Sihanoukville - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Sihanoukville


While this beach town doesn't have much to compare with Thailand's pristine coast, it does make a great getaway from the dusty or muddy (depending on season) rest of Cambodia. Sihanoukville is the country's only deep water port, making much of the city industrial and unattractive to tourists. But there are several secluded tourist beaches with all the requisite trappings: dishevelled beach bars, guesthouses and hawkers. As there isn't much to do in town, it is worth the extra money to stay in the quaint beachside guesthouses. Nightly beach barbecues prepare great food and offer cheap beer. The government is said to have plans to develop the area for larger resorts which will surely ruin its laid-back beach charm in years to come. Regular daily buses provide a three to four hour journey to and from Phnom Phen, along Cambodia's best road. There is also a ferry connecting to Koh Kong, the Cambodian/Thailand border.

Information & Facts

115 miles (185km) southwest of Phnom Penh
Khmer is the official language. French is also spoken, but English is fast becoming popular with the younger generation.

Riel (KHR) is the official currency and is divided into 100 sen. Foreign currency is difficult to exchange with the exception of US Dollars. Most transactions require cash. US dollars and Thai Baht are accepted, although smaller transactions are usually done in riel. A torn US dollar note renders it useless. Credit cards are only accepted in a limited number of tourist-orientated hotels and restaurants in Phnom Penh and larger towns. There are a few ATMs in Phnom Penh, but they shouldn't be relied upon as a source of money; travellers cheques in US dollars or sterling can be cashed at a limited number of banks and larger hotels, though travellers cheques are not recommended due to limited acceptance.

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