Set on Cambodia's coastline and surrounded by undeveloped tropical islands, Sihanoukville is Cambodia's most famous beach town, containing everything from backpacker havens to upmarket resorts. There are several beaches in the town which vary in what they offer, but many are lined with restaurants and bars. If you’re looking for a lively backpacker beach party in Cambodia, Sihanoukville is a good bet! A liberal attitude towards marijuana and mushrooms also fuels the backpacker party vibe at some beaches. To decide which beach is right for you, check out my Beaches of Sihanoukville guide.
The town is being built in a haphazard fashion and isn't much to write home about in terms of its aesthetics. There are some good stretches of white sand where you can find a spot to yourself. However, the popularity of some of the beaches has impacted their cleanliness, along with an increase in beach hawkers and seedier types. If it's just beautiful coastlines you're after rather than big parties, then you can easily catch a boat to one of the nearby islands.
There are over 20 beautiful islands surrounding Sihanoukville, most of which are uninhabited with some of Cambodia's most beautiful beaches, clear waters and excellent coral reefs. Island hopping, diving and snorkelling opportunities to the islands are available from Sihanoukville. There are accommodation options on Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem, Koh Thmei, Koh Ta Kiev and Koh Totang. There are various island and snorkelling tours available from Sihanoukville. If you stay on one of the islands, you can just hire a snorkel, and they will point you in the right direction to explore the shoreline yourself. Be sure to check out each of the island pages containing some of Cambodia's gems.