Neighbouring Thailand may have received all the press when it comes to idyllic beaches, but the south of Cambodia has its own beautiful coastline well worth exploring. You’ll find pristine rainforest, white sandy beaches and sleepy fishing villages that combine to make a wonderfully relaxing destination.

Much of the area suffered under the Khmer Rouge regime and relics of this era can still be seen scattered across the landscape. Kep, an affluent seaside resort in the 1950s, is dotted with the shells of colonial villas which once would have been filled by the French elite. Some of these have been turned into luxury boutique hotels, such as Knai Bang Chatt, allowing visitors to enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and great seafood this town has to offer.

Further north, close to the border with Thailand, is Koh Kong province. This is a wonderful destination for outdoor lovers with the Cardamon mountain range providing an imposing backdrop and ample opportunities for hiking. Canvas and Orchards Retreat is perched over the Tatai River and from here you can explore the forest, kayak through the mangroves and swim in waterfalls.

With almost 500km of coastline, mountain ranges and national parks, the south of Cambodia is a world away from the towering temples of Siem Reap. This is where you come for total relaxation and if you needed another reason to visit, it is also a great jumping off point for the white sandy beaches of the Koh Rong Archipelago.

What to do

  • Kayak through mangrove forests and swim in waterfalls
  • Relax on the beach
  • Enjoy delicious crab in colonial Kep
  • Explore the national parks