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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.