Sihanoukville is in the list of everyone's travel list of Cambodia. Nowadays, everyone seems to come here, whether it's backpacking, on tour, or just spending a weekend. This city is a fun place to party. The city itself is not a wow kind of place, but the islands off the coast are still a paradise. Formerly, the city was called Kampong Saom, but King Sihanouk renamed the city in 1958, who built there the first and only deepwater port in the entire country.
Like its neighbouring southern cities Kep and Kampot, Sihanoukville is a coastal city. The city has a pleasant climate and lots of beautiful beaches that both tourists and locals love. The beaches of the city offer a very calm atmosphere, so it's a perfect holiday destination.
Here are some things you need to know before your trip to Sihanoukville.
The main reason to visit Sihanoukville is undoubtedly its relaxed atmosphere, great beaches, friendly locals, and cheap accommodations. Here, you will also get some beaches where you can party all night long. Or, if you like to escape from the crowd and enjoy your escape in this tropical paradise with an isolated feel, the city offers that too. Beaches are abundant in Sihanoukville that will surely enchant you and sweep you off your feet.
The ideal time to visit Sihanoukville is between November and February as it is the cool season in Cambodia. However, this time is also the peak tourist season in the country, so you will see much more crowd than usual. During this time, the accommodation's price also hikes up, and it might be tough finding decent accommodation if you haven't planned in advance.
The months from March to May is quite hot; however, it is great even during this time, if you are only planning to visit beaches in Sihanoukville.
From June to October, it is the rainy season, so the chance of rainfall will be very high. Usually, it will not pour all days long, though and you can enjoy the sea and the beaches even in the cloudy weather. It will also be cooler than the hot season, and there will be minimal chance of skin burn. Sometimes rains in Colombia can itself be exciting. The major advantage of visiting in this season is you will get a great price in accommodations, and the beaches will be much less crowded; sometimes you will have the whole beach to yourself.
Sihanoukville doesn't have any airports, so you will have to travel from Phnom Penh. If you are in Siem Reap, then you first have to go to Phnom Penh, then to Sihanoukville. The best way to travel to Sihanoukville from Phnom Penh is by bus. You can book bus tickets online. You can check the reviews of the bus agency if you want to avoid scams and get the best prices.
Source: Economy Traveller
Almost every beach in Sihanoukville has their own resorts or hotels, so the accommodations might not be much of the problem, most time of the year. However, if you are visiting in the peak season, it will be better if you book your room in advance. Except for the time between November and October, you will almost always get a great choice of accommodation from as low as 7USD per night in a beach hut, and up to 100USD in a gorgeous resort.
Some of the finest hotels and resorts in Sihanoukville include Koh THmei Resort, located in Koh Thmei Island, Rabbit Island, bungalow in Koh Tonsay Island, Kepmandou lounge bar, Castaway beach bar and bungalows located in Otres Beach, Tamu hotel also located in Otres Beach, Sea Garden in Otres Beach, OC beach hotel in Ocheuteal beach and Nomads land in Koh Totang.
Source: Move to Cambodia
The most popular ways of traveling around in Sihanoukville is the motorbike taxi. They are quite cheap; the price is about 1.25 USD per trip, although you have to haggle at night or if you are travelling a long distance. For example, the ride from Serendipity Beach to the new bus station should cost about 3.5USD during the day.
If you don't like motorbike taxi, there are also plenty of tuk-tuks available in Sihanoukville. Tuk-tuks are a bit expensive that motorbike taxi and haggling also doesn't work much as they have fixed rates, discussed with all other drivers. A trip from the new bus park to Serendipity Beach will cost around 4USD. If you hire one for a whole day, do not pay more than 20USD.
You can also hire a regular taxi. However, remember that they are often not metered and are the most expensive among all the transportation. If you want a taxi to get to the airport from the hotel, you can ask your hotel or hostel to arrange one for you.
Also, remember that delays are common on the roads of Cambodia, so leave early for the airport.
Source: South East Asia Backpacker
There are lots of beaches in Sihanoukville, ranging from the lively crowded beach to secluded, serene beach. Here you can enjoy time partying on the beach or just spend time relaxing and enjoying swimming, and other water sports. The most famous beach in Sihanoukville is Otres Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever visit. It is a bit far from the city, but it is much more peaceful and relaxing than other beaches in the city. The thing you shouldn't miss this beach is its market. Here you can buy local products and souvenirs, and you can also party all night long.
Situated just outside of Sihanoukville, Kbal Chhay Waterfalls is one of the best waterfalls you will see in Colombia. The waterfalls are about ten kilometres away from the city centre, but most of the part of the road leading there is in quite bad condition, so expect a bumpy ride. Before reaching the waterfalls, you can have a nice walk, enjoying the peaceful natural setting. As waterfalls are quite difficult to reach, they are not very popular among tourists.
Source: Miles of Happiness
Koh Rong Samloem is another best place you can visit in Cambodia. This island is great for party people. It is absolute must to visit. The natural setting is incredible, the beaches are gorgeous, and the overall atmosphere is calm and relaxing. Your trip to Sihanoukville will not be complete without visiting this island.