It gets bigger every day.
Founded in 1958, as the best location in the country to build a deep-water port, and the best water for making Angkor Beer. Also, the friendliest place in Cambodia to name a town after the King, King Sihanouk. The French (and Cambodians) cleared the forest and built us a port. This is also when they built a big beer brewery at the top of the hill. Then, someone realized that we needed a road to get out of the jungle, and deliver goods to and from the port, so some Americans (and Cambodians) built a road to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
After realizing there was a road from Phnom Penh to SihanoukVille, (and all other roads in the country lead to Phnom Penh), someone thought it might be nice to go to the seashore and go swimming.
The rest is history!
Now, SihanoukVille is the largest seaside town in Cambodia. SihanoukVille has the biggest port, a large agricultural community, biggest tourist attraction (after Angkor Wat in Siem Reap) main port for visiting the islands of Cambodia, the first modern seaside resort and first island resort.
The second biggest factory base in the country, the main base for offshore oil drilling, more casinos than Macau, and a hell of a nice place to visit.
SihanoukVille, also known locally as Kampong Som, is in Kampong Som province. The actual unofficial city limits cover approximately 31.272 square kilometers. Shoreline, not counting the islands, is 19.223 kilometers (approximately.) We rule most of the Cambodian islands too!
The city's population is approximately 498,259.7 people. The recent population growth is 12.79% per year, mostly from people coming here to work construction, work for the port, in the tourism industry, expansion of government services, factory workers, on-line casino workers, island owners, expansion of Non-government services, and foreigners coming here to retire, (or open restaurant/guesthouse/bars). The price for baby delivery in the public hospital was 29,000 Cambodian Riel for a normal delivery ($7.36 at current exchange rates). No extra charge for twins, but it's probably higher now. There is about 1 telephone landline for every 193 people, 2 cell phones for every 1.42 people, 11 TVs for every 31 people (not including karaoke TV's), 1 karaoke bar for every 35 people. 1 out of 3.2 people are classified as students.
Some of the main not-government occupations of SihanoukVille's residents:
The town of SihanoukVille is supported by public water and sewer systems, one electric plant, a whole lot of police, teachers, and military defense, lots and lots of government agencies and ministries from the country, province, city, town, and villages and blocks. One main Post Office. Paved major public roads, (and lots of unpaved smaller roads), 62 banks financial institutions, and over 50 ATM machines, (with more on the way), 23 official gas stations, (and 263 roadside gas mini stations), 5 stop lights (mostly broken and ignored), one prison, one court, 3+ Wats (Buddhist Temples), one port, a few dozen Christian churches, two muslim mosques, one public hospital, a few dozen medical clinics and a several dozen pharmacies, an airport, 3,833 bars and restaurants, 22,263 hotel and guesthouse rooms (although several are for Chinese only). Several dozen non-government organizations also provide services to the population.
We use US Dollars here for most purchases over a few dollars, and Cambodian Riel for most small purchases. (1 US Dollar = 4,182 Riel).
Electricity is 220 Volt, weather is warm to hot, coolest times of year are the Winter (November to February) and the rainy season (July to October). The main language is Khmer, with lots of English speakers. Buddhism is the main religion and the "official" religion of the country, but you can find most other religions here also.
There's about 19 public holidays, (we get off about 25 days for these), and when a holiday falls on a weekend, the first available non-holiday weekday is also a public holiday. Thank you Buddha. The time here is 12:55pm, or the same time as in Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Saigon, Jakarta and Krasnoyarsk, according to the time zone settings in Windows (a trademark of Microsoft of course), Vista (another trademark). There is no daylight savings time here. Sunrise is around early morning, about 5:30am, and sunset is of course when night starts. About 5:28 - 6:23pm. Because we're near the damned equator, sunrise and sunset don't vary too much during the year.
Tourism in SihanoukVille, Cambodia
Tourist come to SihanoukVille from all over the country, and all over the world. Tourist arrive here by ship, road, and occasionally a charter airplane or scheduled flight from Siem Reap or helicopter flight.
Most of the tourism here is from Cambodian people from all over the country coming to play in the sea. The only deep sea port in the country brings a steady flow of cruise ships with one day touristst to town. Public holidays, especially in the Winter and Spring, (November 'till May) fill up every room in town, and sometimes, all the beach chairs. Also, local weddings draw many visitors from other provinces. Both Government and NGO "meetings", corporate getaways, and business "seminars" along the sunny beach side of SihanoukVille also contribute many tourists to our fine seaside town. And of course, our 40+ casinos bring a few tourists as well.
Foreign tourists usually arrive by car or bus from Phnom Penh, Kampot, Koh Kong or Kep Cambodia. From sea, they come on cruise ships leaving from Saigon, Vietnam, as their previous port, or they come from warships from several different countries. Occasional visits from private yachts. By air, tourists come from Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Vietnam, Malaysia, and China. The lucky come by helicopter. There are 87,265 foreigners living in SihanoukVille, with the bulk coming from China. Well, mostly China. These are mainly factory managers, factory workers and supervisors, construction managers, store owners, and casino and hotel staff. And now Chinese restaurant and food market workers.
Tourism has increased 704.6% from 5 years ago, and has increased 37.34% year over year, from 2013 to 2018. An additional 3,612 rooms should come on-line in 2018, and 4,721 more rooms are planned for 2019. Lots of Asian tour groups have found our seaside town just fine for a few days of R&R.
Accommodations range from a mat on the beach for free, to an island resort priced over $5,000 for one night (but it's really nice). $8 typically gets you a basic room with a bathroom, TV, bed, fan and not much else. $14 and up gets all the above with maybe a nicer room, air-conditioning, hot water, and a fridge. Several resorts in town charge $100 and up per night. Prices right on or near the ocean (which would be the Bay of Cambodia, not Thailand) cost more.
Local cable TV gets channels in Khmer (the language of Cambodia), Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, French, Italian, German, Australian, and of course, English. We also have satellite TV.
Cable TV stations in English include BBC, CNN, HBO, Cinemax, Star Movies, Cartoon Network, AXN, CNBC, Discovery, Animal Planet, History, FTV (uncensored), and many sports channels. Anything that can be pirated from Thailand or Vietnam. Favorite TV shows for Cambodians are: any soap opera from Korea, Thailand, or Mexico; Kung Fu Karate films from China, (all dubbed in Khmer) and anything with the Commander in Chief in it, Tom & Jerry, Mr. Bean, and WWE (which used to be WWF). WWE is in both English and Khmer.
Favorite sports in SihanoukVille are: Gambling with playing cards, gambling on European Football (if you consider England to be part of Europe..... Soccer for Americans), gambling on BINGO, kick the shoe, badminton, and volleyball. Finally, a local form of hackysack, where a feather anchored in plastic is kicked around in a circle.
You can find more information about SihanoukVille and Cambodia at...
SihanoukVille Holidays and Events