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It is the capital city of Sihanoukville Province. The city is also known as Kampong Som or Kampong Saom in Khmer language. It stands at the edge of a raised peninsula, jutting into the Gulf of Thailand.
It was established in 1964 as the sole deep-water port for the whole of Cambodia. It got the name from King Norodom Sihanouk, who fought for the independence of Cambodia. It is situated 144 miles from Phnom Penh in the southwestern rim of the nation. You can get to Phnom Penh from the city via NH 4.
Sihanoukville is the main beach city of Cambodia. It consists of uninterrupted stretches of white sandy beaches and tropical islands. You can lounge at the beach, sunbathe and enjoy the fresh seafood or you can indulge in ocean activities like swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. You can also take boat trips to visit the nearby islands.
The city boasts of many quaint and unspoiled beaches, each having its own distinct quality. Ochheuteal Beach is lively and popular, while Otres Beach is secluded and relaxed. It is a weekend getaway for people from the neighboring Phnom Penh. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in foreign nationals in Sihanoukville and the Cambodian government is developing the region as a major tourism center.
The city is the International Offshore Financial Center of Cambodia. The government encourages joint venture investments from both locals and foreign investors. Lately, the city has seen exceptional Chinese investment in casinos and property development.
Find the latest rental rates on the Sihanoukville property market
Property rentals are on the rise, due to the influx of Chinese nationals into the city. The city has a special economic zone status and has made it an important economic and commercial center. Chinese interest in the city has created high demand within the rental real estate sector as they constitute almost 70 percent of foreigners coming to the city.
The city offers a wide range of properties like luxury condominiums, serviced apartments and French villas in the city canter. It also has many affordable apartments, flats and Borey houses on the outskirts of the city.
Rentals on properties like land, shop-houses, and flats have all had large increases in price. Properties nearer to the city have become even more expensive. Chinese casino workers prefer to rent the whole buildings and they offer double or triple the normal rate of rent for them.
Rental for a shop-house in Sangkat Buon which was $500-$700 in 2017 increased to $2500 to $3000 in 2018 and in the same area, rent for a one bedroom apartment was $1000 per month in 2018. It was only $200 to $300 in the previous year. The rent for a two-bedroom apartment increased to $2200 per month in the same period.
The rentals in Sangkat Bei are cheaper than other areas. But, within the area, the monthly rent for a villa increased from $700 in 2017 to $1,500 in 2018. Likewise, rentals for plots of land in Sangkat Buon and Sangkat Bei increased 3 to 4 times within a year.
The City is experiencing rapid growth and so is the real estate market. The city is not prone to major flooding, tsunamis or other natural disasters. This gives it a distinct advantage against neighboring beach areas of Thailand and Vietnam.
The Sihanoukville Province has four sangkats or communes or districts. It's divided up based on location and by access to resources.
Sihanoukville has evolved into one of the top tourism centers in Cambodia. For sight-seeing, you have the Buddhist temples, Ream National Park and Kbal Chay Waterfall. In the beach town of Kep, you can taste the crab fresh-off-the-boat and cooked especially for you on the pier.
The City has an impressive line of eateries, restaurants, and pubs, besides fresh seafood, you can also taste International cuisines. Restaurants managed by expats serve Italian, American, Australian, British, Russian and Turkish food.
The cost of living is much lower compared to the other major cities in Cambodia. Shopping for your daily and weekly needs is easy as you will find western-style supermarkets and a variety of minimarts. There are traditional local markets that will supply fresh fruits and vegetables.
Gambling is a big industry with casino-integrated hotels increasing year on year, as the number of Chinese visiting the city is on the rise. The number of casinos has doubled in one year and had reached a total of 15 in 2018.
The Government of Cambodia is currently selling the exploration rights of oil reserves to international companies and this is set to increase logistics investment within the region, in the forthcoming years.
English is the second-most spoken language in the city due to the tourism industry. There are limited education facilities in Sihanoukville, compared to Phnom Penh. International French School, Idea Source School, and Regent School are some of the more popular schools here.
For medical care, you have CT Clinic and Sihanoukville International Clinic. Both have English-speaking doctors and offer inpatient care, general medicine, and surgery.
For transportation, you can find moto-dops (motor taxis) and tut-tuks available in good numbers. The city transport is also facilitated by buses and taxis. Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem islands are accessible by daily ferry services.
For air travel, you have international flights from Sihanoukville International Airport. There are direct flights to Singapore, China, and South Korea. For domestic travel, you have direct flights to Siem Reap from here.