December 2015. The Cambodian coastal city of Sihanoukville is home to a popular beach scene that offers several fine stretches of golden sand. The best of these are Otres Beach 1 & 2, a lovely strip of coastline hugging the Gulf of Thailand. My travel buddy Wonderboy and I stationed ourselves at the decent Pat Pat Guesthouse near drowsy Otres Beach 1 where we spent our days lounging around at Amber’s Bar under the parasols by the sea. Each afternoon, cunningly timed for sunset, we’d make the two-kilometer walk across the sands to Otres Beach 2 where, if anything, the beach became more and more handsome, not to mention quieter.
December 2015. In terms of natural beauty and the laid-back vibe on offer, I’d say Otres Beach 2 is right up there with anything I saw in the south of Thailand (with the exception perhaps of Ko Lanta) or indeed Vietnam. In the unlikely event I ever make It back to Sihanoukville I’d definitely stay right on Otres Beach 2 in one of the bungalows. If you’re looking into it, both Papa Pippa Bungalows and Mushroom Point are highly recommended.
December 2015. I don’t know if it’s still the case but December felt like the best time to come here. There were no more than a dozen people around each day as we walked to Otres Beach 2 and back and I don’t recall us striking up a conversation with anyone.
December 2015. As if all the natural beauty on offer wasn’t enough, there was another fantastic reason for our daily walks over to Otres Beach 2. Both nights we went for dinner at the wonderful Secret Garden Bar & Restaurant. Specializing in local Cambodian dishes with a modern twist, their award-winning menu includes pepper squid, battered fish and chips, honey-ginger chicken and mango salad. Elsewhere the beers are ice-cold, they do a gorgeous range of artsy cocktails and the dessert was so ****ing good I’ve dedicated this travel report to it.
December 2015. Otres Beach 2 is about seven kilometers from Sihanoukville’s drab city centre. The best way to get here is by tuk tuk, but be ready for drivers to quote CRAZY prices. $2-2.50 was the going rate at the time of my visit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the years since my visit Sihanoukville has undergone some dramatic changes and, from what I hear, NOT for the better. According to online reports and stories by travellers on various forums, the city has been transformed by huge Chinese investment. Over $4 billion has gone into power plants, offshore oil operations and towering casino hotels. There is even a local gangster scene with prostitution, street violence and a noted bar shooting back in July 2018. From what I understand the Otres beaches are still safe to visit if you stay on the main strip, but the area is rapidly losing its charm. Check the latest news ahead of your planned visit!
This travel report is dedicated to The White Chocolate Bomb, an orgasmic dessert from The Secret Garden Restaurant & Bar. It’s essentially a dense, white chocolate ball filled with pistachio ice cream which sits atop a bed of warm brownie chunks. The rest of the plate is drizzled with playful lines of chocolate sauce while the little jug is filled with warm caramel sauce. Simply pour it all over the ball before diving in!
Like this? Check out my article on Sihanoukville’s Otres Beach 1.
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