Just as beautiful, not as crowded!
Have you ever heard of a Cambodiabeach?
You would definitely have heard of the Thai beaches of Koh Samui,Phuket, and maybe Pattaya too.
But what about the beaches of Sihanoukville, Kep, and KohTonsay?
Contrary to popular belief, Cambodia is not a land-locked country –look at a map!
It has both mainland and island beaches, and given thatthey’re in the same area as the Thai beaches (in the Gulf of Thailand),it’s not surprising that going to a Cambodia beach easily rivals goingto a Thai one for beauty, sun, and fun.
What’s a Cambodia beach I shouldn’t miss?
Sihanoukville is aport city about 185km from PhnomPenh, and mostpeople agree that it has the best Cambodia beach, with white sand andblue seas. Good beaches in Sihanoukville are Occheuteal Beach, whichhas bars and beach parties, Independence Beach, and Victory Beach,which is the furthest north and a favorite with backpackers and budgettravelers. Victory Beach is also a nice place to watch the sunset.
Another beach in Cambodia is in Kep, which is located very close toCambodia’s border with Vietnam. Kep has a grand history, as duringFrench colonial times it was an upmarket resort town for the French andKhmer elite. It still has some reminders of this time in wide sidewalksand seaside statues. The beaches in Kep are scenic, but not as wide asat Sihanoukville and are mostly black rock rather than sand.
Cambodia’s island beaches offer an even more beautiful environment thana mainland beach, but not many of them are developed enough tosupport tourism yet. One exception is Bamboo Island. Bamboo Island isjust 10km off the coast of Sihanoukville, and has warm water and goldensand. It’s a fantastic place to relax. It’s now possible to rent abungalow for an overnight stay on Bamboo Island, and there’s greatseafood available there as well.
Another great Cambodia beach island is Rabbit Island, also known as KohTonsay. It’s about 5km from the town of Kep, and it has two amazingwhite sand beaches with shallow seas, making it great for swimming.Bamboo guest houses provide somewhere to stay.
Cambodia’s beach vs. Thailand’s beach — which is better?
Clearly Cambodia has some great beaches, both on the mainland and onislands in the Gulf of Thailand. They have beautiful beaches with softsand, warm water, and plenty of sun. But places like Phuket and Pattayahave these things too. So what does any Cambodian beach have that youcan’t find in Thailand?
The answer is that they have peace and quiet and the chance to enjoy astretch of beautiful white sand beach all by yourself (or nearly so).Thailand’s beach resorts are famous and popular for good reasons, butin some ways they’ve been ‘loved to death’. The beaches are great, butthey can be polluted, crowded and noisy as well. The beach areas ofCambodia are different, because they haven’t yet been taken over bycrowds of people and lots of development.
You might not be able to find five-star resorts or western fast food atone of Cambodia beaches, but you will be able to find emptystretches of whitesand beach with warm turquoise water, open air bars and restaurantsserving incredible fresh seafood, and plenty of laid-back good times.Now that sounds good!
So in short…
In short, there’s no reason to plan your trip so that you go toCambodia for Angkor Wat, then Thailand for the beaches. There are a fewnice beaches at Cambodia that you don’t just rule out Cambodia for itsbeaches. Particularly if fighting for aspace on the sand, eating fast food and drinking at Irish chain pubsisn’t your idea of a good time, then you won’t regret choosing a beach in Cambodia.
Where would you like to go next?
If you have US dollars then you’re all set. There’s no needfor you to change them to Cambodian Riels. Anyone and everyone willaccept US dollars there. Well, except in the very remote areas.
It’s in Asia so the summers are hot.Duringthe wet seaso, rain could be a problem too. Unless rain is exactlywhat you’re looking for. Why ever for? To get magical pictures ofcourse!
What health precautions should you consider before going to Cambodia? Here’s a little bit to get you started.