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, most easily accessible from
town, each separated 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 and more.
Serendipity Beaches are the most popular and the busiest
with plenty of nearby hotels, guesthouses, bars and restaurants.
A bit farther from town,
and nearby Otres
Village continues to grow in popularity, but is still
maintaining its laid-back vibe.
On the other side of town,
Beach, though small, offers a pleasantly tranquil
atmosphere and beachside bbq shacks.
of Ochheuteal Beach)
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.
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
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
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.
(map of Victory Beach/Hill area)
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
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
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.
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.