Cambodia has long been a destination known for its rich cultural heritage and extraordinary history. Most visitors to the country however are unaware of the beautiful coastal region of Sihanoukville & Ream that lies just 220 km from Phnom Penh. One of the most unspoiled coastlines anywhere in South East Asia, Sihanoukville & Ream is an up and coming destination for those who are looking for the next big thing.
Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, is a province in Southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. The only deep water port in Cambodia and the country’s most developed coastal town, Sihanoukville is just over 3 hours by car from Phnom Penh. Ream lies 18 km East of Sihanoukville, a charming fishing village with beautiful long beaches that border Ream National Park, a stunning 150 sq km of primary forest and 60 sq km of marine habitat.
With expanses of pristine beach and the impressive Ream National Park, Sihanoukville and Ream are reminiscent of some of Thailand’s tourist hubs 30 years ago. The improving infrastructure in the area now allows visitors to experience white sandy beaches, remote islands and undisturbed nature and the area is sure to become a big attraction for tourists from Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh looking for a beach getaway after city sprawl.
The coastline of Sihanoukville & Ream boasts a wide range of impressive beaches; each beach is distinct and unrivalled in comparison to the beaches of popular tourist destinations of Thailand and Bali. Located on the beautiful coastline of Sihanoukville, Sokha Beach and Independence Beach are blissfully peaceful, with stretches of soft white sand waiting for you to mark your footprints. Further east, you will find Occheuteal Beach, backed by a row of casuarina trees and stretching for 4 km, visitors can make the most of the water sports available here such as banana boating and jet skiing.
Renting a boat for a day and exploring the nearby islands of the Koh Rong Archipelago is an absolute must. Adventurers will discover the paradise-like Koh Rong Samloem, with striking blue waters evocative of the Maldives, and Song Saa Island, surrounded by coral reef and marine life.
Due to be completed in late 2011, Song Saa is an environmentally sensitive luxury resort that is dedicated to protecting marine habitat and local wildlife. Devoted to conservation, Song Saa has established Cambodia’s first fully policed and privately funded marine protected area around the islands’ surrounding reefs. Protected since 2007, the area covers one million square metres and takes in important coral species and habitat for a number of critically endangered sea horses and turtles among many other species. Song Saa is set to put the Cambodian coast line on the map and will be an inspirational conservation project for larger scale developments in the area. For further information on Song Saa, visit songsaa.com.
For travellers looking to venture to Sihanoukville & Ream soon, there is Sokha Beach Resort, Cambodia’s first five-star beach resort with 322 large rooms and suites, and 50 over water chalets known as “Mohori Water Chalets”. Guests will be amazed by the beautiful scenery and stunning waters that surround this luxurious resort. Amenities include a spa, fitness centre, children’s playground and a huge pool. Currently expanding its offering, Sokha will soon boast new, private high-end bungalows set to open in Spring 2010. More information can be found on sokhahotels.com.
Sihanoukville and Ream offers a Cambodian retreat like no other, its undiscovered simplicity make it the perfect South East Asian beach destination.