The Southern Coastal Area & Mangrove Forests

Kampot Bridge

Southern Cambodia exudes a relaxed, undiscovered feel and still remains largely unaffected by the traits of tourism. A landscape of unspoiled beaches, idyllic islands and lush tropical forests await the traveler. The region also boasts national parks of global ecological significance, creating enthralling wildlife spotting opportunities and excellent scope for immersive adventure. Sleepy riverside towns are complemented by colonial era buildings in an area that remains open to discovery.

Heading south of Phnom Penh, you reach the towns of Sihanoukville, Kep and Kampot. Each of these towns has a different allure – Sihanoukville is a coastal town with nice beaches and great day trips available. Nearby is Ream National Park where mangrove forests, a diverse selection of wildlife, and tranquil nature await. Kampot is a riverside town with colonial buildings and nearby caves and waterfalls. Still undiscovered, Kep is a favorite Mekong Trail destination. A quiet beach, lush hills, and delicious seafood make Kep a great place to “get away from it all” especially if you take a trip out to nearby Rabbit Island.

Key Destinations in the coastal area of Cambodia:

Sihanoukville – is the Cambodia’s most famous beach town, better known as Kampong Som to locals, located on the southwest peninsula facing the Gulf of Thailand. It was originally founded as a port town half a century ago. Today this provincial town is Cambodia’s premier beach destination with miles of powdered white sand beaches, picturesque islands and warm tropical waters which can be visited year round. Today, Cambodia Bay has officially inducted to be a fully fledged member of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club and become South East Asia’s new beach destination.

With stretches of long white sand beaches and a coastline dotted with untouched tropical islands, Sihanoukville with its laid back beach town atmosphere delivers an unspoilt tropical hideaway to either fly or flop to or as a break in an extended journey. Surrendering to the tranquil nature of this town, relax on one of its many unspoilt beaches or take a swim in the shimmering aquamarine seas. With so many nearby islands, take a speed boat for a day of island hopping, snorkeling, SCUBA diving or game fishing. If you are a seafood lover, you will especially enjoy the local specialties of fresh caught crab and shrimp.

There are dozens of untouched islands off the coast of Preah Sihanouk: Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samlon both feature blissfully uncrowded beaches with palm-shaded shorelines. Song Saa Private Island is an undeveloped pair of private islands covered in lush rainforest and glorious white beaches located just 45 minutes from Sihanoukville international airport. The two islands sit side by side providing a harmonious escape with a luxury accommodation option including beach villas and rainforest hideaways.

Note: Sihanoukville is 230 kilometers or about a 4 hour drive from Phnom Penh. There are 1 flight to and from Siem Reap weekly. The flight time is about 1 hour.

Kampot & Kep, two charming provincial towns in South-Eastern Cambodia, are the gateway to Bokor National Park and the pristine Cambodian eastern seaboard. With a relaxed and sleepy atmosphere, both destinations make for a great place to relax and soak up the ambience for a couple of days, either in town, at the beach, along the river or in Bokor National Park.

Kep is a former resort town known throughout Cambodia for its relaxed, sun-dappled beaches and mouth-wateringly fresh crabs. Kep is formerly, located 25 km from Kampot, known as Kep-Sur-Mer in French. It means this beautiful coastal area was once the favorite holiday spot for Cambodia’s French-influenced elite. A small section of the beach doubles as a regular crab-trading depot and the Crab Market (Psar Kdam) on the water’s edge serves as a popular tourist destination. Fishermen bring in baskets of crabs by the boatload, and waterfront restaurants cook them fresh, usually boiled with a few fragrant sticks of famed Kampot pepper. Fish, squid and prawns are also on offer, often cooking slowly over coals at the front of all the restaurants.

For a relaxing day trip, visitors often travel to a nearby island such as Rabbit Island (Koh Thonsay), which is only a short boat ride off Kep’s coast. Here, you’ll find beautiful seaside views, bamboo platforms and basic bungalows, and plenty of rustic charm. A boat back during the evening sunset is not to be missed.

Kampot – is pleasantly provincial, a mix of red tile-roofed shop houses and old French colonial government buildings, while Kep, once Cambodia’s top seaside destination, is slowly being rediscovered by travelers today. The Kampot/Kep area also offers several other attractions including pre-Angkorian ruins and caves, jungle trekking, cycling and motorcycle trips, sunset, island and fishing trips, isolated unspoilt beaches, pepper plantations and beautiful rural countryside.

Note: Kep/Kampot is about 170 Km from Phnom Penh or 3 hour drive. From Kampot, it is a 25km (30-45 mins) trip on paved, smooth road through scenic Cambodian countryside.

Koh Kong – One of the largest provinces in Cambodia, Koh Kong is a stunning destination with miles of beautiful coastline surrounded by the lush tropical jungles and rainforests of the Cardamom and Elephant Mountains. Koh Kong is a quaint border province that has long had a reputation as a “Wild West” frontier location. Situated at the south-western tip of the country near the mouth of the Kah Bpow River, Koh Kong has a long coastline and a large forested interior that embraces part of the least developed and unspoiled Cardamom Mountains.

Rich in natural beauty, 4Rivers Eco Lodge on the Tatai River is your highway to the wonders of the Cardamom rainforest and Southeast Asia’s largest coastal mangrove. Amidst thick forest, streams and charming waterfalls, the adventure rewards with scenic sites for great photography. For the keen eco-lovers, venture deep into an extensive mangrove forest of Koh Kong where your will be rewarded by hours of awesome thrills just by observing these natural wonders and the lives that evolve in their midst.

Note: Kong Kong is 271 Km or about 5 hour drive from Phnom Penh.

Islands In Sihanoukville

Extension - Cambodia Beach Retreat

HIGHLIGHTS The quiet, charming and beautiful beach towns of Kep
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Song Saa Private Island in Sihanoukville

Song Saa Private Island Escape

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Kayaking at 4Rivers Floating Lodge

Koh Kong - The Beauty of Cardamom

HIGHLIGHTS Reconnect with nature at the Koh Kong's 4Rivers Floating
Koh Kong
4 Days

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Galleries of The Coastal Area

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