Sihanoukville: Caribbean in Cambodia
Sihanoukville, a Cambodia paradise to cool off and have fun
Sometimes, traveling can become demanding. While exhilarating, long term travel can also become a bit exhausting. When that happens, there is no better remedy than to just hole up for a bit until you feel rejuvenated. Sihanoukville is the perfect place to do just that. By Cambodian standards, it’s a relatively new town; in 1950, it was set up as a resort village called Kompong Som, and quickly became popular. Jackie O even made a stop here in her whirlwind tour of the country in the late ‘60’s. It is once again thriving, with you pick of beaches and locals you’re sure to love.
Once the backpacker haven of the area, things have quieted down a bit. This might just be for the better. There are plenty of places to stay for any budget, and the view from Weather Station Hill is phenomenal. Though the beach isn’t as pretty to look at here (it’s also home to a large seaport), but there are still plenty of great eats within a few minutes walk of the water.
If you’re looking for the party, you’ll have no trouble finding it here. A delightful swim spot by day, the sand turns into a dance floor at night. Bars, restaurants and guesthouses line the water and snake their way up the hill around the main street. Music tends to play until the wee hours of the morning, so if you’re looking for a good nights sleep, you may want to grab a room a bit further up. The Small Hotel in City Center is a great option; just a kilometer off the beach, you can enjoy the nightlife without needing ear plugs to sleep.
If you’re looking for absolute peace and serenity, this resort is the place for you. Though it’s a private beach owned by Cambodia’s first five star hotel, bearing the same name, for a few bucks you’ll be granted access inside. If you’re sick of the hawkers and the tuk tuk mafia, you can seek refuge here. It definitely is the most well maintained and prettiest beach in the area. For the entry fee, you can also get access to the hotel’s pool. It’s also close to a tiny fishing village, that has serves up the best coffee in town.
One of the more quieter areas, Otres is part action, part relaxin’. Similar to Serendipity, there are guest houses and bars all along the way. Things aren’t open quite as late here though, so it’s a bit more family friendly, but also a bit more expensive. Sporting some of the more gorgeous sunsets you’ll ever see, grab dinner and drinks on the beach at Chez Paou. They’re fish burger is fresh, and delightfully delicious.
Just a ferry ride away, you can find yourself on a lovely tropical island. Depending on what you’re in the mood for, you have two options: Koh Russei (Bamboo Island) or Koh Rong. The former is a small village, with nothing but waves, dragon boats and bamboo bungalows. Koh Rong on the other hand, is the Koh Phangan of Cambodia: party party party! Choose wisely, but either way, you’re bound to have a great time.
With a plethora of beaches to choose from, it’s a sea lovers paradise. The seafood is fresh, the snorkeling is exciting, and the scenery picture perfect. The fantastic Ream National Park is a short drive away and is also worth a visit. Sihanoukville is a bright and sunny spot for you to rest your bones until you’re ready to move on again.