At the southern end of Occheuteal Beach, go up and over the small headland, Phnom Som Nak Sdach (Hill of the King’s Palace), and you’ll get to gloriously quiet Otres Beach, a seemingly infinite strip of casuarinas and almost-empty sand that can just about give southern Thailand a run for its money.
Developers have long been eyeing Otres Beach, and in 2010 a stretch of resorts was forcibly removed. But as of early 2012 developers had yet to build on the land they claimed and Otres was making a comeback.
When we visited, resorts and beach bars were springing up at such a rapid rate that Otres seemed in danger of losing its ‘mellow’ tag. Even so, Otres has cleaner water and is more relaxed than anything in Sihanoukville proper, and is lengthy enough that finding your own patch of private sand is not a challenge (just walk south).
About 700m south near the main cluster of guesthouses you’ll find Blue Lagoon Kitesurf Centre , which was just starting up when we dropped by. It’s located at Sunlord Seagarden resort. Owner Andy also runs daily boat tours to four islands.
Way down at the beach’s sleepy southern terminus, 2.5km south of Sunlord Seagarden, is Otres Nautica , a laid-back, French-run outfit that rents tandem sea kayaks (per hour US$4) and Hobie Cat sailing catamarans (per hour US$10) that you can take out to nearby islands. It also has a boat for snorkelling or island-hopping excursions.
Otres Beach is about 5km south of the Serendipity area. If going it alone, follow the road southeast along the beach and skirt the closed section; motorbikes can drive up and over the headland, but cars and remorks have to detour a bit inland. From the city centre, you can take Omui St from Psar Leu east out of town for 5km.