What’s up Guys!
Finally it’s time to bring you my official location review of Sihanoukville, Cambodia! On my last trip to Cambodia I only visited Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. I’m happy I finally made it down to the beach because I had a blast in Sihanoukville!
Sihanoukville is a polarizing place. People either love it or hate it. Reading the travel forums it seems that “Snooky” is heaven for some travelers and hell for others… Should Sihanoukville be on your travel itinerary? Let’s get into it!
Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Women Rating 4/5
Sihanoukville is a small town so your dating options will be limited compared to a bigger city like Phnom Penh. That said, I found plenty of sexy girls to keep me busy in Sihanoukville!
Dating “good girls” will be a challenge. Cambodia is a conservative country and your average Khmer girl won’t quickly hook up with any slick talking foreigner that rolls through town. Don’t get discouraged though… It does happen! One of the fastest hook ups I’ve ever had was with a waitress working at a restaurant in Sihanoukville. You can read about that experience in this post.
The conservative nature of most girls can actually be seen as a positive thing in my opinion. If you want to meet a good girlfriend or wife, then Cambodia is an excellent place to look. And there’s plenty of easier options if you need a quick fuck. More on that later…
I did my usual search on Asian Dating and the results were pretty bad… Less then ten matches and they weren’t hot. Asian Dating is an excellent site for girls from Phnom Penh but the results weren’t good for Sihanoukville.
If you’re looking for a serious girlfriend in Sihanoukville then you need to get on the ground and go looking in person. Your best bet would be going to different cafes, hotels and restaurants. I met plenty of very cute, sweet, good girls working at the various businesses around town. Read my post about How To Meet Girls in Cambodia.
Most of the Khmer girls I met were very friendly to chat with but they never gave off that ‘I want to suck your cock after work’ vibe. If you want to court a traditional Khmer girl then be prepared to take your time. Bottom line is, dating in Sihanoukville is not going to be as exciting as a big city like Bangkok. But you can find a good girlfriend if you put in the work.
Mongering In Sihanoukville, Cambodia
OK here’s what saves the women category. If you don’t have the time or patience to meet a good girl in Sihanoukville, there are plenty of mongering options! 😀 If you read the monger blogs and forums you will read a lot of negative reports about Snooky. Many old timers claim the mongering in Sihanoukville has rapidly deteriorated in the past five to ten years…
I don’t know shit about the “glory days” but I’d like to report that there’s still plenty of options and it’s easy to get laid in Snooky! 😀 There are several beer bar complexes and massage parlors are all over the place. The bars on the beach are loaded with freelancers at night and the tuk tuk drivers are eager to bring you to a creepy brothel if you’re feeling adventurous.
I had several good experiences with freelancers I met on Serendipity Beach. I also had a blast bar hopping around Victory Hill and the beer bar complex across from the Golden Lions. The hookers I met were sweet, fun and sexy as hell. I always had a great girlfriend experience and we even exchanged numbers so I could call them when I needed some day time action. Perfect! 🙂
I’ll be writing a full post about mongering in Sihanoukville so I’ll cut this short here. In summary, it’s easy to get laid in Sihanoukville at any time of the day. The mongering is decent and inexpensive. I’m somewhat let down by the low number of good girls available to date… But others might not care.
If you wanted to find a good girl to marry in Sihanoukville, it’s possible… But it would take time. I’d probably just be a creepy whore monger if I lived there. If you need more variety then head up to Phnom Penh for the weekend.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Cost of Living Rating 5/5
Sihanoukville is dirt cheap. First up the visa is easy. You get a thirty day visa on arrival for $35. This can be extended up to a year without leaving the country. Cambodia has the best visa situation in south east Asia!
Getting to Sihanoukville is somewhat of a pain in the ass but it’s cheap enough. You can take a bus to save some money but I opted for a taxi because I’m impatient and I hate long bus rides. The taxi cost me $50 one way and the guy drove really fast. The driver was somewhat reckless but we made it there safe and sound in just over three hours.
I stayed at GBT Guest House which is right on the end of Serendipity Road. Click here to view current prices and book on Agoda. It’s not the most luxurious place but it was clean and the location was very convenient. It’s right next to the beach so you can just stumble home from the bars there no problem.
The staff was very friendly, professional and of course, they are girl friendly. I brought back several hookers and they didn’t mind at all. In fact, they knew the girls! I’m sure these hookers have been in and out of every hotel in the area. 😛
The guys working security at night even offered to get me girls several times when they saw me come back alone… Great service there. 😀
I paid $10 a night for a fan room. $15 will get you a room with air con but it was pretty cool at night so I didn’t need it. There is a decent restaurant down stairs and you can walk to many other places right on that same street.
One thing I will say… The bars on the beach blast the music really loud and the party goes really late into the night / early morning. I could hear the music thumping all night and then the crowds of drunken back packers walking up the road shouting… If you want a place to relax you should probably find a room a bit farther up the street.
I searched for apartments in Sihanoukville online and I found nice places in all price ranges. You can rent a cheap room for $110 a month or you can spend $2,000+ for a nice villa. Plenty of options in Sihanoukville! Whether you are a budget backpacker or a baller, you can have a blast in Snooky.
I was content with my room for $10 a night so I would probably just negotiate with a guest house and see if they could give me a deal for one month. That way I don’t have to worry about long term leases and deposits.
Entertainment Costs In Sihanoukville
There’s not much to spend your money on in Sihanoukville. I wasn’t worried about what I spent and I went out every night. I still found it hard to spend a lot of cash. Most restaurants in the tourist area have meals for $3-$5. Pints of Angkor draft are 50 cents during happy hour. I paid $20-$25 for short time sex with cute hookers.
My days went something like this… Wake up around 10am, shower and go have breakfast. Usually an American breakfast at one of the places on Serendipity road. I’d have a few coffees and do some reading… Then go back to my hotel to get some work done… The wifi wouldn’t work so I’d whine like a bitch for a few minutes then say fuck it and head to the beach…
I love the laid back lifestyle in Sihanoukville. I spent my evenings eating cheap seafood and downing 50 cent pints of Angkor draft on the beach. Once night time rolled around I’d usually pull a freelancer from one of the beach bars, then walk her back to my shitty hotel room and drop a load on her back.
There’s not much high end shit to blow your money on in this town. If you stay out of the Casinos and the expensive resorts, you can live very well on $1,000 per month.
Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Quality Of Life Rating 3/5
OK let’s get to the meat here. Snooky is cheap and there’s plenty of Asian pussy available… But how is daily life in Sihanoukville?
Me personally, I would be happy to live in Sihanoukville. It ticks all my boxes as a comfortable place for a single man to live. But Cambodia is a bit rough around the edges… Many people say Sihanoukville is a boring shit hole with absolutely no charm. I can’t really argue with that and I understand where they are coming from…
Here’s a few things that suck about living in Sihanoukville.
The Wifi Sucks
Maybe it was just the time I was there but the wifi was fuckin brutal in Sihanoukville. It simply did not work at my hotel and I had to try different restaurants around town until I could do a few simple tasks like banking and answering emails. Even the places where I could get a signal it was very slow. This is a pretty big deal for those of us who work online.
I know some digital nomads lived in Sihanoukville long term and somehow they managed… But you might have some frustrating days. If you don’t work online then you won’t really care I guess. You shouldn’t be sitting in front of a screen on your holiday anyways.
Sihanoukville Is Dirty
The beach is beautiful but it’s pretty dirty… The good news is there’s several different beaches to choose from. If you get away from the main beach area of Ocheutueal then things get much more quiet and relaxing.
If you want to party just head down Serendipity Road to the main beach area. Here you will find an endless row of restaurants / bars. People selling fresh seafood on the beach, sun burnt back packers reading their lonely planet travel guides, kids selling bracelets and ladies offering massages.
I actually like to be around the action so I enjoyed myself here. Once you’re there for a week or so the touts get to know you and they don’t bother you for shit. They are pretty nice and they speak good english so I would always chat with some of the folks I would see every day.
That said, I understand why people would absolutely hate this beach. It’s hard to relax when there’s a line of beggars and touts waiting to approach you. I actually tried counting how many times I was approached during one meal. I lost track after 13… But like I said, if you are a local they just smile and keep walking. Sometimes…
For a more relaxing beach experience try Otres beach. It was much more quiet over there. No touts and no thumping music. When people talk shit about Snooky, I wonder if they even ventured away from the main beach area. There are far more laid back areas then Serendipity Beach.
The Health Care Sucks
I didn’t get sick in Sihanoukville but from what I understand, the medical facilities are not very good. If you get seriously ill or injured then you will want to go to Bangkok. This will require a trip to Phnom Penh, then a flight to Bangkok… Not a fun thought.
But for minor things you should be fine. I’m young and healthy so outside of some freak accident I’m not really concerned. If you’re an older guy who has medical issues then you might want to consider this.
The Rainy Season Is Long And Wet
This area of South East Asia gets absolutely pounded by monsoon rains. The rainy season is almost half the year and things get very quiet in Sihanoukville… This is a bummer I must admit. When I was there it rained daily and there was a big storm off the coast so I couldn’t even make it to Khong Rong Island. Be prepared to travel during rainy season or you will be spending a lot of time indoors.
Sihanoukville is Boring
Besides eating, drinking, mongering and gambling there’s not much to do in Sihanoukville. It’s a quiet and ugly little city. I don’t think there’s any cultural tourist type attractions to visit. Getting drunk on the beach IS the attraction. I enjoyed hanging out on the beach with a book but I could see how someone would get bored fairly quickly.
I wrote about Living Somewhere Boring before. To me, Sihanoukville is perfect for this. It’s quiet, relaxing and easy to get around. It’s cheap to live and there’s not much temptation to spend money on anything. There are nice beaches, plenty of gyms, islands and countryside to explore. There’s plenty of cheap skanks around if you need to drop a load… Some may call this city boring, but I think it’s the perfect place to lay low and get some work done.
Wow it sounds like I’m being harsh on Sihanoukville! 😀 The truth is I love the place. I could imagine living there and I will certainly be going back sometime soon so I can explore more. I just wanted to lay out all of the negatives as well as the positives so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Safety in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
I’ve heard horror stories about the crime in Sihanoukville but I must say that in the two weeks I was there I didn’t witness or hear about anything bad happening…
You need street smarts to travel anywhere in south east Asia but I felt pretty safe in Sihanoukville. I went everywhere alone and I was out at all hours of the night. I even went to a few creepy brothels all alone and that was pretty sketchy… But I never felt like I would get robbed and murdered.
Just stay low key and don’t flash your valuables around. You should be fine… Also, stay away from drugs. It seems like bad drugs is the number one killer of white folks down in Sihanoukville.
Sihanoukville isn’t the best holiday destination… There are better beaches and better mongering in Thailand. But if you want a chilled out place to work online and save money, Sihanoukville is an excellent option.
Cost Of Living 5/5
Quality Of Life 3/5
Sihanoukville, Cambodia – Single Man’s Paradise Rating 12/15
Despite being a creepy shit hole, I really enjoyed my time in Snooky. So much so, that when I returned to Ho Chi Minh City I immediately regretted coming back so quick… The traffic and the noise was overwhelming. Vietnam is intense at times…
Sihanoukville has a laid back small town vibe and the city offers everything a man could ask for. I just felt relaxed and happy during my stay there. The stress of city life can grind on your nerves after a while and Sihanoukville is the perfect place to unwind.
It’s certainly more rough then a place like Pattaya… But if you like a bit of adventure then you might enjoy the third world charm of Snooky. No place is perfect but I would say Sihanoukville is one of the handful of locations I would actually live long term.
If I were to start a business in south east Asia, Sihanoukville is the place where I would put my money. I’m sure the city will grow and develop a lot in the coming years and I’m excited to see the transformation.
Now I would love to hear your thoughts. Is Snooky a third world shit hole? Is it Single Man’s Paradise? Please comment below!