Sihanoukville is a port city in southern Cambodia, formerly known as Kampong Som. Sihanoukville was founded in 1964 to be Cambodia’s only deep-water port. It is a short 5-hour, 230-kilometer drive from Phnom Penh.

General Information

Sihanoukville location

Sihanoukville location

All over the city, new bars, restaurants, cafes, and stores are springing up. This makes this city an excellent choice when deciding where to stay in Sihanoukville for nightlife or bargain shopping.

This city is located on a headland surrounded by pristine beaches, overlooking the Gulf of Thailand, and offers a variety of activities ranging from sunbathing and swimming to snorkeling and scuba diving, boat trips, and jungle hikes, among others. The coastal town is well-known for having some of Cambodia‘s best beaches, making it a popular weekend getaway for city dwellers. Sihanoukville, with its laid-back atmosphere, is quickly becoming a popular destination for those looking to get away from cities and spend some time relaxing.

If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of cities, Sihanoukville has it all. There is also a slew of new bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops springing up throughout the city. There is also a slew of new bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops springing up throughout the city. This makes this city an excellent choice when deciding where to stay in Sihanoukville for nightlife or bargain shopping.

Weather and best time to visit Sihanoukville

Because of its proximity to the sea, Sihanoukville experiences tropical weather. The town has two seasons: the dry season and the wet season, due to the southwest monsoon winds.

Sihanoukville weather

Sihanoukville weather

Sihanoukville’s dry season begins in October and lasts until early May. The best time to visit this city is between November and February when the weather is mild and the roads are clear. During the dry season, temperatures in Sihanoukville typically hover around 30°C, thanks to bright sunshine and clear skies. The dry season is ideal for visiting the city’s beaches and spending time in the cool sea breeze. This city can legitimately be called Cambodia’s beach haven. This is the peak season for exploring the city’s jewels, so many tourists flock to Sihanoukville.

Sihanoukville’s wet season lasts from early May to late September. The city’s tropical climate includes brief periods of heavy precipitation and high humidity. However, because it is the off-season, tourists will find it easier to explore the city with fewer crowds. Although the wet season makes travel difficult, visitors can take advantage of off-season discounts while relaxing at any of the city’s beach resorts. Otres Beach, for example, provides a tranquil atmosphere while also providing tourists with a plethora of watersports and stimulating activities to participate in.

Between October and January is the best time to visit Sihanoukville. The weather is ideal during these months, with less humidity, and it is a wonderful time to visit the beaches. Summer begins slowly in late February, with the hottest months being March to May. Monsoon season begins in late July and lasts until September, causing landslides and flooding in most areas.

Getting to & around Sihanoukville

To get to Sihanoukville, Cambodia, you can either fly directly into the airport. If you are already in Cambodia, take a private taxi, bus, or train.

Cambodian trains have recently resumed service, and you can now travel from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville on weekends. The journey lasts approximately 7 hours.

Private taxis, which usually cost between $50 and $60, are the quickest way to get from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Prices can skyrocket during peak season. Taxis can seat four people, but they rarely have enough room for a large amount of luggage. That is why we advise hiring a private car.

Where to Stay in Sihanoukville

Within the city limits, there is a nice sandy beach called Ou Chheuteal Beach. Unfortunately, it is too noisy because of the large number of hotels, guesthouses, bars, and restaurants. It was widely known among backpackers for decades due to its low-cost accommodation and bars. As in the rest of the world, it is quickly becoming a hot spot for tourists seeking new, massive hotels, the more Western the better. Otres Beach is located approximately 7 kilometers from Sihanoukville City and is divided into two sections: Otres 1 and Otres 2. They were peaceful and quiet sandy beaches with adequate infrastructure until a couple of years ago. Massive structures, on the other hand, have sprung up all over two areas. Imagine the noise when there is still a lot of construction going on. We don’t recommend these areas if you’re looking for a quiet place to relax.

Koh Rong, Cambodia’s largest island, has largely avoided mass tourism. The majority of the island’s tourist infrastructure is concentrated on Tui Beach, which is located at the island’s southernmost tip. Long-Sok San Beach, Long Set Beach, and Pagoda Beach, on the other hand, are less crowded and more peaceful.

Furthermore, Koh Rong Sanloem is a smaller and less crowded island. There is no nightlife at all, not even on Saracen Bay, the island’s most popular beach. The internet has only recently arrived, but the parties have not! Sunset and Lazy Beaches are secluded. To get to both, you must travel through a beautiful stretch of rainforest teeming with monkeys and exotic birds.

Best places to visit & things to do in Sihanoukville


Diving in Koh Rong

Diving in Koh Rong

The most popular island destinations off the coast of Sihanoukville are Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samleom, which are very different but very close together. It takes about 45 minutes to reach both of them by ferry. Several shipping companies operate scheduled routes several times a day. Spend a night in Samleom for a relaxing evening with an incredible sunset view, or head to Koh Rong for a night of partying and some of Cambodia’s best beaches.

Serendipity Beach

Serendipity Beach

Serendipity Beach

Serendipity Beach is Sihanoukville’s main beach; you can’t miss it. A boardwalk next to the pier is lined with beachfront restaurants and shady umbrella stands. Each restaurant has indoor seating with views of the ocean as well as beach chairs on which you can work on your tan while sipping a fruity cocktail. The boardwalk comes alive at night, with loud music, blinking lights, and a younger audience of both tourists and Cambodians who enjoy partying.

Otres Beach

Hire a tuk-tuk from the town center to take you to Otres Beach. Otres Beach, just on the opposite side of Serendipity Beach, is much cleaner, quieter, and has slightly more ‘upscale’ accommodation options. The beach is ideal for building sandcastles, the water is cool and relaxing, and the villagers are extremely welcoming.

Independence Beach

This charming little inlet is located to the right of the main pier and features clear water and rocky shores that are unique to the area. Explore this peaceful little hideaway by following the dirt path that runs beneath the massive shady trees. While not particularly large, this charming cove is home to some adorable restaurants, fishing villages, and boulders. Take your lunch to go from a nearby restaurant, or grab a beer from a nearby shop and have a picnic by the sea.

Ream National Park

Ream National Park is located in the Prey Nob district of Sihanoukville province in southeastern Cambodia. It consists of part of the mainland, dense forests, and 21 islands rich in marine life. Ream is one of the most visited national parks in the country, with visitors to Sihanoukville flocking here to see the abundant wildlife and sea life.

Kbal Chhay Waterfall

Kbal Chhay Waterfall

Kbal Chhay Waterfall

It’s nice to change things up after a few days in the sand. You can cool off with the freshwater streams at Kbal Chhay Waterfall, lay down in the revitalizing pools as crystal clear streams rush over your body, and relax under the waterfalls for a vigorous back massage. Traditional Khmer bamboo huts provide shade when you’re ready to dry off.

What & Where to Eat in Sihanoukville

Koh Por Food Shop – Khmer Cuisine

Lok Lak with rice

Lok Lak with rice

If you are looking for exceptional Khmer cuisine, Koh Por Food Shop is one of the best places in Sihanoukville. It is not mentioned on any review site but is extremely popular with local Khmer for its wide variety of dishes and high-quality food.

Sandan – Khmer & Western Fusion

Sour and spicy sea food

Sour and spicy seafood

Sandan is a great option if you want to try some local Khmer food but want to be on the safe side. The restaurant specializes in Khmer and Western fusion dishes, which means it tries to soften and subtly bring out the flavors of traditional dishes.

Olive Olive – Italian Cuisine

Italian food in Sihanoukville

Italian food in Sihanoukville

If you’re looking for “safe” home cooking during your stay, Olive Olive’s excellent Italian cuisine is ideal. Conveniently located at the intersection of Ochheuteal Street and the Golden Lions roundabout, Olive Olive serves a simple yet sophisticated menu of pizzas, steaks, lamb shanks, and salads. Their wine selection and overall presentation are excellent and their service is on par with the best in Sihanoukville.

Dao of Life

Vegetarian amok

Vegetarian amok

If you’re a vegan, there are several options available to you. Vegetarian dishes can be found in popular markets as well as high-end restaurants. Dao of Life is a charming all-vegan cafe and community center. Travelers can come here for juices, coffee, burgers, and pancakes, among other things, and enjoy the cool vibes, good food, and friendly people.

Travel Tips

On the beach, vendors sell everything from seafood, fruit, and drinks to herbal remedies and traditional massages. Some of them are known to steal property left unattended. So keep an eye on your valuables when swimming or leave them in a trusted beach hut.

Also keep in mind that Cambodia is a conservative society, which is reflected in locals’ choice of beachwear. You can also show your respect for the local culture by wearing modest beachwear. When it comes to transportation in Sihanoukville, always agree on a price in advance. Ask your hotel to make the necessary arrangements.

We hope you find the information in the article above useful. If you want more information and ideas for creating an unforgettable memory in Sihanoukville, feel free to contact us!

Create My Trip