Places of Interest in Cambodia

Sihanoukville is the city with Cambodia’s most famous beaches, better known to locals as Kampong Som and situated some 230km south of Phnom Penh.Until the French withdrawal from Indochina in 1954 Sihanoukville was just a small fishing village whilst Cambodia conducted its maritime trade through the mouth of the Mekong and in 1954 the area was returned to Vietnam. The name was officially changed in honour of King Sihanouk in 1959 but returned to the former name when the king was overthrown by Lon Nol in 1970 and Cambodia declared a republic.

The name was resumed for the national elections in 1993 and King Sihanouk was one of the main driving forces for the new port at Kampong Som which is now the only deep water port in Cambodia attracting both container shipping as well as luxury cruise liners.

The Municipality of Sihanoukville (Kampong Som) covering 1,283 sq. km consists of 3 districts, Mittaheap (downtown area) Klang Leu & Steung Prey Nope together these contain 22 towns and 85 villages, with the adjoining provinces of Kampot to the east and Koh Kong to the north.

There are five main beaches around Sihanoukville, Independence beach, Otres beach, Sokha beach, Occheuteal & Serendipity beach and Victory beach. 

On weekends and holidays the beaches are very popular with the Khmer population both local and from Phnom Penh, mixing in a friendly relaxed atmosphere with foreign tourists and the expat community. There are of course many restaurants serving a wide variety of fresh seafood and international cuisine. You can choose from crabs, shrimp, lobster, mantis, scallops with an abundant array of exotic delicacies to temp you.

As you relax at one of the beach restaurants at sunset you will see a small armada of local fishing boats on the horizon many fishing for the large shoals of squid which live in abundance around these shores.

Eight kilometers from the city on highway 4 are the Kbal Chhay Cascades this area has a series of small waterfalls. The road to the falls can be difficult after rain but this does not deter the many visitors from making the journey to this very peaceful and relaxing setting.

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