Sihanoukville is without a doubt the number one coastal resort in Cambodia. This is due to the sheer variety of undeveloped coastline, with around 10 white-sand beaches and over 20 virtually undeveloped islands available for visitors to enjoy.
Attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists and expats each year, Sihanoukville has blossomed during the past decade into one of the top destinations in the country after Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.
This beach town has something to offer pretty much everybody, whatever your budget. English is widely spoken as the second language of choice for locals thanks to the demands of the booming tourist industry, making communication easy. And, there is no shortage of variety of things to do and see here.
There are banks and ATMs on almost every street in the downtown area and both mobile phone coverage and internet accessibility are plentiful and extremely cheap with 1GB of data costing around $1.
Retire in Sihanoukville
Aside from the beautiful surroundings, fresh ocean breeze and tropical climate, Sihanoukville also has one of the most affordable costs of living for any beach destination in Asia.
Obtaining a year-long visa is as simple as filling in a form at the airport and then having your passport processed by a local travel agent for the cost of about $380 a year. There are no hoops to jump or minimum income requirements to fulfil. As long as you can pay your way and respect local culture and laws then you are welcome to spend your retirement in Cambodia.
And where better to retire in Cambodia than next to the ocean in Sihanoukville. The province has great weather, open access to the beautiful beaches, great deals on property rentals and a mix of fun and relaxation that keeps people coming back for more.
Lifestyle in Sihanoukville
In Sihanoukville, expats are free to enjoy the lifestyle of their choosing. Whether it is morning, afternoon or evening, there’s always something happening here. Some people like to spend their mornings chatting with friends over an iced coffee before heading to the beach for some rest and relaxation.
Pretty much everyone makes the most of the impressive range of restaurants and eateries located all over the town. Freshly-caught seafood is in plentiful supply and best enjoyed at one of the many popular Cambodian barbecue grills, where crab and squid take pride of place on the menu. And those with a hankering for a taste for international cuisine won’t be disappointed by the range of expat managed establishments specialising in everything from Italian, Australian, American, Turkish, British, Russian and more…
It is easy to integrate into the local expat social scene simply by visiting the many different beach bars and pubs all around Sihanoukville, where new friends are easy to make. Locally there is plenty to do, with activities such as fishing, boat trips to the island, snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. Nearby are also a number of scenic Buddhist temples as well as Ream National Park and Kbal Chhay waterfall, which are all must-see places.
For those wanting to travel around Southern Cambodia, take a trip to the beach town of Kep, which is known as the “Saint Tropez of Southeast Asia” and has a fresh crab market where you can enjoy fresh-off-the-boat crab cooked for you on the pier. Also, much beloved is the riverside town of Kampot where tourists can enjoy popular watersports and a long street full of great restaurants and bars. And if you are visiting Kampot, then a trip up to the Bokor Hill Station atop Bokor Mountain is worth a visit to see its French colonial ruins, as well as its newly built casino and hotel.