Big changes at Independence Beach

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I have no idea what it’s going to look like when they’re done, but Independence Beach is going through some big changes. They’re widening the road, for one thing, but that’s only the beginning.

Construction at Independence Beach SihanoukvilleThey seem to be doing major excavating at one end of the beach. They’re digging deep holes and may be planning on building a resort or something. Tractors were grooming part of the land closer to the Independence Hotel, so perhaps that’s going to be a park. We’ll just have to wait and see. Further along, the little beach restaurants are still there, but they’ve removed the goddess riding on a crocodile’s back I liked so much. They’re building a grander entrance.

Further along, in the area that used to be closed off, it looks like they’re creating public access. I read somewhere that they wanted Sokha Resort and the Independence Hotel to make beach access open to the public. It’s a good idea and I hope that’s what they’re doing.

New Independence Beach Sihanoukville sculptureThey’re also widening the road that leads from Ekareach Street to Independence Beach. It will be super-wide when they’re done and they’ve planted palms down the middle. From what I can tell, they’re attempting to make Independence Beach a major beach: probably to attract more customers to the huge developments that are going up between Independence Beach and Sokha Beach.

widening road to Independence Beach, Sihanoukville Cambodia

In July 2015, I wrote Sihanoukville Cambodia: a metropolis in the making. The article included a photograph of the site of the Sunrise Bay condominium site. There was nothing there at the time, but it seems to be going up fast. This is what it looked like when I rode past the site today.

big condominium development near Independence Beach, SihanoukvilleIt’s still just a shell, but gives you an idea of the scale of the project.

A recent article in the Khmer Times had the title: Up All the Way for Preah Sihanouk. The article quoted the CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, Chrek Soknim. He said improved infrastructure and the airport are attracting big investors. The article also mentioned a $3 billion dollar Chinese development slated for the province. The article didn’t say where it was going to be built, but at that cost, it probably won’t be in the center of town.

The article concluded with a quote from Dith Channa, owner of Lucky Real Estate: “There is only one direction for the province’s property sector, and it’s up all the way.” Whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends on your point of view. It doesn’t matter, though. It’s all happening and all we can do is sit back and watch.

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About Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider is a writer based in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where he has lived since 2006.
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