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Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s favourite beaches such as Phuket, Bali and Koh Samui. But if you’re after something a little different, the remote southern coast of Cambodia could be for you. Here you’ll find remote white sandy beaches lined with gentle swaying palm trees, and beautiful ocean waters in impossible shades of blue lapping at the shore. What you won’t find, is the mega resorts of Phuket or Bali, and their throngs of tourists.
The main centre in the region Sihanoukville. This busy town sits on a peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of Thailand and has a population of just under 100,000. There’s not much to the town itself, but its suburbs are home to many popular beaches. Serendipity and Ochheuteal Beaches are the main beaches and lined with many restaurants and basic accommodations, usually targeted to backpackers. Sadly the beaches here can be a bit spoiled with backpackers littering and by locals tying their boats up along the beach all day.
However, nearby Sokha Beach is another story. Just a few minutes from downtown, the beach is reserved exclusively for guests of the Sokha Beach Resort and therefore is still in pristine condition. The resort itself has a couple of wings situated around a huge manicured garden full of palm trees and exotic flowers. There’s two freshwater swimming pools, one with the all important pool bar. Rooms have garden or ocean views, and there’s even some overwater bungalows, complete with spa bath on the balcony, perfect for evening cocktails watching the sun go down. Of course, it wouldn’t be a resort without a spa and several restaurants and bars to keep you well fed.
Described as 'barefoot chic', Tamu Beach is another great option on the mainland. It's located at the upsoilt end of Otres Beach, about 15 minutes from downtown Sihanoukville by tuk-tuk. The resort also has garden and beach view rooms, as well as a great restaurant serving up traditional Cambodian fare, as well as European favourites, and the all important cocktails!
Scattered offshore are a group of small and equally beautiful islands. The largest of the islands is Koh Rong, another backpackers paradise. The main beach here is once again lined with bars and hostels, and the music is turned up loud at night for the partiers. Sadly the main beach on Koh Rong is no longer maintained and is fast becoming a bit of a rubbish dump.
Thankfully, the other beaches and islands have again escaped the plague of backpackers. Most have just one or two resorts on them so the beaches are kept clean. Easily the pick of the bunch is Song Saa Private Island. The luxurious resort is, as the names suggests, on a small private island to itself. The gorgeous rooms and overwater bungalows look across the sea to other offshore islands. Some have their own infinity pools or spas on the deck from which to enjoy the dazzling view. Relax on the islands beaches, or have the staff drop you off on another small island for the day with a lunch box and bottle of champagne or two. The island is linked to a smaller rocky islet which is kept as a reserve, covered in jungle and surrounded by a small marine reserve, perfect for snorkelling and diving.
Wherever you stay, what you can expect to find is beautiful white sandy beaches devoid of crowds, aqua blue water, lazy palm trees bending in the breeze, jungle tracks to yet more stunning beaches, inviting hammocks, and plenty of hot hot sunshine. Click here for HOT Cambodia deals.