The coastal part includes the wealth of colonial heritage, chic French seaside towns and a myriad of unspoiled offshore islands. Cambodia`s beaches are divine, exactly as one would imagine; crescents of white-powdered sand, decorated with hammocks and palm tree swings topped up with picturesque fishing villages on stilts and technicolour sunsets. The relative inaccessibility of much of the southwest (thanks to heavy forest cover), the presence of mountains and lack of roads, only add to the country`s charms and one`s curiosity.
The town of Sihanoukville is a gateway to most of the destinations sitting on the Cambodian coastline. This fairly new tourist destination blossoms with hospitality and fabulous white beaches. The central Serendipity Beach offers plenty of seaside restaurants and bars and its vivid ambience attracts both, locals and foreigners, who come to adore the sunsets while chattering over a glass of the local beer.
For more relaxed and calm atmosphere you can visit the next door, well-groomed Sokha Beach and Independence Beach, or the quiet Otres Beach on the other side. Further away, Victory Beach and Hawaii Beach are quite vibrant and provide many beach taverns, as well.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN SIHANOUKVILLE
KAMPOT & KEP
Travelling to the south of Sihanoukville, you will pass the Elephant Mountains, craggy limestone formations that project starkly from the plains, before arrival in the provincial town of Kampot.
The agricultural region of Cambodia features farms and plantations, charming French colonial architecture, and it is mainly known for durian – the most pungent fruit in the world. Have a bite, and love it or hate it!
Further down the coast, you will find another colonial seaside resort Kep. Only a few kilometres from the border with Vietnam, visitors can enjoy the unique character of this sleepy fisherman place, famous for seafood, colourful markets and lazy beaches.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN KAMPOT & KEP
BOTUM SAKOR NATIONAL PARK
The Northern coastline of Cambodia, situated at the Thai border, represents the ultimate “the call of the wild”. This remote area is home to the Botum Sakor National Park is a vast coastal reserve filled with mangroves, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, gibbons and sun bears.
This place is perfect for hikers, bikers and adventurers. Independent travellers and adventure seekers will find their heaven in one of the most undeveloped parts of Cambodia, Koh Kong. The park is characteristic of a dense rainforest, tropical beaches and isolated fisherman villages. Although it is still the least men-touched territory in the country illegal logging and poaching have impacted the area whose future is uncertain.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
The best time to visit the islands between November and January when during the dry season, however, a shower or two will not make much difference.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Phnom Penh and take either a local or a shuttle bus to Sihanoukville (4 hour trip).
For all international flights check out www.skyscanner.com or www.momondo.com
BANGKA BELITUNG ‘THE UNDISCOVERED TWIN-SISTER OF SEYCHELLES’
Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive useful articles and special offers. This monthly email is sent out on the first of every month.