Sihanoukville (Kompong Som) : Places To Go In Cambodia
Sihanoukville (also known as Kompong Som); is Cambodia’s premier beach resort and the country’s third most popular tourist destination.
There’s no doubt that its delightful white sandy beaches are a very welcome site and especially so after spending many days wondering around the Angkor temples in the hot sweaty heat or partying hard till the early hours of the morning in Phnom Penh.
Once there, you can simply chill-out, perfect your suntan, cool-off with a soothing swim and take a relaxing walk while enjoying the wonderful sunset. Or you can take a boat trip to one of the many largely unexplored islands, scuba dive within a refreshingly under-dived Ocean, and trek in the nearby unspoiled and beautiful national park of Ream.
Plus, because Sihanoukville also serves as a major port and was only constructed for that purpose in the 1950’s, it has a very modern feel which is in stark contrast to the French colonial towns found all over the country. And, of course, the resort is full of affordable hotels and guesthouses, along with restaurants (be sure to check out the seafood) and many welcoming bars.
Add all of this; and the fact that the beach town is less than four hours away via the best road in Cambodia from Phnom Penh; or from the Thai border-crossing town of Koh Kong, and you’ll be left wondering why your sitting on a nearly deserted beach not long after your arrival. But then again, why wonder - just thank your lucky stars and enjoy!
Layout of Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville covers a large expanse of land and so you’ll have to take a moto or hire a bike to comfortably get around.
The downtown area (1km to 3km from all the beaches) is east of Victory and Independence Beaches, and contains markets, shops, hotels, restaurants, banks, bars, the bus station and general businesses.
Weather Station Hill, which has loads of budget accommodation, is located directly above Victory Beach.
Sokha Beach (closed at the time of writing) lies to the southwest side of the town centre while Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches (both with high, mid range and budget hotels/guesthouses) are on its south side.
All the beaches in Sihanoukville are white and sandy, chilled-out and quiet (although some more than others), and are full of umbrellas, drink and snack vendors. It is fair to say, however, that each beach has its own character and are worth exploring.
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