Otres Beach is in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Most people go to Sihanoukville for the party scene. Instead we b-lined for the Otres Beach area for a more relaxing, less developed area.
Getting to Otres Beach
We got here from Phnom Penh. We took a minibus from the Capitol for about $10 a head. For an extra few dollars, they drove us all the way to Otres Beach instead of getting out in Sihanoukville.
Where to stay in Otres Beach
We stayed at a new resort called Sok Sabay. It was off the beach in Otres Village. It was nestled into the dirt roads on the river. Cute bungalows with a chill area overlooking the river and had a nice pool area. They serve food too and had a pool table by the bar.
Sok Sabay is right down the dirt road from The Market Place, the hot hangout with live music. There are cute restaurants and yoga studios all walking distance and the beach is only a 5 minute bike ride away.
Cambodia uses US$ as currency. There are ATMs in town as well. You’ll want cash.
We went horseback riding with Liberty Ranch. It was incredible! For $40, we had an hour and a half which turned into 2 hours with the horses. They give you so much freedom which is so fun. We got to gallop and canter through fields on our way to the beach. Once we got there, we stripped everything off the horses and got to ride bareback as we went in the water. Swimming with horses! It was such a hot day, so getting in the water felt great, not only for us but for the horses too. Feeling the horses kick and swim below you is quite the sensation. We made a reservation a couple of days before.
How much time will you need there
I would recommend spending at least a couple of days in the Otres Beach area. We’ve been backpacking SE Asia for months, and our time there is maybe our favorite. It felt like we were finally somewhere before it was discovered. Dirt and sand roads. Small buildings. Nice people. Incredibly laid back in the best way. Just spend days relaxing by the beach, eating good food, riding you bike around and enjoying the sleepy vibe. We spent a week here. It kind of reminded us of a beachy version of Pai, Thailand.
When is the best time to go
Go when you are ready to chill by the beach and read your book. It’s the perfect escape from the real world.
What to do
Make sure you check out the Market Place on Wednesday and Saturday for open mic night. Eat at the Secret Garden, great for all meals. The Green Lantern has amazing Thai food. And don’t forget to go horseback riding with Liberty Ranch. It’s not everyday you get to swim with horses!
What not to do
Skip Sihanoukville. Just head straight to the Otres Beach area. You won’t regret it. Everyone talks about the crime and theft there. Otres is the perfect oasis!
Why should Otres Beach be on my bucket list
If you want to say one day, “I was there back in the day before it was covered in resorts…I walked to dinner down the dirt roads watching the fire flies light up the sky. We even swam with horses right on the beach there!” Then go now! There is always talk of tearing it all day and building it up. Get there now to capture the essence of a Cambodian beach town!
We came to Otres for a few days and ended up staying a week. It came at a perfect time in our backpacking travels when we needed a break. I think I read 2 books there. Everyday we would wake up and do yoga, then ride to the beach, find a restaurant to set up camp at for the day, play board games by the water, swim, and relax. You can sign up for island hoping boat rides, jungle parties, etc as you chill by the beach. It has the right amount of stuff going on while at the same time, nothing going on. It’s truly an escape. I’d go back in a heartbeat…I think I left a piece of my heart there.