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Cambodia is best known as the occasional side trip to Angkor Wat, the famous temple in northern Cambodia, on your way to or from Thailand. But all that is changing with the revitalization of Sihanoukville, Cambodia's one and only beach resort. Located in the south, it's part resort, part backpacker hangout, part working port and all big city. Make sure to learn about visa requirements for Cambodia before you travel.Find Cruises Sailing to This Port
About 18 km from downtown Sihanoukville is Ream National Park, which offers both boat and safari tours of its 21,000 hectares of land and marine habitat. I know what you're saying - heck, that's a lot of hectares. But it's well worth the trip with some 155 species represented including the rare mouse deer and pangolin and the very rare freshwater white dolphin, which only comes around from December through February.
As Cambodia's only beach resort community, sporting life in Sihanoukville is squarely focused on the sea. There's snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving, swimming, sea kayaking and sailing. The guesthouses that front the beaches can arrange most activities. Or you could rent a moto (motorcycle taxi) for a tour. This is perhaps the most dangerous activity.
Khmer cuisine is often thought of as Thai without the spice. Ingredients tend toward seafood locally caught and you should be able to find a good meal simply by walking the many food stalls set up near the beaches and sampling some of the dishes. The best part is that Cambodia is very inexpensive. So feel free to try a lot.
As a developing resort, Sihanoukville has yet to experience a full-on retail invasion. Think of this as a good thing. It's still authentic, which means that with a bit of energy and curiosity finding something unique is still possible. By the way, in Cambodia - everything's a bargain.
With only two ATMs in all of Cambodia, and both in Phnom Penh, accessing foreign accounts means visiting a bank. Luckily, the U.S. dollar is one of two official currencies in Cambodia. The other is the Cambodian riel. Moneychangers are plentiful, shop around for good rates but inspect the bills, as even a small tear in a U.S. dollar renders it useless. Use U.S. dollars for big purchases and riels for small.
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Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.