In the short time between Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953 and the tragic reign of the Khmer Rouge that began in 1975, wealthy Cambodian industrialists basked in Cambodia’s calm among the grand mansions and casinos of Sihanoukville, 230 kilometers (143 miles) southwest of Phnom Penh on the country’s palm fringed coast.
Now a popular destination for fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving, Sihanoukville, Cambodia is attracting international resort brands and travelers seeking to sink their bare feet in the pristine honey hued sand after temple tours of Angkor Wat. Most pristine are the jungle-covered islands of the Koh Rong Archipelago, easily accessible by scenic speedboat rides across the Gulf of Thailand. At Song Saa, Cambodia’s first five star overwater villas recall the Maldives with their eco-chic interiors, ultra plump beds and lounging areas, under high pitched, sustainable thatch roofs and glass floors over fish filled translucent waters. The much-lauded chef scours the Cambodian countryside for ingredients to craft palate pleasing, indigenous dishes and works with local farmers to procure pesticide free, organic produce. A team of expatriate marine biologists manage the resort’s one million square meter marine reserve, Cambodia’s first, that surrounds the property’s two jungle covered islands, joined by charming foot bridge. Snorkel in these pristine waters among the sea grass meadows that are home to the area’s dugong, green turtles and seahorses.
Please note that pre- and post- Mekong cruise itineraries are not included in the Aqua Expeditions Mekong River cruise rates and are priced separately. We will be happy to recommend our preferred tour operators to arrange this component of your Cambodia holiday.