The Gulf of Thailand offers superb sailing conditions in a warm tropical climate and consistent trade winds of 10 to 15 knots all year round makes Cambodia an idyllic sailing destination. Sailing between the islands and passing by the tiny handmade fishing craft of the local Cambodian fishing villages is an experience in itself. There are many beaches, waterfalls and even Buddhist shrines to explore.
Most of the islands (but not all of them) are truly pristine and completely unspoiled. The only people you will encounter are the locals from the few tiny fishing villages, living their lives as they have always done.
Sihanoukville offers plenty of sailing opportunities, but there is also a sailing club in Kep.
Sail Cambodia runs a unique 45 feet racing yacht – the Cygnet – offering daytrips, overnight and weeklong charters to the outer islands. Day trips to the nearby islands for snorkelling, swimming and picnicking. They can also arrange your bare boat sailing adventure along the Cambodian coastline and the 30 some off-lying islands. Alternatively you could choose to start in Thailand and sail one way through the Koh Chang Archipelago and on to the Cambodian coastline and islands, finishing your sailing adventure in Sihanoukville. Or sail one way from Cambodia to Thailand. They have a range of keel-boats and catamarans, from 35 to 52 feet to choose from. Sail Cambodia can also arrange kayaks, windsurfers, hooka gear or a rendezvous with a scuba diving boat.
The Golden Sunset Beach Restaurant at the end of Otres Beach offers kayaks for rent (by hour or by the day,) organized kayak adventures and boat tours. Kayak from Otres Beach to nearby Koh Chaluh Island to go snorkelling. Island boat trips and island camping can be arranged.
Golden Sunset Beach Restaurant Tel: +855 (0)12 812087
Affordable sailing club operating off Otres Beach. Has catamarans, lasers, sailing boats, sea kayaks as well as other vessels. Provides lessons and rental for beginner and expert sailors. Also small fishing speed boats for rent.
Otres Nautica Otres Beach, Sihanoukville Tel: +(855) (0)92-230065
Kep Sailing Club
A more upscale sailing club can be found in Kep at the Knai Bang Chatt resort. Perched on the edge of the ocean, it’s actually a restored fisherman’s house, built in the traditional Cambodian style, on stilts with a pier and a dock where you can swim and sunbathe. The large wooden veranda juts out over the sea and means you can sit sipping cocktails and snacking on seafood while watching the sunset and fishing boats returning home with their catches. To sail, hire one of their three Hobie cats or take a speedboat out to sea. For pure physical workout, kayaks are perfect for calm waves. Sailing instruction is available.
Knai Bang Chatt Sailing Club Open: Tuesday through Sunday 10 am – 11 pm Info or boat reservations: +855 (0)92 882 750 Prices: Canoe (1 hr.) USD 4 Hobie Cat wave 13″ (1 hr.) USD 15 Hobie Cat wave 16″ (1 hr.) USD 25 Sailing/surf instructions (1 hr.) USD 5
No boats on the Mekong
There are boat tours from Siem Reap to the floating villages on the Tonle Sap, and you can catch a boat from Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese border. But, as far as we know, there are no possibilities to hire a private boat and navigate the Mekong. E.g. from Phnom Penh to Kratie or even further to Stung Treng. Why not? There is the Mekong Discovery Trail, but all trails are mainly on land along the Mekong, not on the river. As there is not much traffic on the Mekong, we think it would be a great addition to Cambodia’s attractions to have rental boats on that river. Of course a boat trip on the Mekong would be for the more adventurous traveller as there is almost nothing what could be called ‘services’.
However, there are trips on a 2-deck cruise boat between Phnom Penh and the Laos border, where at points during the journey you can set out for kayaking trips through the flooded forests of the Mekong Wetlands and see freshwater dolphins.