Posted on June 15, 2016
While Thailand has become the revered destination for a beach holiday, what many people may not know is that Cambodia has some of its own beaches that are on par with Thailand. For years, Cambodia was trying to recover from political instability and thus the tourism industry was slow to develop. However a lot has changed in the past 15 years.
The majority of beaches in Cambodia are located on the South. The destination you have to explore is Sihanoukville. This small town was once home to the celebs in the 60s but when war descended in the 70s, the beaches were neglected and only recently revived. It was the Europeans and Australian backpackers who first started to venture to Sihanoukville in the 90s and over the years visitors have steadily increased. There are now ample hotels, restaurants, and businesses running all over the southern coast that cater to tourists.
For people who are looking for an exciting vacation on some of the best beaches in the Orient, Cambodia is an excellent place to go. More important, the cost of almost everything in Cambodia is many times lower than in Thailand.
Cambodia’s entire southern shore opens into the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand and there are hundreds of miles of beaches. Almost all the beaches have soft white sand and pristine blue waters. Along the coast are swaying coconut trees and coves lined with mangrove plants.
Almost all the beaches are located close to Sihanoukville, which is the largest city in the south.
Some of the top beaches in Cambodia include the following:
Koh Rong located on the southern part of the country is actually an island surrounded by the gulf of Thailand. It has untouched stretches of white sand with turquoise blue warm waters and coconut trees along the coast. This place offers all types of water activities including snorkeling, diving, and tanning. The dazzling display of coral and marine life is exceptional. To get to Koh Rong, you have to take a 2-3 hour boat ride from Sihanoukville. Once on Koh Rong, there are stylish boutique hotels and bungalows all over the island. The two top beaches on this island include Long Set and Lazy Beach. Both are exceptional.
Koh Thmei beach is another island located off the southern coast of Cambodia. It is most well known for the Ream National Park. Here you will have access to the most beautiful beaches on this planet. The entire island is devoted to tourism and remains unspoilt. Flanked by mangrove forest, here you will see many bird species, marine life and have miles of open beach. The sunsets on this island are some of the best you will ever see. To get to this island you need to take a boat from Sihanoukville.
Koh Tonsay (Rabbit island) is another island just off the southern coast. The moment your feet touch the sand, you will feel like you are walking in heaven. The place has stunning palm grooves and exotic thatched huts that serve seafood, local beer and snacks. The sea is saturated with marine life and vivid coral. It is an excellent location for diving. Hang around till midnight and you will see the bioluminescent plankton twinkling underwater. You will feel as if you in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy- an astounding sight. Everything on this beach is blissfully surreal.
If you would rather avoid taking a boat to an island, just stay in Sihanoukville. There are many beautiful beaches along its coastline.
One of them is Sokha beach; this is one of the few private beaches that is free of vendors and hawkers. Surrounded by placid shallow waters, this is the perfect place to bask in the sun. The only downside is that the entire beach is not open to the public unless you stay at the nearby hotel or get a one-day pass.
Otres Beach is located in Sihanoukville. This tiny beach remains unspoilt despite being so close to the town, with miles of velvety sand and crystal clear waters, you will never want to go back home..00
Victory Beach is another small beach located in, Sihanoukville. This beach is very popular because it is within walking distance to the entertainment district with its sizzling night clubs and bars. In the evening you will be dazzled by the best sunsets in the Asia
In the unlikely event that you feel a little homesick while enjoying paradise, you can head over to Serendipity Beach in Sihanoukville. lots of expats, quaint cafeterias, BBQ shacks, and bars- some even run by expats. A word of warning however, its appeal means inevitable crowds which some may find overwhelming.
There are many great beaches in Cambodia. Most of the beaches have crystal clear water which make them ideal for snorkeling and diving. Cambodia is safe, peaceful and the people are very friendly. It is an idyllic location that has so much to offer. So the next time you sift through travel brochures looking for the perfect spot to spend your summer vacation, remember this hidden gem.
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