As you may notice in your travels, Sihanoukville has a different look and feel than most Cambodian towns. There is no Colonial architecture or ancient pagodas. Constructed as a port city in the late 1950s, the town is much newer, more urban and cosmopolitan than most Cambodian provincial cities. The history of Sihanoukville goes back only as far as 1955 when the area was known as Kampong Som. In August of that year, a French/Cambodian construction team cut a base camp into the unoccupied jungle in the area that is now known as ‘Hawaii Beach.’ They laid the groundwork for the construction of the new Port of Kampong Som.