Sihanoukville | Cambodia
You have seen most of Thai beaches and want to try something else? You don’t want to spend a fortune and only have few days? Sihanoukville might be for you. This small city in Cambodia is quite nice, cheap and has plenty to offer if you want to relax few days.
– I was lucky and got a round trip ticket, Bangkok-Phnom Penh (PP), for 1,000 baht including all taxes. Real price is probably 4,000 baht but there are cheap buses from Bangkok. However, it’s probably long in bus…
– You must get a Cambodian visa, for 20$ US. Before leaving (at a consulate or embassy) or on arrival at the PP airport. It takes only about 10 minutes to get the visa at the airport. Bring a picture.
– Phnom Penh- Sihanoukville is 6$ US in bus. It takes 4 hours, the bus has air-con.
– Accommodations, drinks and food are cheaper than Thailand. I saw some huts with fan as low as 5 and 10$ US. Beer can be 50 cents (15 baht) a glass. But count on 500 to 1,000 baht for a nice hotel with air con, near the beach.
– there is an airport tax of 25$ US when you leave the country.
– total for 5 days, maybe around 10,000 baht including plane, visa, hotel, food. Lucky on the plane tickets but we choose a brand new nice hotel with swimming pool (only 900 baht per night!)
If you are looking for a nice and quiet beach, Otress beach is probably the most beautiful one. It was really quiet when we went on a sunny afternoon.
But if you are looking for more activity, a beach with bars and more people, try serendipity beach.
All beaches are very clean. Food and drinks are cheaper in Sihanoukville than most places in Thailand. On top of that, chairs on the beach are free if you drink or eat at a restaurant. You will pay 1$ for a fruit shake. About 1.5 to 3$ for cocktails. You can also add some “happy” to your fruit shake or pizza for about 2$. That means they will add some special herbs (marijuana) to make you feel “happy”…
You will find information about the different beaches here: www.sihanoukville-cambodia.com/about-sihanoukville/beaches.html
Sihanoukville has all kinds of restaurants, from Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Thai, French, etc. There is actually a big community of French people in Cambodia and French bread is available on every street corner.
That is an example of BBQ, with chicken, shrimps and squid.
French bread, salad and French fries. 3$ US on the beach!! (90 baht).
Not only the food is good, but it is actually cheaper if you compare to Thailand. Wine, beer and alcohol iare also cheaper and they have a wide variety. Angkor Beer is the most popular and you can get a draft glass for 50 cents on daytime or happy hour. No, “happy” hour doesn’t mean they put “happy” in your glass! (unless you ask for it!)
If you want to try a special restaurant, the “snake house” has crocodiles, turtles, snakes and other creatures. The food is nothing exceptional but you will spend a great evening with the animals.
The special dishes in Cambodia include Beef Luk Lak and Amok Fish. Both delicious.
Sihanoukville is not a big city. You can cross it in Tuk Tuk for about 5 to 10$, in about 10-15 minutes. The beaches are the biggest attraction.
If you want to do something else, there are boat trips doing snorkelling for about 25-30 dollars per day, including transport, food and all gear. You can also spend some time in a casino but don’t expect something like Macau or Las Vegas. We only visited one for 15 minutes, an old and small casino, with slot machines but mostly people playing card games.
Psa Leu is the central market in Sihanoukville.
I would recommend Sihanoukville to anyone who want to spend few days quiet at the beach. And despite problems between Thailand and Cambodia (we were there exactly after shootings near Preah Vihear), we didn’t have any problems, we didn’t see any soldiers and we haven’t heard any gun shot. Problems are really at the border near the temple but not inside Cambodia.