After the breakup of Indochina in the 1950s, Sihanoukville was created in an effort to give the country its own independent seaport. However, it has since then become a sleepy port and beach town. Following to the discoveries of oil and gas offshore, the country has raised itself from the long lasting sleep. Read more...

Presently, Sihanoukville is still Cambodia's only sea port and premier beach town with miles of white sand tropical beaches, picturesque islands and warm tropical waters favourable for swimming, relaxing or other water sports or activities. Local fishermen take visitors from Preah Sihanouk to surrounding islands where coral reefs are perfect for snorkelling, diving and fishing. The resort town was established in 1964 and its cool breezes and clear blue skies can be appreciated year round. The province also serves as a travel hub for the coastal towns of southern Cambodia like Kampot, Kep, Koh Kong and beyond.

Places of interest

Sihanoukville town sits in the centre of a small peninsula that juts into the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand. Several fine, near-white sand beaches easily accessible from the town line the shore around the peninsula. The main beaches are lined with little thatch roofed beach bars and seafood shacks offering cold drinks, beach umbrellas and chairs, seafood BBQ, evening parties, water sports and more.

Ochheuteal and Serendipity Beaches are the most popular and the busiest beaches with plenty of nearby hotels, guesthouses, bars and restaurants. On the other side of town, Victory Beach (at the base of Weather Station Hill (or Victory Hill) is also popular but not as busy) offers a somewhat more tranquil atmosphere. Otres Beach is similar to Ochheuteal but far less touristy and has a relaxed, out of the way feel. The other beaches include Independence Beach and Sokha Beach.

About 10km off the coast of Sihanoukville, Koh Russey (“Bamboo Island”) is a small secluded tropical island with some simple bungalows facing the beach. It is a barely-touched stretch of yellow sand, providing complete serenity. No hawkers and no hassle. There is just you and the sea. There are little things to do on Koh Russey as it is a paradise for a relaxing journey to nature. You can swim all day, read in a hammock in the morning, go on a fishing boat or play volleyball with the fishermen. There are bonfires and barbecues during the evenings.

The waters off of Sihanoukville and the nearby islands offer some wonderful scuba diving opportunities. Coral encrusted rocky reefs surround many of the local islands, and support abundant hard and soft corals, sponges, anemones and an assortment of fish life including: sting rays; moray eels; dolphins; and even whales. Experienced divers report that the variety and concentration of marine life along the reefs are some of the best they have encountered.

Ream National Park, officially called Preah Sihanouk National Park, has become known as “Ream” as it is located in the Ream Commune. The park was established in 1993, inaugurated in March 1995, and encompasses 21,000 hectares of coastal area including: sandy beaches; mangrove forests; the Prek Tuk Sap estuary; off-shore coral reefs; and two islands (namely “Koh Thmei” and “Koh Seh”). It is rumoured that the Park provides refuge for such species as: macaques; sun bear; dolphins; mouse deer; pangolin; and over a hundred species of birds most of which are rarely seen.

Prek Teuk Sap in Ream National Park has recently been attracting tourists for its natural beauty, beach and the area's clean environment. It is also a haven for wildlife watchers.

Kbal Chhay waterfall is located in Khan Prey Nup, approximately 16 kilometres north of the downtown Sihanoukville. The water at Kbal Chhay comes from many sources along the mountain range, although only three of these sources are visible. The waterfall, which is 14 metres high, is at the point where those three sources meet.

Phnom Leu is a natural and cultural site. There is a pagoda on the mountaintop which offers visitors a panoramic view of the beaches and the Sihanoukville international port. Most visitors are local Cambodians who visit the site during national festivals.