Seaside. Beach. Ocean. Island.
You'll hear these words many times on your trip to SihanoukVille. Some of the beaches here are very rocky, some are deserted, some are filled with beach stands, tourists and locals. And on weekends weekends and holidays, some of these beaches can be packed with sun-lovers..
The resorts have private beaches for their guests. These are maintained by the resorts and are immaculate.
Outside of the resorts, you can find the following beaches. These are all mostly 5 minutes by motorcycle from downtown:
Otres, the furthest beach from town, is located at the far end of Ocheteaul. This beach is about 15 minutes outside of downtown by motorcycle, and you can walk here from the far end of Ocheteaul in 10 minutes. This was a peaceful beach without electricity until recently. There are several grass beach shacks here and also reorts with swimming pools. Sparsely filled with pine trees, and no other signs of civilization, this is one of the quietest beaches. You can also rent canoes, kayaks, and sailboats here. For the moment, you can also rent bungalows right on the beach for about $25 and up per night. There are also dorm rooms for a few dollars, and Otres Village, a kilometer in from the beach has emerged as a backpacker destination.
Ocheteaul is the main tourist beach in town. Filled with beach stands, and just across the street from a plethora of hotels. A few $7 guesthouses and dorm rooms a couple streets up from this beach. Quite crowded during weekends and holidays. Look around, and you might find some free beds on the beach as well.
Serendipity is at the near end of Ocheteaul. This is the most Western beach in town. A handful of bungalows on the beach and hillside, with plenty of dining options. Several new guesthouses, hotels, casinos, and activities just up the road from this beach.
Hawaii Beach is isolated from the other beaches. Filled with pine trees, this is a popular starting point for boat trips around Snake Island, just offshore. A new marina is going up on this beach, and a bridge from the beach to the island has been completed (but not open) Now would be a good time to visit.
Victory Beach is a popular destination for residents of Victory Hill (also known as backpacker hill). There is a pier here for boat trips, dozens of restaurants and bars, lots of casinos, and lots of cheap rooms for the night or month.
Independence Hotel maintains it's part of Independence Beach for their guests. Part of the beach is on a rocky hillside with beautiful views, part is white sandy beach. Unfortunately, most of it is closed for construction now. Not much budget accommodations here.
Ream beach is about 40 minutes out of town in Ream National Park. Not the best beach for swimming, but popular for the seafood stands on the shore, park tours, and island tours start here as well. Many places in town offer tours of the Park and islands for $20 including breakfast and lunch.
And of course, all the Islands have beaches..... You can take a boat trip to and island for a day, kayak or sail to an island, and a handfull of islands have bungalows from $8 - $25 night and you can now find several dorm rooms, right on the beach.... The nicest place charges over $3,000 /day. Typically, day trips to the islands consist of pickup at your guesthouse 7:30 to 8am breakfast on shore at 8am, a trip out to an island or two, snorkeling, lunch, some island beach time, and back by 4pm all for $15. The best boat tour is $30, leaving from Victory Beach. Koh Rong Island and Koh Rong Samloem Island have $3 dorm rooms.