"Itís a beach town, so most of the action happens in the sand and water. Kayaking, snorkeling, diving, flyboards, jet skis, and all of that good stuff. Other than that, you can hit a spa and enjoy the nightlife."
Most people come to Sihanoukville for the beaches. There are several beautiful beaches and most of them are only visited by tourists.
From the beaches and surrounding hills, you can see many of Cambodia's small islands. Many of these beaches are filled with grass hut restaurants and bars. All the resorts in Sihanoukville have their own beaches. Some of the beaches are very rocky, some are deserted.
Some beaches are filled with beach stands, where tourists and locals are spending their spare time in weekends and holidays.
The resorts have private beaches for their guests. These are maintained by the resorts and are very quiet and clean. Outside of the resorts, you can find the following beaches, which are located mostly 5 minutes from downtown:
Victoria Beach is close to the harbour, at the bottom of "The Hill".
Victory beach has quickly become the tourist beach on the West side of town. It's an easy walk from Victory Hill, with plenty of seafood, boating activities, guesthouses, and a full service casino.
In the middle is this quiet beach, and it has some restaurants towards the port. There's also a pier for island boat trips.
Independence Beach is at a kilometer or two and nothing but beach. Mostly closed down now except in front of Seabreeze Guesthouse and a private beach at the Independence Hotel complex.
Sokha beach is a private beach, 1.5 kilometers long, for the guest of the Sokha Resort hotel.
It's wider than most other beaches. It's a well groomed beach, not too many people, and for a fee (if you're not a hotel guest), a beautiful swimming pool, fitness center, and lobby lounge. At the near end of Sokha are a few hillside and cliffside bungalows.
Serendipity Beach is the tourist beach on the East Side. No beach stands here, just Western style bars and restaurants. One of the few places with rooms right on the beach. Many new internet shops, clothing, MP3 downloads, tour services and boat departures to the islands. Serendipity has turned into the shopping section of town.
This beach has grown ever more popular with backpackers and now boasts a plethora of guesthouses, restaurants, and bars right on the sand.
This is the place to go and to hang out with other travellers, listen to new music, and to enjoy the full-moon parties.
Ocheteaul Beach on the East side of town, about a 5 minute motorcycle ride from downtown. The most popular, and perhaps the best, public beach in Sihanoukville. The beach is one long row of shacks offering
beach chairs and umbrellas, pool tables, hip music, and cheap food and drinks. Most restaurants serve Khmer style food, but many now offer Western dishes. Across the street from the beach, there's an assortment of other restaurants and hotels. This beach runs about 2 kilometers from Serendipity Beach to Otres Beach.†
Otres Beach is outside of Sihanoukville. Otres is the quietest beach in town. The Beach is seldom visited because of the difficulty in getting there. If you're willing to go several kilometres out of town, or take the unpaved beach road past Ochheuteal
and over the steep hill to get there, you will be rewarded with over three kilometres of white sand that hardly ever sees any visitors. Several small beach stands with food and umbrellas are available. There's no public electricity here yet, so many places use a generator when necessary. Also, sailboat and kayak rentals and windsurfing.
From a Travel Blog:
"Itís called Serendipity Beach but thereís nothing serendipitous about ending up here. Itís the centre of action and this is where most young travellers naturally gravitate to. Along the sand is a long line of bars and restaurants, each one almost indistinguishable from the next. During the day the establishments put out deckchairs and sunbeds for people to use (while they buy food and drink, of course). Cambodian vendors wander amongst the tourists, trying to sell them snacks, sunglasses and manicures. It seems reasonable that local people would come here and try to make some money from the foreigners. What I donít understand are the young foreigners who join the locals peddling their own wares.
Young men and women, usually uncovered on the torso except for a bikini or tattoos, trudge along the sand handing out flyers promoting restaurants, hotels and bars. Theyíre not rude or forceful and often theyíll stop for a chat with someone who catches their eye. But in some ways they are just as annoying as the Cambodian woman who keeps telling me I have too much hair on my shoulders to be attractive (probably a true statement Ė but an unwelcome one nonetheless).
But this is what gives meaning to the months they choose to spend in Sihanoukville. It gives them employment, in a sense, because they get free accommodation and drinks
in exchange for the spruiking. It gives them interactivity, because they can invite the new arrivals to the parties that are happening that evening. And it
gives them events, because the nights at the bar will now have the regular long term crowd and the novel addition of some sunburnt fresh arrivals."