The beaches of Cambodia are enlisted among the most beautiful ones of the world by the Bays of the World’s club, according an official statement of the Ministry of Tourism.
The club is an international association dedicated to promote the protection of coastlines of the planet. Cambodia presented its beaches as candidates to the list on May 2010.
The Cambodian sea cost extends from Thailand to Vietnam in 450 kilometers over the Gulf of Siam. The main southern city is Sihanoukville that is in the midway between Thailand and Vietnam, located precisely on a bay surrounded by coral islands and islets. Although the Sihanoukville’s beaches are the most visited by the national and international tourism, the other sea provinces like Koh Kong, Kompot and Kep keep natural and virgin beaches of great beauty with fauna, flora and some endemic or endangered species.
In the Sihanouk Province is located the national park of Riem that includes some islands around the small peninsula. The range of the Cardamom Mountains divides the coast from the Mekong’s plains, highlighting the Bokor Mountain in which top the French built a city that was abandoned during the War World II the first time and during the Khmer Rouge Regime the second time, but that is today a development project for tourism. It is also a natural viewer over the Gulf of Siam.
Sihanoukville is the second tourist destiny in Cambodia after the temples of Angkor, most of them located inland at the Siem Reap province. The second coastal city with more visitors is Kep, header of the small province of same name near the Vietnamese border. Koh Kong, which casinos attract foreign visitors coming from Thailand, is also a main eco-tourism destiny.
Cambodia belongs already to this club of the most beautiful bays of the planet that was created in Berlin on March 1997. It has currently 27 country members, with 33 recognized bays, three of them located in Vietnam: Halong Bay, Nha Trang Bay and Lang Co Bay. The elected bays must enter inside a national project of protection of their environment and they must have a UNESCO cultural or natural recognition.
The bay that is elected by the club must have a real attractive view, good environment, local and national importance and economical potential.
Otres Beach, in Khmer ជ្នេរអូរត្រេះ (pron. chines otres, meaning ‘Tres Channel Beach’) is a beach of six kilometers oriented west to south and from Occheuteal Beach towards the Matpeam Hill (Phnom Matpeam), which belongs already to Prey Nob District, while most of the territory of Otres is in Mittakpheap District. It is on the southern part of the Sephechieth Bay (ជកសិប្បិជាតិ), the same of Occheuteal. It has the Praeus Islet (Kaoh Praeus) in front.
While Occheuteal Beach is located just in the Sihanoukville urban area, Otres is already considered rural area (Otres and Pramui villages). It is possible to walk front Occheauteal to Otres along the sea. A small hill separates both beaches (Queen’s Hill that is also the name of the hotel on it). After the hill is the channel that gives the name to the area: the Otres Channel that is crossed by a small bridge. A walk from Occheuteal to Otres would take about 20 minutes.
Other way to access Otres Beach is by car, tuk-tuk or motorbike. As far as October 2011 the road’s condition is poor. It is good on the Occheuteal area, but it becomes difficult as soon as it enters Otres. The road’s condition is a reason to keep the beach rather natural and little crowed, something that makes it attractive to visitors. However, this hidden natural treasure has been already discovered by hungry business investors that are currently developing guest houses, hotels, restaurants, boat tours and diving. It is better to enjoy its natural beauty before the commerce makes its irreparable damage 😦
You can find Internet locations in the place already, rooms, bungalows and restaurants, though menus are offered in luxury prices with the excuse that the road of access is in bad conditions (!) Even if it is true, a car can takes between 15 and 20 minutes to reach the Central Market (Psar Leu).
Occheuteal is a beach of Sihanoukville. It has about six kilometers, located at the south-west of the Sihanouk Peninsula. It is a part of the Occheuteal-Otres coast. The northern part of Occheuteal is known as Serendipity Beach and it is preferred by Western tourists. The development of a new street connecting Serendipity with the Golden Lions is sometimes referred as the ‘Barang Street‘ by locals (the street of the Western.) At its south, as a continuation of the coast, there is Otres Beach. At the north, divided by a rocky hill, there is Sokha Beach.
It is also the most central beach of Sihanoukville due to its location. It is near the Golden Lions Square – official symbol of the city. The street along the beach is Mithona Street. The next street along is Tula Street and the last is Kanda Street, all of them meet at the Golden Lions. Kanda Street goes until Otres Beach. The whole area is populated by hotels, guest houses, discos and restaurants.
Sokha is a beach of Sihanoukville. It is also the place of the five starts Sokha Beach Resort that keeps the full area of the beach. Although it is officially public and most people have access to it, even for those who are not customers of the resort, there is a control over the access.
It is 1,5 kilometers long, located at the south-west of the Sihanouk Peninsula. The Occheauteal Beach – specifically the Serendipity Beach – is at its east part, separated by a rocky hill and cliff. The Independence Beach is at its west, divided by the Fisher Village and a tiny rocky peninsula. There is also a salty lake at the west. The access by road to the beach is by Thnou Street that starts at the Golden Lions Square and goes along the Sockha Beach area with several bends until the Independence Beach area.
The area is natural with few houses. The Resort dominates the site, but there are some other hotels and guest houses. It is recommended for exclusive five starts tourism.
Independence is the name of a beach in Sihanoukville. In Khmer language it is ជ្នេរអូរត្រេះ (pron. chines Ekareach). It is also the site of the Independence Hotel, one of the oldest in Sihanoukville. The are is also known as Ekareach (Independence), honoring the Cambodian independence declaration from France in 1953. The Ekareach Avenue crosses the area, being the main Sihanoukville street. It is connected to the beach by the Mithona Street. The Thnous street goes along the beach that has about 2 kilometers long at the south-west of the Sihanouk Peninsula.
It is separated from the Sokha Beach at its east by a tiny rocky peninsula and the Fisher Village. The north-west is a wood under the care of the Independence Hotel, then the bridge to the Snake Island (កោះពោះ – Koh Puah), a future developed area for housing and resorts.
Victory is the name of a beach in Sihanoukville. In Khmer language it is ជ្នេរជ័យ (Chenes Chay), honoring the ‘Victory over the Khmer Rouge Regime on January 7, 1979.’ It is a continuity of the west coast of the Sihanouk Peninsula. The beach is located at south of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port. The east, inland, is closed by the Victory Hill (ភ្នំជ័យ – Phnom Chay), an area populated by hotels, guest houses, restaurants and discos.