One of the worst held secrets is the rapid emergence of Sihanoukville Cambodia as a major Asian beach resort town. Many that have been here in the past would smugly say I told you so, as to all it was readily apparent that this quiet little coastal beach town had all the makings for a long time now. All that is needed is more flights into the now open Sihanoukville airport; as soon as there is a direct flight from Bangkok; watch out this place is going to blow!
Three things make Sihanoukville especially appealing and you should take every opportunity to see Sihanoukville now before it becomes overrun, which it will in the very near future.
A 5 Star luxury Hotel Under $100
Sokha Beach Resort is a 5 star luxury beach resort that has it own long private beach, a pool the size of a small lake, a staff to guest ratio of 4 to 1, and all the other amenities that you would expect from a 5 star luxury beach resort for under a $100 a night! This price I can assure will not last for long. If your budget is under $100 a night there are lots of other Sihanoukville hotels and guesthouses available near the ocean with more being built at a furious rate.
The Sihanoukville Islands
The islands have always been the real secret there are not many places in the world where you can go to and have this many large undeveloped islands. This will be the area that in the next ten years will see a large growth spurt similar to what happened on Koa Sumui, Koh Phangan and now Koh Chang which incidentally is the closest islands group in Thailand to the Cambodia Thai border. It makes sense that Koh Rung Samleom and Koh Rung will see major things in the next 3 to 5 years and the Koh Tang groups do to its isolation, beauty and excellent scuba diving and water sports, will be the real Shangri la in the future.
Real money, make that Riel money.
The Cambodian economy is based on the US Dollar. What this means for you is ridiculously lower prices compared to a lot of other tourist destinations in South East Asia. Thailand being an excellent example as the Baht continues to get stronger despite a military junta running the country, and a major Muslim uprising in the southern three provinces, that has seen over 2500 killed in just a few years of on going guerrilla warfare. One of the reasons stated for the Junta to take power was to try to get that situation under control which from the news reports that do manage to come out of the region that they are no further along to a solution than they were a year ago.
The increased value of Korean, Malaysian, Singapore, Japanese and Chinese money against the US dollar make Cambodia even cheaper for the regional tourists with Koreans being the fastest growing sector of the tourism market. And the Asian tourists like a lot of things on offer in Sihanoukville including legal gambling and an abundance of very cheap seafood.
You know, I should also mention that despite what the biggest guide book says, it has a lot of really nice beaches to chill on.