Cambodia's best beaches

Cambodia is home to some incredibly beautiful stretches of sand along its coastline and on islands in the Gulf of Thailand to the south of the country. How do you avoid the crowds and find a sun-bleached spot for yourself? Try one of Cambodia's best beaches on your next trip.
Rabbit Island beach, Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock
Rabbit Island beach, Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock

1. Otres Beach, Sihanoukville

A seemingly untouched and everlasting stretch of white sand, Otres Beach is one of the finest beaches not only in Cambodia, but in Southeast Asia as a whole. Undeveloped for the most part, it sits side-by-side with the lively, busy Ochheuteal Beach, but, to its advantage, further out of town. Ramshackle seafood cafes and cocktail shacks punctuate the pristine sands of Otres Beach for almost all of its 2.5 miles. The water here is clear, calm and shallow: ideal for families and exploring. Discover Otres Beach yourself as part of Insight Guides' Cambodia's Beaches and Temples trip.

2. Long Set Beach, Koh Rong

Despite having a surface area of just 30 square miles, Koh Rong is Cambodia’s second largest island. Located off the southern coast of Cambodia, Koh Rong is reachable via boat from Sihanoukville. The island boasts an impressive 26 miles of sandy beaches and remains largely undeveloped, except for a handful of isolated resorts. Long Set Beach is an arch-shaped crescent of sand that sits on the southeast side of the island, facing out towards the smaller islands of Koh Koun and Koh Rong Samloem. In the evenings, the sun sets over the water, bringing with it a picturesque patchwork sky. The snorkelling and diving at Long Set Beach are out of this world, as are the bioluminescent plankton, which sparkle like glitter in the dark.   

Tropical island Koh RongTropical island Koh Rong, Cambodia. Photo: Shutterstock

3. Main Beach, Koh Tonsay

Koh Tonsay – literally meaning Rabbit Island – is so small (the total area is a little more than half a square mile) that the main beach on the island is called just that. Located in the province of Kep, geographically, Koh Tonsay is not far from the mainland. However, in reality, it feels a million miles away from civilisation. There is a resort on the island, but Main Beach sits on the opposite site, framed by a line of picturesque, sloping palms, and occasionally inhabited by local cows and chickens. Life is here is about as laid back as it gets, with just a few thatched shacks serving up fresh seafood barbecues each night. A visit to Kep, with its many islands is also included on Insight Guides' Cambodia's Beaches and Temples trip.

4. Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Saloem

The island of Koh Rong Samloem lies a short boat trip away from the main island of Koh Rong, and can even be seen from Long Set Beach. Lazy Beach is located on the southeastern tip of the island, away from the few resorts and developments on the island. Meticulously cleaned each day as a result of a local government initiative, Lazy Beach is shaded by a forest of aromatic pine trees and the natural protective shape of the bay provides calm waters, which are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. A scenic old wooden pier juts out into the ocean and there a few thatched shacks and beach bungalows scattered among the pines. 

5. Independence Beach, Sihanoukville

Slightly further along the coast from Otres Beach, Independence Beach has a strong claim to being Sihanoukville’s second best beach. Although not as long as Otres Beach, Independence Beach shares a lot of the same characteristics that make Otres fantastic. However, it is livelier and more developed than Otres; that’s not to say that Independence is packed with crowds and high rises though, it’s just a little busier and closer to town. There are many other beaches in the Sihanoukville area – Serendipity, Ochheuteal and Ratanak to name a few. Explore them all and decide for yourself which is the best with Insight Guides' Cambodia's Beaches and Temples trip.

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