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Sihanoukville Province is in the south-west of Cambodia at the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital, also called Sihanoukville, is a deep-water port city, the country’s premier tourist destination and a steadily growing and diversifying urban center located on an elevated peninsula.
The province is named in honor of former king Norodom Sihanouk, who personally orchestrated the establishment of Sihanoukville city and the Sihanoukville municipality as this took place alongside the construction of the Sihanoukville Port, which commenced in June 1955. The only deep water port of Cambodia includes a mineral Oil terminal and a transport logisticsfacility.
Sihanoukville Province is divided into four districts, each with a distinct economic character, defined by size and location. In addition to the port and the growing tourism industry, the activities of countless NGO’s and international investment have contributed to an unprecedented economic growth of the province over the course of the last decade. Economic sectors, that further deserve mentioning are the textile industry and the rapidly expanding real estate market.
The islands and beaches of Sihanoukville province are an international tourist destination as visitor numbers have risen steadily over the course of the last two decades.
The initial Sihanoukville municipality was elevated to a regular province on 22 December 2008 after King Norodom Sihamonisigned a Royal Decree converting the municipalities of Kep, Pailin and Sihanoukville into provinces, as well as incorporating Kompong Seila district As one of Cambodia’s agriculturally and industrially most diverse province its economic future has a solid basis, although the essential sectors agriculture and tourism require a strict and permanent protection of the local natural resources.
The official name in Khmer is: Khaet (province) Preah (holy) Sihanouk (name of the former king), which adds up to: “Province of the holy Sihanouk” or “Honorable Sihanouk Province”. It honors the former king Norodom Sihanouk (reigned 1941–1955 and 1993–2004) who was and still is revered as the Father of the modern Nation,. Sihanouk himself suggested the official Western variant Sihanoukville. The name “Sihanouk” is derived from Sanskrit through two Pali words: Siha (lion), and Hanu (jaws).
The former name, Kompong Saom (also romanized as Kompong Som and Kampong Som), means “Port of the Moon” or “Shiva’s Port”. Saom is derived from the Sanskrit word “saumya”, the original (Rig Vedic) meaning of which was “Soma, the juice or sacrifice of the moon-god”, but evolved into Pali “moon”, “moonlike” “name of Shiva”. The word Kampong or Kompong is of Malayan origin and means village or hamlet. Its meaning underwent extension towards pier or river landing bridge.
Classical Period (before 1700)
Prior to the ports’ and city’s foundation works of 1955, no recorded settlement on the peninsula existed that was larger than a traditional trade and/or – fishing community. During the many centuries of pre-Angkorian and Angkorian history – from Funan to Chenla and during the Khmer Empire, regional trade was centered at O Keo (Vietnamese: Óc Eo) in the Mekong Delta, now the province of Rạch Giá in Vietnam. The township of Prei Nokor (Saigon) was a commercial center of the Khmer Empire. The Chronicle of Samtec Cauva Vamn Juon – one of the 18th- and 19th-century Cambodian Royal Chronicles – briefly mentions the region as the country was split into 3 parts during a 9-year civil war from 1476 to 1485: “In 1479, Dhammaraja took on the throne at Catumukh (Phnom Penh) and controlled the provinces of Samrong Tong, Thpong, Kompong Saom, Kampot up to the Bassak, Preah Trapeang, Kramuon Sar, Koh Slaket and Peam.
Continued reading at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sihanoukville_Province