Though certainly not its most stand-out feature, Cambodia is home to a small collection of beaches that are a great place to sum up a journey. Because most in search of sand and sun will head to more developed beaches in Thailand or Malaysia, the beaches in Cambodia still retain an off-the-beaten-track vibe that adventurous travellers love. Don’t expect too much in the way of creature comforts – with its relaxed atmosphere comes the bare necessities and less-developed tourism infrastructure.
Southern Cambodia has a few great destinations for some coastal relaxation – the most famous being Sihanoukville. Here, favourite places to kick back and relax include Ochheuteal Beach, Serendipity Beach and Otres Beach – all popular with budget travellers and thus devoid of loverly-ritzy beachside hotels.
Those looking to head even further off of the beaten track should head to Kep, located not far from Sihanoukville, but a world away from its backpacker vibes. Quiet and little-developed, Kep has a more exclusive feel and is located not far from the fascinating township of Kampot, famous for its peppercorns and crumbling French colonial architecture.
Mild weather year-round makes Sihanoukville and Kep great destinations for any time of year, but short blasts of rainfall between the months of May and October can sometimes scare away those searching for endless summer sun. Dry season (November to April) means the best weather for beach relaxation, but also bigger crowds. We recommend a happy medium, either in late October or mid- to late-April.
Like any good beach-side destination, you’d be missing out if you didn’t try Sihanoukville and Kep’s spectacular seafood – but eating in Sihanoukville is surprisingly diverse. An interesting blend of restaurants and culinary styles vying for the appetites of visitors means Sihanoukville has a great combination of Japanese, Vietnamese and Khmer restaurants. Some swear that Sihanoukville’s sushi is the best outside of Japan, so make sure you carve out some time to sample it.