Sihanoukville Province

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Sihanoukville Province
Khait Preah Sihanouk
Kompong Som/Kampong Saom
Ochheuteal Beach
Ochheuteal Beach
Map of Cambodia highlighting Sihanoukville Province
Map of Cambodia
highlighting Sihanoukville Province
Coordinates: 10°38′N 103°30′E / 10.633°N 103.500°E / 10.633; 103.500
Country  Cambodia
Official 1964
Provincial status 2008
 • Governor Chhit Sokhom[1]
 • Total 1,114 km2 (430 sq mi)
Elevation 316 m (1,037 ft)
Population (2008)[2]
 • Total 199,902
 • Density 180/km2 (460/sq mi)
  Provincial population
Human Development Index
 • HDI Increase0.750 (high)
Time zone UTC+07
Postcode 18000
Dialing code 034
ISO 3166 code KH-18
Districts 3
Communes 22
Villages 94[3]

Sihanoukville Province (Khmer: ខេត្តព្រះសីហនុ - Khaet Preah Sihanouk), also known as Kompong Som or Kampong Saom, is a province (ខេត្ត-khaet) in the south-west of Cambodia at the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital, also called Sihanoukville, is a port city, tourist destination and a steadily growing urban center located on a peninsula.

The province is named after former king Norodom Sihanouk, who personally orchestrated the establishment of Sihanoukville city and the Sihanoukville municipality as it took place alongside the construction of the Sihanoukville Port, which commenced in June 1955. So far it remains the only deep water port of Cambodia, which includes a mineral Oil terminal and a transport logistics facility.[4]

The islands and beaches of Sihanoukville province are an international tourist destination as visitor numbers have risen steadily over the course of the last two decades.[5]

The province is served by the Sihanoukville International Airport, 18 kilometres (11 mi) from Sihanoukville town, although by 2014 it sees limited commercial operation. The airport currently only schedules national passenger flights of Cambodia Angkor Air to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

In addition to the port and the growing tourism industry, the activities of countless NGO's and international investment have contributed to an unprecedented economic growth of the province over the course of the last decade.[6] Economic sectors, that further deserve mentioning are the textile industry and the rapidly expanding real estate market.[7] Sihanoukville is the home of Angkor Beer, one of Cambodia's major breweries.

The initial Sihanoukville municipality was elevated to a regular province on 22 December 2008 after King Norodom Sihamoni signed a Royal Decree converting the municipalities of Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville into provinces, as well as adjusting several other provincial borders.[8]


The official name in Khmer is: Khaet (province) Preah (holy) Sihanouk (name of the former king), which adds up to: "Province of the holy Sihanouk" or "Honorable Sihanouk Province". It honors the former king Norodom Sihanouk (reigned 1941–1955 and 1993–2004) who was and still is revered as the Father of the modern Nation,.[9] Sihanouk himself suggested the official Western variant Sihanoukville. The name "Sihanouk" is derived from Sanskrit through two Pali words: Siha (lion), and Hanu (jaws).

The former name, Kompong Saom (also romanized as Kompong Som and Kampong Som), (Khmer: កំពង់សោម) means "Port of the Moon" or "Shiva's Port".[10] Saom is derived from the Sanskrit word "saumya", the original (Rig Vedic) meaning of which was "Soma, the juice or sacrifice of the moon-god", but evolved into Pali "moon", "moonlike" "name of Shiva".[11] The word Kampong or Kompong is of Malayan origin[12] and means village or hamlet. Its meaning underwent extension towards pier or river landing bridge.[13]


Main article: History of Cambodia

Classical Period (before 1700)[edit]

In post-Angkor sources, such as the Cambodian Chronicles, the coastal region appears in records starting from the seventeenth century.

Prior to the ports' foundation works between 1955 and 1960, no recorded settlement on the peninsula existed that was larger than a traditional trade and/or - fishing community. During the many centuries of pre-Angkor history – from Funan to Chenla and during the Khmer Empire, regional trade was centered at O Keo (Vietnamese: Óc Eo) in the Mekong Delta, now the province of Rạch Giá in Vietnam. The township of Prei Nokor (Saigon) was a commercial center of the Khmer Empire.[14]

Early Modern Period (around 1700 - 1863)[edit]

From the end of the seventeenth century, Cambodia lost control of the Mekong River route as Vietnamese power expanded into the lower Mekong. A Cambodian king in the late eighteenth century, Outey-Reachea III allied with a Chinese, Mac-Thien-Tu, who had established an autonomous polity based in Ha Tien and controlled the maritime network on the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand. Ha Tien was located at a point where a river linking to the Bassac River flows into the Gulf of Thailand. Landlocked Cambodia tried to keep its access to maritime trade through Ha Tien. Alexander Hamilton, who traveled on the Gulf of Thailand in 1720, wrote that two ports, Kompong Som and (Banteay Meas, later Ha Tien) belonged to Cambodia, and Cochin-China was divided from Cambodia by a river of three leagues broad. King Ang Duong constructed a road from his capital of Udong to Kampot, and opened Kampot as the only international seaport of Cambodia. The traveling time between Udong and Kampot was eight days by oxcart and four days by elephants. French Résident Adhemard Leclère wrote: ...Until 1840s, the Vietnamese governed Kampot and Péam, but Kompong Som belonged to Cambodia. The Vietnamese constructed a road from Ha Tien to Svai village -on the border with Kompong-Som - via Kampot.[15]

The British Empire followed a distinct policy by the 1850-ies, seeking to consolidate its influence. Eye witness reports give rare insights, as Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston's agent John Crawfurd reports: "...Cambodia was...the Keystone of our policy in these countries, - the King of that ancient Kingdom is ready to throw himself under the protection of any European nation...The Vietnamese were interfering with the trade at Kampot, and this would be the basis of an approach..." Palmerston concluded: "...The trade at Kampot - one of the few remaining ports, could never be considerable, in consequence of the main entrance to the country, the Mekong, with all its feeders flowing into the Sea through the territory of Cochin China The country, too, had been devastated by recent Siam - Vietnam wars. Thus, without the aid of Great Britain, Kampot or any other port in Cambodia, can never become a commercial Emporium." Crawfurd later wrote: ...The Cambodians... sought to use intervals of peace in the Siam - Vietnam wars to develop intercourse with outside nations. The trade at Kampot which they sought to foster was imperiled by pirates. "Here is a point where the wedge might be inserted, that would open the interior of the Indo-Chinese Peninsula to British Commerce, as the great River of the Cambodians traverses its entire length and even affords communication into the heart of Siam.[16]

French Rule (1863 - 1954)[edit]

Under French rule Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia became a single administrative and economic unit. The establishment of another international trading center near the existing city of Saigon was not considered necessary. Focus remained the Mekong, and the idea to establish a completely navigable waterway from the Red River to the Mekong Delta. The most notable infrastructural improvement of this period was the construction of the national railway system, although work on the "Southern Line" only began in 1960.

After Independence (since 1954)[edit]

top: the One Golden Lion Plaza near the port
bottom: the Two Golden Lions Plaza near Ochheuteal Beach

The city's and province's alternative name Kompong Saom (Kampong Som) was adopted from the local indigenous community. After the dissolution of French Indochina in 1954, it became apparent that the steadily tightening control of the Mekong Delta by Vietnam required a solution to gain unrestricted access to the seas. Plans were made to construct an entirely new deep-water port. Kompong Saom (Kampong Som) was selected for water depth and ease of access. In August 1955, a French/Cambodian construction team cut a base camp into the unoccupied jungle in the area that is now known as Hawaii Beach. Funds for construction of the port came from France and the road was financed by the USA.[17]

During the Vietnam War the port became an intensive military facility on both sides, in the service of National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam and after 1970, under the government of Lon Nol, in the service of the United States.[18]

The port was the last place to be evacuated by the US Army, only days before Khmer Rouge guerrillas took control of the government in April 1975. The events surrounding the taking of the US container ship SS Mayaguez and its crew on 12 May by the Khmer Rouge and the subsequent rescue operation by US Marines played out on the waters of Koh Tang off the coast of Sihanoukville. During the two days of action, the US commenced air strikes on targets on the mainland of Sihanoukville including the port, the Ream Naval Base, an airfield, the railroad yard and the petroleum refinery in addition to strikes and naval gun fire on several islands.[19]

After the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 and the subsequent opening of the economy, the port of Sihanoukville resumed its importance in the development and recovery of the country. With the further opening of new markets in 1999, the city regained its role in the economic growth of Cambodia.

In 1993, the Ream National Park was established per royal decree of former King Sihanouk.[20]

On 26 May 2011 Preah Sihanouk area joined the Paris-based club Les Plus Belles Baies Du Monde (The most Beautiful Bays in the World). The organisation officially accepts the Bay of Cambodia as one of its members at the 7th General Assembly.[21]


Main article: Geography of Cambodia
Tourists at Serendipity Beach

Sihanoukville province is located at the coast of the Gulf of Thailand in southern Cambodia, occupying an area of 868 km2 on a sizable and hilly peninsula. Moderately developed beaches and a number of pristine islands in its proximity are the decisive features that attract national and foreign visitors. A small group of islands dot the near coast due south and west. Sihanoukville province borders Koh Kong province and Kompong Speu province to the North and West, Kampot province to the East and the Gulf of Thailand to the South.

The peninsula is separated from the central plains of Cambodia by the Damrei Mountains. The province incorporates the Ream National Park with a size of 210 km2 that includes the islands of Koh Thmei and Koh Seh.[22]

Being a comparatively small province, Sihanoukville province has only two urban centers: the Sihanoukville city itself and the Prey Nob District, 46 kilometers north from Sihanoukville town. The province is connected to Phnom Penh by National Road No 4; to Kampot Province by National Road No 3 and to Koh Kong Province by National Road No 48. National Highway No 4 represents the southern end of Asian Highway 11, which in turn is a section of the Asian Highway Network.

Sihanoukville town: The town’s layout reflects little structural planning. Neighborhoods accumulate around the major road "Ekreach(Engl.=independence)". It winds along the headland's rolling hills and halfway between Victory Hill in the north - and Ochheuteal quarter in the south are banks, shops, the local markets, hotels, administrative facilities and most corporate businesses. The post office and the inter-provincial bus station are located towards the north between Victory Hill and the port.


  • Ochheuteal Beach : Ochheuteal Beach is a 3.3 km long and strip of beach lined with Casuarina and Tamarisk trees, grass umbrellas, rental chairs and little drink huts as well as bigger restaurants and night-time party spots. The northern section has become known as Serendipity Beach and is a popular beach with western tourists, noted for small guesthouse rooms right on the beach. Aside from these guest houses on the beach there are around 30 beach huts which serve meals and drinks. The sustainability of the Ochheuteal beach was a primary consideration of various stakeholders, which brought about the development of a tourism development and management plan in 2005.
  • Serendipity Beach: is technically the western end (roughly one fifth or 600 m) of Ochheuteal beach. It has been named by an American fellow, who came here in the Nineties. Struck by its (then) unspoiled beauty and pristine condition, he came up with the term, which quickly entered common vocabulary.[23][24]
  • Otres Beach: is around 4.6 km long and beyond the small "Queen hill" headland at the southern end of Ochheuteal Beach. It is far less developed and commercialized and known for its long stretch of clean white sands. It has developed into a special lodging place for Westerners. From 2004 to 2011 the place was a mix of late Goa and after-the-wall-anarchy. Police cleaned the area up that year, removing 70% of the Hippie places. Permanent structures beyond the road supplement the remaining places by now - a very popular, well established holiday retreat – but prices have also risen considerably.[23]
  • Sokha Beach: Sokha Beach is around 1.2 km long and located west of Serendipity Beach. The beach is privately owned by Sokha Beach Hotel,[25] the first five-star luxury beach hotel in Cambodia. While many facilities are provided, visitors have to pay for their use and beach vendors are not allowed.
Independence Beach panoramic view with recently built jetty, October 2014
  • Independence Beach: Independence Beach is around 1.3 km long and located north-west of Sokha Beach. The beach is named after the old Independence Hotel. Situated at its northern end is the Independence Hotel. Koh Pos Beach with Snake Island (Koh Pos) are only 350 m off the coast.
  • Victory Beach: Victory beach is around 300 m long and situated at the furthest north of the peninsula of Sihanoukville. It was heavily used by backpackers and is still popular with budget travelers. The deep water port is located at the northern end of the beach. Apart from white sand and blue sea, this beach offers a good spot to enjoy the sunset. A consortium of Russian business people undertook large scale development here. The beach is regularly maintained.
  • Lamherkay - or Hawaii Beach:At the southern end of Victory Beach is another small strip of sand of similar length - around 300 m, the very place where a French/Cambodian construction team laid groundwork for the construction of the new port in 1955.
  • Treasure Island Beach is less than 50 m long and its entire length is fringed with pavilions of a big Cambodian seafood restaurant
  • Hun Sen (Prek Treng) Beach: is the northernmost beach of the city with a length of around 1.5 km, situated behind the local port and essentially empty without beach huts and bars, it sees only weekend - and holiday visitors. The water is very shallow, but is not regularly cleaned.
  • Ream Beach: is situated south of Otres beach and with an overall length of around 7.7 km it consists of several sections with occasional stretches of rocks and vegetaion. Koh Ta Kiev island lies just 800 m off its southern end.
  • Beaches inside the National park : At Ream National Park's southern coast exist several unnamed beaches with an approximate length of 10 km.
  • Beaches of Prey Nob district : Beyond Sihanoukville's oil port lie two sizable beaches inside the Komong Saom bay, belonging to Prey Nob district.


Clear shoreline of Bamboo Island

There are 22 islands administered by Sihanoukville province. An increasing number are either in the process of or have been assigned for extensive touristic development. Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem in particular have so far undergone years of unplanned development with plenty of guesthouses and bungalow resorts that offer accommodation from basic dorms to furnished air-con bungalows. Most guesthouses, travel agencies and restaurants inSihanoukville town offer booking packages to these individual island resorts.

  • Koh Russei, កោះបស្សី: Also known as Bamboo Island. This medium sized island is located a few kilometers out from Otres Beach or Ream. There is a small navy base and is currently under large scale development.
  • Koh Rong, កោះរ៉ុង: Situated 26 km west of the Sihanoukville coast. Koh Rong is the biggest of the islands here. It encompasses an area of 78 km2. The terrain is predominantly hilly with a sizable mountain at the island’s south west. The hills provide water for creeks, lagoons and estuaries. The island’s interior is almost completely forested. Although there are already lots of guest houses and pubs in and around Koh Tuich village, the island remains virtually “empty” – its sheer size dwarfs all the settlements. Daily ferry service and dozens of guesthouses and restaurants.
  • Koh Rong Sanloem, កោះរុងសន្លឹម: South of Koh Rong and smaller, beautiful beaches are on the west and east coast. South of Koh Rong, it resembles its bigger sister in shape and geography – although a bit thinner, it is covered in dense forest, generally more flat (still, though there are lovely hills ) and it has noticeably less landmass in relation to its coastline. The marine life around Koh Rong Sanloem is very diverse and offers many diving spots. Daily ferry service to many guesthouses spread all over the island.
  • Koh Kaong Kang/Thass, កោះកោងកាង/ថាស: Mangrove Island, Ile des Paletuviers (old French name), Koh Kaong Kang/Thass – one of the inner islands – a great place to snorkel. It is very flat, hence freshwater is scarce and nobody lives there permanently.
  • Koh Koun, កោះកូន: Child Island, Ile de Cone (old French name), small island between Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, no beach, uninhabited, but great dive - and snorkel spot.
  • Koh Tuich, កោះតូច: Small island, tiny and beautiful island off Koh Rong’s Koh Tuich village. There is a little pagoda on it since around 2010 – great snorkeling spots around the whole island.
  • Koh Pos, កោះពស់: Also known as Morokot Island or Snake Island. This island is 800 metres (2,625 ft) off Victory Beach. It is under development by Russian investors and converted into a luxury holiday destination.[26] It was linked to the mainland with a bridge in July 2011. The bridge is not currently open for traffic.
  • Koh Dek Koul, កោះដេកកោល: This small private island is 7 kilometres (4 mi) off Victory Beach. The luxurious Russian owned Mirax Resort is located on this island.
  • Koh Bong Po-oun/Song Saa, កោះបងកោះប្អូន: – Siblings/Lovers Islands – Les Frères (old French name), renamed to Koh Song Saa – Lovers islands – two tiny islets off Koh Rong’s north-east, it is home of the exclusive Song Saa Resort.
  • Koh Tres/Kteah, កោះខ្ទះ: Pan Island, Ile Ronde (old French name), off Otres beach (15 min by Kayak) and has got a “beach” of around 10 m2 in size, which is submerged during high tide. Only one Cambodian family ( officials) lives there.
  • Koh Preus,កោះប្រឺស, Deer Island – Ile Nord-Ouest (old French name)
Koh Rong Sanloem Island, Saracen Bay Beach


Worldwide zones of tropical monsoon climate (Am).

Sihanoukville lies in the Tropical monsoon (Am) climate zone. The city has two seasons: a wet season and a dry season. Monthly averages range from 14 °C (57.2 °F) in January to 36.0 °C (96.8 °F) in July.

The maximum mean is about 30 °C ; the minimum mean, about 24 °C. Maximum temperatures of higher than 32 °C (89.6 °F), however, are common and, just before the start of the rainy season, they may rise to more than 38 °C (100.4 °F). Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C (50 °F). January is the coolest month, and April is the warmest. Tropical cyclones cause much less damage in Cambodia than they do in Vietnam.

The total annual rainfall average is between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters (39.4 and 59.1 in). The heaviest amounts fall in August and September. The relative humidity is high at night throughout the year; usually it exceeds 90 percent. During the daytime in the dry season, humidity averages about 50 percent or slightly lower, but it may remain about 60 percent in the rainy period.

Climate data for Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.3
Average low °C (°F) 23.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 28.3
Source: world weather online[27]


Angkor Beer bottles

The economy of Sihanoukville province is to a great part defined by its international port and the nearby oil port with numerous import - and export companies settled in the area and the attached freight-transport sector with the local cargo storage facilities. Other sizable economic sectors of the province are fishery, aquaculture, agriculture, mining, frozen shrimp processing, the garment industry, the Angkor Beer brewery, the real estate market and the vast tourism industry.[28]

businesses according to people employed (whole province)
Size of Establishment Number of Establishments
1-10 persons 10,424
11-50 persons 177
51-100 persons 19
101 or more 29
Total 10.649
Source: Cambodiainvestment - Preah-Sihanouk-Province[29]
Rice paddies in Prei Nob, October 2014


As one of Cambodia's smallest provinces numbers of rice tonnage (37,211) are of little relevance for the annual statistics. Still Preah Sihanouk province has been able to diversify in subsidiary and industrial crops, fruits and permanent crops and incorporates fishery (40,100 tons) into the sector.[30]

  • Agricultural Land: 106,163.746ha included 15,000 of rice field[30]
  • Irrigation drainage: Total length: 132 km, Dam/dike: Total length: 90 km[30]


Roads and streets[edit]

  • NR4: Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are connected by the National Road 4. The road has been built and financed by the USA to accommodate heavy freight containers and gasoline tank trucks connecting the port with Phnom Penh. There are three toll stations along its entire distance of around 250 km. However, it is considered the most dangerous road of Cambodia due to dense traffic, regular traffic accidents and little control by authorities.[31]
  • NR3: Connects Sihanoukville with Kampot province. The road joins the NR4 at Prey Nob district. It is paved and in a relatively good condition, but poor in traffic signs. Here like on most highways Cambodia has no control over free roaming cattle and other livestock that regularly block road traffic.
  • NR48: Connects Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh with Koh Kong Province,to the southwest of Cambodia. The road eventually ends at the Thai-Cambodian border. There used to be several ferry crossings over the rivers along the route which were replaced by solid bridges. This road has very little traffic and is in relative good condition.
Moto-dup (taxi motobikes) wait for customers at "Psar Peanichakam", Sihanoukville.

Streets in Sihanoukville town and province are in relative good condition. However, traffic does not follow Cambodian Traffic law[32] and rules, the police does little in the way of enforcement of international norms. Cambodia follows the right-hand traffic. In urban and residential areas there is an overabundance of motorbikes due to the absence of public transportation and taxis. Highways and Sihanoukville city are considered unsafe for driving. Drivers of motorbikes do not wear helmets, drive indiscriminately on any side of the street, do not have mirrors and it is common to see motorbikes with more than two passengers or vehicles driven by children and underaged people. Traffic lights are being ignored altogether.[33] In 2008 the government ordered the enforcement of the use of helmets countrywide, but these rules are not yet followed.[34]

The province does not have a scheduled public transportation system. Therefore, there exists an informal communal and urban transportation system of mini buses, taxis, motor-taxis (moto-dups) and tuk-tuks. This system is not administered by authorities, as anybody can become a bus -, motor-taxi - or tuk-tuk driver. As a consequence, prices of services are ad-hoc, insurance non-existent and service quality varies considerable. It is recommended that foreign visitors confirm prices before using any of these services and ask advice from tourist agencies and hotels.[35]


The Sihanoukville International Airport was formerly called Kaong Kang (កោងកាង = mangrove) airport. It is located in Ream commune in central Sihanoukville province, near the sea on top a former mangrove lagoon 18 kilometers from Sihanoukville town, along the NR4.


The long distance-bus station is located near the port. Cambodia is home to many competing companies[36] running frequent services from/to all major provinces. Direct destinations are Phnom Penh, Koh Kong and Kampot. Some companies offer services to Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap through a connection in Phnom Penh.

Long distance taxi[edit]

Taxis for long distance transportation are available at the bus station and in all hotels..


Wooden pier near Sihanoukville

Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem have daily ferry service.[37]

There are no more official scheduled boat services from or to Sihanoukville Province to Koh Kong Province.

Small long-tail boats and medium size cruising boats can individually be hired for sightseeing -, fishing -, diving - and drinking trips at guesthouses, travel agencies and diving operators.

Occasionally large cruise ships stop at the port during their voyages in Southeast Asia.


The moderate railway network of Cambodia is currently under re-construction by Toll Holdings which has obtained a concession.The currently rather deteriorated train station near the port used to - and will again - link the province with Phnom Penh via Kampot.


The 2008 census of Cambodia counted 199,902 inhabitants of Sihanoukville province.[38]

Population Projections for Sihanoukville Province 2008-2016[39]
Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Total 229,205 235,095 241,154 247,355 253,654 260,034 266,470 272,933 279,419
Male 114,680 117,735 120,872 124,076 127,324 130,607 133,913 137,227 140,545
Female 114,525 117,360 120,282 123,279 126,330 129,427 132,557 135,706 138,874
Annual Growth 2.57 2.58 2.57 2.55 2.52 2.47 2.43 2.38
Sex Ratio 100.1 100.3 100.5 100.6 100.9 101.0 101.1 101.2 101.3
Median Age 21.8 22.3 22.8 23.3 23.7 24.2 24.7 25.1 25.6

Khmer are the main ethnic group. In addition there are other groups like Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham, Thai, French, British, Korean Europeans, Australians and Americans, due to its status as an international port and a tourist destination. Krong Preah Sihanouk has a relative high Human Development Index (HDI)of 0.750 in average, compared to the national average HDI of 0.523.[40]


Yeay Mao, a guardian spirit at Pich Nil is venerated throughout the Sihanoukville province

Cambodian culture is of distinct Khmer origin and tradition based on Pan-East-Asian beliefs, among century-old minor Chinese and Vietnamese influences. The prolonged presence of foreign and Western people in the province contributes to a distinctly modern multi-cultural manifestation vastly influenced by modern media - in particular in Sihanoukville town..

The inhabitants of Sihanoukville province celebrate all traditional feasts of Cambodia and other festivities such as Cambodian New Year (April), Chinese New Year (between January and February), Water Festival (November), Pchum Ben (honor to the ancestors in October) and Kathen Ceremony (offerings to the bonzi (monks)) among a number of secular holidays (8 January, Day of Cambodian - Vietnamese Friendship).

The ethnic and minority religious groups celebrate Christmas Day (25 December) and Holy Week for the Catholics, Ramadan for the Muslims, Valentine's Day and the International New Year (31 December).


USS Gary docked at Sihanoukville Port

Sihanoukville used to be a municipality, it held the same status as a province. It was converted into a full province on December 22, 2008.[41] There is a provincial governor and three deputy governors. It is subdivided into 3 districts (Khan). The port has itsown autonomous administration.[42] The districts are divided in 22 communes and 94 villages.

ISO Code District Romanization Population Communes Villages
1801 មិត្តភាព Mittakpheap 67,440 5 19
1802 ព្រៃនប់ Prey Nob 75,142 14 65
1803 ស្ទឹងហាវ Stueng Hav 13,108 3 10


The Sihanoukville Autonomous Port was finished in 1960 as the international sea port of Cambodia. It has an area of 290 meters length and 28 meters width. Its exterior berth depth is 8.50 to 13 meters and 7.50 to 8.50 meters depth in the interior. Four medium vessels can simultaneously moor at the port.[42]

The port is located 18 kilometers/11 miles from the Kaong Kang Airport and 4 kilometers/2 miles from Sihanoukville town. Ships' passengers are allowed to visit Sihanoukville town. The terminal itself has no shopping center, banking or tourist offices, only toilets.[43]


As of 2004, there were 27 Theravada Buddhist pagodas in the province with a population of 1,918 bonzes.[44] Buddhist Pagodas are central in Cambodian culture as the defining spiritual source of villages and cities.

Pagodas/Wats in Sihanoukville province[45]
Name Official District Commune Village Abbot Congregation (p.p.) Monastery Image
Wat Bodh Meanchey វត្តពោធិ៍មានជ័យ Stung Hav Kampenh Ven. Leng Hee persons yes
Wat Ta Ney វត្តតានៃ Prey Nup Jerng Ko Ta Ney persons yes
Wat Jotannana/Wat Leu វត្ត Mittakpheap Sangkat Ven. Kiet Chanthuch persons yes
Wat Indannana/Wat Krom វត្ត Mittakpheap Sangkat Ven. Sassana Saingvara Moul Rorn persons yes
Wat O Tres វត្ត Mittakpheap Sangkat 4 persons no
Wat Ream វត្ត Prey Nup persons yes
Wat Uddom Vinnanaram វត្ត Prey Nup persons yes
Wat Kiri Swa Ra វត្ត Prey Nup Ream persons no
Wat Ream 3 វត្ត Prey Nup persons
Wat Uddom Priksa វត្ត Prey Nup persons
Source: Wats in Sihanoukville province - Templenews[45]

Sihanoukville province is home to other minor religious groups like Catholics, Muslims, Protestants and Animists. Other places of worship:

  • St. Michael's Church: It is the center of the Catholic communities. Every Sunday evening there is a celebration for faithful visitors to the port in English. The church was built in 1960 by sailors and it is located on the same hill as the Upper Pagoda, facing the port.
  • Iber Bikhalifah Mosque: It is run by the Muslim communities. It is located in Sihanoukville town, just at the popular Psah Leu (upper market) area.


The province hasn't got full educational coverage, but has improved during the last decade. The 2004 statistics[44] show the following centers of education: 33 pre-schools with 1,670 children, 52 primary schools with 34,863 students, 5 colleges with 4,794 students; 2 high schools with 1,449 students; 10 vocational training with 961 students and 13,728 students inprivate schools.

Private educational institutes in Sihanoukville are: Life University, University of Management and Economics, Built Bright University, Khmer Technology and Management Center, Don Bosco Technical School and Don Bosco Hotel School.

Sister cities[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^
  2. ^ "General Population Census of Cambodia 2008 - Provisional population totals" (PDF). National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning. 3 September 2008. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Philpotts, Robert (March 2006). A Port for Independence. England: Blackwater Books. p. 18. 
  5. ^ "Introducing Sihanoukville". Lonely Travel. Retrieved 5 February 2009. 
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