Sep 8, 2019

Sihanoukville, Otres Beach | How to Get to Sihanoukville from Siem Reap

 How to get to Sihanoukville from Siem Reap

After spending three wonderful days in Siem Reap, we  bid farewell to our tuktuk driver (Sok Menea) who made our Siem Reap trip extra special. We head to Giant Ibis transport office located in Sivutha Boulevard and purchased tickets online for a five hour trip to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital for $15 ( Php 770.00). Our journey does not end there, we still have to board a bus for another five hours bound for Sihanoukville, a coastal town famous for having some of  the best beaches in Cambodia. I'm not in any way connected to Giant Ibis or paid,  but I highly recommend Giant Ibis for safety, comfort, reliability and road worthiness. The bus comes with onboard WIFI, power outlets, sanitize blankets, pillows and toilet. By the way, before you board, you will be given a plastic bag to put your shoes in. The bus had single and double berths, purchasing your tickets online gives you the flexibility to choose your berths. As of this writing, they had just open Siem Reap to Sihanoukville route to cater tourist who wants to go directly to the coastal town. You can book your tickets here and they charge  $1.00 (Php 51.00) processing fee.

Night bus to Sihanoukville from Siem Reap

Phnom Penh, Cambodia's Capital

The following morning we arrived in Phnom Penh. Most shops and stores around  are still closed and had to wait for 3 hours before we can board the first bus to Sihanoukville. Unfortunately, we were stuck in traffic for over an hour and had to change to another bus because of  a faulty air conditioning system.We continued on and we only have one bathroom break for the entire journey.

Giant Ibis Office in Phnom Penh

The Coastal town of Sihanoukville

We arrived in Sihanoukville past noon and while they are offloading the luggage's, one of the passengers lost her mobile phone. I recognized her because we took the same night bus from Siem Reap. Gladly, they found her phone and was returned to her the following morning. Afer getting our bags, we took a 30 minute  tuktuk ride to Otres Beach that will cost around $2.00 ( Php 110.00) . We passed by a roundabout called Golden Lion, It's  the most prominent landmark in Sihanoukville that was constructed in 1996.

There are two beaches you can enjoy while visiting Sihanoukville: One is Ochheuteal Beach where late night bars and gigs are found, and the other one is Otres Beach if your looking for serenity and relaxation. We chose Otres over Ochheuteal because it's more quieter and serene. Oh I almost forgot,  there's a third beach called Independence - It is less busy and quieter and good for swimming. We booked our 2 night stay in Mary Beach Bungalows- the location is great as well as the breakfast but quite disappointed with our room because it's not what we expected for $50 room. The roof is made of Nipa leaves with no ceiling and had a strong smell inside.

During our second night, we were awakened by a strange noise in the Nipa leaves just above us. We turned on the lights and spot something blending in the leaves. "At first I thought" it was a snake but it's a gecko about a feet long. It will probably freak me out  if it's a snake.

The most prominent landmark in Sihanoukville

Beautiful Sunset in Otres Beach

We were greeted with a beautiful sunset as we walk along the shore and got to photograph some of the activities that made this part of the beach a laid back feel. Also be prepared for hawkers to approach you throughout the day selling fruit, sunglasses, massages, boat tours & leg hair threading

Unfinish Jetty port in Otres Beach
Beautiful Sunset

Locals fishing

Locals fishing in Otres Beach

Father and son fixing the fishing line in Otres beach


Food menu in OtreseGood food and Relaxing Ambience

There are no  large restaurants on Otres, just a string of beach-shack bars and small restaurants. On our first night, we ordered some wood fire pizza nearby called Tokae and it was great. Breakfast buffet is included in our stay which is delicious and had to pay for additional $20 ( Php 1,000) for two for our lunch and dinner buffet. Most all of the beach restaurants serve seafood and more, but each place has its own unique flavor.

Cambodia's Paradise

Otres Beach is the next beach south of Ochheuteal Beach and resembles Ochheuteal in many ways - a three kilometer crescent of near white sand facing the southwest. But Otres is far less developed and touristed than Ochheuteal, offering a more leisurely, relaxed atmosphere, and caught the eye of Forbes this year, listed amongst the Top 22 Beaches in Asia.

Cambodian paradise

Snorkeling and Plankton watching

You can do beach hopping or you can join a swimming and snorkeling day trip to Koh Rong Island - an island  known for its sandy coves and coral reefs. Round trip ride cost around $30.00 ( Php 1,100) and takes 45 minutes or so or you can go the Sihanhoukville ferry terminal and ride from there which cost around $10 ( Php 510.00) per trip.  If you're staying in Koh Rong, the easiest way for you to see the plankton is by booking a boat tour from main pier of the island.

Swimming and Island hopping day tour

 Lounging and Relaxing

Leg hair threading in Otres beach

Our time here were spent lounging, eat good food and on my last day leg hair threading - a technique of hair removal using just normal sewing thread for about $5.00 ( Php 220.00) Quite effective because the hair did not reappear for another few weeks.

Lounging  and relaxing at Otres beach

Getting to Sihanoukville from Siem Reap

Getting here is fairly easy. Head to the Giant Ibis main office in Siem Reap in Sivutha boulevard and catch the bus from there. You can book your tickets at their main office or you can get it online through the website. Once you arrived in Sihanoukville, hire a tuktuk to get to your hotel or guesthouse.

Travel Tips

  • The beach is safe but the main road have no lights. Always bring a torch or something to navigate.
  • Otres Market is only open on Saturdays during high season, It's a Goa-inspired weekend market featuring all sorts of local handicrafts and products, food and drinks. After dark, live music and dance acts start playing to the crowds.
  • Otres Beach is more cleaner than Ochheuteal Beach and Serendipity in terms of garbage and water quality.
  • Always have a travel insurance when traveling to Cambodia. You can get a free quote below. 

Overall, we enjoyed staying at Otres despite the issues we had with our accommodation. The people are friendly and safe. Just lounging and relaxing by the beach is  what we need to prepare ourselves for the back breaking ride to Phnom Penh and finally a 10 hour bus trip to Ho Chi Minh City.


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