Cambodia (Kingdom of Cambodia)

Languages: Khmer

Currencies: KHR · Cambodian riel (៛)

Capitol: Phnom Penh

Continents: Asia

Borders: Laos, Thailand, Vietnam

More useful information

Area: 181,035km2

Population: 16,718,971

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +855

Timezones: UTC+07:00

Last updated on July 14, 2023

Cambodia country was one of the strangest and most beautiful countries I have traveled to in south-east Asia. I liked it a lot as it’s absolutely unpredictable, full of stunning, historic places and very sad landscapes of poverty. Find out how to get from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.

How to get from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong island?

Sihanoukville is a place you need to reach when you want to go to Koh Rong island or Koh Rong Sanloem. It takes 45 minute to get to Koh Rong island which is located about 25 kilometers from Sihanoukville. The are plenty of boats and ferries going to both islands. 

We chose the fast boat (on the picture) which goes directly from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong. But the Speed Ferry Cambodia also goes directly to Koh Rong Sanloem. I also heard that some boats taking you to Koh Rong through Koh Rong Sanloem island. The fast boat is comfortable, well organized and provides seats to all passengers. There was also an English young party lady who served the drinks on board. 🙂

Sihanoukville bars and nightlife

Before getting to Koh Rong we decided to stay one day to travel around this quite big city. What we’ve seen was one of the greatest stories within this country. Sihanoukville smells like a very strange city. If you are looking to party this is your destination. Together with nice beaches, cheap accommodation and hundreds of bars with music the city will give you a lot of fun. 

Beer is very cheap, sometimes it event costs 50 cents. On the south part of the Sihanoukville province there is Ochheuteal beach and on the southern end of it lies most famous Otres beach, beyond the Phnom Som Nak Sdach (Hill of the King’s Palace) headland. It’s quite narrow beach and to tell the truth I’ve seen much more beautiful beaches than this one.

Getting to Sihanoukville

When we got there we were exhausted and dying for a beer. As usually we took a walk through the city looking for a place to stay overnight. The bar next to the harbour was looking nice, we saw some people sitting inside and came inside to ask them for directions.

Meeting “locals”

One of them was a Belgian guy, drinking whiskey and beer at the same time. The other white guy seems to be very self confident holding beer in his hand. After a :)First guy lives in Sihanoukville and stays in a relationship with a Cambodian girl. He said she went to visit her parents for few days, so he felt very lonely and landed in a bar…feeling absolutely absolved for having couple of drinks 🙂 He really was a story teller! 

The other guy turned to be German. He was a Cambodian resident since many years – surprisingly he was a policeman! After he found out we are looking for a place to stay, he immediately said that he will take us to one of the cheapest backpackers places in Sihanoukville. 

Moment of hesitation

Well I hesitated but on the other hand it was 10 o’clock in the morning in the middle of a very touristic town, so what could happen!? Imagine my face when the policeman got into his motorcycle and said jump in girl! Me and Michael gave him a look when he added – Ohh come on, don’t be scared, I’m a policeman! He took me to a quite nice hostel and came back for Michael and our luggage.

Exploring Sihanoukville on a motorbike

The rest of the day we were sightseeing the city on motorbikes. This city is really strange. We were heading the huge round in the middle of the center when a local policeman on a motorbike stopped us asking for a driving license.

You need Cambodian’s driving licence to be able to drive there! Of course none of the tourists have it. And obviously it’s a paradox among hundreds of motorbike rentals where nobody cares about your driving license. 

One dollar bribe

The chat lasted around a minute when a policeman just shouted – one dollar!! We were thrilled by this situation and in that moment we had no idea what to think and what to do! We just uncertainly took out one dollar banknote. He immediately took it and waving his baton showed us to go. 

We could’t believe this! We just manage to start driving again when another motorbike policeman appeared in front of us. I was shocked and confused! He immediately started talking and then we just heard – one dollar! We took out the banknote and he literally grabbed it! 🙂 

After letting us go we were stopped by a third motorbike policeman. We both just shouted – Oh come on! It’s a third time we’ve been stopped within last kilometer! He just looked at our irritated faces and let us go without saying anything 🙂 Generally there is not much to see in Sihanoukville. The truth is we were strongly waiting for Koh Rong diving adventure.

Sunset on a beach in Sihanoukville
Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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