1. Otres Beach, Sihanoukville
In my opinion, Otres is the perfect place to stay in Sihanoukville. You can lay out on the beach all day with a good book or swim in the calm refreshing water. People will come up to you asking you to buy sunglasses, fruit, massages, even fortune readings, but we found the amount of people to be much less than nearby Serendipity Beach. At sunset, grab a $.50 beer and watch the sun melt into the sea. At night, walk along the beach to one of the many restaurants/guesthouses serving all sorts of delicious foods (Indigo, Everythang, Papa Pippo). Late night, you can take a tuk-tuk to the party scene in Serendipity or swim with the bioluminescent plankton. The great thing about Otres is that you can almost guarantee you will be able to hear the ocean from your guesthouse, meaning you can fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing upon the shore. On Saturday night, head to the Otres Night Market for food, drinks, live music, and good company.
2. Koh Ta Kiev
About an hour boat ride from Otres Beach lies the island of Koh Ta Kiev. Accommodations are very basic as the island is sparsely populated and not yet developed but you can find dorm rooms, bungalows, and hammocks (yes, you can sleep on a hammock on the beach or the jungle!) for next to nothing. There is something quite magical about one of the places on Koh Ta Kiev, Ten103 Treehouse Bay. The food is delicious – we enjoyed the best fish we’ve had on our trip, Trai Jin Jou Aim, and caramelized chicken and veggies with rice, Bai Srope. There are plenty of places to read a book, take a snooze, or meet other travelers while chillin in this jungle/beach oasis. Head to the Absinthe bar in the trees to try some “real” Absinthe and have a few laughs. Just be careful while swimming in certain areas, we saw the after-math of a bad sea urchin sting!
3. Lonely Beach, Koh Rong
After walking along the main Koh Rong beach, you will see a sign saying “Woodfired Pizza.” Follow the path through the trees and alongside the rocky beach. You will pass some bungalows and the pizza place. The walk is a piece of cake (or should I say pizza?) compared to the hike to the more popular and less stunning Long Beach on the other side of the island. Continue to follow the path (10-15 minutes) until you find yourself with a dark turquoise lagoon on your left and the stunning bay to your right. Now you have found Lonely Beach! The beach’s name says it all – there is practically no one there. For us, it was the perfect escape from the high season tourist rush that is difficult to avoid on the small strip of Koh Rong. Even if it’s not high season, you won’t want to leave this beach for its secluded location and its stunning views!
Did we miss out on any other awesome beaches in Cambodia? Let us know!