Sihanoukville town sits in the center of a
small peninsula that juts into the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Several beaches of fine pearl-white sand line the shore around the
peninsula, all easily accessible from the town, each separated from the
other as much by character as the rocky headlands between. The main
beaches are lined with thatch roofed seafood shacks and bars offering
cold drinks, umbrellas and chairs, BBQ, evening parties and water
sports. Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beaches are the most popular and the
busiest with plenty of nearby hotels, guesthouses, bars and restaurants.
On the other side of town, Independence and Victory beaches are also
popular, both offering smaller crowds and a somewhat more tranquil
atmosphere. Otres Beach is similar to Ochheuteal but less touristed and
from M'Lop Tapang and ChildSafe...
When on the
beaches of Sihanoukville you will meet many children. Please
remember that buying from the children on the beaches or
street keeps them on the beaches or street. As long as they
make an income their parents will send them out to work.
They are vulnerable to abuse and they are not safe. The
hours they work prevent them from attending Khmer school. No
formal education will perpetuate the cycle of poverty that
most of their families are in. Instead please let Cambodian
social workers do their job effectively by not encouraging
children to stay on the beach by giving food, gifts, money
or buying from them.
If you see a child in danger, call the ChildSafe 24 hour
hotline on 012-478100 managed by a team of English
speaking Khmer social workers from M'Lop Tapang program for
street children. Thanks for being a ChildSafe
of Ochheuteal Beach)
is by far the most popular and tour-isted in town. The beach is long,
sandy and comparatively narrow, with ‘Serendipity Beach’ at the
arcing northern end and a development project taking up most of the
southern half. Most of the hotels, guesthouses and restaurants in the
Ochheuteal area are on and around the northern half.
The Ochheuteal area has a good selection of
accommodations ranging from mid-range to budget with most located along
the roads paralleling the beach and the road from the Golden Lions
Traffic Circle to Serendipity Beach. A few bungalows and rooms are also
tucked up amongst the headlands at either end of Ochheuteal.
On the beach, shack-style seafood restaurants and bars line more than a
kilometer of the sand's edge from Serendipity Beach to the development
project. The beachside places typically offer umbrellas and beach
chairs, have full bars, cold drinks and most have food, especially
Just off the beach, in the early evening, several roadside BBQ
restaurants get going along 23 Tola Street (Preah Lumhei Phumin Street.)
All serve fresh seafood skewers, grilled meats and lots more.
For nightlife on Ochheuteal, many of the beach bars are open into the
late night and a few throw regular beach parties. Some of the more
popular late night beach bars are located at the near end. Just off the
beach, the bars on Serendipity Beach Road, at the new Sihanoukville
Square and at the Gold Lions Plaza are usually open late into the night.
(map of Victory Beach area and
Weather Station Hill)
The Victory Beaches
are actually two long beaches divided by a rocky point and a
small hill, so nam-ed for the Victory Monument that sits near
the midpoint. The southern section is known as ‘Hawaii Beach’
and the northern part near Victory Monument is ‘Victory Beach,’
which is the most popular area with travelers. The narrow sands
at the port end (northern end) of the beach are known as ‘Port
Beach’ sits at the base
of the popular Victory Hill. Victory is a nice little
beach, only a few hundred meters long but wide in sections,
offering a variety of beachside services and one of the best
sunset views in town. A parking lot and a pier with top end
boats for hire sits at the near end the beach at the base of
Victory Hill. Fifty meters north along the beach several little
seafood shacks are clustered together at the sand’s edge. All
offer chairs and umbrellas, inner tubes, cold drinks, seafood
barbeque, Cambodian and some western dishes. Farther north along
Victory the beach narrows and a few upscale seafood restaurants
hug the water’s edge.
Above Victory Beach, Victory Hill (‘Weather Station 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. Boats for hire along the beach.
Otres Beach is the next beach south of Ochheuteal and similar in
many ways - like Ochheuteal, Otres is a three kilometer crescent
of white sand facing to the southwest. But Otres is far less
developed and touristed, offering a more leisurely, relaxed
atmosphere. Beach shacks and a few guesthouses and bungalows
line the near and far ends of the beach with a development
project taking up most of the central portion.
At the near end of the beach a dozens of beachshack bars and
restaurants squeeze together along a kilometer of sand. There
are also several guesthouses/bungalows on the beachfront road 20
meters from the water. The secluded far end of Otres on the
other side of the development area also has a much more secluded
atmosphere with a few beach bars and accommodations along the
sand. To get there, take the back beach road past the project
and turn toward the beach. Just follow the bar signs.
The road to Otres and the back beach road have been graded and
are in very good condition, making it much easier to get to
Otres. The front road is also open, but rough and partially
blocked at the far end.
Most of the beach restaurants serve seafood and more, but each
place has its own unique flavor. Price and quality of the
accommodations vary, so shop around for what best suits your
requirements. Bear in mind that the seclusion and lack of
development that affords Otres its tranquility also limits some
services. After dusk it can be a long dark trip back to town.
draws its name from the historic Independence Hotel that sits atop the
headland at the north end, often called ‘otel pram-pul chann
(‘hotel 7-storeys’) by the locals.
Independence is better than a kilometer long, but more than half is
closed for a development project. A long slice at the north end and a
small corner at the south end remain open to the public. At the northern
end, a 500 meter strip of sandy beach and groomed park is open to the
public and sports near a dozen beach front BBQ huts. Good place to
escape the crowds of Ochheuteal.
A small semi-private corner of beach is also still accessible to the
public at the southern end of Independence, near the Holiday Palace.
The fresh water lake at the north end of the beach serves as the source
and reservoir of Sihanouk Ville's water supply. On the road past the
northern end behind the Independence Hotel, monkeys (macaques) often
congregate and beg for food along the road, especially in the late
Occupying all of
Sokha Beach, the Sokha
Beach Resort offers beachside luxury accommodation. The beach is
open to the general public as well as guests of the resort. Sokha is a
beautiful beach, a crescent of sand about one kilometer long and
comparatively wide so that there is plenty of sand left during high
tide. The fine off-white sand is perfectly groomed these days, but the
beach is fairly quiet by comparison to nearby Ochheuteal and
Serendipity, frequented primarily but Sokha resort guests. There aren’t
any little seafood shacks on Sokha like the other beaches but a series
of gazebos and upscale beach bars/restaurants run by the Sokha Beach
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.
Ream Beach is long and narrow, sitting at the edge of Preah Sihanouk
(‘Ream’) National Park about 27km from town. The beach is largely
untouristed and of very average quality. 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. Take Route 4 18km north to the
Airport road 18km north. Turn right, 9km to the ocean.
Prek Treng Beach
The Prek Treng Beach a few kilometers north of town is a long crescent
of white sand, offering comparatively warm shallow waters. The beach has
recently been cleaned up and groomed and is looking particularly good.
Due to the distance from town and complete lack of services the beach is
usually deserted. To get there follow Hun Sen Beach Drive north a few
kilometers past the port area.