There was an authenticity to the type of experience set up for us that made every city we visited special and gave us countless moments we will never forget.
Named for the King Norodom Sihanouk, then the ruler of Cambodia, Sihanoukville was built shortly after Cambodia gained its independence. Built to facilitate trade, Sihanoukville has since grown into a thriving port town, with booming industry including beer-brewing, agriculture, mining, and food processing. Among travelers, however, Sihanoukville is known for its beautiful beaches, which feature sprawling stretches of white sand, rough waves, palm trees, and friendly locals.
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Our General Manager Victoria Hilley loves the beautiful pink sandstone carvings of Banteay Srei temple, near Siem Reap.
Once a bustling coastal holiday resort for the French colonial administrators, Sihanoukville is poised to emerge from a period of decline, largely due to one reason - it is the launching pad for Song Saa Private Island resort, one of Southeast Asia's most buzzed-about new five-star luxury retreats. Please see Sihanounkville's hotel section for more information about Song Saa.
Diving off the coast of Sihanoukville is varied and exciting. There are two shipwrecks here, about 130 feet underwater. One such shipwreck is the SS Mayaguez, the subject of a major battle between US forces and the Khmer Rouge – and the last skirmish of the Vietnam War. Trips to the area will require an overnight stay at Koh Tang Island, a place of relative isolation that offers a perfect respite after a long day in Sihanoukville’s waters.
Sihanoukville is home to a wide range of religious and cultural structures, among them pagodas, temples, and churches. There are almost 30 pagodas in the area; one highlight is Wat Chotynieng, located in downtown Sihanoukville and dedicated to the southern Cambodian divinity known as Yeay Mao. On the same hill sits St. Michael’s Church, the only Catholic church in the city, and nearby are several mosques serving the local Muslim population.
Ream National Park
Ream National Park is located a short distance east of Sihanoukville. Cambodia’s diverse wildlife is on display here, featuring dolphins, monkeys and mangrove forests.
The Starfish Bakery and Café is run by an NGO and serves quiche, tortillas, sandwiches, salads and Western-style breakfast. The income generated helps to fund micro-loans, as well as simple housing and medical treatments for very poor Cambodians.
Cambodian Childrenâ€™s Painting Project
The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project is an NGO working with extremely poor Cambodian children. Their products and artwork are sold to help fund sports, two meals per day, medical and dental care, and of course, more art supplies. It is possible to visit the children, browse through their creations, or even set up a viewing of their work en masse.
This 16-day luxury tour of Cambodia’s natural beauty, culture, and history will take you from Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Stung Treng, Preah Rumkel, Preah Vihear, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. You’ll visit the country’s epic spots, including the Cheung Ek Killing Fields, Angkor Wat, forests, waterfalls, and more.
See the best of Cambodia on this 8-day luxury journey through Phnom Penh, Kep, Koh Rong, and Siem Reap. You’ll visit unforgettable sites like Tuol Sleng Museum, the Killing Fields, King Sihanouk's once palace, tranquil Rabbit Island, Song Saa Private Island, and more, while staying in hotels fit for royalty.
Song Saa Private Island spans the pristine golden beaches and lush rainforest of two islands: Koh Quen and Koh Bong. These islands, locally known as “The Sweethearts” (Song Saa), are joined by a sustainably built footbridge, which protects the islands’ natural reefs and exotic marine life Along with the islands’ bucolic vistas, the resort itself offcrs luxurious amenities, including a yoga center bordering the shoreline, spa and wellness sanctuaries among the rainforest, and all the equipment and expertise necessary for kayaking, snorkeling, and boating. When it comes to dining, guests enjoy a choice of exotic cuisine, locally sourced and prepared to reflect the islands’ unique environs while fusing traditional Khner cooking with Western culinary tradition. Stop by the Driftwood Bar for a casual tapas meal by the beach or for a slightly more formal but equally scenic and relaxing dining experience, enjoy the Vista Bar and Restaurant.
Sokha Beach Resort
Located just 5 minutes from Sihanoukville and occupying a splendid 23-hectare beachfront location, Sokha Beach Resort is the town's most finest property. Set in beautiful tropical gardens with its own private beach, the resort's luxurious rooms & suites are decorated in traditional Khmer style and all come with aircon, cable TV, iron/board, tea/coffee facilities and minibar. The resort has several restaurants & bars, with guests able to dine on local seafood right by the beach and enjoy a fine global selection of wines at Sokha Wine Bar. Leisure facilities include a spa, gym, swimming pool, tennis court and children's playground.