While many travellers consider Sihanoukville as just a pit stop on the way to Cambodia’s enticing offshore islands, you might find yourself lingering longer than planned. The resort town features chic new boutique stays and inviting restaurants and bars, along with some cool natural draws – apart from the powdery white sands.
Not only does the diverse menu at this resort’s restaurant feature tapas plates, Khmer amok (steamed curried fish) and boozy ice-cream shakes, all the fine food gets served right out on the sugar-like sand of what’s arguably Sihanoukville’s best beach. Should you decide to spend the night here, the property boasts airy bungalows with rattan furniture and a tropical garden with a pool.
NGO-run ‘training restaurants’ which equip at-risk youth with the skills for working in the hospitality industry, are mushrooming all over Cambodia. One of the best, Sandan, happens to be a hot dining spot. With creative Khmer dishes using fresh seafood accompanied by cultural dance shows, you’re guaranteed to be back more than once.
SEE ALSO: 5 things to do, see and eat in Cambodia
This chic beachfront retreat has become the star of bohemian Otres Beach, a former backpacker hangout that is going chic. Its minimalist guest rooms are accented by warm bamboo, rattan and wood elements, surrounding a lap pool that meets the palm-fringed sands. There’s also a beachside bar that’s perfect for sundowners.
This artisan bar adds a touch of sophistication to the standard rows of beer joints lining Sihanoukville. There are 25 different rum infusions using ingredients like local Kampot pepper, lime and passionfruit, and stylish cocktails like espresso martinis and mango margaritas. Add mood lighting and retro posters, and what you’ve got is one of the coolest places to be spotted at after dark.
For the most pampering spa in town and Sihanoukville’s only private beach, Sokha Beach Resort scores on both counts. It’s a great family spot to stay at as well, as there are two huge swimming pools with swim-up bars, a kid’s playground, and even bungalows built right over a lagoon.