Three beaches in Preah Sihanouk province are among the top 22 in Asia for travelers who want an “undeveloped, peaceful stretch of sand,” according to Forbes magazine.
O’Tres Beach in Preah Sihanouk city, the nearby Ream Beach in Prey Nop district, and the sands of Koh Rong Samleon, an island off the coast, were cited in “Asia’s Best Beaches,” a Sunday article on the New York-based publication’s website.
Six “experts” were consulted for the magazine’s list, which cited beaches from New Zealand to Sri Lanka to China without providing rankings.
One member of that panel makes his home in Cambodia: Dutch-born Bart Kluskens, a conservation adviser for Song Saa luxury resort, which is being built on Koh Ouen island, also off Preah Sihanouk city.
Mr Kluskens picked Ream Beach because it is accessible and perfect for nature lovers, he is quoted as saying in the magazine.
“For bird watchers, there are large areas of mangroves,” he says. “It’s a beautiful area. It’s also an accessible area, because it’s on the mainland.”
Reached by telephone yesterday, Mr Kluskens cited the untouched forest on Koh Rong Samleon as one of the reasons he chose it for the list. He also said the island is more pristine than Ream Beach, with tourists only beginning to arrive in the last two years.
“The farther you get out from the mainland, the islands are more and more beautiful,” he said.
The third Cambodian beach on the list, O’Tres, was selected by Eliza Anderson, the public relations manager of Australian-based Intrepid Travel.
“We chose O’Tres Beach because we find it to be more remote than other beaches in the area,” she wrote in an e-mail yesterday. “It’s easy to find a spot on the sand but the hawkers still come there, meaning tourists can still enjoy the delicious fruit and food of Cambodia.”
Ho Vandy, co-chairman of the Government-Private Sector Forum Working Group of Tourism, said yesterday that exposure from the Forbes article could attract more tourists, who might then visit other parts of the country.