Sihanoukville has undergone a huge transformation in the last few years, rising from a compact city on the coast into a mega-city that resembles a mini Macao. Here’s our guide on what to do in Sihanoukville.
Named after former King Norodom Sihanouk, Sihanoukville has seen a steady flux of foreign investment aimed primarily at the Chinese market. This has led the once-quiet coastal town become a mini Macao, ideal for those of you who wish to gamble their lives away.
The transformation over the past decade has been quiet dramatic, making the town almost unrecognisable from the somewhat seedy backwater of the first decade of the millennium. In truth Sihanoukville had little charm to loose, with most locals and expats having either turned to neighbouring Kep or the islands for a beach retreat.
Despite the increase in high rise buildings, hotels, apartment blocks and casinos changing the ambience of the place, there have been some improvements.
Foremost amongst these has been the opening up of the seafront. Now you can walk along the promenade from Sokha Beach to Otres Beach via Serendipity and Ochheuteal. If you keep your eyes on the sea you might not even notice the changes behind you.
What to Do in Sihanoukville Town
The development has also led to an increase in five-star accommodation and restaurants – often combined. Now you can sample quality seafood buffets in hotels that could give the real Macao a run for its money.
However for a more authentic Cambodian experience you might wish to visit Wat Leu, the main pagoda in the town, or Psar Leu (the market).
For a more relaxed atmosphere, Otres Beach and its nearby village is a possibility, although in recent years this has become something of a road to nowhere, although the beach remains an oasis of solitude contrasted to the madness in Sihanoukville town.
A Boat Ride to Paradise
The best islands in Cambodia are just a quick boat trip from the coast, including popular destinations like Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem, which are developing quickly yet retain much of their charm. See our Explore Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem section.
If you like the sound of a trip to the coast then discover things to do in Sihanoukville on our Cambodia map.