Sihanoukville city nowadays is a massive Chinese construction site. A busy dust land where huge trucks, construction workers and ordinary folks are buzzing for survival. Heavy constructions are ongoing all over the city. Chinese are investing millions and constructing huge residential buildings, large casinos, hotels, resorts and new roads. The so-called lovely gateway to the islands or a party by the beach is long gone. Until the Chinese constructions will be over, it is a nightmare rather than a city, taking into consideration even in most remote areas of the city.

Nevertheless, not so far from the city it is still possible to find a relatively calm and peaceful habitat. There are bunch of small tropical islands with white sand beaches just within an hour distance using a ferry. Cozy and still rural villages within an hour ride with a car or a motorbike from the city center. As well as, mangrove jungles of Ream National Park which occupies large chunk of the peninsula city is located in.

Even though Sihanoukville would never win first prize in a beautiful-city contest, and much of it is now occupied by gambling houses and tasteless commercial centers, future looks bright for this city. Once the rapid and mostly unwanted Chinese city development and constructions are over, it is sure to become an even larger center of attraction in Cambodia with developed infrastructure, plenty of space to live and work.

Helpful tips

Restaurants. There are multiple places in the city where you can find descent food. In most of the local restaurants you will find price and quality ratio alright and food fresh, especially fish as city is close to Gulf of Thailand. In many restaurants they even have aquariums where you can choose food from. Stop by and try local food in street markets, look for a cleaner place and enjoy!

We enjoyed dinner in the place we stayed. Even though it is usually a bit expensive, many of the accommodation providers will have a restaurant installed, so you do not need to go look for food.

Markets. In Sihanoukville as in almost every other city in Cambodia you will not easily find a lot of cheap souvenirs to put on your fridge. However, we encourage to walk around and look for hand made goods in local markets. Here they will charge you more if you look like a tourist. In shops all over city prices vary around same level, thus, choose a more convenient for you. We did not find a shop which would accept card payment, thus, be prepared and have some cash with you!

Transportation. To get to Sihanoukville you can use car, bus, train, plane or even boat as it is not only a large city but also a deep-water port on a Gulf of Thailand. We traveled to Sihanoukville using hitchhiking from Trat, Thailand. The road quality is alright, they are not massive but well maintained. We got lucky and reached Sihanoukville just after the sunset. Either way you choose, be aware that infrastructure is not bad but clearly not the best, roads are small and sometimes two-line road (one line each direction) is already considered as a highway. So, do not forget to enjoy the trip not only the destination.

Inside the city you will find yourself using local Tuk Tuk’s, bikes or mopeds which are one of the most convenient transportation devices used to get around. However, exploration is doable on foot if you decide to skip on bike.

Best of luck planning your holidays in Cambodia!

Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Cambodia?

If you have anything in mind, please let us know and let’s discuss it.

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