"Kampong Saom, Khett Kampot" Top 5 Page for this destination Kampong Saom by DrewV

Kampong Saom Travel Guide: 73 reviews and 206 photos

Sihanoukville -- Life's a Beach, and Then You Rename It


Graced by beautiful beaches and the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville should be one of the great attractions of Cambodia. If you can find it. Everyone calls it Sihanoukville. The guidebooks call it Sihanoukville; the guesthouses call it Sihanoukville; the people in the town call it Sihanoukville. So of course, on a map (and here on VT), it's called Kampong Saom. Whuh???

The town is quite new. Built in the 50's as Cambodia's only deep-water port and named for the king, Sihanoukville is the nation's beachfront resort. And with prices in the ultra-bargain basement ($5 for a guesthouse room, $3 for a meal), it could very well be the best beach value in the world.

Along with Angkor and Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville is the third point in the Cambodian tourism triangle. And it is as good a reason as any why this country could be the next big holiday superstar. World-renowned architecture, terrific history, wonderful food, fabulous beaches, and affordable prices make Cambodia well worth the effort. And after climbing up and down jungle-covered ruins, the beaches make for a perfect rest stop. If you can find it.

So why the name issue? Since Sihanouk had a little problem with collaborating with the French and later the Khmer Rouge, he fell out of favor during the Sen regime (curiously still happening). The result was an official name change to the old name for the area: Kampong Saom. No one calls it that though. But don't feel bad if you get lost getting here. It's OK.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Tremendous beaches, great seafood, warm people
  • Cons:Not actually called Kampong Saom
  • In a nutshell:It's called Sihanoukville, VT people!
  • Last visit to Kampong Saom: Mar 2002
  • Intro Updated Jul 10, 2003
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Reviews (10)

Comments (3)

  • gamondeluxe's Profile Photo
    Aug 31, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    It happends everywhere. Always keep an eye on yours belonging or get the beach bar kept it for you. Do not talk to the hawkers if you do not need to buy stuffs/services.

  • steve21's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2003 at 3:51 AM

    Rooms nice, great location. But noisy -screaming & shouting, major building work (drilling/banging) maybe better when finished

  • Sharrie's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2003 at 7:16 PM

    Have not heard of this place since I didn't read the guidebook... but I'll endorse all your pages :-) YES!!!

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