White Beaches and Wild Islands: Best Attractions in Sihanoukville

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If you’re in Cambodia and you’ve decided to visit the South, Sihanoukville is your best shot. This distant place with a particular atmosphere is so connected to nature that you won’t be able to make a clear distinction in terms of beauty and relevance between the beaches you will see here and the local people. As such, as opposed to the northwestern part of the country, where everything has to do with history, the places you ought to see in Sihanoukville focus on the tropical beauty of nature.

There are three types of attractions, each carrying its special set of possible activities: the beaches, the tropical islands close to continent, and the Khmer local culture.

Beaches for Every Taste

There is a great difference between a regular tropical beach and the beaches in Cambodia. This refers to everything from the spectacular colors, to water, to underwater life, and to a certain feeling of calmness you get here. Below there is a list with the three most impressive spots in the area, in no order of preference:

  • Independence Beach – A popular attraction due to the combination of good services and excellent sand.
  • Otres Beach – The colors of umbrellas match the color of the ocean in a very strange way.
  • Sokha Beach – Beautiful and unique. This is the perfect place for a sun bath, especially from November to January.

Victory Beach - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Get on a Tropical Island

Take a short ride in a local boat and you can experience for an entire day remarkable waterscapes around the tropical islands near Sihanoukville. Most of them are flooded with vegetation, whereas others seem completely covered by the ocean.

  • Koh Poah – This one is located close to the shore and easily accessible.
  • Koh Koang Kang – A beautiful combination of natural vegetation and completely wild areas.

Local Cuisine and Fishing Traditions

In Sihanoukville everything is related to water. So if you’ve visited enough wats in the North, we suggest you focus on food. Khmer cuisine is very specific, with many highlights. However, it’s precisely Sihanoukville where Cambodian dishes become truly authentic. In this area the Thai and Chinese influences are not that consistent and the French and Vietnamese traces are limited. As such, you can alternate between international food (French and fusion) and Khmer food.

Sihanoukville cuisine is centered on fish, mainly saltwater fish, although you can still get freshwater fish dishes due to the proximity of the Mekong delta at the east. Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

  • Banh chiao – A sort of pancakes with rice and coconut milk.
  • Bok L’hong – Papaya salad with peanuts and Asian basil.
  • Amok – Fish with coconut milk. A dish well-known all across Cambodia, but a real specialty here in Sihanoukville.
  • Samlor machu – Tamarind sour soup. Great during a hot day or after a sun bath.

Apart from all these, there are many places you can visit in here, from the superb fishing villages located in the area (try, for example, Tumnuk Rolok) to Ream National Park. However, the rule stands: in Sihanoukville, the ocean is the king of attractions.