Tours Travel

Asia’s newest beach resort, Sihanoukville, Cambodia

In Cambodia, Angkor Wat is the main attraction for tourism today, and rightly so, called the Crown Jewel of Southeast Asia. The 40 square kilometers of temples in the temple complex are famous all over the world, but now, more people visit the rest. of Cambodia and the word of mouth is that the rest of Cambodia is also worth a visit. The Sihanoukville beach resort is fast becoming a vacation destination in its own right, with many islands and parks and things to do, from hiking and exploring, diving and snorkeling and boating, waterfalls, jungle trekking and relaxing. in a hammock in a quiet beach park reading a good book. Culturally, there are the markets, the local wats and the schools, where many come to donate time and money for the education of children.

Sihanoukville has a 5-star resort on its own mile-long private beach. The pool could be classified as a small lake and is almost visible from space, complete with a bridge to its own little island. The hotel is only 2 years old and has a staff to guest ratio of 4/1. Comparable hotel prices in Southeast Asia would be substantially higher.

If you are traveling on a budget, Sihanoukville is also your place, there are many rooms available with AC, hot water, refrigerator and cable TV for $10-$20 per night and if you want a place to stay for 6 months or more, you can get a business visa at the border on demand and stay as long as you like, which works out to about $1 a day for visa extensions, making the city attractive to retirees and semi-retirees.

Backpackers also like Sihanoukville, with some places offering cold 50 cent tall beers and cheap food starting at $0.50. Some are also finding work as waiters and working in restaurants. Backpacker hostels start as low as free, yes free, all you have to do is buy one of your meals at the lodge and the price of food is still cheap, $1.50-2.50 per plate.

One local expat expert’s guess is that there are more Western-owned businesses per population in Sihanoukville than anywhere else in Asia. Many are coming and starting with guest houses and hotels, small bed and breakfast places, restaurants and bars, and small resorts, with some beginning to appear on islands off the coast. Do you want to rent your own fantasy island for a week, check out Magic Island?

Logistically, everything you’ll need is here, including reliable electricity, Internet, and Western restaurants, as well as a plethora of European Asian specialty foods prepared with the tastes of Western travelers in mind, including Khmer, Thai, Vietnamese, French seafood. , Italians, Germans, Russians. , Indian, Sri Lankan and more coming soon. There are plenty of English schools in Sihanoukville, so you can almost always find someone who speaks English when you need them.

Money used to be an issue as you had to go into banks to get cash and with 26 public holidays in the Cambodian calendar you could be without cash for a few days, now there are ATMs in Siem Reap-Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Battembong and Sihanoukville. You can exchange almost all currencies including Yen, Euro, Baht, Kip, Dong and Sing Dollars. US dollars and the Cambodian riel are the two most common currencies in use.

Getting to Sihanoukville is getting easier with cheap international flights to Bangkok and really cheap regional flights to Phnom Penh. Flights to Sihanoukville are also very close to being a reality. Regularly scheduled buses from Phnom Penh will take you to Sihanoukville in 4 hours on an excellent American built highway. You can also arrange taxis and vans to move groups of people, and a set route over water from Bangkok to Trat to the Had Lek – Klang Yai border to Sihanoukville. You can even get here via cruise ship as more are putting Sihanoukville on their itineraries.

Cambodia’s islands in the Gulf of Thailand are mostly uninhabited; You’ll find isolated Spartan fishing villages with populations typically less than 100 people. One island, Koh Tang, has only 7 residents and would take most of the day to walk around, so if you’re looking for that deserted island to stay on, to work on your coconut carving and shipping skills in a bottle there are plenty here Bring your own hammock and Gal Friday to choose from or you can purchase them here in Sihanoukville.

The Cambodia of the past always seemed to bring back terrifying images of the past misfortunes that the Khmer suffered at the end of the Vietnam War. Even today, the genocide in Cambodia is still in the news as the country has its court to put the facts behind.

One of the few spin-offs from recent past history was that Cambodia missed out on all the heavy industrialization that the other countries in the region experienced, particularly Thailand and Vietnam; meaning they missed out on the contamination that comes with it. A UN survey of the waters in Asia, which included Cambodia, found only 3 areas of concern for ocean water quality near the coast, while Vietnam and Thailand had problem locations, mainly due to industrial pollution and pollution. shrimp farms. Unfortunately, this may change, as oil has been found in Cambodia and the drilling of exploration wells has begun. So now is a very good time to come.

As Cambodia moves into the future, it is obvious to most that Cambodia’s future is tourism. And for the Cambodian seaside resort of Sihanoukville, to misquote the tune “the future is so bright, in Sihanoukville, you’re going to need shades.”

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