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The boats to the Koh Rong islands start from Sihanoukville, so this is, where the travelers go first to overnight or spend some days at the beaches of the city. From here Koh Rong is also a nice daytrip option.
Sihanoukville is not a very beautiful city. It became a bigger town when the french built the deep sea habor in the 50th of the last century. The only one in Cambodia. So Sihanoukville, the city that got the name from the former king of the country, grew by trade and cargo traffic. Today more than 250.000 people live and work here, more and more due the growing tourist industry.
During the times of the Pol Pot regime, all people of the town and even the islands were chased away from this part of the country. Many of the nice colonial villas of the french had been distroyed. First since the early 90th the tourism returned to Sihanoukville and finds itself yet far behind the development in other places in southeast asia. But the town has a great potential for a bright and successful future of tourism.
The town´s center has some banks, company buildings and a few hotels. The tourist areas are mainly in the south near to the beaches of Serendipity, Ochheuteal and Otres. Here is the action with cheap hotels, bars, restaurants and very beautiful sandy beaches and the clear warm water of the Gulf of Thailand. Yet there are mainly backpackers and elderly experienced tourists coming here, enjoying the simple and cheap life away from tourist centers of south east asia like Pattaya, Phuket or Angkor.
Sihanoukville has seven long sandy beaches and space enough for its guests. Most activities can be found on Serendipity Beach (which is followed and connected by Ochheuteal Beach), where esp. in the evenings and at night many bars and restaurants build up there dinner tables on the beach with loud techno music from some nearby bars. A little bit more silent and natural is Otres Beach, which follows next to the south. But here too, bars and restaurants and bungalow resorts rise up and will make this beach a new party location soon. Very silent and calm is the private beach of the Sokha Beach Hotel, which is only open for the hotel guests or for those, who pay a small entrance fee. The northern beaches (Victory und Hawaii Beach) are not as beautiful and long, but offer some Casino hotels for those who like to gamble and have a rather good but unexpensive hotel for holidays.
Most people planning to go to Koh Rong will be found on Serendipity Road south of the Lions Circle. There are cheap guesthouses, hotels, bars and a good choice of restaurants. Mini marts and dive shops can also be found here. And at nights the beach scenery with music and dinner on the beach is not far away.Koh Rong tropical-travel-photos