Many visitors to Sihanoukville prefer to just laze around on the fine white sand with a beer or cocktail. But for visitors looking for a more active holiday there are water sports of all kinds - scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming in the warm shallow waters are great favourites. Boating, fishing and island hopping are other attractions. Further inland, the hills offer great trekking and biking adventures.
The lush greenery, great food, beautiful hills, enchanting islands, and fascinating history and culture all combine to make Sihanoukville a magnificent holiday spot.
Use this Sihanoukville Destination Guide for ideas of things to see and do in Sihanoukville and its surrounds. If you are interested, you could take a Sihanoukville tour and see all that Sihanoukville has to offer, such as getting under water in the form of snorkelling or scuba-diving. For more general country information make sure you check out our Cambodia Country Guide, or some of the highlights of Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. You can also see what's on offer in Cambodia's South East Asia neighbours, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.
Things to See & Do in Sihanoukville
Follow the links to the right or scroll further down the page for details on some of the many interesting tourist attractions in Sihanoukville:
The beaches are the main attractions of Sihanoukville, and the sheer range is amazing. Some of the beaches are very beautiful, others have shallow waters, and many others are secluded or offer the best Sihanoukville accommodation. In short, there is one to suit every taste. Beach shack restaurants and bars are found on all beaches, so food and drink is not a problem. Accommodations ranging from budget guest houses to star rated hotels are also available near all beaches.
The seven main beaches in Sihanoukville are:
OCHHEUTEAL BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
Ocheuteal Beach is the most popular stretch of beach in Sihanoukville, and offers a wide range of budget accommodation and mid range hotels, restaurants, bars and, for the more adventurous travellers, different kinds of water activities and Sihanoukville tours.
From a long stretch of almost empty beach, Ochheuteal has grown to a pulsating destination inhabiting not only tourists and locals but also loads of beach sellers. This can be an annoyance for some, but most of the children and women working on the beach are friendly and are persistent - trying to bargain can easily be turned into an amusing conversation. Teach them some useful English vocabulary and they will most likely teach you some useful Khmer vocabulary in return.
SERENDIPITY BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
Serendipity Beach is located on the far northern end of Ochheuteal Beach. It is the only beach offering bungalows and guesthouses right on the sand only footsteps from the water. If you're looking for a good night out this is the place to visit with a wide range of beach bars and chill out places. Here you will also find the same crowd of beach sellers.
SOKHA BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
Occupied by Sihanoukville's first resort complex, Sokha Beach Resort, this beach offers upscale accommodation, restaurants and a variety of water sports. Open to the guests of the resort as well as the general public.
INDEPENDENCE BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
Independence Beach, or '7-stories beach', as the locals prefer to call it, is named after the Independence Hotel located at the north end of the beach. 7-Chann Beach is the name you will find on the town street signs showing you the directions towards this narrow but less crowded beach.
VICTORY BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
At more than 2km long, Victory Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach just down from the popular Victory Hill. The beach is divided in two by a small hill and a rocky point. It offers a variety of bars and restaurants.
OTRES BEACH, SIHANOUKVILLE
A beautiful beach located south from Ochheuteal beach, about 1km from Otres village and the village Pagoda, Otres is the least crowded and least developed beach. For travellers wanting to take a break from the busy Ochheuteal beach, this is the beach to place your towels. A small amount of sellers offer refreshments for the thirsty.
Ream Beach is located in the Ream National Park with few visitors and a small amount of vendors selling beverages. If you decide to spend the night by Ream Beach the National Park offers accommodation through their guesthouse. Behind the beach you will find a mangrove swamp that inhabits a variety of tropical birds.
One of Sihanoukville's top sightseeing spots, the Ream National Park encompasses 210 square kilometres of diverse terrain rich in vibrant flora and fauna. Located 18 km from the city, it covers mangrove forests, sandy beaches, two islands, resplendent off-shore coral reefs, the Rek Tuk Sap estuary and hills. Macaques, deers, anteaters and different bird species are found in the park. Boats for trips to the islands are on offer and fresh seafood is available inside the park. Wat Ream, a Buddhist temple that sits atop a hill inside the park, is also worth a visit.
A scenic waterfall located on the Prek Tuk Sap River, it is a great sight particularly during the monsoons or just after. In summer there is very little water but it becomes a great location for rock climbing. Kbal Chay is also a wonderful picnic spot and has stalls selling food and drinks.
Of the dozen or so islands found off the coast of Sihanoukville, most are virgin and unspoilt, and devoid of any tourist facilities. Accommodation is available on Bamboo Island and plans are afoot to develop a few of the others. All are enchanting, though, and offer superb locations for diving, snorkelling or kayaking. Remember to bring diving gear from the mainland as none are available on the islands. Exploring the islands is also great fun in itself.
Check our Tours and Activities for a trip to one
of the islands!
The warm waters here are ideal for swimming, apart from a variety of water sports and activities. With the arrival of foreign tourists, water sports, particularly, scuba diving and snorkelling are gaining a lot of popularity. The ideal locations are the Koh Tas and Koh Tang group of islands where the water is clearer. The coral wealth and marine life in and around Sihanoukville is a nature lover's dream. There are a few sunken warships around as well.
Though shopping in Sihanoukville is not great, it is starting to improve with the surge in the number of visitors. Handicrafts, sculptures, intricately crafted silverware and jewellery are good buys in Sihanoukville. Clothing, particularly silk and cotton, woven locally is another product worth looking at.
The hills and rocky outcrops offer great trekking and biking locations. Fishing and boating are also great off Sihanoukville and nearby islands. Different types of boats and yachts are available for rent. If this sound good to you, check our Sihanoukville Tours! If you feel like being creative, Sihanoukville also offers Traditional Khmer Cookery Classes!
But drinking cocktails and snoozing on the sandy beaches are as well quite popular among tourists in Sihanoukville.
Lately, Sihanoukville has been witnessing a rocking nightlife and a lot of bars are kept open till the wee hours of the morning. These are located on Weather Station Hill, around Serendipity beach and the Golden Lion and in the city centre. There is always some sort of merry-making on the Ochheuteal, Serendipity and Victory Beaches. Beer is cheap and is available in many varieties and brands. Angkor Beer (Cambodian national beer) even has its main plant in Sihanoukville. Parties, sports events and happy hour specials – Sihanoukville is indeed raring to go!