Ochheu Teal Beach, long, sandy and narrow, is the nicest beach closest to the port city of Sihanoukville. On Friday afternoon, beachgoers included passengers who disembarked hours earlier from the MS Westerdam. It is the cruise ship welcomed by Cambodia after other ports rejected it due to coronavirus fears.
The passengers left the ship after passing health checks that determined they were free of COVID-19, the deadly, fast-spreading coronavirus first reported in Wuhan, China.
The government of Cambodia, which has strong ties to Beijing, had allowed the stranded cruise liner to anchor off its coast Thursday morning prior to docking. The vessel, with 1,455 passengers and 802 crew on board, had been turned away by Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand and the U.S. territory of Guam. The ship, which is owned by U.S.-based Holland America Lines, left Hong Kong on February 1.