Getting around

Sihanoukville can be accessed by visitors via bus, mini-bus, ferry, and even a helicopter from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and neighboring Thailand. Any vehicle coming from outside the city stops at the Old New Market, and from there, one can take any of the following vehicles to go around the town.

Take the Ubiquitous Tuktuk in Sihanoukville

The tuktuk is a three-wheeled carriage with a motorcycle in front. It is comfortable and airy, and can comfortably accommodate up to four people. The name tuktuk is taken from the sound it makes as it chugs along the streets of Cambodia. These are not known for its speed, and since it is open in all sides, it is the best choice for visitors who want to see a bit of scenery while en route to their destination. The roof protects one from the sun’s heat while at the same time offering protection should it rain as well.

Tuktuks are wonderful ways to go around, but make sure to agree on a price first before hopping into one. Since it has no meter and the fare is not regulated, some drivers may take advantage of the clueless tourist. The fare ranges from $1-5 for one to four people, depending on the distance and time of day.

For Speed, Take the Moto-dops Around Town

Moto-dops are motorbike taxis that abound in Sihanoukville. As the main transportation in the city, it can be found anywhere and anytime. If one needs it, there is no need to look for one; more often than not, any tourist standing by or walking around will be asked more than a few times whether he would like a ride.

Expect to pay around $0.25-1 per trip, although it could be more depending on the distance, the number of people riding, and the amount of luggage that one has. Night trips also cost more. The safest bet is to agree on the fare before riding. Don’t be afraid to haggle, especially when the driver seems to be overcharging. Haggling is considered normal anyhow.

Renting a Scooter or a Car in Sihanoukville

Tourists can rent scooters or motorcycles, but they must have a Cambodian license. To get one usually takes a month to be processed and over $40 in cost. In practice, however, anyone can just rent one without going through all the paperwork, and there are no problems reported with the police. Rental companies just ask for the tourist’s passport.

A word of caution though: one must always wear a helmet when driving a motorcycle. The traffic rules here are not as enforced as they are in Western countries. Since even Cambodian children can and do drive motorcycles, it is better to be safe than sorry. (Check out the Things You Need to Know About the Traffic in Sihanoukville)

There are cars available for rent in Sihanoukville, with or without a driver. The price of car rental with a driver is around $35/day. The same rule above applies if one wants to rent the car without a driver. With a car, one can easily go on day trips out of town.

Walking in Sihanoukville

One can also walk around in Sihanoukville, although not many locals can be seen walking around. From downtown, it’s a 30-minute walk to most beaches, and one can take a walking tour around the town in just an hour or less.

Make sure to be protected from the sun though. A high SPF sun protection is recommended, and bring some bottled water as well. It can be hot during the day. During the summer months, it is not recommended to walk around, as it would be too hot and there is the danger of heat stroke and heat exhaustion to people unaccustomed to walking or to the tropical sun.

Boating to the Islands

When visiting the islands, there are boats that can be rented along the many establishments lining up the beaches. Some hotels offer packages of around $15 for island hopping, which includes pick up to and from the hotel, two meals, and snorkeling.

If one wants to go fishing or snorkeling without joining a group, the boats are available for rent as well.

One Response

  1. Helen Pawlikowski June 16, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Hey cheers for this cool post.

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