Coastal Cities: Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong
Cambodia’s southern part consists of 443 square kilometer of the coastline with 4 provinces: Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong – standing along the blue crystal sea overlooking forestall islands while the undersea provides plenty of opportunities for diving and snorkeling to see the Cambodian underwater flora and fauna. The tasty fresh seafood and the instant fishing Kep crabs are a must-try followed by green Kampot peppers, dipping into local spicy sauces that makes your dishes more delicious.
From low, mid to high ranged, accommodating at beautiful resorts, bungalows, lodges or standard hotels at the mainland is a basic relaxing experience while the Koh Andet Island in Koh Kong, Koh Rong Samloem Island, Koh Rong Island, Koh Russey, Koh Sramauch provide ideals for a better beach experience or even make an exclusive beach holiday at the private island “Koh Song Saa” to capture the true sense of tranquility, nature, sunbathing, swimming and relaxing.
The city orientation, a day trip of city highlights, islands boat discovery and a sunset boat cruise are optional touring activities which also give beyond to see the local culture, encounters and photography opportunity rather than just relaxing at the seaside. On the mainland, Ochheuteal, Otres and Independence beaches provide variety of beach breaks and seaside activities which overlooking the modern buildings and islands or grab an evening sunset boat party.
Koh Rong & Koh Rong Samloem
Sihanoukville houses some idyllic natural islands especially the well-known Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem – both are reachable by daily speed ferry and boats and takes approx. 45 minutes per way from/to the mainland. The rapidly developing Koh Rong Island is a bit crowded, bigger and much more popular than Koh Rong Samloem, and Koh Rong is the perfect spot for underwater discovery and snorkeling. Koh Rong Island offers wide range of better accommodation facilities, amenities and service quality while Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Russey, Koh Sramauch are quite suitable for those who looking for a quiet ambience.
Sihanoukville can be reached by daily flights either from Siem Reap or Phnom Penh and overland with 4-5 hours direct from Phnom Penh Capital.
Kampot & Kep
Next to each other, Kampot and Kep towns are still under the slow pace of development but its towns are more likely over-occupied during public holidays, national festivals and events. The coastal lines give a lot of opportunities for beach parties, beach sport activities, sunbathing and swimming while Kep’s Rabbit Island provides a pleasant break on the white-sand beach and Kep National Park interacts active explorers to reveal its tranquil jungle trail by trekking which is also admired by the best breathtaking with panoramic view.
Beyond Kampot sunset boat cruise and mangrove exploration, Kampot is considered as the paradise of nature where Bokor Mountain emerges the spectacular mountainous landscape, the stunning view of the sky cloud, dotting with French colonial buildings, waterfall and the rich historical site. A day of bike ride is a great experience to see real countryside especially the famous Kampot pepper farms, cycle along the railway to Kampong Trach where visitors can stop for breathtaking, strolling within Kampong Trach caves and have a chance to swim in the blue water before the ride continues to the salt fields to observe the salt process.
Kampot & Kep is actually accessible by overland with approx. 3.30 hours from Phnom Penh or 2.30 hours from Sihanoukville and 60 minutes from Prek Chak Border Crossing (Vietnam’s Ha Tien).
Koh Kong is a green home for many species, wildlife and river while Cardamom Mountains, Botum Sakor National Park and Chiphat Village provide huge range of amazing adventures, biking, jungle trekking, camping, lush mangrove exploration and wildlife sanctuary. Koh Kong beach destination is unlikely popular like other beaches in Kampong, Kep and Sihanoukville but it is fairly acceptable if you have an over-stop before crossing the border to Thailand. Beyond, Tatai Waterfall is a nice place to cool down after a day discovery in Koh Kong as well as giving chances to take many beautiful photos. Besides, Koh Andet Eco Resort offers amazing, unforgettable experience for a pleasant stay among the nature, surrounded by rainforest and overlooking the serenity of Ta Tai River that you can enjoy swimming.
While the airport is being constructed in Koh Kong, the only way to get to Koh Kong is only by road which spends around 6 hours from Phnom Penh Capital, 5 hours from Sihanoukville and 20 minutes from Cham Yeam Border Crossing (Thailand’s Hat Lek).
About 232km from Phnom Penh Capital, Sihanoukville is known as the international, significant deep-sea port of Cambodia while the both fascinating Koh Rong & Koh Rong Samloem Islands have extracted hundreds of tourists around the world to see her beauty and the unspoiled surroundings. Sihanoukville is “A Small Country with a Big Heart” which reminds the event of 2,257 passengers and crews aboard The Westerdam Cruise Ship was approved to dock at the seaport of Sihanoukville on 13th February 2020 when Japan, Taiwan, Guam, Thailand and Philippines rejected the vessel dock due to the deadly Corona Virus. Today Sihanoukville is rapidly booming the growth of development by Chinese Investment, the modern skyscrapers, luxurious condominiums, high-end restaurants, colorful bars, cozy hotels, gambling casinos, entertainment resorts and vast changes have made Sihanoukville become the second largest modern city or may be called “China Town” in the coast of south Cambodia. However, Sihanoukville is still one of interesting tourist destinations in Cambodia for those who seek for beach break, snorkeling, island hopping, scuba-diving, fresh seafood, gambles, casinos and nightlife entertainment.