Our Cambodian New Year

Its Khmer New Year this week. I look forward to it with a mixed feelings. On the one hand, Sihanoukville becomes insanely busy for the entire week and I hate it when I have to go into town. On the other hand, we always go to some wats and have a great family day out. Yesterday we went to two wats. Both of them are out near Virh Rienh, where my Cambodian family lived when … Continue reading

Dinner at Home in Sihanoukville

A funny thing happened just before dinner this evening. I was playing with our 8 month old son, Kelly while Sopheak was cooking. She was cooking on our “BBQ” stove, the clay pot we have outside and the one both she and her mother prefer to our gas stove. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, she grabbed a flashlight and started walking down the metre wide strip of land between our house and our neighbour’s. She … Continue reading

Things to Do First in Sihanoukville

When you arrive in Sihanoukville, it will probably be by bus. As soon as you get off the bus, you will be surrounded by tuk tuk and motorbike drivers. Each of them will encourage you to go to some guesthouse or other. Who should you choose? Ideally, you would already know where you want to go, but this is rarely the case for first time arrivals. If the driver speaks English, I suggest you ask … Continue reading

Five Reasons Why I Like Cambodia’s PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen gets a bad rap from some quarters, but just about everybody admits that since he took the helm in Cambodia, the country has come a long way. These are five reasons why I like him: He Outlawed Guns: One of the first books I read about Cambodia was by an expat who was here in 1998. He mentioned that every night the sound of gunfire in the streets kept him from … Continue reading

My Favourite Sihanoukville Beach

You won’t find my favourite Sihanoukville beach in any guidebooks. It is centrally located between Independence Beach and Sokha Beach, but as far as I know,  it doesn’t even have a name. The truth is, there’s not even much sand to speak of along my favourite stretch of this beach, but there’s a wonderful pier that is virtually always deserted. This is where we go when we want to get away from it all for … Continue reading

Writing Workshop Coming to Sihanoukville

Compared with the border dispute with Thailand, rising commodity prices and political unrest in the Middle East this may not be big news, but it’s exciting news for me. My friend and writing mentor, Jan Cornall is coming to Sihanoukville at Easter and will be giving a mini-writing workshop at Q&A Bookshop. I’ve pasted our first flyer below: Creative Writing Workshop with Jan Cornall Have you always wanted to write a travel memoir, life story … Continue reading

Media Behind the Times in Sihanoukville

Not long after I moved to Sihanoukville, I received a phone call from some friends who were in Vietnam and wanted to come over and visit me here. They were very upset, because they couldn’t find the train to Sihanoukville. “There is no train to Sihanoukville,” I told them. “Yes there is. It says so in Lonely Planet,” they replied, a note of defiance in their voice.  Instead of taking my word for it, they … Continue reading

Sihanoukville Airports

There are two airports in Sihanoukville. Planes don’t fly in or out of either of them. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the real Sihanoukville Airport near Ream National Park to open. The other one, the Airport Fashionable Disco has an airplane in the hangar that will never fly. It doesn’t matter, though. It makes a great backdrop to Sihanoukville’s most fashionable public beach. The beach in front of the Airport is the widest … Continue reading

The New Sihanoukville Bridge

Sometime around Christmas of 2010, we had lunch at Hawaii Beach for the first time in at least a couple of years. The last time we were there, there were rumours that a new bridge was going to be constructed to link Sihanoukville with the nearest island. It was an ambitious Russian plan to develop the island into a tourist resort. At the time, no one was sure whether there was any truth to the … Continue reading