The Beaches of Sihanoukville

Tag: Cambodia, Destinations   
July 5, 2011   No Comments

For Carly’s birthday we decided to head to the south coast of Cambodia, to Sihanoukville, the ‘premier beach resort’ of the country. But could we find a nice bit of beach?

Occheuteal Beach

We booked into the White Beach Hotel on Occheuteal Beach – the hotel itself was smart and modern; but the beach area was lacking in charm – a few ramshackle huts serving food along a small promenade, with the beach crammed with deckchairs and hawkers – a mixture of children selling wares and disabled beggars.

The area just behind the beach looks dirty, run-down, has litter everywhere and is in a state of flux – many buildings are half-built with the construction stopped. So Occheuteal beach is not very pleasant and not recommended. Disappointing.

 The Beaches of Sihanoukville

The approach to Occheuteal beach - all a bit grubby and unappealing

Otres Beach

One of our days was spent on the quieter Otres Beach, down the coast, to enjoy the natural beauty in peace. We had a lovely morning soaking up the sun before the clouds quickly gathered and everyone sought refuge. A dark downpour trapped us inside a bar with a few beers – awful! This particular bit of beach, while not spectacular, was nice with only a few hawkers pestering us. Our best experience of Sihanoukville.

 The Beaches of Sihanoukville

The most peaceful beach at Sihanoukville is Otres beach

 The Beaches of Sihanoukville

The heavy storm coming in at Otres beach

 The Beaches of Sihanoukville

Hiding away inside during the torrential downpour.

Serendipity Beach

The area around Serendipity Beach also feels half-built and not like Cambodia’s premier beach resort – although the beach itself is probably the nicest with pretty trees growing out of the inviting sand…if you can put up with the constant stream of approaches from the hawkers and beggars. Relaxing here is not easy.

The small town area of Serendipity Road was a 10 minute walk from our hotel – or a pricey $1 in a tuk-tuk! – and had a few pleasant bars and restaurants, including a very good Japanese restaurant in which we had wonderful sashimi, steak and fish for the big birthday dinner. There are also several massage places and Carly enjoyed a very relaxing head, neck & shoulder massage, as well as a pedicure – both treatments for $10!

 The Beaches of Sihanoukville

The unmade road leading to Serendipity Beach

Summary of Sihanoukville

Off the coast are some pretty islands which no doubt provide a different experience to the mainland but we wouldn’t recommend visiting the beaches of Sihanoukville unless you’re desperate to feel sand between your toes.

We did, however, arrange our Vietnam visas while in Sihanoukville on a slick same-day service. We excitedly boarded a bus to take us back to Phnom Penh and then onwards to Vietnam.



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