Named after the previous King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk (quite the guy; apparently in Guinness Book of World Records for the widest variety of political position), Sihanoukville was originally created to give Cambodia a port which was free from Vietnamese influence (contrasting the Mekong Delta). Due to it's beaches, it quickly became popular as a tourist destination, especially for the Cambodian elite of Phnom Penh.
As there are no roads going directly from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville, we travelled via Phnom Penh (with a very brief stop-over where we nearly missed our bus) and made it eventually in about 12 hours. Ending up in a cheap-cheap hostel ($5 / night), we spent two full days exploring the surrounding beaches. Plenty of time was spent reading and swimming!
Passersby on a Cambodian beach
We went to two main beaches; Serendipity beach (above and below) and Sokha beach, the latter owned by a 5-star hotel (almost empty, but we were free to roam around). A sun lounge there was $10, so the sand was our friend.
Reading and eating on Serendipity Beach
One thing we've learnt from our stay here is that Cambodians like to swim with their clothes on; a favourite amongst Cambodian men being a pair of jeans. I guess there's nothing like playing around in salty water with a pair of jeans on.
Sohka Beach - One of the few private resort beaches
It was great to have a couple of days of just lounging around again, grinding through books on our e-book readers (they are great when travelling).
Giulie on a private beach, trying to avoid both sun and sand
Tomorrow we're making our way north, first we're off to Bangkok and we'll hopefully hit Laos in a couple of days.