Cambodia is associated with heritage and culture most of the time. When travellers look for some exotic coastal destinations in Cambodia then they get confused where to head. Phnom Penh is a great option as we discussed in our last blog. But the coastal town of Sihanoukville is known best for housing some of the best beach locations of Cambodia.
Sihanoukville totally differentiates the cultural and heritage image of Cambodia and attracts many travellers towards it.
Let us explore this best getaway destination of Cambodia –
Sihanoukville Tour – A Quick Outline
The coastal town of Cambodia is also famous as Kampong Som or Preah Sihanouk. Being the capital of Sihanoukville Province, this city is located on the at the apex of an elevated peninsula on the Gulf of Thailand. The white-sand beaches, majestic waterfalls, the vibrant nightlife, royal casinos, some touch of heritage structures, traditional Khmer massages, all combined together to make Sihanoukville travellers pick and a power-packed destination for people visiting Cambodia. If you are bored of Phnom Penh tour then, Sihanoukville can be a better alternative for you.
However, apart from Sihanoukville pretty beaches and tiny offshore islands, this town is known for the unique blend of the modern and ancient culture which can be seen on its streets. The town also features ample hotels, restaurants and bars for party lovers.
Visitor things to do at Sihanoukville
There’s quite a lot of variety among the things to do in Sihanoukville. The coastal town has a wide range of interesting destinations to spend time with the family and to unwind yourself. There is a heritage to admire, casinos to try your luck, colourful markets for shopaholics to various delicious dishes to savour for foodies – Check out now!!
Visit the Wat Leu Temple
Wat Leu is the most famous Buddhist temple located in Sihanoukville. From here you can get sensational views of almost every casino and gorgeous sunset panoramas will mesmerise you. Wat Leu is situated on a serene forested hilltop around 1.5km northwest from the city centre. Wat Leu is a structure as Siem Reap’s ancient temples but it is nonetheless worth a visit.
The grand, colourful main building is similar in design to a pagoda and is surrounded by fascinating objects, including a 3-headed white carved elephant and Buddha’s massive black statue. The hilltop position is also calm and quiet and it is especially impressive to visit at the time of sunset, offering stunning views across the area.
Plan a Picnic near Kbal Chhay Waterfalls
Kbal Chay waterfall drops about 14 m and, as stated by the nearby broad reservoir, it is the main source of freshwater for the town of Sihanoukville. It’s a picturesque spot with locals taking a day out and a famous location. Before cooling off in the cool waters with a splash, you can enjoy a picnic next to young people.
The waterfall becomes even more climatic when visited during the rainy season, as the water slows down a lot during the dry season. It can be a little difficult to get to the falls as the paved roads stop about 7 km from Sihanoukville, leaving you with a drive of 9 km along a rough bike trail.
Relax on Sunkissed Beaches
The Sihanoukville is blessed with unending white sandy coastline loaded with occasional rocky headlands split it into about 5 major beaches. Locals visits during weekends and holidays with their families and travellers can visit in weekdays to enjoy under sunkissed beaches, sea and sand.
- Koh Rong – It is located about 26 km west of the city centre, a new version of desert island serene, with white sand, sparkling blue waters, colourful coral reefs and jungles covered in the hill. This beach is completely hidden from the eye of many travellers so make a visit to this beach and sunbathe on the white coastline.
- Sokha Beaches – Sihanoukville’s prettiest beach is Sokha beach. It lies halfway between Independence and Serendipity Beaches. Its tiny eastern end is open to the public and is rarely crowded. There are many exclusive beach resorts and cafe arrangement for travellers who want to chill out at the beach.
- Otres Beaches – Located at the southern end of Ochheuteal Beach, this beach is a seemingly endless strip of hard rock and dazzling white sand perfect for beach lovers.
- Other beaches which you can visit are Ochheuteal Beach, Lamherkay beach and Independence beach
Many watersports are available in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, including kitesurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing.
Watch the Golden Lions Roundabout
The Golden Lions Roundabout is almost one of the locations you have to see just for the amusement. Travellers you can visit this statue of Golden Lion and take reels and picture for your social feed.
This famous statue of a lion and a lioness standing side by side has frightening faces, entirely unrealistic facial features and a garish yellow-gold colour scheme. You can find this statue on the northern end of Serendipity Beach, near the ferry terminal.
Rejuvenate at the Bamboo Island
Spending a few days on Bamboo Island, off Sihanoukville’s coast, is highly recommended especially if you’re looking for a change of view. The boat ride takes about half an hour and once there, you’ll find that only about 30 people live on the island.
On its north-facing crescent beach, Bamboo Island has few bungalow resorts and cool restaurants and bars and is very, very laid back. This is serenity at its best.
Take a Stroll of Ream National Park
Ream Park is one of Cambodia’s seven national parks stretched in an area of 210 km². A day trip to visit Ream National Park is much for mature and wildlife lovers. Park is established for the protection of several endangered animal species native to the area. Dugongs, dolphins, mouse-deer, Sarus crane, rhesus monkeys, and pelicans include the wildlife found here.
More than 150 different species of birds, including a few endangered species, are also found there. There are a broad number of habitats in Ream National Park, including rivers, bays, beaches, coral reefs, mangrove forests, rain forests, freshwater wetlands and islands. It is located 18 km from downtown Sihanoukville, can easily be planned for visitors to experience the wilderness and raw nature at its finest.
Try your luck at Sihanoukville Casinos
One of the key reasons why people come to Sihanoukville is casino games. And the reason is that it provides a few venues for those who enjoy playing head games with Lady Luck and tossing the dice. A variety of hotels provide their favourite games to gamblers, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, gaming machines, and poker.
There are a number of casinos around the areas of the beach resort. From slot machines and table games to live sports betting, they offer an incredible variety of gaming options. Baccarat is the town’s most famous table game, which has effectively become Cambodia’s Las Vegas.
Nightlife in Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville’s nightlife is quite a wide range of attractions. Cheap and cheerful beer bars with lavish casinos can be found here. Backpacker haunts are populating the nightlife scene in Sihanoukville. The bulk of the option available is made up of these easy late-night spots. You can find some variety even here, ranging from beach bars to night markets, with more in between. Besides being the liveliest beach bar on Otres 1 Beach, the largest monthly full moon parties are hosted by Otres Corner. While they are considerably smaller than the world-famous Koh Phangan events in Thailand, they remain extremely popular and can be a lot of fun.