Years ago, I went on a Cambodian beach vacation. You don’t often hear about the beaches of Cambodia- usually Thailand’s beautiful beaches crowd them out of the news. However, they deserve just as much if not more of the attention. While throngs of tourist visit Thai islands, Cambodia’s beaches lay empty. They are truly an undiscovered paradise. Travelers are always looking for the next big thing and I’m amazed they have yet to discover this area, not that I am complaining. I wouldn’t want this area to be like Ko Phi Phi or Phuket.
But back to when I was in Cambodia…..
Heading down south from the capital, I went to Sihanoukville. Back in the days of the Vietnam war and in the early 90s, this was a seedy place. A place where people went to find sun, beer, and prostitutes. While some of that is there, much of that has gone away to make room for the next big backpacker destination. Now the beaches are lined with bars and cheap accommodation catering to the thousands of backpackers who move through the country each day.
One thing that amazed me about the area though was despite its beauty, few people still went there. Most travelers simply stop in Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh. Though the destination is getting bigger, the beaches down in Sihanoukville are still fairly empty. You can lay in the sun all day without touts coming up to you or worrying about getting your stuff stolen. And if the few people actually there in Sihanoukville bother you, simply head down a bit further down the coast to Kep for great seafood and emptier beaches.
For a good guide to the beaches of Asia, check out “the best beaches in Asia” website. It has a good collection of off the beaten path places if you don’t feel like fighting for beach space in Thailand.