With its beaches and casinos, Sihanoukville is primarily a tourist attraction, albeit one with an industrial deep water port. Because of the tourist industry the town of some 250,000 people has a more lighthearted flavour to it than Phnom Penh.
Situated on the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville is a peninsula and has several beaches and small, offshore islands. It was founded in 1964 and is much more urban and modern than other Cambodian cities.
Considering the modest amount of visitors Sihanoukville has, the town features more than ample hotels, restaurants and bars. With its five beaches and three islands to relax on, Sihanoukville provides a peaceful counterpoint to Thailand's sometimes crowded beaches.
Southern Cambodia has access to the Gulf of Thailand and offers ideal opportunities to finish a tour in the Kingdom. Kampot is a pleasant town 5-km inland on the banks of the river Tuk Chhou.
A nice place to enjoy a boat trip on the river. Kampot is also base for excursions to the Bokor National Park in the Elephant Mountains. The nearby seaside resort of Kep (Kep-sur-Mer) is located 25 km from Kampot.
This beautiful coastal area was once the favorite holiday spot for Cambodias French-influenced elite during the turn of the 19th century. From Kep fishing boats can take you to one of the island scattered in the bay.
A few days on Bamboo Island, off Sihanoukville's coast, comes highly recommended. The boat ride takes about half an hour and once there you will find that only about 30 people live on the island. On its north-facing crescent beach Bamboo Island has three bungalow resorts, two restaurants and two bars and is very, very laid back. This is serenity at its best. Read More...
Location: Off Sihanoukville's coast
How to get there: A ferry departs from Ochheuteal Beach at 10:00 and departs from the island at 16:00 the traverse takes roughly 45 minutes.
Koh Kong Bridge
The 1.9 kilometres Koh Kong Bridge was officially declared open on 4th April 2002 by Prime Minister Hun Sen. This magnificent 8 million dollar masterpiece of technology links Koh Kong with Thailand's south-west promoting tourism, investment and trade, as well as reducing travelling-time to Phnom Penh. However, this new wide laterite highway built by the Thai Army, requires 4 tricky ferry crossings and is not recommenced during the rainy-season.
Sihanoukville is not exactly southeast Asia's answer to Las Vegas but it does offer a few venues for those who enjoy to throw the dice and play footsie with Lady Luck. Presently there are four hotels offer gamblers their favourite games: blackjack, roulette, baccarat, gaming machines, and poker.
Sihanoukville's (and Cambodia's) longest-running casino is the Holiday Palace Casino (in which you could stay during our five days Cambodia Paradise Beach Tour Package), across from Victory Beach while the aptly-named Fortune Casino (formerly the Golden Palace Casino) has undergone a complete renovation and is the largest gaming venue in town. Meanwhile, the new kid on the block is Kampong Som City. Another gaming venue in which to try your luck is the Sokha Vegas in the Sokha Resort, Sihanoukville's premier seaside resort.
Location: Holiday Palace Casino, Fortune Casino, Sokha Vegas in the Sokha Resort
Sihanoukville is Cambodia's main beach resort. Back when Phnom Penh was considered too dangerous for NGO officials they stayed here, resulting nowadays in a glut of hotel rooms.
Billed as a beach resort, also the county's main port, in reality the main raison d'etre is a casino destination. There are four casinos at Sihanoukville and they draw many foreigners.
There is quite a bit of nightlife in town especially in and around Ekareach Street and the port and beaches. Then there is the Angkor Arms and nearby Small World along with a couple of other expat-run bars. The Snake Pit is between north and south Victory beaches and features bar top dancing and hard-to-find Russian vodka (the owners are Russian). Another universally popular bar is the 24-hour G'day Mate which features ice-cold beer and a good menu along with rocking in-house music. For more laid-back nightlife stick to the beaches.
More a tourist destination than Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, there is less emphasis on traditional crafts for sale here. Still, you can buy a wide variety of products such as hand-loomed silk scarves, clothing, accessories, home accessories, decorative ornaments, coffee, condiments, handmade cards, notebooks, wall hangings, photo albums, and a variety of games including puzzles in Rajana, a centrally located shop.
On the Beach Road there is a range of beachwear, jewelry, bags and the items you'd come to expect from a Southeast Asian seaside town.
Phsar Leu, or upper market, is the largest traditional market in town. It is a dimly lit, partially roofed expanse of stalls selling everything from meat and vegetables to auto parts, jewelry, and of course clothes. Open at sunrise, closed at sunset, it is found on 7 Makara, near Omui Street
Sihanoukville has a location that few places in the world can beat, especially when it comes to food – seafood. It is on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, in the southwest of Cambodia.
This makes Sihanoukville heaven for seafood lovers, whether your favourite be fish, squid, lobster, prawn, crab or shellfish. With the recent surge of visitors to the town, many new bars and restaurants have open in the past few years.
Now diners can choose to eat on the beach with their toes in the sand, or at upscale places with white tablecloths and gleaming silverware. The food is never less than absolutely fresh – in most restaurants you can choose your meal while it’s still swimming around a large glass tank.
Angelo’s Restaurant & Bar
23 Tola St, Ochheuteal Beach. There are plenty of food choices at Angelo’s, ranging from fresh seafood and Asian dishes to international items including Greek specialties such as souvlaki and Greek salad.
Monkey Republic Bar
On the “Hill” behind Serendipity Beach (five minutes’ walk from the beach) Monkey Republic is one of the town’s most popular party venues. Food and drinks are reasonably priced and there’s also a pool table.
3 Soviet St, near Victory and Hawaii Beaches, and behind the Snake House. This restaurant specialises in Japanese and Russian cuisine. It also has a 300-inch movie screen and a pool table.
Starfish Bakery & Café
Behind Samudera Supermarket, Downtown, Starfish is famous for its tasty sandwiches, salads and Western breakfast, as well as fresh-baked bread, brownies, cookies and pastries. Starfish opened in 2001 and is part of the Starfish Project, a community-based humanitarian organization, for which it generates income. It has Wi-Fi Internet access, an art shop and a massage centre.
Treasure Island Seafood
Next to Hawaii Beach. From “The Hill” (or, to give it its full name, the Weather Station Hill, Sihanoukville’s best known nightlife center) take the beach road towards town and keep an eye out for the restaurant’s sign. Treasure Island serves Hong Kong-style seafood with great sunsets. The seafood, they say, is brought right to the restaurant from fishing boats.
Sihanoukville has many attractive and relaxing bars dotting the roadside from the centre of town right down to any of the beaches. Some have been there for long time and are good sources of information for new arrivals. Most places are a combination of guesthouse, bar and restaurant, usually serving up a good selection of Khmer and international food.
Many now have Internet connections and pool tables. Among the most popular bars in Sihanoukville are Holy Cow, Britannia, Emerald Bar, G’Day Mate and Kangaroo Kitchen.