Victory Hill Gets a Facelift!

hill - paved

A good friend of mine lives on a hill above Victory Hill. I always enjoy visiting him, but never enjoyed dodging the potholes on Ekareach Street after the stoplights on the Hill. A couple of months ago, it was even worse because they were laying pipes on the side of the road. When I went up to see him a few days ago, everything had changed. The road is wide and smooth now. Glancing to … Continue reading

Reflections on Hun Sen’s 30 Years in Power

hun sen

Back in 1985, I was preparing to move to Australia. The Vietnam War was behind us and I was oblivious to what was happening in Cambodia. I’m not proud of it, but I was still living in the American information bubble and Hun Sen’s rise to power wasn’t in the mainstream news. Here I am in Cambodia 30 years later and I seem to be one of Hun Sen’s few supporters. I may kick myself … Continue reading

Christmas in Sihanoukville 2014

sailing off otres beach, sihanoukville cambodia

On Christmas day, Sophie and I were in Psar Leu fighting the crowds. “Go Otres now,” Sophie said out of the blue. “Justin come now.” I wasn’t expecting him for at least another hour, but I’ve learned to listen to her when she says something like that. She can be amazingly intuitive. Sure enough, Justin and Annameeka were checking in at the beautiful new Sahaa Beach Resort when we rolled up on our motorbike. Because … Continue reading

A few tips for backpackers visiting Sihanoukville

naked barang arrested in sihanoukville

I’ve taken a hiatus from writing here because I’ve been flat-out with pre-Christmas freelance writing work. I have been thinking about what to write next, though. Would it be about the out of the way places to go to the beach, like the wonderful Sunset Lounge at the end of Ochheuteal? Would it be about Otres village, where I went yesterday because I didn’t want to go to the beach? I love to promote Sihanoukville, … Continue reading

Sihanoukville a hot travel destination

Sophie at Sihanoukville Airport prior to flight to Siem Reap

When I came here in 2007, it was a big deal when a cruise ship came to town. Now we get 30 every year. A couple of weeks ago, Sophie got a nice job taking a family from one of them for a tour around Sihanoukville. They had a great time because she hand picked the sights. Others aren’t so lucky. They hop on a tour bus after trudging off the docks, take a spin … Continue reading

Sand War on Occheuteal Beach!

Serendipity Road, Sihanoukville Cambodia

Okay, that’s my first attention grabbing headline. Before you panic, the “war” is a peaceful one between Sihanoukville authorities and owners of restaurants on Ochheuteal Beach. If you’ve ever been there before, you’ve noticed how the sand is covered with tables and chairs from the pier to the end of the developed area. If officials get their way, the tables and chairs will have to be removed so beachgoers can enjoy the beach without having … Continue reading

Writing about Sihanoukville Cambodia: the real story

book-cover-3d-2

The impetus for this blog was never profit. It’s always been to present Sihanoukville Cambodia through my eyes: the eyes of an expat who loves his adopted culture. It’s never been quite enough, though. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my personal life like? What’s the inside story about my Cambodian family? Except for the odd snippet, I rarely write about that side of life on my blog. Every week, I get … Continue reading

Is it time to stop criticising Cambodia?

off the grid

Criticising Cambodia seems to be the national pastime amongst expats in this country. They get plenty of fuel for their criticisms from the Western media, which can’t seem to find anything good to say about the country. Even when the news is good, they put a negative spin on it. When the news is justifiably bad, you can find parallels or even more egregious activities going on in the country the media is reporting from. … Continue reading

Back street cafes in Sihanoukville

snookys, sihanoukville cambodia

Snooky’s is an unpretentious guesthouse/restaurant/bar on a residential street near downtown Sihanoukville. One of the few downtown establishments to survive the downturn in traffic after the old bus station was torn down and the beaches developed, it just seems to go from strength to strength in its own quiet way. I used to go there for breakfast occasionally. Now it’s become one of my regular dinner spots. The vastly improved menu has something to do … Continue reading

Cambodia’s CNRP Gets Seriously Weird

"Isn't he the coolest president?" Uh. No.

I didn’t want to write about this, but it’s just too weird to let slide. Recently a group of CNRP (Cambodia National Rescue Party) supporters asked the United States if they could join the fight against the Islamic State. According to one supporter quoted in the Cambodia Daily, “We are Cambodian youth and we want to show our will and concern on international issues.” Another, more melodramatic CNRP supporter was quoted by the Phnom Penh … Continue reading