Just in case you are looking for some relaxed time at the beach during your stay in Cambodia Otres Beach should be the place to choose. Close to Sihanoukville you will find a seemingly endless stretch of beach which is the clean, quiet and peaceful contrary to the often devaluated Sihanoukville beaches. Although Otres is no longer the empty stretch of beach it once was it is long enough to find your own patch of sand somewhere. Just walk further south.
How to get there?
Otres Beach can best be reached by traveling to Sihanoukville by plane (Sihanoukville International Airport) or bus. Once in town take a tuktuk to Otres.
There are two highlights which we want to mention. 1) We really enjoyed hanging out at the Bamboo Bistro at Otres 2. It is a great place to enjoy good food, music, drinks and go for a swim once in a while. All with a nice sea view. Make sure to go here to enjoy one of the many beautiful sunsets. If you’re lucky you will get a table in the first row. Right on the beach. And you probably will meet our friend Heng. Play a game with him or simply buy one of his wristbands. He uses the money to finance going to school. 2) You will also get some delicious Thai food from a funny French guy at the Green Lantern. You might have to wait a bit, but the food is well worth it.
How long to stay?
We decided to stay at Otres beach twice. For a total of 4 nights. In general the area is not very developed yet and you will find lots of quiet and nice places to relax. And that is exactly what we did: Hanging out in the sun, swimming, reading and taking walks at the beach. You probably could enjoy a whole holiday at this place as it also is a good starting point for boat trips to some nearby islands like Koh Rong, Koh Rong Samloem or Koh Ta Kiev. You can either go for a day trip, do some two or three day island hopping or buy a two-way ticket and spend some time on one of the islands. Tickets can be bought via travel agents or one of the many salesmen at the beach.
Where to stay?
In general there are three main areas to stay: Otres 1 (north), Otres village/Long Beach (middle) and Otres 2 (south). We decided to stay at Otres Long Beach Bungalows in Otres village. The place offers spacious and clean bungalows with private bathrooms, TV, Aircon or fan and two double beds for 12 EUR per night. The owner will be happy to cook food for you at reasonable prices. The beach is about 100 m away and so far there is not much going on. Otres 1 is the first and busiest stretch of the beach, Otres 2 lies about 2 km further south and is much more quiet. In between you will find a resort development area called “Long Beach” but so far you will only see empty stretches of land waiting for big resorts to come.
You will meet a lot of salesmen and women at Otres beach. They will try to sell you food, massages, beauty treatments, tickets to other islands and they probably will come up with even more stuff in the future. All of them always are very polite and they easily accept a “no”. Just make sure to really say “no” if you do not want or need what they offer. Saying “maybe later” or “tomorrow” without honestly meaning it will end up in disappointment. They will definitely come back later. They will remember you and ask again.