Why you should visit Otres in rainy season

A little way out of Sihanoukville, Otres beach is a welcoming haven away from the craziness of the kingdom. With white sand, clear seas and a horizon dotted with tropical islands, it is the perfect place to unwind, even when stormy days are forecast. Despite the occasional grey clouds, for a lot of us here on Otres, rainy season is our favorite time of year, and the quieter days give us the opportunity to kick back, relax and enjoy our beachside paradise.

Otres Beach sunset

Don’t miss the rainy season sunsets on Otres Beach.

These days, Otres actually consists of three different communities; the beach-side Otres 1 and Otres 2, linked by a kilometer long stretch of empty sand, and Otres Village, a peaceful riverside neighborhood set back into the jungle. In high season, the community is buzzing, with tourists, travelers, expats and locals flocking to the beach, seeking sun, sea and sand with a bit of hedonistic pleasure thrown in for good measure. From luxury resorts to backpacker bungalows and laid-back acoustic sessions to all night jungle raves, Otres is the perfect place to find what you’re looking for. In fact, so much so that many travelers find themselves marooned here for months and even years on end, myself included.

From about May onward, the heady mix of parties and people slowly starts to tail off. With the onset of the rains and tourist numbers diminishing, a few places close up for the season, while others batten down the hatches with copious amounts of tarp, dropping their prices to attract the few travelers that haven’t been put off by the weather. The threat of rain is not usually the best accompaniment to a relaxing beach break, but with a plethora of activities, low season discounts and a distinctively more mellow vibe, Otres is the ideal place to weather out the storm, if there even is one anyway.

Despite June through October being known as the rainy season, it doesn’t actually rain every day. Sometime we get weeks of beautiful weather with just the odd downpour, enjoying hot sunny days and fancy cocktails on an all but empty beach. But, even if you do get caught out in the storm, the monsoon is a sight to behold, with lightning shooting across the sky and rain thundering down. The beach storms are the best, where you can watch the clouds roll in and the wind start whipping. If you can time it right, it’s the perfect time to go sailing, the hull of the boat gliding across the waves as fast as you can go. Sometimes the rain never actually hits, and at night you can sit on the beach and watch the dark clouds illuminated with a spectacular lightning show across the wide expanse of ocean, or swim in a sea full of blue phosphorescence, while the sky lights up overhead.

Sihanoukville rainy season

See? It’s still beautiful in rainy season.

Rainy season sunsets are also the best sunsets, where all the clouds burst with color as the sun sinks over the distant peaks of Koh Rong. Watching sunset is a religious activity here, especially in low season. In high season, the sun descends like a big ball of fire through a hazy sky, but in the rainy season, the sky is transformed into a watercolor painting of swirls and spirals, the sun sinking through fluffy clouds onto a horizon dotted with far away fishing boats. Sometimes the rain gets in the way of our perfect sunsets, but the almost- nightly procession of locals and tourists down to the sunbeds to eat freshly cooked squid and watch the show unfold is a definite highlight of anyone’s time on Otres.

One of the biggest draws of rainy season for most visitors is how quickly you can become part of the Otres family. There’s a big community here, and low season is our time to let our hair down, to dance in the rain, to take our boogie boards into the ocean and remember why we’re here in the first place. The stresses of high season fade into distant memories and suddenly everyone has more time to do what they want to do. There’s an almost nightly schedule of events on the beaches and in the village, from live music to ping pong tournaments and trivia nights, but the occasional rainy days are also a good excuse to stay in, watch movies or binge on TV show and eat pizza, just like home.

beautiful day on Otres Beach

Another beautiful day on Otres Beach…in rainy season.

All too often, travelers and tourists write off the beach for a relaxing break during the rainy season, presuming that every day will be a washout and that there’s nothing to do. But, for those who do make the trek down to our beautiful beach, a relative wonderland awaits, with sunny days, epic thunderstorms, the best sunsets in the world and a great new family who would never let a little bit of rain get in the way of having a good time.

Otres Weekly Schedule

  • Mon: Roast Dinner at Wish You Were Here, Otres 1
  • Tues: Trivia at Papa Pippo’s, Otres 1, Live music at Stray Cats, Otres Village
  • Wed: Pool Tournament at Ubuntu Family Guesthouse, Otres Village
  • Thurs: Table Tennis at The Brew House, Otres Village, Absinthe Tasting & Tours at the SYN Distillery, Otres Village
  • Fri: Shenanigans at Wish You Were Here, Otres 1, Live Music & BBQ at Mom’s By Beach, Otres 1, Psytrance at Otres Corner, Otres 1
  • Sat: Open mic, live music & DJs at Otres Market, Otres Village
  • Sun: Family dinner at Done Right, Otres 1, Sunday Sessions at Wish You Were Here, Otres Village, Nick’s Sunday Dinner at Hacienda, Otres Village

Night owls should also check out Sea Garden on Otres 1, The Village Idiot in Otres Village and Hacienda in Otres Village for drinks and cocktails, interesting discussions and late night bar debates.

Otres also has a wide variety of late night food options if you get the midnight munchies. Papa Pippo’s on Otres 1 do take-away pizza until 2:30 a.m., Chicando’s deliver chicken or hummus wraps, chicken dippers, chips and sausage rolls all through the night and The Frying Yorkshireman delivers fish and chips across Otres until 2 a.m

Wish You Were Here
Open daily, 7 a.m. to midnight (later on Sundays)
Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres 1, Sihanoukville
T: 097 241 5884

Papa Pippo’s
Open daily, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Late night pizza until 2.30 a.m. every day except Saturdays
Italian Restaurant, Bar & Bungalows, Otres 1, Sihanoukville
T: 010 359 725

Stray Cats

Open daily, 8 a.m. to midnight (4 a.m. on Tuesdays)
Bar & Guesthouse, Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T: 071 476 2145

Family Guesthouse Ubuntu

Open daily, 9 a.m. to midnight
Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T: 090 784 734

The Brew House
Open daily, 5:30 p.m. to midnight
Bar & Restaurant, Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T: 071 869 8475

SYN Absinthe Distillery
Open daily for tours 5:30 p.m.; Thursday nights from 5:30 p.m. to late
Absinthe Distillery, Bar & Treehouse, Otres Village (opposite Hacienda), Sihanoukville

Mom’s by the Beach
Open daily, 9 a.m. to midnight (later on Fridays)
Khmer Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres 1, Sihanoukville

Otres Corner

Open all day, every day
Bar, Otres 1, Sihanoukville

Otres Market
Open Saturdays 7 p.m. ’til late
Live Music, DJs, Market Stalls, Food & Drinks, Otres Village, Sihanoukville

Done Right
Open daily from 7 a.m. to midnight
Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres 1, Sihanoukville
T: 034 630 1100

Open daily from 8 a.m. ’til late
Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres Village, Sihanoukville
T: 0886841661

Sea Garden
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (sometimes later)
Bar, Restaurant & Guesthouse, Otres 1, Sihanoukville
T: 0962538131

The Village Idiot
Open daily from 5:30 p.m. ’til late
Late night Bar, Otres Village, Sihanoukville

Open all day, every day
Food delivery all day and night around Otres, Sihanoukville
T: 096 476 2282

The Frying Yorkshireman
Open daily from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Late night fish and chips delivery around Otres, Sihanoukville
T: 097 203 6437

7 Responses to Why you should visit Otres in rainy season

    David says:

    Well put! We just returned to Phnom Penh after spending 10 at Otres 2 at the beautiful White Boutique Hotel. My wife and I just said that it was probably the best vacation we ever had.

    Bruce N says:

    Great post, Cassie. i just added another spot to the bucket list!!

    Sergejs says:

    Thanks a lot for the great blog! It was very helpful for me

    In regard of
    “but the almost- nightly procession of locals and tourists down to the sunbeds to eat freshly cooked squid and watch the show unfold ”
    I am unable to find any sign of it at Otres 1, probably it is all at Otres 2?

    Also, often referred 5USD BBQ dinners nowhere to see at Otres 1, probably it is more about Ochhetual ?


      Cassie says:

      Hey Sergejs!

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the read and made it down here for rainy season! I hope you had an awesome time on Otres. A lot of the beach is quite quiet here at the moment, but you’ll always find a good sunset crew at SeaGarden, Mom’s Beach and Papa Pippo’s (Otres 1), and even when it’s raining the squid and langoustine ladies can always be found walking up and down the beach with their portable grills and baskets full of goodies!

      Mom’s also does a great 5USD BBQ on Friday nights and sometimes during the week as well, and you’ll find some great reasonably priced food spots on the street behind too, like the Khmer place outside of Done Right. Ochheuteal does have a bigger range of reasonably priced BBQ options during rainy season, but come high season, the BBQ at Sunshine on Otres 1 is certainly the place to be.

      SeaGarden is jumping right now if you’re still around and want somewhere fun to hang out and drink a beer. Saturday nights are also great fun in the village too, with Hacienda, Bob’s and Mizza’s (opposite Hacienda) great places to grab a drink and play some pool.

      Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

        Sergejs says:

        Thanks a lot Cassie for such a comprehensive respond!
        It does contains a lot of really useful info for me.

        I am unable to locate Mom’s – all I know it’s “on the main road”(I guess it the first beach road), and sound pics of eat.
        Can you please give me some more precise benchmark – near what guest house or other marked on Google maps establishment it is located, or may be you have its geo coordinates, or orientation if approach from the beach.

        Thanks a lot in advance,

        Have a nice day!

          Cassie says:

          Hey Sergejs,

          Mom’s is on the beach between Vanny’s and Friend’s Forever. The coordinates are approximately 10.572826, 103.550942.

          Alternatively, if you’re on the beach already then it’s 8 places down beachside from Papa Pippo’s (the end of Otres 1) and almost opposite Wish You Were Here, a closed place called Rockstar/Moonlight Rock and a shop called Ryganas’ Mart. The friendly folk over at Wish will definitely be able to point you in the right direction if you ask!

          Mom’s used to be called Blame Canada, but Mom took it over about 6 months ago and now runs the Friday night parties and provides great food every day of the week! She’s also awesome if you need any travel arrangements or visa requirements or have any questions about Cambodia.

          The village is also pretty fun, Hacienda is jumping a lot of the time and there’s a pool tournament and dinner at Ubuntu tomorrow night as well. Or if you’re set on the beach then Wish do a great Sri Lankan curry on Thursdays!


    Suzanne says:

    It makes me want to run straight back. A piece of my heart will always be there and thank you for the reminder Cassie, so eloquently put x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.