2009 started with a blast, here on SihanoukVille's beaches. A light, unseasonal rain couldn't dampen our spirits as 2009 approached. About 12,000 tourists and locals lined Ocheteaul Beach for drinking, dancing, BBQ, and fireworks.
Now, in the second week of January, the temperature has dropped to freezing, which is in the mid to low 20's. Fortunately, we're not in America, where this would be be cold enough to freeze water. Here, it only relieves us of the daily heat.
Many improvements? to town lately, new traffic signals everywhere, the old market, which burned down last year is now the new market, and the new market is now the old new market. The bus station has moved from the center of town to the front of the old new market now.
The main road though downtown is being widened the full length, and sidewalks are being installed.
Bridge construction to Snake Island continues, and the marina is still almost finished. Some of the condos are now occupied.
Many new places have opened in town, and can be found in the Sihanoukville advertiser:
*The Terrace on Ocheteaul Beach has authentic Thai Cuisine.
*D.D. Canada has moved across the street and taken over The Marlin Hotel building
*Diving 4 Conservation has opened up scuba diving services on one of the islands.
*Aahaa Resort, behind Ocheteaul Beach has a Swedish managed hotel and restaurant
*Ocean Pearl Guesthouse and Bar opened across from Ocheteaul Beach with a German Bistro.
*Part-Art opened above Kangaroo Kitchen
*Funky Sun Silver, a silversmith shop with original designs opened up near Poco Loco.
*Maharajah Indian Restaurant, famous in Siem Reap has opened on Victory Hill.
*New travel services from MOttah and ABC opened around town.
*Holiday Palace Hotel & Casino opened up Palais Coffee downstairs and an Indonesian Restaurant upstairs.
*Golden Sunset Beach Bar, camping, restaurant opened on Otres Beach
*Aegean Guesthouse opened up next to Golden Sands Hotel & Casino.
Also, de Roos restaurant and Cinderella's Coffee on Ocheteaul Beach, Swiss Garden near the Golden Lions Circle, and Airport Disco, Bar & Restaurant, and the Indonesian Restaurant at Holiday Palace Casino on Victory Beach.
Other than that, the town has been full with the usual yearly residents, yearly returnees and their friends, tour groups, and cruise passengers.