Tropical islands, powdery-white beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand; Sihanoukville is a must-visit for beach lovers.
Sihanoukville may attract holidaymakers in their droves, yet this doesn’t mean you can’t find your own personal slice of paradise in the Cambodian coastal resort. Discover tropical islands, quiet coves and seaside bamboo bungalows with our guide to the best backpacker hostels in Sihanoukville, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Giant hornbills, monkeys and dugongs have all made their home in Ream National Park and if you book a stay at Monkey Maya, you can too. This beachside hideaway with Ream Mountain as its backdrop offers a front row seat of the ocean. Doubles have ensuites and the 16-bed dorm features a giant balcony filled with hammocks. The terrace restaurant is worth a visit, not only for Khmer dishes made from local produce, but it’s a great vantage point to see playful dolphins making a splash in the waves.
Looking for an island paradise? Book into the Robinson Crusoe-style hideaway of The Cliff Hostel on the island of Koh Rong. The open-air dorm will make you feel at one with your tropical surroundings. Pull on your snorkel mask and fins and explore the coral reefs during the day, then make sure you’re at the cliff-top bar for cocktails at sunset. Missed it? The bamboo nests for quiet reading also make for perfect Instagram backdrops.
An oasis in a mangrove forest, the fan-cooled bungalows here offer views of the river or garden. Choose between doubles or dorms that come with bamboo partitions. The golden sands of Otres beach are just a 1km (0.6mi) stroll away, but you might not have time for the beach as you could be too busy horse riding, fishing, cycling or practising your downward dog in a yoga class.
A stone’s throw from the ocean at the tip of Koh Rong is the Blue Quay Hostel. Beach fans will love it here as Mphey Bay is just 1km (0.6mi) away and the Koh Rong Dive Centre is also within easy reach. Choose from the wooden twin beds or the four-bed mixed dorm to rest your head. Then make new friends in the restaurant – famed for its homemade pesto as well as basil and feta wood-fired pizzas.
White-washed walls and a turquoise pool give this stylish hostel some serious Miami vibes. The spacious lounge with its plump sofas makes a good gathering place whilst the mixed and female dorm rooms may embrace minimal chic, but they come with large lockers, reading lamps and power sockets for each guest. Within the male and female bathrooms, you’ll also find free body soap and shampoo, hairdryers and towels. No surprise then that this spot has been scooped the best hostel in Sihanoukville award five years running.
A giant swimming pool takes centre stage in this bungalow-filled resort. If you want to be first in the water, remember that Standard Rooms surround the pool. Choose from doubles or twins, which come with a fridge so you can keep your beachside snacks cool. Those who don’t want to party 24/7 might like the fact it’s set back slightly from the beach.
Stretch out on the balcony of your grass-roofed bungalow and listen to the sound of the ocean waves below you. The bar serves beer in ice-chilled glasses and the restaurant cooks up rib-eye or T-bone steak. It’s hard to believe that you can find all this in a budget stay, but this lively hideaway on Serendipity Beach does just that.
These authentic bamboo bungalows sit just seconds from Otres Beach. The rooms may be basic, but you’ll find fresh towels in the roomy bathroom and a hammock on the balcony. If you have forgotten to pack anything you might find it at the hostel’s convenience store. Otres Orchid is the perfect place to relax after you have spent the day horseback riding, windsurfing and diving.
The Secret Garden won’t be a secret much longer, once travellers discover this leafy beach retreat in Koh Rong. Fresh from a designer makeover, the grass-roofed bungalows with Scandinavian-inspired interiors feature Khmer artwork on the walls. Wash off the powdery-white sand in your jungle shower before you relax on your private terrace. This green-thinking hotel on Pagoda Beach is determined to protect its surroundings, which is why its award-winning restaurant only uses biodegradable straws and takeaway boxes.