Coffee Houses in Sihanoukville Go Upmarket

twin lotus sihanoukville coffee house outside

Even the World Bank has figured out that Cambodia’s economy has been growing. They’ve elevated its economic status to “lower middle income.” Since the economy has been growing by 6 to 7 percent per year since before I came here almost 10 years ago, it kind of makes sense. Yes, there’s still a lot of poverty here, but there is also a growing middle class. You can see it in the traffic and you can … Continue reading

Pchum Ben in Sihanoukville 2016


I’ve written about Pchum Ben before. The first time was in 2011 and the second in 2012. There are probably other posts about it, too, but those two will give you some background about this two week long celebration. We usually go to wats (temples) far from Sihanoukville over Pchum Ben, but this year we stayed close to home. Last week we went to Wat Otres. This week, we went to Wat Leu. It’s been … Continue reading

A Visit to Klang Leu

klang leu

When you drive into or out of Sihanoukville on Route 4, you pass an uninspiring looking row of retail shops. That’s the visible part of Klang Leu. What you don’t see is the residential district just behind the shops. Sopheak’s sister lives there and we visit now and then. It’s like another world from Sihanoukville. I took the shortcut to Klang Leu. It took less than 10 minutes to get there from the new Douceur … Continue reading

From Sihanoukville Port to Hun Sen Beach

boat builders sihanoukville cambodia

I’ve taken the road from the Sihanoukville port to Hun Sen Beach many times before, but never explored the nooks and crannies of the village by the water. One day it may be gone, so I decided today was the day I was going to take some photos. I’m glad I did. I rode out to Hun Sen Beach before I started taking pictures, so this will be a tour in reverse. Hun Sen Beach … Continue reading

The Road from Otres to Sihanoukville Airport

road from otres to ream4

I’ve been wanting to take the new road from Otres to the Sihanoukville Airport for a while now. Today was the perfect day for it: no rain, a little overcast and windy. I was hesitant after a friend hit a rock and had a bad accident, but another friend told me it was smooth now. She was right. I told myself I wasn’t going to get distracted by new developments. It wasn’t easy, because I … Continue reading

Sihanoukville Journal versus Expat Journal

new header image(1000w)

When I started my Sihanoukville Journal, everything about Sihanoukville was interesting to me. I’ve been here almost ten years now and it just feels like home to me now. That’s one reason why I’m not updating my journal as much as I used to. I write a lot of opinion pieces here, but steer away from stories that aren’t related to Cambodia or Sihanoukville. Those stories I publish on my other blog, Expat Journal. As … Continue reading

Two perfect weekends in Sihanoukville

book and coffee in sihanoukville

My idea of a perfect weekend is going to a café with a good book and following it up with a swim. Everything cooperated with me the past two weekends, so I enjoyed two perfect weekends in Sihanoukville. I finally got my copy of Brian Gruber’s War: The Afterparty and the weather has been nice the past two weekends. I go to Escape on Serendipity Road on weekends for my coffee. I go there for … Continue reading

My favourite Sihanoukville restaurant


I eat out almost every night. A creature of habit, I rarely try new restaurants, but have about half a dozen I go to regularly. Lately I’ve been going to Pat’s Place on the Hill about three times a week. It’s not the fanciest restaurant I could go to, but it’s my favourite restaurant in Sihanoukville. I don’t particularly like hanging out on the Hill, but Pat’s Place is different. It’s a family run business … Continue reading

Is Ocean Box the best café in Sihanoukville?

Coffee houses of Sihanoukville Ocean Box

The Ocean Box Cafe may be the best café in Sihanoukville. It’s a little out of the way and a little expensive by Sihanoukville standards, but there’s something about it that makes it special and worth visiting. It’s run by a young Cambodian and most of the patrons are young to youngish Cambodians. I went there with friends on Saturday. It was packed and as some patrons left, others poured in. Most of them were … Continue reading

Looking back: 10 years in Cambodia

Sarat 2006

It’s hard to believe, but the first time I visited Cambodia was nearly 10 years ago. I was going to wait until September to write this post, but something happened yesterday that prompted me to write today. The kid in the photograph below is Sopheak’s little brother, Sarat. I met him in September or October of 2006 at his home in Khmeng Wat. The rain started to fall and he went outside to celebrate. I … Continue reading