Possessing all the charms of a seaside town, Sihanoukville is both a party paradise and relaxation bliss.
Rediscovered by backpackers, Sihanoukville is one of the youngest towns in the country. Well-known for its pulsating nightlife and parties at Serendipity Beach, the vibrant town has also paved its way to a mellow lifestyle at Otres Beach.
Sporting stretches of white sandy beaches and surrounded by pristine, picturesque islands, Sihanoukville is a magnet for all types of travelers. Backpackers flock to the most happening beach parties of the nation while families prefer the serenity of the more remote beaches and islands.
Sihanoukville is accessible by planes from Siem Reap flying into the small Sihanoukville Airport. Overland, many buses run from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukvile or you can even hop on a taxi to get to the seaside town. After a hiatus of 14 years, trains are now running again between the country’s capital city and Sihanoukville.
Like other parts of Cambodia, US Dollars is the de-facto currency at Sihanoukville. Several ATMs dispensing US Dollars can be found at the town area while MasterCard and Visa credit cards are widely accepted. Banks offer currency exchange and are open from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 15:00.
As with all seaside destinations, visiting Sihanoukville during the wet season of May to October could put a dent in your holiday plans. The best time to visit is at the end of the rainy season of October to the beginning of the dry season of November when the heat and crowd size are still bearable.
Although possible, going between beaches on foot can be exhaustingly long and uncomfortable under the tropical heat. Motorbike taxis are everywhere, ready to take you to anywhere in town for only a dollar. Tuk-tuks can be found at the bus station or accommodation areas but they tend to overcharge.
Walking along the beaches, especially on Ochheuteal Beach, you will find yourself enticed by the tantalising smell of grilled meat, seafood, and the sight of refreshing beer served by stalls and restaurants. The food scene at Sihanoukville is rather diverse, and you can easily get your hands on Khmer, Western, fast food, and other Asian cuisines.
More than just a backpackers party destination, Sihanoukville is also the gateway to the untouched islands off the Southern coast of Cambodia. You can also take refuge at one of the lesser known beaches, away from the crowd at Serendipity Beach, to enjoy the magnificent natural wonders of Sihanoukville in peace and quiet.