Otres Beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, may be described in few simple words: quiet with plenty of sand and water. In this provincial city whose major attractions are its beaches, Otres Beach is the quietest beach in Sihanoukville primarily because it is still in need of much development. There is no electricity and most of the places are run by tiny generators. But this is not to say that there aren’t many fun activities in Otres.
Otres is definitely the least visited beach in Sihanoukville. The other beaches are Independence Beach, Victory Beach, Sokha Beach, Serendipity Beach and Ochheuteal Beach, which is clearly the most popular of all the beaches in Southern Cambodia. Off the shores of Sihanoukville is the exotic Bamboo Island, which is widely popular for its amazing dive sites. Forty-five minutes away into the sea, Bamboo Island or Koh Russei in Khmer has two unnamed beaches that are clearly two of the most tranquil places on Earth. There are no vendors, tuk-tuks or any signs of modern development in Koh Russei. These amazing gifts of nature are significantly helping Cambodia’s bid towards international significance. The country, especially with regard to its rural areas, is deep in poverty, and the government is working hard towards economic progress and development. The poverty is a result of years of wars, internal conflicts, and the bloody Khmer Rouge regime that devastated the country from 1975 to1979.
Today, more and more tourists come to Otres Beach in Sihanoukville to enjoy the calm waters. Visitors engage in boating, sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking. Otres Nautica rents out kayaks, sail boats and windsurfing equipment for a few dollars to US$8 per hour. Guests may sail or paddle on their own, or ask a guide for help. Otres Nautica is now considered the first and only place to go sailing in Cambodia. For more daring water sports, windsurfing boards are available for rent at Hurricane Windsurfing, as well as paragliding equipments at Paraville.
There are also restaurants that offer cheap yet delicious Khmer and international dishes. One of the leading restaurants is Daiquiri Hut, which is also known for its sail and kayak rentals. It is also fronting that side of the beach that is perfect for snorkeling. Other restaurants are Chez Paou, Freax and Sunshine Café, which is known for its fresh fruit shakes, cocktails, authentic Khmer dishes, and the best fish sandwich on the beach. There are also a number of small beach stalls that sell food and allow diners to eat under huge beach umbrellas.
Meanwhile, for those who decide to spend the night in Otres despite the lack of electricity, Queen Hill Resort offers very good accommodation inside its thatch roofed bungalows and apartments on top of a hill between Otres Beach and Ochheuteal Beach. For visitors who do not intend to lodge and stay for the night, it is best to head back to the city before darkness creeps because there are no lights along the road. Although Otres is the farthest beach from the town center, it is just 20 minutes away by foot. Driving or taking a tuk-tuk may even take longer since a ride passes through a different route.