01 August, 2009

Sihanouk Ville

Miles of fine white sandy beaches line the coastline of Sihanouk ville. These beaches are accessible from the town. The four main tourist beaches of Sihanouk ville, namely Sokha, Ochheuteal, Independence and Victory beaches, each separated from the other by rocky outcrops, provide the main focus of attraction for tourists, In addition, there are alternative beaches: Otres , Ream Chhne Koh Sanpauch, Chnne Koh Thmey, which is situated in Ream Nation Park, and Chnne Prek Treng which is situated outside the town area. Presently Sihanouk ville has become the premier site for tourists seeking beaches in Cambodia, as the other neighbouring coastal municipalities do not have beach resource and accessibility is difficult due to lack of road connection.


Sihanouk ville best hotels and some smart house can be found at Ochheuteal, but as none of them are right on the beach, the there-kilometer strech of fine sand remains unspoilt. Most of the action is in the middle section where there are excellent facilities, including food stalls, beach umbrellas, deck chairs and table, fresh water showers and toilets. At the north end of the beach, the area know as serendipity has some cheap travelers' restaurants and beach bougalows, while to the south, a golf course is being built.

Sokha Beach

Sokha Beach adjoins O'Cheuteal Beach. It is also long, though the water is deeper here. The beach was once more crowded than O'Cheuteal Beach, because Cambodians prefer it to the other beaches. However, Oknha Sok Kung's Sokha Hotel Company recently took over operations at the beach. The company is building up the area in hopes of attracting more tourists to Sihanouk ville.

Prek Treng Beach
Also known as the Hun Sen Beach, the Prek Treng Beach a few kilometers north of town is a long, narrow crescent of sand, a bit rocky in parts, offering comparatively warm shallow waters. Due to Prek Treng?s distance from town and complete lack of services (no guesthouses, restaurants, beach chairs, etc.,) the beach is usually deserted. There is a nearby development project promising a busy future for Prek Treng, but at the moment you can have the beach pretty much to yourself. Just remember to bring drinks and snacks as there are very rarely beach vendors available. To get there follow Hun Sen Beach Drive north a few kilometers past the port area. The beach is on the left just past the first bridge and before you reach the oil port.

Sunset Point

Sihanoukville offers several excellent spots to watch sunset. Most people opt for the beaches. Victory is the most ideally oriented beach for sunset. The view from the other beaches is sometimes partially obstructed depending on the time of year. Of the restaurants, Bungalow Village, Chez Claude, Chez Mari-yan, Nika Guesthouse and Mealy Chenda offer the best vistas. My favorite beach spot is the fishing camp at the base of the hill between north and south Victory beaches. The fishing boats in the foreground and Snake Island on the horizon can be quite photogenic. Perhaps the best sunset point is at the top of Sihanouk Ville Mountain. The rocks at the top face west offer a beautiful view of the town, port, ocean and islands.

Prampi Choan Beach
The beach is short and narrow, and the waves are bigger than at other beaches, making it popular with locals, who favor inmost after Sokha Beach.

Lumhe Key or Victory Beach
The beach is located in front of Koh Pors.It offers a number of services, including comfortable restrooms, fresh water and good transportation service to Koh Pors. Thus, many local and international visitors go to this beach. There are many well-organized kiosks along the beach; the waves are not big, and the environment is clean.

Deum Chhrey Beach
Deum Chhrey Beach is located in front of City Hall. Few tourists swim here because there is a big restaurant nearby. It is popular with tourists who like to walk along the beach, however, because there is a picturesque park filled with statues, making site popular with photographers.

Kor Pors
Koh Pors is an island about 1 kilometer from Loum Hekay beach, off the coast of Sihanouk ville. The beach is flat and very quiet. It attracts few visitors, because it is undeve?loped. Those tourists who do visit the island travel in groups and bring their own food.

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

Kbal Chhay waterfall

Kbal Chhay waterfall is located in Khan Prey Nup, about 16 kilometers north of downtown Sihanoukville. To reach the site from Sihanoukville, take National Road 4 toward Phnom Penh. About 7 kilometers outside of town, there is a sign announcing the site. Turn left and go 9 kilometers along a trail. 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 meters high, is at the point where those three sources join. Kbal Chhay was discovered in 1960. Three years later, it was developed into a reservoir to supply clean water to the city of Sihanoukville. The reservoir construction, however, was interrupted due to civil war, and the site became a hide-out for the Khmer Rouge. In 1997, Kbal Chhay was marked for development, and a year later Kok An Company was awarded a contract to construct a road and develop the site for tourism.

Preah Sihanouk Ream National Park

Preah Sihanouk Ream National Park is located between Koh Thmei and Sihanouk ville, about 18 kilometers from down?town Sihanouk ville. The park, which has been open since 1993, covers 21,000 hectares including 15 000 hectares of terrestrial and 6000 hectares of marine habitats. The National Park features secluded beaches, mangroves forests, tropical jungles, 155 different species of birds, mon?keys and during the months of December, January and February the infamous white fresh water dolphin. It also offers a good transportation service to some island such as Koh Ta Keav and Koh Rusei. Those tourists who do visit the islands should travel in groups and bring their own food.

Otres beach
A twenty-minute motor ride will bring you to Otres beach, 6 km east of town. Although the land here has been sold off and plots are possessively ring-fenced, for now there are no hotels, guesthouse or other services, just a small fishing village on 3 km of golden sands. Sane 3 km north of town, beyond the express-boat dock and around the headland. Depot beach is an untouched expanse of sand separated from the road by grass and scrub, and edged by trees conveniently spaced for slinging your hammock, the beach is a long way from the harbou and oil terminal to either side, and all you're likely to meet here are a few fishermen.

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