Sihanoukville is a sleepy beach town in Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. In December, the beach is a great place to watch Mother Nature do her thing in spectacular fashion.
Named after a Cambodian King, Sihanoukville isn’t easy to get to, but it is worth the hassle. If you’re coming from Thailand, the best choice is to cross the border at Koh Kong and grab a boat to Sihanoukville. The boat takes roughly four hours, but beats taking on Cambodian roads, which are pure hell. If you’re coming from any location inside of Cambodia, try to get to the major highway between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville as it is the only road without potholes, missing bridges, etc.
Sihanoukville bends up and around a point of land on the Gulf of Thailand. The town can best be described as being like a beach resort in Thailand sans the tourist masses. Rooms on the beach will set you back five to 10 dollars a night, which isn’t much to watch a spectacular light show.
Mother nature has a habit of burning off excess energy in the Gulf of Thailand every December. This particular metaphysical yoga comes in the form of lightning. Lots of it.
Starting around nine in the evening, the sky becomes a cascade of rolling thunder and bolts of blazing light. The entire show takes place maybe twenty miles or so offshore, so you get all of the effect without the risk.
The best place to watch Mother Nature do her thing is Ochheuteal Beach. The beach is long and narrow, but lined with little restaurants. The tables for these restaurants consist of small footstools sitting between to beach chairs next to the water. The food is good and you won’t find a better seat in the house for the light show.
The light show is incredibly captivating. The entire sky will light up in one blast to then be followed by a trail of lightning strikes moving across the sky. To enhance the impact, the restaurants have a habit of playing music. As the show progresses, one starts to get the feeling the lightning is happening in synchronicity with the music.
Hey, maybe Mother Nature likes Pink Floyd!