Travel Report: Otres Beach 2 – Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
December 2015. The Cambodian coastal city of Sihanoukville is home to a discreet beach scene that offers several fine stretches of golden sand. The best of these are the Otres beaches 1 & 2, both of which run down a lovely strip of coastline hugging the Gulf of Thailand. My travel buddy Wonderboy and I stationed ourselves at the decent Pat Pat Guesthouse near drowsy Otres Beach 1. We spent our days there lounging around Amber’s Bar under the parasols by the sea. Each afternoon, cunningly timed for sunset, we’d make the two-kilometre walk to Otres Beach 2. Actually the beach here is even more handsome and quieter than where we were staying.
In terms of natural beauty and the laid-back vibe, I’d say Otres Beach 2 is right up there with anything I saw in the south of Thailand or indeed Vietnam. In the unlikely event I ever make It back to Sihanoukville, I’d definitely stay right on Otres Beach 2 in a bungalow. If you’re looking into it, both Sam Papa Pippa Bungalows and Mushroom Point come highly recommended.
I don’t know if it’s still the case, or even if we were just a bit lucky. But December felt like the perfect time of year to come to Sihanoukville.
There were no more than a dozen people around each day as we walked to Otres Beach 2 and back. In fact, I don’t think Wonderboy and I struck up a conversation with anyone!
There was another fantastic motivation for our daily walks to Otres Beach 2. Both nights we went for dinner at the wonderful Secret Garden Bar & Restaurant. This place had an award-winning menu and specialised in local Cambodian dishes with a modern twist. Indeed they were famous for their pepper squid, battered fish and chips, honey-ginger chicken and mango salad. Furthermore, the beers were ice-cold and they did a gorgeous range of artsy cocktails. However, I’m sad to report that as of August 2019, Secret Garden Bar & Restaurant is now closed.
Otres Beach 2 is about seven kilometers from Sihanoukville’s drab city centre. The best way to get here is by tuk-tuk, but be ready for drivers to quote CRAZY prices. $2.50 was the going rate at the time of my visit.
IMPORTANT NOTE: In the years since my visit Sihanoukville has undergone some dramatic changes and, from what I hear, not for the better. According to online reports, the city has been transformed by huge Chinese investment. Over $4 billion has gone into power plants, offshore oil operations and towering casino-hotels. There’s even a local gangster scene with prostitution, street violence and a bar shooting back in July 2018. From what I understand the Otres beaches are still safe to visit if you stay on the main strip. But the area is rapidly losing its charm. Check the latest news ahead of your planned visit!
This travel report is dedicated to The White Chocolate Bomb, an orgasmic dessert from The Secret Garden Restaurant & Bar. It’s a dense, white chocolate ball filled with pistachio ice cream, which sits atop a bed of warm brownie chunks. The rest of the plate drizzles with playful lines of chocolate sauce, while the little jug contains warm caramel sauce. We simply poured it all over the ball before diving in! R.I.P. Secret Garden :(.
Like this? Check out my article on Sihanoukville’s Otres Beach 1.
You can also leaf through more travel reports from my travels around Cambodia.
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