How To Get To Sihanoukville?
Sihanoukville is a coastal province southwest of Cambodia. Famous for its beaches, nightlife and booming casinos, tourists flock to Sihanoukville for some much-needed R&R.
Among its top spots are Serendipity Beach and Otres Beach, but there is so much more to this colorful town. Read further to know the top things to do and the many ways to visit Sihanoukville from various points in Cambodia.
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Sihanoukville International Airport||20-30min||$20||Sihanoukville Airport to Sihanoukville|
|Kep||3 hrs||$8 - $40||Kep to Sihanoukville|
|Phnom Penh||4-7 hrs||$8 - $45||Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville|
|Battambang||4,5-12 hrs||$23 - $125||Battambang to Sihanoukville|
|Siem Reap||1-11 hrs||$16,50 - $120||Siem Reap to Sihanoukville|
|Kampot||2-2,5 hrs||$6 - $40||Kampot to Sihanoukville|
|Koh Rong||45min-1 hrs||$12 - $15.40||Koh Rong to Sihanoukville|
|Koh Rong Sanloem||45min-3 hrs||$10 - $15.40||Koh Rong Sanloem to Sihanoukville|
8 Things to do in Sihanoukville
#1 Otres Beach
Find your chill spot in the more relaxed corner of Sihanoukville: Otres Beach. This long strip of white sand hosts upmarket hotels and thatched bungalows facing the water.
Breathe in the salty air, take a nap on a sun lounger, then wake up to the scent of Lok Lak and Kdam Chaa from local restaurants. Get the best out of your holiday and pay a few dollars for a massage, manicure and pedicure. If you want a snack, stay put; vendors often walk along the beach with baskets of fruit, freshly-baked doughnuts, and fresh seafood that they can grill for you right on the beach.
But Otres Beach is not just for lazing around. At Otres Beach 1, you can let yourself be catapulted from a floating air blob in the waterpark. It’s a great place to spend a few hours running around the floating platforms – for young and old. Entrance to this park is only $3.
At sundown the bars come alive, and music mixes with the sound of the waves. Otres Beach nightlife is not as lively as other beaches in Sihanoukville, but happy hour is still a guarantee.
Keep in mind that Otres Beach has two sections: Otres 1 is busier and cheaper, Otres 2 is newly-developed and offers pricier accommodations. A tuk-tuk ride from downtown Sihanoukville costs $5.
#2 Independence Beach
Escape the heat and noise of downtown at Independence Beach.
Lounge on a sunbed with a cold drink and take a refreshing dip in the ocean. Find shade under a grass hut or a colorful umbrella while you get a massage for a few dollars. Don’t forget to try some authentic Khmer cuisine from the food stalls. End your day at the beach watching the glorious sunset as it transforms the blue water to gold.
Tip: try out the “kralan,” a sticky rice with red beans, sugar, grated coconut and coconut milk roasted inside bamboo sections.
Independence Beach offers nothing fancy, only a local vibe that is exclusive to Sihanoukville. A tuk-tuk can take you to this relaxing spot for $5.
#3 Koh Ta Kiev
Jump off a cliff at Elephant Rock, learn how to spearfish, and stay in a “jungalow.”
Koh Ta Kiev is the biggest of a small group of Cambodian islands, 50 minutes from Otres Beach. There are just 5 resorts/bungalows on the island with their own bars, restaurants and equipment rentals for snorkeling, diving and kayaking. The bungalows are simple yet cozy, the perfect place to lounge around.
If you’re feeling adventurous, dive with colorful fish amongst the coral reefs, or follow marked trekking paths through a maze of jungle. The blue signs will lead you to a small fishing village, and the red ones lead to the Naked Beach, which is now also called Plankton Beach.
The island is home to over 250 bird species, as well as the carnivorous pitcher plant. You won’t cross paths with bears or lions, but it’s still an interesting hike.
Otres Beach is the most popular pick-up point. The resorts on Koh Ta Kiev have their own boats to transport their guests. If you’re booking online, the resort will simply email the schedule of the pickup and ticket prices ($10-$13). Some locals also offer snorkeling tours and island-hopping at Otres Beach. It’s also possible to go to Koh Ta Kiev from Serendipity, Ochheuteal, or Victory Hill by chartered boat.
Tip: Check out “Kactus, The Hidden Tree” accommodation for a really laid-back vibe. You can stay in a bungalow for as low as $25, a dorm for $10, and a hammock for $5.
#4 Phsar Leu Market
Get a slice of downtown Sihanoukville by visiting the biggest traditional market in town.
Navigate a maze of tiny passageways and try local food cooked over burning charcoal. You’ll be astounded by the sheer number of products in Phsar Leu Market: wooden baskets of fresh fruits and vegetables, dried goods, tanks of live seafood, handmade souvenirs, and a lot more. Some goods are displayed on the ground, while others are hanged from colorful tents.
It’s one of the busiest markets you will ever see!
The Phsar Leu Market is in the heart of Sihanoukville, a cheap tuk-tuk ride or a 30-minute walk from the main street.
The market is crowded and not air-conditioned, but you can beat the heat with a snow cone sold from a bicycle. Stalls are open from 7:00 – 17:00.
#5 Dirt Biking
Looking for adventure? Experience an unforgettable day of dirt biking with Straydog Adventures.
This adrenaline rush of a tour takes you across the countryside on full speed. One moment you’re driving over empty, white sand beaches, and the next moment you’re flying through mud. Wash away the mud under a waterfall and feel reborn.
The best months for this tour are November to April, but if you don’t mind getting your clothes muddy, the rainy season offers even more adventure.
A one-day tour costs between $130-$140, and they offer tours for both beginners and more experienced drivers. They also offer multiple-day tours which cross all dirt trails in Cambodia. Find more info on the Straydog website or book your tour at Viator.
Note: Other organizations offer this tour, but we recommend Straydog, as they receive by far the best reviews.
Add a dash of gamble to your trip with a visit to a casino.
Chinese investors see a big opportunity in this area and even have direct flights going to Sihanoukville. Like it or not, it’s happening. Let’s just hope the Chinese investors do not continue their development plans for Koh Rong and stay on the mainland.
In the meantime, you can try to win some dollars by playing a hand of blackjack and practice your poker face at the baccarat table at the Las Vegas of Cambodia. Sihanoukville is home to 22 regulated casinos which cater to fun-seekers and high-rollers.
Baccarat is the most popular game in this coastal city, but casinos offer a wide selection of games, along with tasty appetizers and drinks. Sihanoukville casinos have hundreds of gaming tables and slot machines, with several VIP rooms. Some have spas, restaurants, swimming pools, fitness centers and bars to keep you occupied while you wait for your lucky streak.
Here are the top 5 casinos in the city:
- Holiday Palace Casino Resort (the first casino in Sihanoukville)
- Sokha Vegas Casino (next to a world-class hotel)
- Queenco Hotel & Casino (it has several restaurants and a fantastic view)
- Jin Bei Casino & Hotel (best buffet and large gaming area)
- Fortuna Casino (with the cheapest blackjack in town)
Make sure to bring ID to prove you’re over 21.
Get lost in neon lights, sip exceptional cocktails, and dance to live music all night long. If you’re not ready for the night to end just yet, you’ll find the wildest parties on the beaches.
It’s not hard to find happy hour in Sihanoukville.
Start your night with happy hour at the “Big Easy Hostel” or Utopia, and then head to the beach for an impressive fire show at the Jungle Bar or The Dolphin Shack.
If you’re looking for something calmer, The Independence Beach has Five Men Fresh Beer, a cozy bar that brews beer on-site. There are also live acoustic performances at Otres Market in Otres Village on Saturday nights.
Did you travel this route or visit this place? Share your experience in a comment below.