Dining and Bars
Beaches, Boats Islands & Scuba
More to Do
town sits in the center of a small peninsula that juts into
the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Several beaches of
fine pearl-white sand line the shore around the
peninsula, all easily accessible from the town, each
separated from the other as much by character as the rocky
headlands between. The main beaches are lined with thatch
roofed seafood shacks and bars offering cold drinks,
umbrellas and chairs, BBQ, evening parties and water sports.
Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beaches are the most popular and
the busiest with plenty of nearby hotels, guesthouses, bars
and restaurants. On the other side of town, Independence and
Victory beaches are also popular, both offering smaller
crowds and a somewhat more tranquil atmosphere. Otres Beach
is similar to Ochheuteal but less touristed and more
of Ochheuteal Beach)
is by far the most popular and touristed in town. The beach is long,
sandy and comparatively narrow, with ‘Serendipity Beach’ at the
arcing northern end and a development project taking up most of the
southern half. Most of the hotels, guesthouses and restaurants in the
Ochheuteal area are on and around the northern half.
The Ochheuteal area has a good selection of accommodations ranging from
mid-range to budget with most located along the roads paralleling the
beach and the road from the Golden Lions Traffic Circle to Serendipity
Beach. A few bungalows and rooms are also tucked up amongst the
headlands at either end of Ochheuteal.
On the beach, shack-style seafood restaurants and bars line more than a
kilometer of the sand's edge from Serendipity Beach to the development
project. The beachside places typically offer umbrellas and beach
chairs, have full bars, cold drinks and most have food, especially
Just off the beach, in the early evening, several roadside BBQ
restaurants set going along 23 Tola St (Preah Lumhei Phumin St.) All
serve fresh seafood skewers, grilled meats and lots more.
For nightlife on Ochheuteal, many of the beach bars are open into the
late night and a few throw regular beach parties. Some of the more
popular late night beach bars are located at the near end. Just off the
beach, the bars on Serendipity Beach Road, at the new Sihanoukville
Square and at the Gold Lions Plaza are usually open late into the night.
(map of Victory Beach
and Hill area)
The Victory Beaches are actually two long beaches divided by
a rocky point and a small hill, so named for the Victory
Monument that sits near the midpoint. The southern section
is known as ‘Hawaii Beach’ and the northern part near Victory
Monument is ‘Victory Beach,’ which is the most popular area with
travelers. The narrow sands at the port end (northern end) of
the beach are known as ‘Port Beach.’
‘Victory Beach’ sits at the base of the popular Victory Hill.
Victory is a nice little beach, only a few hundred meters long
but wide in sections, offering a variety of beachside services
and one of the best sunset views in town. A parking lot and a
pier with top end boats for hire sits at the near end the beach
at the base of Victory Hill. Farther north along Victory the beach narrows and a few upscale
seafood restaurants hug the water’s edge.
Above Victory Beach, Victory Hill (‘Weather Station Hill’)
offers a variety of guesthouses, restaurants and bars. Several
places, both budget and mid-range dot the side of the Hill
overlooking the ocean, some offering excellent sunset views.
The very top of hill is one of Sihanoukville’s nightlife
hotspots. The hilltop road is lined with hostess bars, music
and sport bars as well as a few restaurants. After dark, the
street come to life, some places staying open into the early
‘Hawaii Beach’ at the far southern end of the Victory Beaches is
fairly busy these days, and is much more popular with Cambodian
beach-goers than foreign tourists. Like the other major beaches,
Hawaii is lined with umbrellas and chairs and little beach shack
bars and restaurants. Boats for hire along the beach.
Otres Beach is the next beach south of Ochh-euteal and
similar in many ways - like Ochh-euteal, Otres is a three
kilometer crescent of white sand facing to the southwest. But
Otres is less developed and more thinly touristed, offering a
more leisurely, relaxed atmos-phere. Beach shacks and
guesthouses/bungalows line the near and far ends of the Otres
Beach with a development project taking up most of the central
At the near end of the beach a
dozens of beachshack bars and restaurants squeeze together along
a kilometer of sand. There are also several
guesthouses/bungalows on the beachfront road 20 meters from the
water. The secluded far end of Otres on the other side of the
development area also has a much more secluded atmosphere with a
few beach bars and accommodations along the sand.
To get there,
take the back beach road past the project and turn toward the
beach. Just follow the bar signs.
The road to Otres and the back beach road have been graded and
are in very good condition, making it much easier to get to and
around Otres. The front road is also open, but rough and
partially blocked at the far end.
Most of the beach restaurants serve seafood and more, but each
place has its own unique flavor. Price and quality of the
accommodations vary, so shop around for what best suits your
requirements. Bear in mind that the seclusion and lack of
development that affords Otres its tranquility also limits some
services. After dusk it can be a long dark trip back to town.
Independence Beach draws its name from the historic Independence
Hotel that sits atop the headland at the north end, often called
‘otel pram-pul chann (‘hotel 7-storeys’) by the locals.
Independence is better than a kilometer long, but more than half is
closed for a development project. A long slice at the north end and
a small corner at the south end remain open to the public. At the
northern end, a 500 meter strip of sandy beach and groomed park is
open to the public and sports near a dozen beach front BBQ huts.
Good place to escape the crowds of Ochheuteal.
A small semi-private corner of beach is also still accessible to the
public at the southern end of Independence, near the Holiday Palace.
The fresh water lake at the north end of the beach serves as the
source and reservoir of Sihanoukville's water supply. On the road
past the northern end behind the Independence Hotel, monkeys
(macaques) often congregate and beg for food along the road,
especially in the late afternoon.
Occupying all of Sokha Beach, the Sokha
Beach Resort offers luxury accommodation and fine dining. Sokha
Beach is a beautiful beach, a crescent of sand about one kilometer long
and comparatively wide. The fine pearl white sand is perfectly
groomed these days but the beach is fairly quiet, frequented primarily
by resort guests. There aren’t any little seafood shacks, but dining
gazebos and an up-market beach bar / restaurant run by the Sokha
These ‘other’ beaches are outside of the town area and are frequented more by fishermen than tourists, though this is slowly changing. Road conditions can be challenging, especially in the wet season.
Ream Beach is long and narrow, sitting at the edge of Preah Sihanouk
(‘Ream’) National Park about 27km from town. The beach is largely
untouristed and of very average quality. The road toward Naval Base
offers a nice little oceanside drive and sections are lined with water’s
edge seafood shacks and a thin beach. Take Route 4 18km north to the
Airport road 18km north. Turn right, 9km to the ocean.
The Prek Treng Beach a few kilometers north of town is a long
crescent of white sand, offering compar-atively warm shallow waters.
The beach has recently been cleaned up and groomed and is looking
particularly good. Due to the distance from town and complete lack of
services the beach is usually deserted. To get there follow Hun Sen
Beach Drive north a few kilometers past the port area.
from M'Lop Tapang and ChildSafe...
When on the
beaches of Sihanoukville you will meet many children. Please
remember that buying from the children on the beaches or
street keeps them on the beaches or street. As long as they
make an income their parents will send them out to work.
They are vulnerable to abuse and they are not safe. The
hours they work prevent them from attending Khmer school. No
formal education will perpetuate the cycle of poverty that
most of their families are in. Instead please let Cambodian
social workers do their job effectively by not encouraging
children to stay on the beach by giving food, gifts, money
or buying from them.
If you see a child in danger, call the ChildSafe 24 hour
hotline on 012-478100 managed by a team of English
speaking Khmer social workers from M'Lop Tapang program for
street children. Thanks for being a ChildSafe
updated November 2013