Sihanoukville and Otres Beach, Cambodia travel tips

Besides our tips below, the best – and really as far as quality goes, only – guide to Otres Beach is on

Where we ate and drank:

  • Angkor Beach Bar and Restaurant, Ochheuteal Beach – Todd examined many grills before settling here, in part because it was upwind of the gasoline-fueled bonfires dotting the beach. It was ok, but if we could have do-over we’d avoid the beachfront scene and hit one of the restaurants in Sihanoukville town: MEH
  • Food vendors walking on the beach, Otres Beach – Typically of Southeast Asian tourist beaches, young girls sold fruit they cut fresh for you. We would only buy from the older girls and in the afternoon when school should have let out. If you can hold out, wait for the spring roll woman and get two of everything she’s selling. Dirt cheap, completely safe, and the best food we had: YEH
  • Lunch from a tout - Otres Beach, Cambodia
    Lunch from beach food vendors | Photo by Lauren Girardin
  • Hi-Food, Sihanoukville – Good convenience store for sunblock and snacks: YEH
  • La Casa, Otres Beach – See our story about La Casa for more details, but basically, avoid unless you’re wearing a Speedo or are hankering for some verbal abuse: NAH
  • Bam Boo Shack, Otres Beach – They touted their seafood, we got a seafood curry and some grilled crabs, and it was fine. If we’d been at Otres longer we would have given it another chance, just for a change of pace, not because it was remarkable: YEH
  • Cantina, Otres Beach – The fabled fish tacos are the winner, with rough-edged, handmade tortillas, a palette of toppings, and four huge fried pieces of moist fish. The burritos, boozy drinks, and quesidillas also rocked, especially considering the amenity-free environs near the south end of Otres. We went back, and back again (there’s not a lot of serious competition): YEH
  • Fish tacos - Otres Beach, Cambodia
    Drool-worthy fish tacos as Cantina | Photo by Lauren Girardin
  • Sunshine Cafe, Otres Beach – Excellent tourist-adapted curries and Khmer soups, though the amok was disturbingly “beachified” into a stir fry, at this loungey place at the north end of Otres. Repeat visits were made: YEH
  • Chez Pau, Otres Beach – Our experience was mediocre burgers and curry, all for far too much money: YEH

Where we stayed:

  • New Christmas Hotel, Sihanoukville – Beggars can’t be choosers, and at 8 pm, we were ready to beg for a hotel room. I wouldn’t ever stay here on purpose, but it did the job for one night. We had to haggle and also hassle them for hot water: MEH
  • Star Bar and Bungalows, Otres Beach, owner Soben, 012-478531 – UPDATE: Just hear from Ephemerratic reader, Rick that Star Bar is now called Little Green Bungalows and is for sale. So, ask around for more recent word-on-the-beach before you go out there. ORIGINAL REVIEW: We didn’t see every bungalow on Otres, and they’re building more all the time, but the ones at Star Bar were some of the nicest. Huge windows (most looking out onto the common outdoor lounge area), attached baths, and rechargeable lamps. Star Bar had just changed owners when we were there so things could change quickly. As it was, the phone number had changed, the kitchen was closed except for beers and iced coffee with condensed milk (yay!), and the lounge chairs were worse for wear. Bargain because their first price definitely runs high: YEH
  • Chilling at Star Bar Bungalows - Otres Beach, Cambodia
    Chilling at Star Bar Bungalows | Photo by Lauren Girardin

What we saw:

  • Sand – White: YEH
  • Sea – Blue: YEH
  • Sun – Strong: YEH
  • Mellow sunset - Otres Beach, Cambodia
    Otres Beach sunset | Photo by Lauren Girardin