Sihanoukville’s beaches are the stuff of dreams, but it can be hard to decide which one to visit. Don’t worry, in this article we present the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville and give you all the information you need to plan your trip. You’ll find advice on how to get to, the best times to go and the best hotels for an unforgettable beach holiday.
Sihanoukville – the dream seaside of Cambodia
Located in south-west Cambodia, just an hour’s flight from Siem Reap, Sihanoukville is known for its heavenly beaches, lush tropical islands and the mangrove jungles of Ream National Park. Set around a deep, crystal-clear harbour on a peninsula jutting into the Gulf of Thailand, the provincial capital of Sihanoukville boasts magnificent palm-fringed beaches, where you can find typical seafood restaurants that are part of the town’s gastronomic heritage.
Particularly popular for its beaches, Sihanoukville is the ideal place for a seaside holiday. Very popular with tourists, these picture-postcard beaches have an undeniable charm, with crystal-clear water and fine sand in the shade of a coconut tree. Less touristy than the beaches of Thailand, they are nonetheless well developed and just as attractive, if not more so, thanks to less mass tourism.
What’s more, the wide variety of beaches in Sihanoukville means you can choose between idleness and water sports. Victory and Otres beaches are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the peace and quiet, while Serendipity beach is ideal for travellers looking for late-night entertainment! On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the superb beaches as if you were alone in the world, head for Kep and Kampot, where mass tourism is nowhere to be seen.
The best beaches in Sihanoukville
Located in Ream National Park, Ream Beach is a wild and unspoilt beauty, untouched by mass tourism. It is mainly frequented by local fishermen rather than tourists. You won’t find many street vendors, so be prepared and take a small snack with you if you decide to spend the day at Ream beach!
Located 25km north of Sihanoukville, it’s not the closest or easiest to get to (although it’s very easy to get to by tuk-tuk) but it’s definitely the cleanest and most unspoilt.
This is the most popular beach in Sihanoukville. It is home to most of the resort’s hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and nightclubs. It’s the perfect place to sip a cocktail with your toes outstretched or to stroll along the promenade running alongside the beach. The beach is fairly quiet in the mornings, while during the day its serene atmosphere gives way to a realm of clothes shops and souvenir vendors.
The beachside gargotes come alive, serving all kinds of grilled fish, as well as chips, burgers and other snacks suited to a more Western audience. But it’s when night falls that Serendipity Beach really comes into its own, with the light from the bars and a lively, festive atmosphere.
The pontoon on Serendipity Beach is also the main landing stage for the surrounding islands.
Ochheuteal beach is one of Sihanoukville’s most popular beaches. At 4km long, it is the closest beach to the Lions roundabout, i.e. the town centre.
For travellers in search of peace and quiet, it’s a good place to lay down your towel and enjoy the surrounding tranquillity and relaxing scenery. It gets quieter the further south-east you go, but you have to get past the first kilometre, which is still very touristy, and where the sand seems to be swallowed up by deckchairs, parasols and pizza and sandwich stands. On this first stretch of beach, water sports such as buoyancy, banana boats and jet-skiing are practised.
You then come to a peaceful stretch of beach, with clear waters and white sand. At the far end is a wooded rocky promontory, home to a number of restaurants and hotels, as well as a few restaurants and bungalows.
Located in the centre of town, Sokha Beach deserves to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville, even if it is the private beach of the Sokha Resort. However, if you’re not staying there, you can still enjoy its 1.5km of well-kept white sand for an entrance fee that includes access to the resort’s swimming pool and gym.
Independence Beach is a firm favourite with travellers, who tend to rank it in their personal top of not only the most beautiful beaches in Cambodia but also the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville. Independence Beach is particularly renowned for being the ideal place to watch the sunset. Its romantic, bucolic charm goes a long way to making it the place of choice for couples.
The cleanliness of its fine sand and crystal-clear waters make it one of the most charming beaches in the resort. It is the quietest beach for lazing around in the centre of Sihanoukville. Seafood restaurants and bars can be found here in a shaded area, without disturbing the tranquillity of the place.
More popular with local families than tourists, this is one of Sihanoukville’s most typical and authentic beaches. The atmosphere here is warm and far from mass tourism.
The beach is dotted with crab shacks serving tasty seafood, and sun loungers are available where you can sip a juicy fresh coconut after a swim in the clear, warm water.
Victory beach in Sihanoukville is nestled behind a small hill bearing the same name, where you’ll find festive bars run mainly by expatriates.
The beach is renowned for its excellent fish and seafood restaurants, which are culinary specialities of the Cambodian resort. The beach mainly attracts Chinese and Russian tourists looking for a relaxing beach holiday. In the vicinity of Victory beach, you can also find several hotels and casinos to enhance your stay.
Otres beach lies further south, just 5km from the town centre. As it is slightly further out than the other beaches in Sihanoukville, the atmosphere here is rather relaxing. Otres is away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre beach, but is easily reached by tuk-tuk or scooter.
It’s 3km long, so you won’t have any trouble finding a place to lay your towel and relax. As with the resort’s other beaches, the further south you walk, the less crowded it will be, and the further north you stay, the busier it will be.
Otres beach is lined with small guesthouses and bungalows offering snacks. There are few street vendors, apart from a few offering grilled lobster. At Otres, you won’t be bored as the beach offers a wide range of water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, windsurfing and kite surfing. Swimming at Otres is very pleasant, as the water is fairly clean thanks to the beach’s distance from mass tourism.
Best time to visit Sihanoukville’s beaches?
If you want to discover Sihanoukville’s beautiful beaches, it’s worth bearing in mind that, on average, the weather is warm all year round. However, the best time to go is between December and April of the following year, as the rainiest months are June, July, August and September. As a general rule, the sea temperature is suitable for swimming all year round, and for most of the day. In fact, the water is quite warm, whether you’re swimming at 9am or 5pm.
As for the climate, temperatures generally hover around 30°C all year round, even in the rainiest months. Sihanoukville is blessed with an average of 11 hours of sunshine a day throughout the year.
How do get to Sihanoukville?
Sihanoukville can be accessed by bus from all major points in Cambodia like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep.
Some buses from Bangkok (via Koh Kong) and Vietnam (via Ha Tien and Phnom Dien border crossings) are available. Arrange this with your travel agency.
Giant Ibis Bus Company is most recommended. Ticket outlet in Phnom Penh is located near the Night Market along the Boulevard area.
Domestic flights are also available from Phnom Penh via Angkor Air (Mon/Wed.Fri). Check your tour operator for updated schedules and fare rates.
Travel time from Phnom Penh by bus takes about 5-7 hours; 2 hours from Kampot; 45 minutes from Kep and 12 hours from Siem Reap (with bus change in Phnom Penh).
If you are coming from Kep or Kampot, check availability of shared taxi. This usually costs about $5-7 per person. You can find these taxis waiting for passengers in the town center.
Moto Taxi and tuktuks are available within Sihanoukville.
Motorbikes and bicycles may be rented in downtown area.
If you are looking for dirt-cheap guesthouses (around $5 range), check the main street (1 block away from Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beach).
Sihanoukville is the jump-off point to the famous islands in south Cambodia: Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Ta Kiev, Koh Russei
Best hotels in Sihanoukville
Eden Beach Resort
The Eden Beach Resort Sihanoukville is a hotel complex located on Otres beach in Sihanoukville. It offers beachfront bungalows with stunning views, an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant and bar. Guests can enjoy activities such as snorkelling, fishing, cycling and boat trips to explore the nearby islands. The Eden Beach Resort Sihanoukville is appreciated for its peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, as well as its location on a secluded and picturesque beach.
Song Saa Private Island Resort
Song Saa Private Island Resort is a luxury resort located on a private island off the coast of Cambodia. With luxury villas, gourmet restaurants, a spa, infinity pools and a private beach, it offers an unforgettable experience. The resort also offers activities such as diving, kayaking and boat trips. Committed to marine conservation, the resort uses sustainable practices to protect the environment.
Independence Hotel Resort & Spa
The Independence Hotel Resort & Spa is a luxury hotel set on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Thailand in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It features spacious rooms, suites and villas, a private beach, swimming pools, a spa, restaurants, bars and meeting rooms. The hotel is also known for its 1960s modernist architecture, which has been restored to preserve its original charm while adding modern facilities.
Kep or Sihanoukville?
As for the choice between Kep or Sihanoukville, here are a few comparisons:
Sihanoukville has more beaches than Kep, as well as more leisure activities. If you prefer a lively atmosphere, Sihanoukville is the better choice, while if you’re looking for tranquillity, Kep is the place for you. Both places have beautiful beaches that won’t disappoint.
If you only have 2 days, we have some advice:
It’s important to note that these coastal towns are quite a distance from Siem Reap, which can be a problem if you only have 2 days for your beach break. By car, the journey takes more than 7 hours, so it is recommended to travel by plane to have enough time to enjoy your beach holiday.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions. And enjoy your trip!