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Sihanoukville

Country
Cambodia
State
Krong Preah Seihanu
City
Sihanoukville
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Sihanoukville also known as Kampong Som, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand.This port city is a growing Cambodian urban center, located 185 kilometres (115 mi) southwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh.The province is named after King Father Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the construction of Sihanoukville Port.Construction on the port began in June 1955 and it was the only deep water port in Cambodia.The port was built in part due to the waning power of the French leading to the Vietnamese tightening their control over the Mekong Delta and hence restricting river access to Cambodia.Sihanoukville's beaches have made it a popular tourist destination.

The province is served by Sihanoukville International Airport, 18 kilometres (11 mi) from downtown, although it has a limited commercial operation.The planned flights between Sihanoukville and Siem Reap may encourage visitors to Angkor temples in Siem Reap to extend their stay, though the crash of a charter flight in Phnom Damrey on 25 June 2007 from Siem Riep,has caused concerns.

Sihanoukville attracts tourists with its relaxed beach atmosphere when compared to Thailand's more developed ones.However, the city has attracted not only tourists, but several NGOs and foreign and national investors in the last years in order to develop not only the growing tourist industry, but its capacity as an international sea port and other sectors like textile and real estate.In Sihanoukville is also located the main factory of Angkor Beer, the Cambodian national beer.

Sihanoukville was the place of the last official battle of the United States army in the Vietnam War, although the incident took place outside Vietnam. It is known as the Mayaguez incident on May 12–15, 1975 between the US forces and the Khmer Rouge.Currently, visitors dive in Koh Tang, one of the Sihanoukville islands where the major battle to free the SS Mayaguez took place.Divers can see two shipwrecks 40 metres (130 ft) down.On 22 December 2008, King Norodom Sihamoni signed a Royal Decree that changed the municipalities of Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville into provinces, as well as adjusting several provincial borders.

King Norodom Sihanouk is known in Cambodia as the Father of the Nation,because he was the main promoter of the independence of the country from France in 1953.The name "Sihanouk" is formed from two Sanskrit words: Siha and Hanu. "Siha" means Lion.The word comes from Sanskrit "Simha".Another example is Singapore. "Hanouk" is from "Hanu" that means "Jaws".Therefore, Sihanouk is "The Jaws of the Lion".The former name Kompong Som means "Agreeable Port" and som is derived from the Sanskrit word "samuya".



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How to Reach

By Air

The Kang Keng Airport is located 18 kilometres away from Sihanoukville downtown, along the NR4.The bus station has different bus agencies giving service to Phnom Penh.There are some tourist agencies that organize trips to Ho Chi Minh City as well.

By Bus

The city has not an urban system of transportation (buses and taxis).Therefore, there is an informal urban transportation in motor-taxis (moto-dups) and tuk-tuks.That urban system of transportation has any control from authorities and anybody can become a motor-taxi or tuk-tuk driver in Sihanoukville.As a consequence, there is not a control in the prices for services.Foreign visitors are recommended to concert prices before any of those services and ask first advances from tourist agencies and hotels in order to avoid abuses.

By Road

NR4: Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are connected by the National Road 4.The road has been built especially for the transport of merchandise between the capital and the port by heavy trucks and containers.It has three toll stations along.However, it is considered the most dangerous road of Cambodia due to several traffic accidents and little control by authorities.NR41: It connects Sihanoukville with Kompot province.The road joins the province at Prey Nob district to NR4.It is in a good condition, but poor in traffic signs.Cambodia has not control over cattle and it walks freely over the roads.NR48: It connects Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh with Koh Kong Province, at the southwest of Cambodia.The road joins also the Thai-Cambodian border. It has two ferries: at Dang Peaeng and at Andoung Tuek.

Key places to visit
Occheuteal Beach, Koh Rong, Angkor Temple, Damrei Mountains, Phnom Bokor National Park, Bokor Hill Station


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Places to Visit

Occheuteal Beach

Occheuteal Beach is a long and narrow strip of beach lined with Casuarina trees, grass umbrellas, rental chairs and little drink huts.Many huts were bulldozed by the government to make way for a supposed new resort.This has raised concerns with human rights organizations.The northern section has become known as Serendipity Beach and is a popular beach with western tourists, noted for small guesthouse rooms right on the beach.Aside from these guest houses on the beach there are around 30 beach huts serving good value meals and a wide selection of drinks.Most popular huts along this stretch of beach are the Shore bar which hold regular beach parties.The sustainability of the Occheuteal beach was a primary consideration of various stakeholders, which brought about the development of a tourism development and management plan in 2005.

Koh Rong

Is an island about 44 kilometers off the Sihanoukville coast, Cambodia and possesses an area of 78 km2.Koh Rong Island is a great place to relax, or to explore. because the island is still deserted, undeveloped and natural treat.he trip to Koh Rong takes 2 or more hours from the mainland, in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.Check out the Bungalows link on the left for more details.It's a secret island.However, the plans for a massive resort complex, complete with golf courses, and airport, casinos, and the works are taking shape and it will be soon one of the famous touristic destination of Cambodia.The island is certainly the most beautiful island of the Sihanouk Ville city.A snowdrift bay, covered by a crystal clear and turquoise water, stretches on several kilometers.At the center, a jungle with thousands of coconut palms and waterfalls invade the island.Paradise found on Koh Rong.

Angkor Temple

Is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries.The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara  meaning "city".The Angkorian period began in AD 802, when the Khmer Hindu monarch Jayavarman II declared himself a "universal monarch" and "god-king", until 1431, when Ayutthayan invaders sacked the Khmer capital, causing its population to migrate south to the area of Phnom Penh.The ruins of Angkor are located amid forests and farmland to the north of the Great Lake and south of the Kulen Hills, near modern-day Siem Reap,and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The temples of the Angkor area number over one thousand, ranging in scale from nondescript piles of brick rubble scattered through rice fields to the magnificent Angkor Wat, said to be the world's largest single religious monument.Many of the temples at Angkor have been restored, and together, they comprise the most significant site of Khmer architecture.Visitor numbers approach two million annually.

Damrei Mountains

Are a mountain range situated in the southwest of Cambodia.These mountains are an offshoot of the Kravanh or Cardamom Mountains, but occupy a much smaller area.The highest elevation is Phnom Bokor at 1,081 meters (3,547 feet) above sea level.Located close to the shores of the Gulf of Siam, the densely wooded hills receive rainfall averaging 150–200 inches annually on their western slopes (which are subject to southwest monsoons) but only 40–60 inches on their eastern,or rain shadow, slopes.The Damrei Mountains were, until 1975, the principal centre of Cambodia's pepper-growing industry.After the intervening years of civil war and upheavals pepper-growing has revived slowly beginning from the late 1990s.

Phnom Bokor National Park

The Phnom Bokor National Park occupies most of the upper levels and the summits of the Damrei Mountains.The authorities are trying to curb illegal logging.The park has a great variety of plant species, including rare orchids as well as some spectacular waterfalls during the rainy season.There is an abandoned French town on top of Phnom Bokor, known as the Bokor Hill Station (Station Climatique du Bokor), where elite French colonial officers spent holidays during the hot season.The place has also a church and a casino, all in a dilapidated condition.Nearby there is Cambodian army outpost which doubles as a youth hostel for lack of other accommodation.Both sites are now becoming tourist attractions, but the road to reach them, built in 1907, is in rough shape.

Bokor Hill Station

Is an abandoned French town in Preah Monivong National Park.Construction started in 1921 on Damrei Mountains,about 20 km as the crow flies (42 km by the road) West from the town of Kampot, southern Cambodia.It was used as the location for the final showdown of the movie City of Ghosts (2002) and the 2004 film R-Point.The town was built as a resort by the colonial French settlers to offer an escape from the heat, humidity and general insalubrity of Phnom Penh.Nine hundred lives were lost in nine months during the construction of the resort in this remote mountain location.The centrepiece of the resort was the grand Bokor Palace Hotel & Casino, complemented by shops, a post office, a church and the Royal Apartments.It is also an important cultural site, showing how the colonial settlers spent their free time.

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