Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Travel/Tourist Information Guide
Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som and Kong Preah Sihanouk in Khmer, is a coastal city in the Southern region of Cambodia and the capital city of Sihanoukville Province. It is located at the tip of the elevated peninsula in the Gulf of Thailand and borders Ream National Park in the east. It is Cambodia’s seaside resort town that is frequented by tourists. Its once notoriously dirty beaches and isolated islands around it make is now a tropical paradise in Cambodia. As the number of tourists grows, expats have decided to stay in this little known haven along with the locals and opened their own guesthouses, inns, and businesses because Caribbean feel, only a lot cheaper. This makes Sihanoukville become so popular among foreign tourists; it’s very cheap compared to other tropical destinations, it has a tropical climate, isolated, unspoiled islands and jungles around it, and the very hospitable hosts. It is sometimes referred to as the backpackers’ paradise.
Getting to Sihanoukville is pretty easy, especially when coming from other places in Cambodia. If planning to get in by plane, Angkor Air has several flights to and from Siem Reap. Flights from Phnom Penh are also via Siem Reap. Sihanoukville International Airport is located 15 to 17 kilometers east of the city. Once at the airport, there are several ways of getting to town; by tuk-tuk, for around $10, by motorbike taxi, for around $5, or by taxi, which costs around $20.
Another option in getting in by air is by a helicopter. The Sokha Helicopters offers VIP charter service between Sokha Beach Resort in Phnom Pehn and Sihanoukville. The rate is 1,495 USD per flight plus tax.
If traveling by bus, there is a new bus terminal in town, built in 2012, and located on the way to the port. Although there are 5 more bus stations in the town itself, they only service their own bus companies. A bus ticket from Phnom Penh costs around 5 to 10 USD, while a bus ticket from Siem Reap between 14 to 20 USD.
Probably the most popular way of getting to Sihanoukville is by sea. Sihanoukville's main pier is the Serendipity Pier, which can take bigger boats. A cheaper option is the ferry that usually docks at Sihanoukville Port from Koh Rong Sanloem and Koh Rong twice daily for around 10 USD for a return ticket.