city) has live DJs during day and night playing electronic music. It's managed by a British expat (who's a chef) that serves an amazing Sunday roast lunch. They've got all night parties there at least once a week so it's always worth checking in for details. A great place to sleep at for party and music loving people. * Everythang – The 6th business on Otres 1, a funky guesthouse (with dorms) on the beach all surrounding an 8 meter geodesic dome. Try the taco or burrito and make sure to catch a sunset on the tree house. * Rent a kayak and row it to one of the mini islands that are close to the beach, or up the small river that reaches a small temple. * Mien Mien – a small and (still) cheap guesthouse, not on the beach but across the street from it with real rooms rather than bungalows. * Otres Market – though not on the beach but a short tuk-tuk ride from it (or ten minutes walk) hosts a live music show every Saturday night. * Richies – a well established beach bar with great food and occasional parties run by a Scottish guy and his family. Very homey fealing. * Windsurfing school – managed by a French expat that is also the teacher. The flat sea makes it an easy place to start surfing. Lessons costs around $30 and windsurfers can be rent fot $8-$12 / hour. * Amongst the "tourist boat tours" that are offered here but are very common to beaches around the world, in Otres Beach there's a party boat, with music, water slides and beer-bongs.  edit
  • Otres Market. The preferred way to spend your Saturday evenings at Otres beach is the late night market. A big happening with live music shows, food stalls and probably all the tourists in the area. This goes on from 18:00 to early morning. Most notable amongst them is the Wrap stall that serves truly unique wraps (meat / cheese / hummus) that are 100% homemade and naturally also serves alcohol. Mizza, the owner of the Wrap bar also delivers his amazing wraps every other night of the week anywhere at Otres beach (Mizza 0969614357). Getting to the market is a 3$ tuk tuk drive from Otres Beach.  edit

Other[edit]

  • Kampong Pier Nup Lok, (2 km north of the commercial port). The old fishing port. Offers some nice views.  edit
  • Ream National Park. A wonderful mangrove nature reserve about 30 minutes driving from Sihanoukville. Take a moto to park headquarters for US$2. From there, park rangers offer walking tours for US$5 or boat tours for US$20 (4 people). Call in advance. The organised trips from Sihanoukville can be disappointing, as they sometimes fail to supply a proper guide and the food can be a bit dodgy.  edit
  • Koh Russei (Bamboo Island). See the separate article on Koh Russei for more information.  edit
  • Koh Rong. See the seperate article on Koh Rong for more information.  edit
  • Buddy Land Water Park. This park is the first and unique water park in Sihanoukville. It has a 12 meter high water slide and a large pool with different sized water balls. You can also enjoy their tornado potato with either onion flavor or BBQ flavor as well as their rainbow sherbet. They also serve AngKor beer for a good price. Besides, they have a small souvenirs shop selling different traditional souvenirs such as hats, bags, jewelries and scarfs. Coming soon: indoor playground for kids and BBQ stand.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Go for a ride with Ride Cambodia Motorcycle Tours. They're based in Sihanoukville at the bottom of Serendipity Beach Road by the pier. By far the most competitively priced motorcycle tour operator in the country, they run single day trips out into the jungle and also run multi day trips across all of Cambodia. If you can ride a bike and fancy an adventure then this is the activity for you.
  • Scuba Diving. There are many islands off the Cambodian coast that have lots of coral and fish. All the dive boats in Cambodia leave from the Sihanoukville port area. There are 4 PADI Dive Centres, one of which, Scuba Nation PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre [5], provides a range of diving and snorkeling services, day trips. The Dive Shop [6], another PADI 5 Star National Geographic dive center, offers island based bungalows as well as over night trips to the outer islands. EcoSea Dive [7], offers SSI courses as well. The newest dive centre, Island Divers [8], also offers various diving services. Angkor Dive [9]is also based on Koh Rong Samloem who offer over night trips to the island to not only dive, but also to experience the traditional way of life in a Khmer fishing village. The main scuba diving area is at Koh Rong Samloem Island located 14 miles offshore, as well as at Koh Tang Island 35 miles from Sihanoukville. Overnight trips are necessary in order to reach Koh Tang. There is also some shallow diving at Koh Tas some 6 miles from Sihanoukville, but it's mostly reserved for when the weather is too rough to get all the way to Koh Rung Sanloem. The best diving Cambodia has to offer is the overnight trips to the Koh Tang Group, where large pelagic are seen regularly and visibility is double what you will find at the closer sites. 2 dive day trips US$59-85, overnight trips US$185-325 all inclusive.  edit
  • Golden Spa & Massage, (opposite monkey republic), 011921110, [10]. Offers a wide variety of massages as well as nail care, body scrubs and so on.  edit
  • Snorkeling. Possible around most of the islands, with the best snorkeling being at the further our islands for visibility, corals and fish. Many restaurants at Serendipity Beach advertise a snorkeling trip for US$15, but most are incapable of properly explaining what their offer includes, but most will be the same trip organised by one of the travel agents which includes breakfast at the beach, a visit to two snorkeling spots and a 3 hour lunch break at Koh Russei (Bamboo Island). If you are serious about your snorkeling, you should consider going with one of the three scuba dive shops to ensure you get proper gear.  edit
  • The Cambodian Children's Painting Project (CCPP) [11]. This is located on Serendipity Beach Rd. CCPP is a NGO which works with impoverished Cambodian children. Together with volunteers the children create art which is then sold to help support the children's families and the project itself. As part of the project children are provided with access to education, painting materials, sport activities, two meals a day, medical assistance and dental assistance. Social workers are employed to work with the children's families. You can help by becoming a volunteer, donating painting materials, buying a painting, donating money or by holding an exhibition of the children's art.
  • Unspoiled Island Day Trip. Finding a clean and unspoiled beach (apart from private Sokha Beach) is challenging in Sihanoukville but can be found a couple of hours away on the island Koh Rong Saloem. Daily ferries can take you there in the morning or a one-day trips including snorkeling, fishing, lunch and light breakfast can be booked at [12]. This particular company takes its passengers to a deserted 5km strip of pristine beach. It's run by an entertaining German man called Robert. There is also accommodation on the island at Lazy Beach. EcoSea diving [13] offer overnight trips to Koh Rung Sanloem as well, where accommodation is in small basic cottages. Price is 15 USD / Night (2011). Unfortunately there are a lot of sand flies on the island so expect to be bitten.  edit
  • Jet Ski At least six tourists and one local boy were run over and killed at Ochheuteal beach and Otres beach by jet skis since September 2009. The number of tourists and locals injured by banana-boats and jet skis is unknown. In 2009 the police marked a 'swimmers only' area with buoys along most of the beach but the employees of the jet ski & banana-boat operator completely ignore it and keep showing off silly but very dangerous high speed stunts just metres from shore and in the middle of swimmers to hunt and attract customers. Complaints to the police or tourist police are constantly ignored. On weekends you will see many very drunk Cambodian tourists on jet skies, chasing each other inside the swimming zone and ignoring the simplest safety rules. At Serendipity, the northern end of Ochheteal beach, jet ski drivers race between the corral bommies, completely disregarding the safety of snorkelers, damaging and killing with the oil in the exhaust marine life. A number of the jet skis are older models with 2 stroke engines. If three or four jet skies running at the same time, the whole beach stinks from the highly toxic exhaust fumes - not to mention the permanent chainsaw noise the beach is blasted with. If you want to enjoy a quiet, relaxed day on the beach go to one of the other beaches outside of town and pay US$3-$5 for a one way ride with a moto-dupp.

Buy[edit][add listing]

There are several small shops in the town, plus a standard Cambodian market ('Psaa Leu'). Although tourism is growing, don't expect large scale tourist markets. As at November 2008, there is still no tailor.

Several clothing and souvenir shops are opening downtown and around the Victory Hill and Ocheteaul area as well.

ATM machines can be found throughout the city. Downtown, there are ATMs from ANZ Bank, Canadia Bank, and Acleda Bank. There are also ATMs around the "Golden Lions", on "Beach Street", at CCS Hotel and one at the Golden Sands Hotel, Occheuteal Beach.

Canadia Bank's ATMs don't charge additional fees, therefore are recommended. There's one at their main branch downtown, as well as one at the casino near the Golden Lion. Union Commercial Bank (UCB) has a 3$ "access fee", just like most of the other banks. It's better to avoid them and stick to Canadia Bank for fee-free cash withdrawals. A warning: Canadia bank ATMs display a "Time per limit exceeded!" error if you try to withdraw more than 150 USD and don't pay out. The 150 dollar limit is for any cards with the Maestro and Mastercard logo's, VISA cards have a limit of 1000 USD.

  • Rajana, (Above the Starfish Cafe), [14]. Handicrafts  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Along the beaches, especially at Ochheuteal Beach, there are many food stalls and some restaurants serving grilled, meat, chicken and seafood with chips/fries and a beer for US$3-4. There are a good many restaurants in town as well. Sihanoukville has a surprisingly diverse set of cuisines.

  • Angelo's Restaurant, Near Golden Sands Hotel, Excellent BBQ and Greek cuisine.
  • The Beach Chalet, At Otres Beach. Cambodian and Western food, fresh and cheap. Prices are fixed all the year. The staff are friendly.
  • Grand Restaurant Kampuchea, 100m SE from Golden Sands Hotel and opposite Beach Club Resort and OC Hotel on Tola Street. Traditional Khmer food. Amok lovers and foodies in general have to get the Amok here (possibly the best in Cambodia).
  • Happa, Serendipity Beach Rd. Japanese teppanyaki, or hot plate, restaurant.
  • Ku Kai, Serendipity Beach Rd. Japanese restaurant.
  • La Paillote, tel. +855-12-632347, Victory Beach. French-Khmer cuisine in one of the finest restaurants in the country. Entrees US$5-11.
  • The Look Bar and Restaurant [15]. On Victory Hill in Bar St. Free pool, multiple TV-Screens, WiFir and a wide selection of drinks and food. Weekly blues/rock/rock'n'roll live music and BBQ with latino music.
  • Maharajah Royal Indian Cuisine Halal Siem Reap's popular,Now opened a sister restaurant in SihanoukVille, at Victory Hill +855-15-966221 menu from US$3~10 [16]
  • Mick and Craig's restaurant. Near the Golden Lions. A Sihanoukville institution which has been providing comfort food in Sihanoukville since 1997. Their Mexican menu and Sunday roast are particular favourites [17].
  • Noh Kor Phnom, Occheuteal Beach (inland, on first road to beach when coming in from town). Friendly no-frills seafood restaurant with an extensive menu of over two hundred options.
  • PURE bar lounge and restaurant, At Blue sea boutique Plaza, serendipity road. Pure offer the best view of gulf of thailand and most beautiful Islands. Pure offer an asian -french fusion food in second floor. Price starter 3-4$, Classics 4-10$. Staff very friendly. Phone 0975492026. Email : pure.sihanoukville@gmail.com. Web site : http://www.pure-sihanoukville.com.
  • Reef Resort, tel. +855-12-315338, Serendipity Beach Road. Tex-Mex, ribs and steaks.
  • Same Same But Different. On the beach, reasonable food, good price, good staff. Excellent Thai Green Curry.
  • Sandan. 100 meters from the Golden Lions Circle on the road to the Sokha Beach. Tel: T + (855) 34 452 4000 Email: contact@sandan-restaurant.org

Open Mon - Sat 5 pm - 10 pm (Kitchen closes 9pm). Sandan (the name comes from a dried fruit used in flavouring) is a new restaurant that is already making its mark on the culinary scene in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. With a menu that highlights creative Cambodian cuisine and a relaxing and unique ambience, blending candles, plants, Buddha’s, beautiful hand-made lanterns and colourful children’s paintings, it is fast becoming a ‘must do’ attraction for visitors to this city in southern Cambodia . It also has a safe, fun children's play area, a small gift shop and a small stage for performances for M'Lop Tapang's arts team and other artists on special dates. Sandan is run by M’Lop Tapang, an NGO that has been working with street children since 2003 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

  • Seahorse guesthouse, bar and restaurant. Serendipity Beach main road, 150 meters from the beach in front of Utopia. Breeze terrace on the second floor with sea-view. Delicious western and Khmer food (Amok and Curry in coconut, Loc Lak, BBQ, happy hours for cocktails and beer). Free Wifi and pool table.
  • Taj Mahal.

Classic Indian Cuisine Halal is located at the Orecheteal Beach, Sihanoukville, from ancient palaces of Indian Sub-Continent to modern kitchens, hand-blended masalas remain a treasured element of the finest cooking. The rich spices found in these blends are imported from their native countries and mixed with the utmost care by master Chef M. Ahmad and his professional team of the popular Taj Mahal Restaurant, one of the tasty points in Siem Reap.NOW in Sihanoukville at Ochheuteal Bech front on COBRA KTV M. Ahmad's inspiration came from researching the favorite dishes of many royal families who ruled India centuries ago. Free Wi-Fi. Price Range is affordable from 3 US$ to 10 US$.

  • Sunshine Cafe, Otres Beach, 012 82 84 32. Great cafe and beach bar on the more relaxing Otres Beach. Run by a Polish lady and her family who cooks excellent food. It has a nice community atmosphere. Her Khmer partner runs boat trips, US$15pp, more interesting places than the other boat tours. He also does night fishing boat trips when there are sufficient numbers wanting to go. They also have a small number of simple beachfront rooms for US$5.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Golden Lion Plaza at Occheteal beach, 10 friendly bars in one street.


The trend on Serendipity Beach is to advertise with permanent 'Happy Hour', which usually implies cocktails for US$2-2.5 and draft Anchor beer for as little as US$0.50-0.75. The latter is only recommendable if you don't mind drinking it with ice, however, as it's often not as cold as it should be.

  • Dolphin Shack, Located on Serendipity Beach. US$0.50 happy hour draft, US$2 Vodka Mixers, outside dance floor.
  • Sky Bar & Restaurant, [18] Located just off Serendipity Beach. US$0.75 draft all day, US$2.50 cocktails, popular Western and Khmer food, run by 4 super friendly sisters. A great place to hang out and make new friends.
  • Emerald Bar, The best Irish Bar in Sihanoukville. Located near the bus station in the Downtown area. A great selection of Irish whiskey, and of course Guinness. Features a pool table, darts, and a great menu.
  • The Nap House, Located right on Serendipity Beach. From Golden Lion Roundabout, go Beach Road south and continue on steep road down to beach. Last plot on the right, beach front. Open air disco. Loads of people. Open until late.
  • Maybe Later - Located on the down to Serendipity Beach. Late night bar and Mexican restaurant offering tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more. Good cocktails and quality drinks.

Bars located in town:

  • PURE Bar lounge and restaurant, after Golden Lions plaza, Bleu Sea Boutique Plaza on Serendipity road. PURE offer the best view of gulf of thailand and most beautiful Islands. Happy hours 7 -8PM : 0,5$ draft, drnks from 1$ to 4 $. Enjoy dj set (deep progressive house music) every night. Web site : http://www.pure-sihanoukville.com.
  • Captain Morgan, Golden Lions Plaza. Nice looking bar with friendly staff. Food and snacks. Open until very late.
  • Cheers Cambodia - The First 100% Gay Boutique Hotel, Restaurant and Bar in Sihanoukville [19] Has seating for over 60 at the moment & standing room for over 200, surrounded by palm trees & gardens the bar is located behind the Hotel so it is very private, the bar is tastefully lit by led lights. [20]
  • Star Bar, Located downtown behind Shell gas station. Extremely cold Anchor draft beer (happy hour 50c, rest of the day 75c). Friendly waitresses. Good pool table. Decent kitchen with western oriented menu. Popular Wednesday evening barbecue US$2.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Accommodation ranges from basic guest houses on the beach to four-star resorts. There are plenty of guesthouses, however, the cheapest guesthouses directly on the beach frequently sell out. Pre-booking is necessary at peak times such as at New Year.

Budget[edit]

Koh Ta Kiev island - tree houses on the beach (Cambodia)
  • Queen Side Guesthouse, 14 Mithona Street (Next to Nice Beach Hotel), +85595414190 (), [21]. This nicely refurbished building is One of the older Original buildings in the area , set back from the Main street . Ideally positioned to give a through breeze in hot weather and a short stroll to the beautiful Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches. With spacious Fan rooms and Air-Con rooms priced from $10 to $20, it suits a wide range of guests. Difficult to book ahead as they don't appear to check email.  edit
  • Angkor Inn, +85516896204. Downtown. Good value rooms starting at US$5 for fan and cold water with cable TV. US$6 gets you hot water and 10+ there are air-con options also. Restaurant with free wifi in front. Across from Freedom Bar, can be a little bit noisy in the evening.  edit
  • Apple Guest House, (100 metres off Serendipity/Ochheuteal beach.), +855 97 857 3786, [22]. Ochheuteal Beach. 15 clean rooms, close to the center. 2 minutes from the beach, private garden, rooms have cable TV & free Wi-Fi. Motorbike rental, laundry, internet, international calls and a very useful 24/7 convenience store. From $8-$15.  edit
  • Castaways Beach Bar, Otres 2 (Near Secret Garden), 012998492 (). checkin: 12pm; checkout: 1 p m. Stunning Otres Beach. Simple bungalows directly on this remarkable beach, great for swimming. Some with en-suite bathrooms. 100% Cambodian family run business. Lovely family contact. Moto can be rented, laundry available, and food will be cooked whatever you like. Ignore the menu and let Ouk (the owner) decide what to eat. Free wi-fi available, pool table, and used books. In Otres 2 (south end of the beach), near Secret Garden Resort. $12-20 ($10 negotiable long-term). castawaysatbeach2@gmail.com (10.560142,103.558931) edit
  • Cinderellas Dive Resort & Beach Bungalows, Otres Beach. Oceanfront beach accomodations. Great diving and nice service. [23]. Rooms from US$6-25. Sihanoukville is surrounded by small and unspoiled islands and has one of Cambodias nicest beaches, the Otres Beach. It is still not overloaded with tourism. All rooms with fan. Tel: 012-613380
  • Diamond Guesthouse, (30 metres from Serendipidity Beach). Quiet, safe, relaxing. Helpful staff. fan room: US$10; air-con room: US$15.  edit
  • Everythang Guesthouse, Otres Beach 1 (Located at the beginning of Otres Beach 1 on the beach), [24]. checkin: 1:00 pm; checkout: 12:00 pm. 50 cent drafts happy hour - dorm: US $4; bungalow: US $12.  edit
  • Green Mood Guest House, +855 0978 949366, [25]. Victory Hill. Big and quiet rooms from US$2.5-12. 2 minutes from the beach, private garden, free wi-fi, billiard table, backpacker central in Victory Hill, Italian management. Restaurant offers Italian and Khmer food. Every Friday night free  edit
  • Guesthouse66, 359 Ekareach Street, 0889092944 or 016318480, [26]. checkout: 12:00am. Fan-A/C Rooms: 6-13$ per day, 35-70$ per week, 90-130$ per month.all room have hot water,Refrigator,cable TV, Free wi-fi.Good service,Good location,clean,friendly staff,motorbike for rent, stand in fron of vietnames consulate,especially free 1 beer check in, 6 - 13$.  edit
  • JJ's (formerly Ana's Khmer Kitchen), +85516368110. Run by an English couple, John and Jackie, JJ's is on the main road in the centre of Sihanoukville. Helpful, friendly staff and management. Good food, clean and good value. Offers free and computer access to guests. Long-stay discount rate available. From US$8-17.  edit
  • Mick and Craig's Guest House, [27]. Rooms with Fan and bathroom set in a tropical garden. Clean and comfortable. Great Restaurant with great value meals.Burned to the ground as of April 2013 US$8-12.  edit
  • Monkey Republic, (Serendipity Beach), [28]. Bungalows with fan and private bathrooms set in a tropical garden. Backpacker central since 2005 - Restaurant serves big value meals and the bar is a lively backpacker hangout. Burned to the ground as of April 2013 but seems to be back up as of Jan 2014). There is a 3 hour laundry shop (with washing and drying machines) right next door.  edit
  • Nasa Guesthouse, (7-minute walk away from Ochheuteal Beach and 3-minute drive from Sihanoukville’s shopping and entertainment outlets), +14086639073 (), [29]. Nasa Guesthouse offers air-conditioned hotel accommodation. Free Wifi and parking for guests. The hotel is just a 7-minute walk away from Ochheuteal Beach and 3-minute drive from Sihanoukville’s shopping and entertainment outlets.  edit
  • Oasis Hotel Sports Bar & Restaurant, 012 638 947. Downtown. Large Rooms with air-con and Cable T.V. free pool table live sports on the BIG 3 metre screen. Tasty, award winning Pizza Famous Australian Steaks. Do not take room 201 as its very loud facing the bar. Rooms need to be taken care of...  edit
  • Papagayo Guesthouse, Kakda Street (Ochheuteal Beach), +85577895104 (). . Large Rooms with air-con and Cable TV and WiFi. 24h open bar with free pool table. Tasty foods and snacks.  edit
  • Rega Guesthouse (Le Jardin aux Hibiscus), (50 metres off Serendipity Beach on the main road), +855 17950515, +855 12 219505 (), [30]. Very clean, 50 metres from the beach, excellent omelettes among other food items. US$8-20.  edit
  • Sakal Bungalows, Victory Hill. US$4-15. Offering some cheapish pleasant huts above the bar with sea views (over a huge concrete building next door) and more expensive air-con rooms. The menu is brief but the food is excellent. The bar has a 61 inch TV for sport and films, and stays open as long as it needs to, which is generally 24/7. Tel +855 12 806155, +855 12 489377. [31] , [32]
  • Same Same But Different, (next to Malibu Hotel). Guesthouse, with basic rooms US$10-15.  edit
  • Seahorse guesthouse, Group 14, Village 4, Quarter 4, Mittapheap District Serendipity beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia (Serendipity Beach main road, 150 meters from the beach), +855-69551450 +855-962619501, [33]. Fan rooms 8-12$, dorm 3-5$. Free Wi-Fi and pool table. Early breakfast and the best Khmer and international food in restaurant with balcony sea-view. info@seahorse-cambodia.com  edit
  • Small Hotel. Downtown, behind Caltex. Clean and comfortable air-conditioned rooms US$6-15. Superb kitchen with swedish, international and Khmer food.  edit
  • Savannphoum. 300 metres from Serendipity Beach. A nice alternative for people wanting to stay close to rather than on the beach; most of the guests are Khmer. Good and cheap Khmer food, clean rooms around US$10, cheap scooter rental.  edit
  • TEN103, Koh Ta Kiev Island (call or e-mail in advance and you'll be picked up with the boat at Sihanoukville), 092-502374 (), [34]. It's the former Jonty's Jungle Camp. It's possible to sleep in a tree house or in a hammock with a mosquito net. The facilities are very basic but that's just what makes the place so special. The Koh Ta Kiev island is full of unexplored jungle, lovely beaches and has almost no tourism. US$7-25.  edit
  • Pacinos guesthouse, Karaoke street, +(855)34 630 1010 (), [35]. checkin: anytime; checkout: 12 pm. The night market is really close so you can grab some cheap food there. Also the have high speed wifi in the rooms. Rooms are clean and safe (got security cameras). directions can be found at facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pacinosguesthouse Email to book anytimee. US$7-15.  edit
  • The Mango Rooms, Serendipity Beach, +(855)0973048628 (), [36]. checkin: 1:00pm; checkout: 12:00nn. The Mango Rooms is located in Sihanoukville along Serendipity Beach. The hotel offers a quiet stay at their seaview rooms and bungalows overlooking the beach. Guests can enjoy the seaside restaurant serving homemade cuisines and dine at a romantic table by the beach. US$20.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • Above Us Only Sky - Bar & Bungalows, (From tranquility guesthouse follow the beach in the more quiet direction, it is 3 buildings further on.), +855 (0) 898 22 318, [37]. Spacious bungalows on a very quiet part of the beach. It has fan and air-conditioning rooms and a nice sitout in front of the bungalow with comfortable chairs and couch and brilliant ocean view. WiFi is available. There is also a nice little bar downstairs. No restaurant, but there are plenty nearby. (10.606201,103.5204107) edit
  • Cheers Cambodia - The First 100% Gay Boutique Hotel, Restaurant and Bar in Sihanoukville, (About 1km past CT Clinic going towards the new bus station), +855 (0) 34 934 585 (), [38]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 12 noon. All of our rooms are Deluxe; there is nothing standard about Cheers. All rooms are en suite fully tiled bathrooms 4-6 metre square with Panasonic hot showers, furnished to the highest standards with furniture from Malaysia, the latest LG LCD flat screen televisions and air conditioning, cable TV, hand made curtains, custom made beds, in room fridges and free Wi-Fi in all areas. All air-con Deluxe: US$39-$69.  edit
  • The New Coasters, (Serendipity Beach), +855 (0)34 6755000, [39]. The New Coasters is located to the west of picturesque Serendipity Beach. One of the few resorts where you can actually stay on Serendipity Cove. There are a number of accommodation styles on offer, 1, 2,&3 bed AC rooms and two 3 bedroom apartments as well as Dormitory options suitable for up to 8 persons. A huge beach bar serves a great selection of cocktails. The restaurant serves a variety of Western and Khmer cuisine. Free WiFi throughout the resort. beach, with older wooden huts (fan only) and newer brick buildings (air-con). Location on the beach is superb, close to nightlife yet quiet. US$14-50.  edit
  • Coolabah Resort, (Serendipity Beach), +855 (0)17 678 218, [40]. Brand new hotel located just 300 metres from Occhuetal and Serendipity beaches. Air-conditioned rooms with king beds or twins and all amenities. Jacuzzi pool, massage & beauty treatments available. Seafood restaurant & air-conditioned bar. Live music Wed & Saturday plus Monday quiz night. US$35-80.  edit
  • The Cove Beach Bungalows, (Serendipity Beach), +855 (0)34 6380296 (), [41]. Khmer-style wooden bungalows, air-conditioned rooms and apartments with balconies giving ocean views. Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes a variety of both western and Khmer cuisine. US$14-50. US$14-50.  edit
  • Golden Rooster Hotel, (Victory Beach), +855 (0) 81 830 848 (), [42]. Luxury, spacious rooms with stunning views over Victory Beach. Western cuisine and excellent pizzas. Flynn's Bar, Wifi, pool table US$30-45.  edit


  • Malibu Beach Hotel, (Serendipity Beach. From town centre, go straight through the roundabout with the lions, continue to the top of the hill and then follow the rocky track downhill, rather than remaining on the road). Another one of the older stalwarts, now encroached on both sides by noisy nightclubs. At the bottom of that, turn right, the Malibu Beach Hotel is the first on the left. There have been a couple reports of theft, from the rooms and from the safe. Air-con rooms: US$30.  edit
  • Malibu Beach Bungalows, (Serendipity Beach). A branch of Malibu Beach Hotel, and better in all respects - if you want to be on Sokha Beach.  edit
  • Reef Resort, (Serendipity Beach), +855 (0) 12 315338, [43]. Boutique hotel with swimming pool. Air-con rooms. US$35-80, including breakfast.  edit
  • Seaside Hotel, (100m from Ochheuteal Beach). Rooms with air-con and hot water shower. US$30-60, with breakfast.  edit
  • Tranquility Guesthouse, (Serendipity Beach), +855 (0) 16 573 785, [44]. Rooms with fan or air-con and cold/hot water shower, private bathroom, cable TV. US$10-50.  edit
  • The Don Bosco Hotel School, (2.5 km from Otres Beach), (), [45]. A new (2008) 3 star hotel in a lush garden with a swimming pool, air-conditioning, and free wifi, pick-up and shuttle to the beaches and city. It is also an Hotel School helping young Cambodians to learn a skill and find a job. US$30-60 including breakfast.  edit
  • Independence Hotel, Street 2 Thnou, Sangkat No 03, +855-3494-3300, [46]. After opening in 1962 as the town's elite accommodation at a cost of 30 million riel, this hotel was subject to decades of neglect and eventually abandoned to squatters. A Chinese group repaired the damage and the hotel reopened in December 2007. A modernist concrete seven-story block on top of the cape and with great sea views, it has a pretty pool and attractive, expansive gardens. A nice touch are some black and white photographs of the hotel in its heyday. The best feature is the adjacent clean pale sand private beach which has crystal clear water and some big rocks, although this may currently be under development as the hotel are planning bungalows. Some distance from town. From US$140, breakfast included.  edit
  • Sokha Beach Resort, (Sokha Beach), +855-34 935-999 (), [47]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. An international-class beach resort. Very bland and a bit rough around the edges, but the beach is gorgeous and hassle-free, and the resort is family-friendly with children swimming pools and playgrounds. try their best Restaurant Lemongrass and "The Deck" Tapas Bar 180° views of the Gulf. Promotional rates: US$140-810.  edit
  • Swiss Garden Guesthouse, +855(0) 97 573 60 06 (), [48]. The Swissgarden Cafe and Guesthouse is located in a quiet area near Ochheuteal Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville. There is a nice tropical «Garden Cafe» which is perfect for relaxing while enjoying a fresh original Swiss Coffee. The comfortable double bed rooms are equipped with air condition, TV and private bathrooms with hot shower. US$ 15-25. (10.60320,103.52894) edit

Stay healthy[edit]

Medical services in Sihanoukville are very limited and basic. The best medical service is offered by the CT Clinic. This is the only clinic trusted by expats who live in Sihanoukville. The public hospital should be avoided at all costs, as it is terrible. In case of major trouble evacuation is necessary.

HIV/AIDS is nowhere near as prevalent as it was, but the infection rate is still relatively high within certain high risk groups such as female sex workers. In 2006 the infection rate for brothel-based female sex workers was estimated to be 14.7%, but government initiatives have raised the rate of correct and consistent condom use to over 90%. However, many sex workers are now operating outside of brothels, so the rate could be significantly higher in this group. [49]

Contact[edit]

Sihanoukville's area code is 034.

Internet[edit]

There are many internet cafes and most guesthouses and many hotels offer free internet access. Almost all now have Wi-Fi.]

Probably the best mobile phone network for use in Sihanoukville is metfone. Great reception and decent speed GPRS internet. You can easily register for daily unlimited mobile internet by texting ON3 to number 111. It costs $0.70 per day. This can be cancelled by texting OFF to number 111. The metfone SIM card costs $3. It works well at Otres Beach unlike some other networks and is the only network that works on Koh Russei (Bamboo Island). Tethering / Personal Hotspot capable phones such as the iPhone 4 or newer models, or high spec Android phones will work fine with metfone. To set that up, the APN is metfone, leave username and password fields blank.

Post[edit]

The new main Post Office is near the Victory Park on the left hand side of the road as you go to Victory Hill. There is also a branch at the market downtown, but here you can only leave your postcards during office hours, as it does not feature an outdoor mailbox.

Consulates[edit]

The Vietnamese consulate on Ekareach Street issues 30 day tourist visas while you wait. As of January 2013, the cost is US$60. The opening times are 8AM-noon and 2PM to 4PM, M-F, 8AM-noon on Saturday. A detailed guide to the application process can be found here.

Get out[edit]


Routes through Sihanoukville
Phnom PenhKampot  E noframe W  END





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