• River cruise
  • Northern Vietnam
  • Central Vietnam
  • Southern Vietnam
  • Day Trip
  • Beach Destination
  • Ecotourist Destination
  • Vietnam Discovery
  • Cambodia Wonders
  • Laos Highlights

Destinations

SIHANOUKVILLE

Sihanoukville, also known as Kompong Som or Kampong Saom, is a small southern province of Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital, also called Sihanoukville, is a port city and growing urban center located 185 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh, the national capital. The province is named after former king Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the construction of the Sihanoukville Port which began in June 1955 and became the only deep water port in whole Cambodia.
The province is served by Sihanoukville International Airport, 18 kilometres from downtown.
 
 
Port  of  Sihanoukville
 
 
Area: 868 sq.km
 
Population: 221,396 people.
 
The main ethnic group is the Khmer ethnic group. There are many other groups like Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham, Thai, French, British, Korean and Americans, especially because of its status as a port and a tourist destination.
 
Topography: Most parts of the province belong to the peninsula showing a hilly face with some scattered forested areas, consisting of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The northeast of the province end on the hill foods of the Bokor National Park, a relatively big mountain range, which in the end symbolize the southern end of the mighty Cardamom Mountains. The average altitude of the province is supposedly not higher than 40m above sea level.
 
Administrative divisions: For administrative purposes Sihanoukville is a municipality, holding the same status as a province. There is a provincial governor and three deputy governors. It is subdivided into 3 districts. The port has an autonomous administration. The districts are divided in communes (22 communes in total).
 
Climate: Sihanoukville attracts a lot of tourists due to the relaxed beach atmosphere. The weather is pretty pleasant and is characterized by a typical temperature of 16 to 270C.
The cool season with temperature ranging from 200C to 280C occurs from November to March. The coolest months are January and December. The period between November and February is the best time to visit Cambodia as the days never experience extreme heat, the nights are pretty cool and mid-day weather is nice and warm.
 
The hot season with temperature ranging from 260C to 350C is experienced in April and May with hot and dry temperature and high humidity. April is the hottest month in this period. Temperature can rise to as much as 360C.
 
The rainy weather begins in June until end of October. In this season temperatures are between 24 to 340C with humidity up to 90%. Sihanoukville experiences monsoon rains but rarely last the whole day.
 
 
Sights of interest
 
In honour to the king, who fought for the independence of Cambodia, the provincial capital was called Sihanoukville. Located in the southwest corner of Cambodia, 232km from Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville can be reached via National Highway No4. White-sand beaches that include O’chheuteal, Sokha, Pram Pi Chan, and Deum Chrey beautify this coastal city. These beaches are known for their quiet, cosy atmosphere and the large stretches of white sand and clear waters and these make them popular spots for families on vacation. These seaside paradises with the refreshing coolness of the fresh water streams can be enjoyed all year round.
 
In addition, there are more than a dozen islands in Sihanoukville for tourists, many restaurants, hotels and motels. Major islands are: Koh Russei, Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Tang, Koh Pos, Koh Dek Koul. Being a beach town, there are also many sea-based activities for adventuous visitors, including boating, island-hopping, fishing, diving and snorkeling in crystal clear waters.
 
Beaches: Some popular beaches are:
 
     + Victory Beach, situated at the furthest north of the peninsula of Sihanoukville, was the original backpacker beach and is still popular with budget travelers. At the northern end of the beach is located the deep sea port. Apart from white sand and blue sea, this beach offers a good spot to enjoy the sunset.
 
 
                                                           Victory Beach                                              Independence Beach
 
     + Independence Beach, located next to Sokha Beach on its west, was named after the old Independence Hotel. This beach offers a good stretch of clean sand. Situated at the northern end of the beach is Independence Hotel and Koh Pos Beach with a tiny island only 800m off the coast. Koh Pos is known for its rock strewn shoreline.
 
     + Sokha Beach, located just west of Serendipity Beach, is privately owned by Sokha Beach Hotel, the first five-star luxury beach hotel in Cambodia. It provides many facilities with a wide white sandy beach.
 
Sokha  Beach
 
 
     + Ochheuteal Beach and Serendipity Beach:
 
Ochheuteal Beach is a long and narrow strip of beach lined with Casuarina trees, grass umbrellas, rental chairs and little drink huts as well as bigger restaurants and night-time party spots. The northern section has become known as Serendipity Beach and is a popular beach with western tourists, noted for small guesthouse rooms right on the beach. Aside from these guest houses on the beach there are around 30 beach huts serving good value meals and a wide selection of drinks.
 
   
Ochheuteal  Beach                                                                        Serendipity  Beach
 
 
 
     + Otres Beach, south end of Ochheuteal Beach, is far less developed and commercial and known for its long stretch of clean white sands.
Otres  Beach
 
 
Victory Monument, next to Victory beach, is built in 1985 to symbolize  the friendship between Cambodia and Vietnam and to commemorate the victory of Cambodian people against Red Kmers with the help of Vietnamese soldiers.
 
Independence Square is built in 1985 to glorify the independence and the end of the war in Cambodia. The square comprises an open meeting hall, the Independence Monument, a small shrine and a park. Ceremonies are held at the park in some cambodian national holidays.
 
                                           Victory Monument                                                Independence Square
 
 
Sihanoukville Mount, 132m high. From the top visitors can have a panoramic view of Sihanoukville, islands, beaches from Otres to Sihanouk port. 
 
Ream National Park,18 kilometers from downtown Sihanoukville, towards Phnom Penh to the park entrance.  Probably another 10 kilometers to get inside the park down to the beach. It is one of the seven National Parks in Cambodia, established in 1993 by the former King, His Majesty Norodom Sihanouk. The park covers 15,000 hectares of land and 6,000 hectares of marine habitat. There are 155 species of birds in the park including a few threatened species.
 
Boat trips are available on the river and through the mangrove channels, then into the Gulf of Thailand ocean. The park offers walking tours of the mountain, safari tours of the smaller mammals and birds and waterfalls. Wat Ream, a buddhist temple, is also worth a visit. On the seaside, there are dozens of food stands, specializing in fresh seafood.
 
     
                               Ream National Park entrance                                      Beach in Ream National Park
 
   
Ream  National  Park
 
 
 
Places of worship. Pagodas are important for the Cambodian culture as a center of villages and cities. Beside there are other places of worship as Sihanoukville has other minority religious group like Catholics, Muslims, Cham,  Protestants and Animists.
 
     + St Michael Church, built in 1962, was the place of worship for the Catholic  local community until 1975. From 1975 to 1979, the church was used as a jail, from 1979 as a storehouse and was reopened as a church in 1993. There are some 50 families, mostly Viet people, frequently attended the church which is situated in the corner of Boray Kamator street and Kampuchea – Soviet Mittapheap street, at the foot of Sihanoukville mountain.
 
  
St  Michael  Church
 
 
     + Wat Chotynieng  /or/  Wat Leu (upper Pagoda), located in a hill that overlooks Sihanoukville town, is dedicated to Prince Chourn Nath,  Cambodian Buddhist leader.
 
 
Wat Leu Pagoda
 
 
     + Wat Krom (Down Pagoda), located in Sihanoukville downtown, is dedicated to Yeay Mao, a southern Cambodia divinity.
 
 
Wat  Krom  Pagoda
 
 
     + Iber Bikhalifah Mosque, for the Muslim communities, is located downtown, just in the popular Leu Market.
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