There's so much more to Cambodia than Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh and we confidently predict that the southern coastal region will be the next big thing. Until now anyone wanting to combine culture with a luxury beach holiday (and what an excellent combination that makes) could visit the miraculous lost city of Angkor Wat but would then more than likely head over to the - admittedly beautiful - beaches of neighbouring Vietnam or Thailand. No longer necessary.
The coast of Cambodia already had uninhabited islands, white sandy beaches, clear blue waters, and a national park, but now there are some excellent hotels too.
Kep, a chic colonial beach resort until its destruction at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, is making something of a comeback while the town of Sihanoukville is also emerging as one of Southeast Asia's premier beach destinations. Situated in the centre of a small peninsula on the Gulf of Thailand, Sihanoukville town is surrounded by several palm tree-lined beaches. For the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy a massage at one of the town's luxury spas and bask in the sun at the private Sokha beach.
Nearby are several uninhabited but islands, accessible by traditional wooden motorboats for day trips where you can snorkel above beautiful marine life and pristine coral or relax on secluded beaches. Several good dive sites are situated along the coast.