Otres Beach is one of best places you can possibly visit in Cambodia. It is like a small piece of heaven. It is not that big of a tourism spot, which makes it even easier to fall in love with it straight away. Otres Beach is the perfect spot to chill out, totally relax and just have a good time, while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Otres Beach is the place, which I have seen after I have explored Angkor Wat near Siem Reap. You have to travel down south for a couple hours to get to Otres Beach. For me, this place was very enjoyable for many reasons. I had so much fun there. Especially with all the cool people I met. I have actually known a couple of them from my Angkor Wat experience already. People from different countries like Canada, Spain, Holland and even Israel. We had so much fun and being at such a great place made it even better.
Otres Beach – General information
Things to know
Otres Beach is one of a couple beaches in Sihanoukville, which is the the main city in the area. The province also has the same name as the city. Otres Beach is located south of Sihanoukville and it’s mainly a very streched out beach devided into two parts – Otres Beach 1 and Otres Beach 2. I have spent most of my time at Otres Beach 2, because it is even more peaceful than the other one.
The whole area of Sihanoukville is a little bit in competition to the beautiful islands in Thailand like Koh Tao or Koh Phi Phi. Many tourists and backpackers actually rather wanna come to Sihanoukville than to visit Thailand, because they feel like it’s less touristic, which is right. Still, tourism has already settled in the south of Cambodia as well.
Otres Beach 2 is still quite untouched. There is some tourism here and there, but in my opinion it’s still alright.
The weather conditions in the area are pretty similar to any Southeast Asian country. A good thing about it, in comparison to Vietnam for example, is that you don’t have a lot of wind from the big oceans and the enviromental conditions are luckily not bad yet. The temperature always sets between 20°C – 35°C all year long. Try to avoid the wet season between June to September, even though there are a couple people on the internet, who say it is also very nice during that time, because you will see even less tourists and it’s still really beautiful. Fair enough!
But I would still suggest you to visit during dry season, because constantly good weather makes this place even better.
How to get there/ around
You don’t have that many options to get to Otres Beach. At first you’ll probably come to Sihanoukville anyway. The best way is to take a bus. There is an airport nearby, if you fly in from another country. Doesn’t matter where you get dropped off, these are your choices to choose from to get to Otres Beach:
- Tuk Tuk
Like always, I recommend you to rent a scooter. Not just because of the fact, that you are way more independent in your choices of where to go, but also because it’s cheaper and more convenient. I promise you: You don’t always want to call a Tuk Tuk or a taxi, if you want to go into town or to any other place nearby. Rather just pay the 5$ per day and you’ll be good to go.
Besides that, the distances between Otres Beach and Sihanoukville for example are not that small. You have to plan with a 15 minute drive by scooter. So, unfortunately walking is not an option.
You’ll love this part. Food in Otres Beach or anywhere near Sihanoukville is absolutely delicious. Especially the seafood is fantastic. Very, very fresh!
Cambodian food is very good anyway. They season their food with a lot of uncommon herbs and spices. It will probably seem very unusual to some western people. But that’s what makes it so great.
Furthermore the breakfast and the main dishes at any hostel or restaurant are very good and easily affordable. I payed about 3-4 dollars for a normal breakfast, while watching the sunrise at a white sand beach. What else could you want? 🙂
Short tip: Always eat where the locals eat. These are the best AND cheapest places
You have various options at Otres Beach. Most of the accommodation you’ll find are backpacker hostels. The good thing about them is, that you have the option to stay in nice bungalows, which is good for couples and families.
There are some hotels here and there, but overall you’ll mostly find hostels. All of them are very basic from the way they look, which adds to the authenticity. So, give them a try.
I have stayed at Otres Beach Resort, which was really decent. The staff was very friendly, food was good and the rooms have been in good condition.
Accommodation at Otres Beach is easily affordable. I payed about 6$ for a bed in a dorm room per night. Luckily the dorm rooms in the area are not that big, so you’ll get quite a good sleep. If you want to stay in a bungalow for 2 people, it is also pretty cheap in comparison to other countries like Australia or Croatia. You’ll pay about 10-20$, depending on where you stay.
Food is also really cheap. There is no real difference to any other Southeast Asian country, doesn’t matter what you eat.
The same applies for transportation and tours. An open return ticket to Koh Rong (nearby island) only costs 15$. It almost seems like everything is even a little bit cheaper than in the surrounding countries like Thailand or Vietnam. But just a little bit…
Highlights at Otres Beach
Otres Beach is the perfect place to hang out and literally do nothing but enjoying yourself. Along the whole beach you will not see anything else but happy people, who enjoy the beautiful enviroment, the sunsets and the fact that there is not that much tourism.
In backpacker hostels you will get to know so many cool people from all around the world. You’ll probably gonna hang out with them as long as you stay there. At night you certainly gonna have a couple Angkor beers, chat to the people you have just met and just enjoy yourself to the fullest 🙂
This leads me straight to the next point of all the highlights at Otres Beach. Going out is something you should definitely consider when you are in the area. Otres Beach itself is not really the place to party. But the more you get closer to Sihanoukville, the more vivid it will be. You can watch some locals performing the typical Southeast Asian fireshows, visit some good restaurants or go to a couple bars.
It is a good way of getting to know some young Cambodian people. They are really friendly and fun to hang out with. A great bunch! 🙂
Try out kajaking at Otres Beach. Especially during sunset it is absolutely amazing. Kajak towards the small island right in front of the beach. You can’t miss it. Stay there until the sun goes down. I promise you: It will be a moment you will not forget that fast!
The ocean water near this small island is incredibly clear and the whole setting is so peaceful. It’s a truely magical moment when the sun sets right behind the island.
Short tip: It’s about a 20+ minute kajak ride and it’s not thaaaat easy, because of the current. So, don’t be surprised.
If you can, get yourself a beach buggy at Otres Beach. I am not 100% sure, if it is allowed, but me and a staff member from the hostel did it anyway. It’s so much fun. He told me, that you could get a fine for it. But sometimes you gotta break the rules and do something crazy to create some memories you never forget 😉
Something, which is really cool about Southeast Asia in general is the glowing plankton. You can see it at night at Otres Beach as well. The glowing plankton can not be seen everywhere in Southeast Asia, so it is quite exciting. It’s a biochemical reaction of the plankton to defend itself from preditors. These animals can glow in different colours. Everything between green and turquoise. It looks so beautiful!
In order to see it, you have get in the water and start to move quite quickly. The movement, will let the plankton glow. It will feel a bit weird at first, but then it is very enjoyable 🙂
What I have learned
Otres Beach showed me something interesting. Usually travelling teaches me something valuable or gives me something to think of. In this case it just showed something, which is hard to explain and I guess, all of you guys know this already…
Whenever you travel or go to a new place, which you don’t expect to be that great, it always turns out to be one of the best destinations ever. And that’s exactly what happened to me at Otres Beach. I did not even really know anything about Otres Beach, but it was such an amazing place and a cool time!
A big factor is the people you meet. Always! And as I said, in this case I met great people from all over the world.
But obviously the destination itself always plays a big role for the whole experience as well. And Otres Beach is a destination, which adds greatly to this phenominal experience. It really does! 🙂
Want to know more about Siem Reap? Read here
What could also interest you:
- Ultimate packing list – What’s in my Backpack?
- The best Travel Gear to explore the world
- What to pack for a short camping trip