Signs of the times in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville Autonomous Port

I’ve read a barrage of stories about Sihanoukville recently. The one thing they all have in common is that they support my recent contention that Sihanoukville is a metropolis in the making. Unfortunately, some of my reading has been in print media and I can’t find the articles online, so you’ll just have to trust me. It started when I read that Sihanoukville Airport was being upgraded to accommodate international flights. This was always the … Continue reading

Two sides to the 2015 Cambodia NGO law debate

There is a dark side to some NGOs, too.

The acronym NGO is almost synonymous with sainthood in the minds of many people. Non-Governmental Organisations are there to help people, right? They stay out of politics and selflessly do whatever they’re set up to do, whether it’s feeding the poor; giving children a better education; or providing healthcare. Some NGOs do those things. Others do them, but with an agenda that might not be in the interests of the culture they’re trying to help. … Continue reading

Secret beaches of Sihanoukville

click image for full size

I read another “authoritative” article about the noisy, congested beaches of Sihanoukville the other day. As usual, it was by someone who came here for a few days and spent all their time on Ochheuteal beach. Since they spent all of a few days in the one spot, they decided they were an authority on the subject of Sihanoukville. They mentioned Otres as an alternative, but didn’t give any details and an uninformed reader would … Continue reading

Sihanoukville Cambodia: a metropolis in the making

building resort on sihanoukville beach

“Sihanoukville Cambodia: a metropolis in the making” – that’s a pretty bold headline, but it’s not off-the-mark. I’ve even been a little bit in denial about it, but a motorbike ride from Independence Beach to Serendipity Beach made me realise that it’s happening. I began my ride by going up Ekareach Street, where I noticed a lot of vacant lots were being filled in. Turning left at the stoplights at the Hill, I was relieved … Continue reading

Real Estate in Sihanoukville

apartments in sihanoukville

Long time, no post. I’ve been busy editing my book, which is now up to 80,000 words. In the meantime, Sihanoukville continues to grow at an almost alarming rate. Apartments are being built all over the place. Why? It’s because of the influx of workers and residents. Real Estate in Sihanoukville The last boom in real estate occurred in 2007. Then the recession hit. According to an article in the Khmer Times, Beach Property Prices … Continue reading

An art exhibit in Sihanoukville?

art exhibit(2)

Sihanoukville doesn’t exactly have a reputation as the cultural centre of Cambodia.  Siem Reap gets that distinction, in part because of its proximity to Angkor Wat. We do have a lot of locals and expats who are talented artists, though, and they finally got the chance to exhibit their work right here in Sihanoukville. The 1st (hopefully annual) Sihanoukville Visual Arts Expo is at Sandan Restaurant, just 50 metres or so down the road towards … Continue reading

The Mellow Side of Ochheuteal Beach

sunset-lounge-beach-ochheuteal-beach

The Phnom Penh Post finds it hard to say anything good about Cambodia, so I wasn’t surprised when I read the headline: Ochheuteal Beach is the worst tourist trap in all of Cambodia. To my surprise, I actually agreed with some of what the 2012 article said. “Ochheuteal is why the rest of Sihanoukville is unfairly tarnished as the creeping Pattaya of Cambodia,” the author wrote and I couldn’t agree with him more. I never … Continue reading

Khmer New Year 2015: what’s it all about?

khmer new year in khmer

If you’ve ever been to Cambodia at this time of year, you might wonder why Khmer New Year lasts so long. We Westerners go nuts on one night a year, while Cambodians celebrate New Year’s for days. I knew it officially lasted a few days, but in reality carried on for about a week, but that was about all. When the STA posted the following document from the Cambodia Hotel Association on their Facebook page, … Continue reading

New Water Park in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville Cambodia water park

The four kids in our household have been hanging out for the opening of the new water park in Sihanoukville ever since the day I foolishly pointed it out to them a couple of months ago. Well, the big day came just two days ago when free entry was offered for its opening day. Since I had to work, we couldn’t go until the afternoon. That’s probably just as well, because if we had gone … Continue reading

US Embassy Phnom Penh warns about the mean streets of Cambodia

“When I ride my motorbike, I always wear my six-guns on my hips and carry a knife between my teeth. My steely eyes strike fear into the hearts of would-be attackers.” I wrote this in response to an absurd story in the Phnom Penh Post. Crime Level ‘Critical’ in Cambodia: US was the title. After listing incidents that warranted this “Critical” rating, these sage words of advice were offered: U.S. officials were also told that … Continue reading