Sihanoukville is a small beach town on the coast of Cambodia and is becoming more and more popular with backpackers looking to party.
With the availability of cheap accommodation and even cheaper alcohol, it seems a lot of travellers end up staying here a while. Some get jobs in one of the numerous bars on the beach and suddenly it becomes very hard for them to leave when they can’t even remember what day it is. So many times we heard workers say “It’s my last night tonight, you gotta come out for a DRINK!”, only to see them working again the next day!
If you want somewhere by the beach with an abundance of 50 cent beers,
pure ethanol bootleg liquor and Aussie/English guys in ripped singlets then Sihanoukville is the place to find it. Personally I liked the convenience of the Wi-Fi, the variety of restaurants and being on the beach, but I wasn’t a fan of the party scene so much. On my trip through southeast Asia I had better nights out in places like Nha Trang, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang. I have worked in various party towns like Lagos in Portugal, and Ios in Greece, but somehow this place just didn’t have the X factor for me.
Anyway I’ll leave you to make your own mind up about Snooky…I know a lot of people rave about it. If you’re heading down this way I’ve put together my tips for where to party in Sihanoukville and what to while you’re there!
In The Day
Days are spent chilling on Serendipity Beach, drinking Angkor beers and swimming in the ocean. The beach sellers here are quite persistent and you might end up like my friend Turner having your back threaded if you’re not careful! If you feel like a snack there are plenty of Cambodians selling crab, langoustines and grilled baby octopus. Most of the bars have sun loungers and they’re free as long as you spend a couple of dollars on drinks throughout the day.
If you want to get away from it all I suggest taking a day trip on the party boat to Koh Rong Samloem island or taking the ferry over to Koh Rong and spending a few days staying in the bungalows over there. Monkey Republic has a bungalow resort on the island called Monkey Island, but I also hear good things about Tree House Bungalows and Paradise Bungalows.
Monkey Republic is the place to go for a reasonably priced dinner and pre-party drinks. Between 6pm and 9pm they have a great Happy Hour with 75-cent beers…can’t really go wrong with that now can we?
Other bars to move onto after Monkey are Utopia Bar and The Led Zephyr.
When it gets closer to midnight people start heading down to the bars on Serendipity beach. JJs, Dolphin Shack and Nap Bar seemed to have the most going on. Everywhere you go in Sihanoukville there are people handing out flyers offering free shots, free beers, and free drinks. If you collect all the flyers in the day, you could easily have a free bar crawl!
There are a few booze cruises run by these bars and you can buy tickets in the bars when you’re out at night.
As a final note there’s a full moon party with DJs on Otres Beach once a month, and it just so happened to be full moon when I arrived. We took a van from JJ’s and partied until the early hours of the morning…definitely the best night out I had in Sihanoukville!