SihanoukVille is located on the coast of Cambodia, about halfway between Thailand and Vietnam, on the Bay of Thailand. A spread out tourist town for both foreigners and local people from all over the country. Three sides of the town are bordered by tropical beaches and islands. Filled with empty beaches, crowded beaches, seafood, restaurants, bars, Buddhist Temples, casinos, hotels, and more beaches. At several hundred places, English is spoken; and many French and Chinese speakers are here as well. About 40 other languages are spoken at various guesthouses and restaurants.
Ochheuteal Beach is by far the most popular and touristed beach in town with ‘Serendipity Beach’ at the arcing northern end and busy Serendipity Beach Road stretching from the beach to the Golden Lion Roundabout. Restaurants that line Ochheuteal typically offering full bars and food, especially seafood BBQ at sunset. Ochheuteal is also the partyingest beach in town with many of the bars open very late night, with cheap drinks, fire dancing and pa...Read more
Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beaches
Ochheuteal Beach is by far the most popular and touristed beach in town with ‘Serendipity Beach’ at the arcing northern end and busy Serendipity Beach Road stretching from the beach to the Golden Lion Roundabout. Restaurants that line Ochheuteal typically offering full bars and food, especially seafood BBQ at sunset. Ochheuteal is also the partyingest beach in town with many of the bars open very late night, with cheap drinks, fire dancing and parties into the wee hours.
Accommodations... The area has a good selection of accommodations ranging from mid-range to budget with most on the roads paralleling the beach and Serendipity Beach Road, and a few places tucked up along the headlands.
Restaurants & Bars... On the beach, shack-style seafood restaurants and bars tightly line more than a kilometer of the sand's edge from Serendipity to mid-beach. The restaurants typically offer umbrellas and beach chairs, have full bars and most have food, especially BBQ on the beach at sunset when restaurants put seafood and meats on display and offer inexpensive classic BBQ dinners.
Just off the beach, they do the same evening BBQ at along Lumhei Phumin Street (23 Tola) where there are more than a dozen places.
Nightlife... Many of the beach bars are open into the late night, and of course there is fire dancing, full moon parties and events. Some of the more popular late night places are located at the Serendipity end of the Ochheuteal and along Serendipity Beach Road. Just off the beach the bar plazas Sihanoukville Square and Pub Street have hostess bars, pool, a bit of food and are open late.
Otres Beach is the next beach south of Ochheuteal. Like Ochheuteal, Otres is a three kilometer crescent of white sand facing southwest, but Otres is further from town and more thinly touristed, offering a more relaxed atmosphere, especially at the far end. Beach shacks and guesthouses line the near (Otres 1) and far (Otres 2) ends with the central section a long, tranquil beach, pleasantly free of rest-aurants, umbrellas and vendors. Behind Otres, the Aquarian back beach enclave of Otres River Village is quickly growing.
The Near End...
At the northern ‘near end’ of the beach (Otres Beach 1) dozens of beachshack bars and restaurants are squeezed together along a kilometer of sand, some staying open quite late and offering events and music. There are also a dozen-plus guesthouses and bungalow places lining the beachfront road just opposite the sand and ocean.
The Far End...
The ‘far end’ of Otres Beach has a more secluded atmosphere than the near but still offers beach bars and restaurants as well as accommodations along the beach road including a few of upper mid-range places and fine dining on the beach.
Otres River Village...
A backbeach enclave with an eco-friendly ambiance behind central Otres Beach with an eclectic mix of people, accommodations and drinking places in an laid back environment. Set amongst mangroves along a small lake and estuary.
The Otres Market is a Saturday market of crafts and food vendors, both local and foreign, in the spirit of the beach markets of Goa - live music, shopping, cold drinks, hot food and good vibes. At time of printing it is the beginning of low season and the market was preparing to shut down until the end of the monsoon season, probably in October or November. Check Facebook for current info. Located in Otres River Village. When running, the market is open every Saturday, 4:00PM until late.
Independence Beach (Brampul-Chann Beach)
Independence Beach is the quieter, more relaxed near-town beach. The beach draws its name from the historic Independence Hotel that sits atop the headland at the north end, called ‘otel pram-pul chann (‘hotel 7-storeys’) by the locals.
Independence is better than a kilometer long, but more than half had been closed for several years for a development project. A few months ago most of the beach was reopened to the public, but unlike Ochheuteal and Otres Beaches, Independence is not lined with restaurants and vendors. Currently, about a dozen beach front BBQ huts, restaurants and bars are clustered together on a lightly touristed 500 meter strip of sandy beach at the north end. It’s a nice family beach and a good near-town beach to escape the crowds of Ochheuteal.
The fresh water lake at the north end of the beach serves as the source and reservoir of Sihanoukville's water supply. On the curving road past the northern end of the beach, behind the Independence Hotel, monkeys (macaques) often congregate along the road and beg for food, especially in the late afternoon.
Victory Beach sits at the base of the popular Victory Hill. Victory Beach offers one of the best sunset views in town but unfortunately the beach is partially closed and there are no longer any bbq shacks or other vendors. Farther north along Victory the beach narrows and a few upscale seafood restaurants hug the water’s edge and a couple of casinos can be found on the beach road.
Above Victory Beach, Victory Hill offers a variety of guesthouses, restaurants and bars. Several places, both budget and mid-range dot the side of the Hill overlooking the ocean, some offering excellent sunset views.
The very top of hill is one of Sihanoukville’s nightlife hotspots. The hilltop road is lined with hostess bars, music and sport bars as well as a few restaurants. After dark the street come to life, some places staying open into the early morning.
Hawaii Beach at the far southern end of the Victory Beaches is fairly busy these days, and is much more popular with Cambodian beach-goers than foreign tourists. Like the other major beaches, Hawaii is lined with umbrellas and chairs and little beach shack bars and restaurants.
Occupying all of Sokha Beach, the Sokha Beach Resort offers luxury accommodation and fine dining. Sokha Beach is a beautiful beach, a crescent of sand about one kilometer long and comparatively wide. The fine pearl white sand is perfectly groomed these days but the beach is fairly quiet, frequented primarily by resort guests. There aren’t any little seafood shacks, but dining gazebos and an up-market beach bar / restaurant run by the Sokha Beach Resort.
These ‘other’ beaches are outside of the town area and are frequented more by fishermen than tourists, though this is slowly changing. Road conditions can be challenging, especially in the wet season.
A distant beach, 27 kilometers north of town, Ream Beach is long and narrow, sitting at the edge of Preah Sihanouk (‘Ream’) National Park. The beach is largely untouristed and of very average quality. Long but very narrow with a mix of fine and coarse light tan sand.
The road toward Naval Base offers a nice little oceanside drive and sections are lined with water’s edge seafood shacks and a thin beach - the kind of places with hammocks as well as chairs and tables, and serving seafood BBQ, steamed and fried fish, seafood soups, fried rice, sates and the like.
From Sihanoukville take National Route #4 18km north to the Airport turnoff road at Ream. Turn right onto the Airport Road, and go straight on 9km to the ocean, passing along the edge of Ream National Park. At the ocean, the road to the right traces Ream Beach, which is largely deserted. The road to the left follows more narrow beach and rocky ocean's edge to the Naval Base.
Prek Treng Beach
Another distant beach, Prek Treng is a long, wide crescent of brilliant white sand a few kilometers north of town, offering comparatively warm shallow waters. The beach is in good shape, groomed and landscaped, but is usually all but deserted. Picnickers do show up on the weekends and sometimes during the week, but there are rarely more than a few groups there. Sometimes a couple of food shacks stand open at the near end. To get there follow Hun Sen Beach Drive north a few kilometers past the port area. Best to bring along some of your own drinks and snacks.