There is quite a lot of variety among the things to do in Sihanoukville. The coastal town is famous for having the best beaches in Cambodia, making it the getaway destination of choice for the city dwellers of Phnom Pehn. The beaches are many and the nightlife is vibrant. These two elements make Sihanoukville a popular place for people visiting the country.
Among the Sihanoukville must-see attractions are both manmade and natural sights. They range from exciting places to spend time with the family to great places to relax and unwind in peace and quiet. There’s culture and casinos; waterfalls and water parks; markets and monuments and a lot more besides to enjoy in this vibrant little city on the south coast of Cambodia.
The Sihanoukville coastline is an almost uninterrupted line of soft white sands, though occasional rocky headlands split it into about five major beaches. As beautiful as any shoreline you’ll find in Southeast Asia, they are great if you want to get away from it all as they are significantly quieter than the beaches of neighbouring Thailand, though they do get a little busier during weekends and holidays as locals come to enjoy their day of sun, sea and sand. Many watersports are available in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, including kitesurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing.
There are at least 22 casinos to choose from in Sihanoukville, and the number continues to climb. They offer an impressive range of gaming options, from slot machines and table games to live sports betting. Baccarat is the most popular table game in the city which has become effectively the Las Vegas of Cambodia. Open 24/7, the gambling scene is one of the major reasons why people come to Sihanoukville.
Kbal Chhay Waterfalls
This tiered waterfall with a 14-metre drop is actually one of the major sources of fresh water for the city of Sihanoukville, as evidenced by the large reservoir nearby. It's a picturesque spot and a popular place with locals taking a day out. You can follow their lead by enjoying a picnic next to local families before cooling off with a splash in the cool waters. It's much more dramatic when visited in the rainy season as the waters slow down a lot during the dry season. Getting to the falls can be a little tricky as the tarmac roads stop about 7 km from Sihanoukville, leaving you with a 9-km drive along a dusty dirt track.
- Opening Hours: Daily 07:30 – 17:00
- Location: 16 km northeast of Sihanoukville
- Price Range: US$1 National Park entrance fee
Wat Leu Temple
Situated on a hill 1.5 km northwest of Sihanoukville, Wat Leu is perhaps not as dramatic a structure as Siem Reap’s ancient temples, but is nonetheless worth a visit. Its striking, colourful main building resembles a pagoda in style, and is surrounded by interesting artefacts, including a three-headed carved white elephant and a huge black statue of the Lord Buddha. The hilltop location is also quiet and peaceful, and offers spectacular views across the city, particularly at sunset.
Branding itself as a “bizarre bazaar”, this Saturday night market promises to be far from what you would typically expect. It specialises in unique wares, great live music, a wide selection of food and drinks and a great space to just relax and socialise. It isn’t especially big, numbering only about 20 stalls, but it is certainly lively and fun, especially after about 22:00, when it starts to get really busy. The market is particularly popular with “alternative” folks and backpackers, with the stalls stocking crystals, essential oils and jewellery.
- Opening Hours: Sat 16:00 – late
- Location: Otres Village, Sihanoukville
- Tel: +855 81 790 681
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Otres.Market
- Price Range: Free admission
If you like the beaches of Sihanoukville, you’ll love Koh Rong and the surrounding islands. Just 26 km west of the city, they are pretty much the archetype of the desert island idyll, with pristine beaches, clear blue seas, vibrant coral reefs, jungle-covered hills and very little else. They are almost completely unspoilt, with none of the usual hallmarks of destinations some feel have been ‘ruined’ by mass tourism. There’s quite a lot to see and do around Koh Rong, so take a look at our complete guide here: Read More...
Splash Party Water Park
Splash Party is a floating obstacle course, just off Otres 1 Beach. Featuring slides, ladders, trampolines, rope swings and a blob jump, it provides a lot of family-friendly fun. The modest entrance fee gets you a life jacket, if you want/need one. As you will probably fall off a lot and the course is pretty exhausting, they are highly recommended, especially since the sea is fairly deep under the park. There are attendants around the floats to keep an eye on things and help out as required.
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Location: Otres 1 Beach, Sihanoukville
- Tel: +855 69 411 574
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/Splash-party-114378942382830
- Price Range: From US$3 per person
Golden Lions Roundabout
This is pretty much one of those places you’ve got to see just for the laughs, just to say you’ve seen it and so you can share the pics on Instagram. The somewhat iconic statue of a lion and lioness standing side-by-side (though, with the lion standing and the lioness prone, it looks decidedly different from certain angles!) boasts scary faces, completely unrealistic proportions and a garishly yellow-gold paintjob. Located at the northern end of Serendipity Beach, near to the ferry terminal, it is impossible to miss and nearly impossible not to at least smile at.
Phnom Meas Viewpoint
Phnom Meas is a popular getaway spot for weekending locals. The mountaintop setting is home to park-like restaurants, a small guesthouse, gardens and fantastic views across Sihanoukville. It’s a family-friendly place, with lots of opportunity to play and explore, with swings and seesaws in the park. Phnom Meas is not currently widely known to the mass tourism market, so you’re likely to be sharing the view only with Cambodians. It also means that getting there requires a short drive along dirt tracks.
- Location: off Mittapheap Street, Sihanoukville
Every provincial capital in Cambodia has a monument to celebrate the country’s independence from France on 9th November 1953, as well as the defeat of the Khmer Rouge on 7th January 1979. While Sihanoukville’s is not as grand as the one in Phnom Penh, it is still an interesting and attractive place. The modest and peaceful Independence Park also contains a statue of Harihara – a fused representation of the Hindu deities Vishnu and Shiva – as well as a miniature copy of Preah Vihear Temple, the historical and controversial temple on the Thai-Cambodian Border.
- Opening Hours: All day
- Location: Sihanoukville Independence Park, Ekareach Street, Sihanoukville