Introducing the city

£1.00 | 5,345.72KHR

GBP | KHR

Gasoline £0.69 | 3,692.88KHR

One-way ticket £1.15 | 6,154.80KHR

Beer £0.77 | 4,103.20KHR

Main Course £2.49 | 13,335.40KHR

About Sihanoukville

An aloof beach town handy for accessing islands in the gulf of Thailand, hiking the neighbouring jungle and hanging out along Cambodia's modest stretch of coastline.

Cambodia's only port town is enclosed by easterly jungles and Ream National Park. Its coastline features a minimalist embroidery of tropical islands in the Gulf of Thailand to the West. Sihanoukville's shores are ideal for snoozing by day and partying by night but find the time to arrange an island excursion and a hike into the nearby jungle.

Beach dilettantes searching for deserted shores will be impressed by Koh Rong Samloem, a 45 minute boat ride from the coast. Cast aways can negotiate extensive trips to far flung Koh Polou Wai, the site of the last American combative action of the Vietnam War.

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Weather

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When Should you Visit?

The best months for beaching are December and January when the heat is bearable and chances of rain are slim.

Almost three quarters of Cambodia's rains arrive with the southwesterly monsoon from May to October and temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees Celsius. Temperatures in the late October to April dry season average in the low to mid thirties. April is the hottest month of the year for Sihanoukville, temperatures can threaten to hit 40 degrees Celsius. The rains of the wet season are predictable, always falling in the late afternoon, the countryside is much greener at this time and tourism is minimal.

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Travioor top tips

Power
Fishing
Beach

Insider Info

  • A few of the islands in the gulf have limited or no electricity. Generators tend to run for 12 hours a day.

  • Cambodia's small islands are ideal for fishing. If you plan to fish, gather the necessaries on the mainland and speak to locals for advice.

  • While Serendipity Beach is busy, you don't have to go far to find quieter stretches.

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Food and drink

Main Course £2.49 | 13,335.40KHR

3-Course Meal £15.35 | 82,064.00KHR

Cappuccino £1.36 | 7,283.18KHR

Beer £0.77 | 4,103.20KHR

The Scene

Sihanoukville has a good reputation among travellers for good quality food at low prices. Fresh salads and the grilled catches of local fisherman are plentiful in the gentle restaurants along the waterfront.

The bars can go hard into the early hours but this can be easily avoided by selecting quieter accommodation away from the main strip.

The Cambrew Brewery and producer of Angkor Beer is in Sihanoukville.

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History

Sihanoukville’s Story

Sihanoukville was built in 1955 by a united French and Cambodian effort. Cutting through the jungle, laying the road and constructing the port obtained Cambodia unmolested access to the sea. Original access, by way of the Mekong delta, was lost when it was absorbed into Vietnam in 1954, following the breakup of French Indochina.

The fresh and young urban districts behind the tourist beaches are young compared to major cities and Angkorian structures but Sihanoukville is by no means a small time player.

The month after American forces evacuated its shores in April 1975, they returned to bomb the port plus various military targets and to deliver naval gun fire on surrounding islands. Sihanoukville is no rookie to war nor a bystander in economic growth and has significantly developed as a tourist destination in recent years.

Language

Chomreabsuor | Hello
Arkoun | Thank you

Khmer

Road signs are marked in English and locals also speak good English; some may speak other languages too. A few choice Khmer words go a long way.

  • Bye: Leahaey
  • Please: Saum
  • Excuse me: Attos
  • Do you speak English: Tae anak niyeay pheasaeaangkles

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Need to know

+855 Dialling Code
117 | 119 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Staying a while? Some of the hostels offer bread and board for some extra help around the place.
  • The scars left by the Khmer Rouge are still fresh for many Cambodians. Be sensitive if the topic is broached and be wary if raising it in conversation yourself.
  • There are urban development plans for Sihanoukville that threaten its natural resources. Visiting Ream National Park bolsters the sustainable tourism of an environment in distress.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Koh Rong Sanloeum

A nominally developed island roughly 40 kilometres North West of the coastline, popular with long time backpackers and young couples in search of rest.

2. Birds

There are over 150 species of birds here and in Ream National Park you can spot fish eagles, brahminy kites, milky and painted storks that feed along the estuary and mudflats.

3. Sandflies

There have been reports of nasty rashes and skin reactions to sand fly bites. Take a towel to lie on and those with sensitive skin may want to rethink visiting Koh Rong.

4. Bad Reputation

In recent years, attention has been drawn to the raucous parties of Sihanoukville. Younger crowds welcome this news but those seeking a relaxing time should visit off-peak.

5. Snorkelling

The islands offer the best snorkelling sites and divers have a strong chance of spotting barracudas, lion fish, parrot fish, stingrays, puffer fish and sea horses.


See What's On In Sihanoukville