You are looking for a  relaxing beach to escape from Singapore? A place not too touristy? Sihanoukville in Cambodia and its surrounding islands is definitely for you! Book a nice hotel on the beach and enjoy the sun with a nice cocktail facing the sea. If you feel like being a bit more active during your trip you can rent a sailing boat, a motorbike and explore the Cambodian countryside or dive to explore the marine life. You need at least a 3-day weekend to get there and enjoy the place.

Singapore to Sihanoukville journey details

Connections with this trip

On the way to Sihanoukville you can stop by Phnom Penh for a couple of days or head to Siem Reap (Angkor).

Getting from Singapore to Sihanoukville

There is no direct flights from Singapore to Sihanoukville. Sihanoukville is 200 Km from Phnom Penh. Therefore you first need to fly to Phnom Penh and then drive to Sihanoukville.

There are a few direct flights from Singapore (SIN) to Phnom Penh (PHN) airport
Getting there: Jetstar – Singapore to Phnom Penh – 1.20 PM – 2.25PM (2h05 flight) if you take a half day off on Friday.
Coming back: Jetstar – Phnom Penh to Singapore – 3.10 PM – 6.10 PM
Return ticket from SGD 300.

Get your ticket NOW to enjoy the best fares.

Phnom Penh airport offers limited facilities. Money change is  available.

Getting from Phnom Penh airport to Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is 200 km from Phnom Penh airport. You have a few options to get there, from the fastest and most expensive to the slowest and cheapest.

  • We recommend to hire a private car  from USD 60 one way for a 4-hour ride ( makarataxi@gmail.com /+855 88 7777 327, from regular 4-seater car up to 12-seater van).
  • But you can also go by public 10-seater van (USD 10 per person / 4h30 drive), public vans depart from the southwest corner of the Central Market (Phsar Thmey) in Phnom Penh and the last one leaves at 2:30PM. Once the van is full it is ready to go, this is an option to consider only if you are prepared to wait.
  • Some buses run from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville from 7AM to 5:45PM, check availability on Sorya Company website, it will cost around USD 6 per person for a 6-hour journey. 

Where to stay in Sihanoukville

You can either stay in Sihanoukville (but prefer beach front hotels instead of the city center) or prefer a quiet bungalow on Otres beach a few kilometers off Sihanoukville. Mary Beach Bungalows are a good option on the beach.

If you prefer, you can also book with

To see & to do in Sihanoukville

Beaches

There are many beaches in Sihanoukville.

The lively beaches, with many beach front restaurants:

  • Ochheuteal Beach
  • Serendipity Beach

The remote ones, a few kilometers away from Sihanoukville. Guesthouses there offer restaurant services and you can rent  beach chairs. It’s definitely a good option if you want to avoid the crowd :

  • Otres Beach
  • Sokha Beach 

Island hopping

  • Koh Russei : Also called Bamboo island, Koh Russei is 45 min by boat from Serendipity beach in Sihanoukville. When you land in Koh Russei you feel like you are acting in Cast away. No tourist, only one bungalow resort on the beach, it is a nice (but very basic) place to stay over for a night.
  • Koh Rong: Second largest island of Cambodia, it is located about 25 kilometers off the Sihanoukville’s coast and 2 hours boat ride. Koh Rong has 43 km of white sand beaches, turquoise water with many fishes and coral. The latest season of the French “Survivor” television program Koh Lanta was filmed on Koh Rong. If you plan to stay overnight, book in advance your accommodation.

Motorbike ride

Rent a motorbike from your hotel/guesthouse (or anywhere in Sihanoukville) for USD 10 per day. Get to discover the Cambodian countryside scenery.

Miscellaneous

  • Relax with a massage
  • Rent a sailing boat or a kayak
  • Go for diving sessions (but check the equipment and make sure you are comfortable with the instructor)

More info to prepare your trip

Wifi is now available in most of the hotels, bars & restaurants. Even on Koh Rong island!

What to pack for Sihanoukville

Your main bag

That’s the one you leave at the hotel. Ideally you want to avoid checking in your luggage when flying. So check the weight and dimensions for hand carry luggage with your airlines (some airlines will allow only 7kg, some will allow up to 10kg). From head to toes.

  • Short sleeves tops: your main outfit. Everybody will see them on all your pictures. You really want to take that old Mickey Mouse T-shirt? Be mindful that you will be in a different environment so it might be a good idea to adjust your wardrobe.
  • Long sleeves tops: to protect yourself from the sun (if you’ve stayed for 5 hours on a motorbike with short sleeves you know what I mean) or to enter religious buildings or to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.
  • Pullover. Yes I know, you’re going to a country where the temperature never goes down below 25 degrees and you need to pack a pullover? You will thank us when you’re back. Remember that flight during which  you were freezing? Or this museum where the aircon is set to the “polar bear” temperature?
  • Short/skirt (you should be able to chose the appropriate one by yourself).
  • Trousers for the same reasons you need to take long sleeves tops. Jeans are usually not a good option. They are heavy and keep you too warm.
  • Underwear: well, you know. If you plan to walk or ride motorbikes for long hours, take something comfortable as the combination heat + friction can make you regret this sophisticated silk underwear. Cotton is good.
  • Shoes: one pair of flip flap and one pair of confortable shoes. Remember that you are going to spend most of the time on your feet. Forget about high heels and leave your Westons at home.
  • Swimsuit: even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, you never know. A nice river, a swimming pool, a heavy rain? Always have one with you.
  • Raincoat and protection for your bag. Even if you are visiting the country during the “best season”, you never know what the sky will be like.
  • Torch: take a pocket torch with you if you visit countries where the power is not reliable… Can come very handy when stuck in the dark in your room.
  • Toilet bag: Shampoo, soap, toothbrush & toothpath, deodorant, sun screen, tiger balm. Ideally, all these in miniature formats.
  • Sleeping bag liner (if you plan to stay in very cheap or dirty places, not required if you are staying in a 5-star hotel…)
  • Your IT stuff: iPad, eBook, laptop, chargers, memory card, batteries, etc.
  • Dryer sheets: they will help keep a fresh smell in your bag.

Your small bag

That’s the one you keep with you, all the time. Hence, a backpack is the best option.

  • Your passportcashcredit cards and other life saving items like your insurance card with emergency contact details. Not a bad idea to put them in a zip-lock bag  in case it rains. It will keep your documents dry.
  • Your driver’s licence if you plan to rent a car or a motorbike (some countries are quite particular about this so take it with you in case you are not sure, even for a motorbike rental).
  • Your emergency medical kit: painkillers, mosquitoes repellent, dressing/plaster, disinfectant, anti diarrhea, eyewash
  • Tissues and toilet paper (you will thank me later). Remember that in a lot of countries, you will not be provided napkins when having a meal.
  • Water – plastic bottles are a good option as they are lighter than a gourd/flask.
  • Biscuits (always buy some before you go when you are not sure what you will find. Always have “emergency” biscuit  and water in case you cannot find food around and need to recharge batteries)
  • Sunglasses: you’ll need them. Take them even if it’s raining. Weather can change very fast in the region.
  • Scarf (krama, or any kind of fabric that you can use to put around your neck, put on your head to protect it from the sun, cover your shoulders in temples, dry your sweat, etc). Can come very handy in some situation. It will not stay clean for long so it’s wise to pick a dark color…
  • Camera and its protection.

Beach pack

Remember that this one comes on top of the Regular pack (above)

  • Beach towel or equivalent (pareos / sarongs are lighter)
  • Snorkeling equipment: mask, scuba, (fins?)
  • Shoes you can wear on the beach or in the water (to protect your feet from being cut by corals)
  • Dry bag if you plan to go on a boat and want to keep your stuff dry.

Well, you will probably adjust your bag after a few trips. Remove the stuff that you have not used and add the one that you missed. Post a comment to share your tips!

Happy packing (it’s the worse part of the trip but it’s worth it…) and travelling!

Cambodia

Cambodia

  • Language: Khmer
  • Time zone: Cambodia GMT + 7 , 1h ahead of Singapore
  • Currency: Both Khmer Riels  (KHR) and US Dollars (USD). USD for most expenses, restaurants, shopping, entrance to museum, etc. Khmer Riels are used for small purchases and street stalls.
  • Phone: + 855
  • Electricity: 220V 50 Hz

Immigration and airport taxes on arrival

Visa on Arrival can be obtained for most of the nationalities (check at the Cambodian embassy in your country) at the Visa Counter upon arrival at the airport.

Entry Visa requirements for a Tourist visa (30 days for single entry):

  • Passport valid for at least 4 months from the expiry date
  • A recent photograph (4 x 6) or pay USD 2 per person
  • Visa fee payment – USD 30 per person (children included) (USD bank notes only).

Visa exemption for tourists holding passports from Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

National Public Holidays in Cambodia

2015

Day Date Holiday
Thursday January 01 International New Year Day
Wednesday January 07 Victory over Genocide Day
Tuesday February 03 Meak Bochea Day
Monday March 09 International Woman’s Day (observed)
Tuesday April 14 Khmer New Year Day
Wednesday April 15 Khmer New Year Holiday
Thursday April 16 Khmer New Year Holiday
Friday May 01 International Labour Day
Sunday May 03 Visak Bochea Day
Monday May 04 Visak Bochea Holiday
Thursday May 07 Royal Plowing Ceremony
Wednesday May 13 King’s Birthday
Thursday May 14 King’s Birthday Holiday
Friday May 15 King’s Birthday Holiday
Monday June 01 Children’s Day
Thursday June 18 Kings Mother Birthday
Thursday September 24 Constitutional Day
Monday September 28 Ancestors Day
Tuesday September 29 Ancestors Day Holiday
Thursday October 15 Commemoration Day of King’s Father
Friday October 23 Paris Peace Agreements Day
Thursday October 29 King’s Coronation Day
Monday November 09 Independence Day
Tuesday November 24 Water Festival Ceremony
Wednesday November 25 Water Festival Ceremony Holiday
Thursday November 26 Water Festival Ceremony Holiday
Thursday December 10 International Human Rights Day

* Check the exact date as it varies from one year to another – check on this website. When Public Holidays falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday will be Public Holiday.