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Useful information for trips to Sihanoukville
Below you will find information on the most beautiful sights, a map of the cruise port as well as many useful tips and information for your cruise excursions in Sihanoukville.
The most beautiful sights in Sihanoukville
The port city of Sihanoukville is located on the Gulf of Siam in the southwest of the Kingdom of Cambodia. It is the fifth largest city in Cambodia and capital of the province of Sihanoukville and was named in honour of the former king Sihanouk. Sihanoukville has become more and more popular with tourists in recent years, due to its beautiful beaches. Also located in front of Sihanoukville are picturesque islands with secluded beaches and turquoise water for snorkeling. Downtown Sihanoukville are many shops, restaurants and hotels, as well as the city’s unofficial landmark, the Lion Monument.
Tumnuk Rolok fishing port
The fishing port is approximately 2 km north of the main port. It provides a great backdrop for picture opportunities especially in the morning and in the evening. Here you can experience the everyday life of many Cambodians and watch the zealous trade. The fishermen travel at night to the open sea and come back early in the morning with their catch. During the day, the fishermen are usually busy preparing for the next tour.
Wat Leu Pagoda
The famous Wat Leu Pagoda is situated on a 132 meter high hill, offering breath-taking views of the entire city, and its surrounding beaches and islands. The pagoda is surrounded by a stone wall and decorated with a three-headed white elephant which is a Buddha statue. The temple also houses various Buddhist statues and murals.
Wat Krom Pagoda
Another important temple is the Wat Krom Pagoda, where you can admire the unique Khmer architecture. The temple is richly decorated, and you will find interesting murals inside the pagoda. Ancient tombs, the processions of the monks, the golden reclining Buddha and the golden Buddha statue in the main temple of the pagoda will immerse you in Cambodian culture and religion.
In 1958, the Independence Monument was erected in celebration of Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. It has the shape of a lotus-shaped stupa. This style is also found in many other Khmer monuments. Surrounded by multi-headed cobras, the monument is located at a crossroads separating the city center of Sihanoukville from Victory Hill. Near the monument is a shrine, which serves as an important place for religious festivals.
Phsar Leu Market
The bustling Phsar Leu Market is a covered market where fruit, seafood, clothing, jewelery, Khmer food and other various local goods can be bought at countless stalls. The market gives you a great insight into the life of the Cambodians.
The Otres beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Sihanoukville and forms a district at the same time. As it is further out in the south, a moped should be rented or a taxi to the beach. The beach is characterized by a narrow and long sandy beach with clear water. Along the beach are several inexpensive restaurants that also provide beach chairs. During your stay you will soon realize that there are numerous flying dealers who will want to sell you fruits, vegetables, jewellery and much more.
The Sokha beach is a palm-fringed and private sandy beach. It is for the guests of the luxurious Sokha Resort Hotel, but non-hotel guests can also use the beach for a fee. In addition to the beach chairs, the pool can also be used. The Sokha Hotel belong to the influential businessman Oknha Sok Kong from Vietnam, who is also the managing director of the oil and gas station company Sokimex.
Koh Rong Island
The island of Koh Rong is very popular with tourists due to its unique flair. Inland, there is a dense rainforest with waterfalls. The beautiful island is known for its sandy coves, coral reefs and crystal-clear water – ideal for snorkelling and diving. The island not only offers activities during the day, but also an exciting nightlife. You will find a zoo on the island (Jewelorchids) as well as the party bay Police Beach and a High Point Rope Park, where you will find rope bridges and zip lines.
Map of the cruise port in Sihanoukville
At present, very few cruise ships dock in Sihanoukville. However, as the city becomes more popular with tourists, more shipping companies are likely to include Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville) in the future.
The cruise port terminal has two berths. As it is not allowed to move freely in the port area, a free shuttle bus from the port administration to the harbour exit is offered.
Things to know about shore excursions in Sihanoukville
Shipping companies and routes
Not many cruise companies visit the port of Sihanoukville until now. Especially during rain season it can happen that only one cruise ship moors there in one month. Marella Cruises, NCL, Princess Cruises or Costa Cruises already include the port of Kampong Saom in their programs. Additional ports along these routes are often Thailand, Vietnam or the United Arab Emirates.
Entry and visa
In order to go ashore, UK and US residents need a passport that must be valid at least six months from the entry into Cambodia. Additionally you will need a Cambodian visa which you can obtain on arrival. You will be required to bring a passport-sized photograph and it will cost around $30. This visa allows you to stay one month beginning with the date of entry into Cambodia.
Please note that you cannot request and use an electronic visa as the port of Sihanoukville does not support this technically.
The currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR). 1 US Dollar equals about 4,525 KHR and 1 British pound equals. In most shops, however, can be paid with US dollars. The Riel is usually used for change or smaller amounts. Be sure to exchange some money as credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels and restaurants. Alternatively, you can withdraw some cash at ATMs – but only with a credit card.
Taxi and public transport
In Sihanoukville you will quickly realize that every taxi driver wants you as a guest. Often this can become intrusive, but do not let this put you off. Experience shows that it is advisable to negotiate the price before the trip, so that you do not end up paying too much. You can also just stop a tuk tuk on the street, as it is usually cheaper.
An even cheaper alternative is a moped. These can be rented for 5-6 US dollars a day and are great for getting around Sihanoukville. So you can easily explore the city on your own. Even if the locals hardly stick to the rules of conduct, there is a helmet obligation. You should wear this not only for your own safety, but also because of the police, as foreigners like to issue a traffic ticket.
The best time to go to Sihanoukville is in the months of December, January, February and March, when the average temperature is between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. Cambodia is characterized by the southwest monsoon, so there is a rainy season from May to October. Heavy precipitation may occur during these months, so Sihanoukville should be avoided. The water temperature is pleasantly warm all year round.
Tourism Organizatuion and Travel Guide
Impressions of Sihanoukville
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