We stayed at Otres 2 and really really liked it. Clean, white beach, fringed with Casuarina trees, gently shelving clear blue warm sea with maybe a dozen guest houses and hotels. Who could wish for more?
We stayed at the Tamu, (see review) and found plenty to occupy ourselves. We hired Kayaks and Hobies from Otres Nautica and Kayaked up the mangrove river and I am reliably informed there is good snorkelling off the small island directly off shore. We walked most days between Otres 1 and 2, about 1½ km of empty beach with a few sunbathers and yoga devotees. Otres 2 is a bit busier, more bars, more sun beds, and activities available, but still very laid back. 10 minutes away by tuk tuk you have Sihanoukvillle, younger back packers, and vibrant. Parts are a bit commercial, but that can be useful and fun in small doses, and a plethora of places to eat and drink to suit all tastes and budgets.
We sailed on a yacht for a day, quad biked, fly boarded, explored on mopeds. I loved wandering through Psa Leu looking at the range of fruit, vegetables, watching the coconut milk and cane juice being squeezed, jewellery made and repaired, money changers, meat and fish, it was vast and had everything. The supermarket in Downtown has the essentials such as milk, water, alcohol, tonics, chocolate, all at good value, then a juice and cake at the Starfish bakery round the corner.
We took a tuk tuk to the waterfall, which obviously gets very busy judging by all the day huts and hammocks, perhaps not too spectacular in the dry season, but quite pretty and a change from the beach.
We also spent a Saturday night at Otres Market which was a pleasant evening, a tattooist, a clothes stall, various food stalls, a bar and live music in very mellow surroundings.
I followed this forum for more than a year prior to both this visit and visiting Angkor Wat last January and got very worried before my visit to Sihanoukville, reading how it is seedy, dangerous, a hot bed of crime and not as much to offer as Thailand. We saw some evidence of sex tourism, but less than in Thailand, and at no time felt any risk to person or property. The beach is as good as any I have visited in Thailand. There were two areas at Otres 2 where it was filthy, but elsewhere no worse than anywhere in Asia. We liked the fact that it is less developed and still very good value and everyone we met could not have been nicer or friendlier. People have different expectations and we certainly fulfilled ours in Otres 1 & 2 and Sihanoukville. We would return at the drop of a hat. Anyone that is thinking of going – do not listen to the detractors!