• How to get there
Sihanoukville is the main coastal resort in Cambodia and as such is easy to travel to from most places. From Phnom Penh it is a cheap, 3-hour bus ride, from Siem Reap it is 7 hours to Phnom Penh where you can change buses for the final leg.
Sihanoukville has a recently re-opened airport, which is picking up in terms of operators using it. Cambodia Angkor Air operates daily direct flights to and from Siem Reap. Sky Wing Air will start similar flights from December 15 2015 for high season.
Travel Loop Adventure can also easily arrange shared minivans or private taxis.
Cambodia's premier beach town. Sihanoukville white sandy beaches and warm Gulf of Thailand waters combined with a laid back atmosphere provides for a great little tropical getaway. Sihanoukville is a place to unwind by the beach, enjoy the fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, take in a snorkeling or scuba trip, and generally slow-down, lay back and chill-out.
Sihanoukville has a different look and feel than most Cambodian towns. Constructed as a port city in the late 1950s, the town is much newer, more urban and cosmopolitan than most Cambodian provincial cities.
Nowadays, Sihanoukville is as much a beach town as it is a port town, catering to beach-going weekenders from Phnom Penh as well as a steadily increasing number of foreign visitors. Still, the pace of life in Sihanoukville is very relaxed.
Sihanoukville has a more than ample supply of accommodation options, including a 5-star resort complex on Sokha Beach, several mid-range places downtown and at the beaches, a few 'upscale' three-star hotels, and dozens of budget guesthouses, especially on Weather Station Hill (Victory Hill).
Sihanoukville beach and the nearby town offers a surprising number and variety of restaurants and bars.
Fresh seafood, especially crab, prawns and ocean fish, has always been one of the town's biggest draws, but there is also a wide variety of places offering foreign cuisines.
And these days Sihanoukville offers a pretty good night life as well with a wide variety of bars staying open well into the wee hours, especially on Weather Station Hill, in the downtown area, and the beach bars on Ochheuteal, Serendipity and Victory beaches.
Tuk tuks can be more expensive here than say in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap for some reason, so you may want to consider hiring a motorbike – very handy to explore the spread out town and more out of the way beaches. Remember Insurance!
• Where to go
Sihanoukville is a beach resort and so the beaches and islands off the coast are the main attractions here.
Independence, Ochheuteal and Otres are the 3 main beaches, some more developed than others, some more secluded than others. Sokha Beach is the nicest but belongs to guests at the Sokha Beach Resort Hotel.
Smaller and a bit farther from town you will find Ream, Prek Treng, Prampi Chaon and Deum Chrey beaches.
Kbal Chhay Waterfall
The very scenic spot of the Kbal Chhay waterfall is located in Khan Prey Nup, about 16 kilometers north of Sihanoukville town. To reach the site from Sihanoukville, take National Road 4 toward Phnom Penh. About 7 kilometers out side of town, there is a sign announcing the site. Turn left and go 9 kilometers along a trail. The trip takes about 30 minutes
The water at Kbal Chhay comes from many sources along the mountain range, although only three of these sources are visible. The waterfall, which is 14 meters high, is at the point where those three sources join.
Koh Rong Island
Koh Rong Island is located in the Gulf of Thailand, about 40km off the coast of Sihanoukville. The island is almost deserted, under-developed and fairly untouched. It's almost a well-kept secret island but its popularity is growing.
The island is certainly one of the most beautiful in the the Kompong Som Region. White sand, crystal clear turquoise water, stretches for several kilometers. At the centre, a jungle with thousands of coconut palms and waterfalls scattered all over the island.
Koh Rong Sanloem
is an island off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 4 km south of Koh Rong island. It is around 9 km long, 4 km wide and 1 km wide at its narrowest point comprising approximately 25 square kilometers with it's best clear water.
Paradise can be found on Koh Rong Sanloem and Koh Rong!
• Food and Accommodation
Sihanoukville is growing and as such, more and more restaurants, bars and hotels are also appearing.
There is already a surprisingly large choice considering it is not a huge place. You can choose budget hostels or 5-star, beach food or up-market restaurants.
Like other parts of Cambodia, there are facilities but they are generally not equipped or staffed well enough to diagnose or fix you. As you are not to far from Phnom Penh, you have a option to go there but if you are not able to do so, and you have the all-important medical cover, it’s time to consider a trip to Bangkok or Singapore.
There is a newish international hospital and 2 modern clinics but the local opinion of expats who live there is not good.
As Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – don’t take unnecessary risks.
• Entertainment and Shopping
There is some live music around as well as the usual ‘clubby’ bars.
A feature of Sihanoukville is the fairly recent arrival of 3 or 4 casinos.
Shopping is ok for a beach town with many shops catering for beachwear etc.
The main market is also good for souvenirs and almost anything you need to find.