Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bye Bye 2008, From SihanoukVille, Cambodia.

2008 is coming to an end soon, and it's been a great year in SihanoukVille.

Worldwide recession, sky high gas prices, food costs skyrocketing, a one day border war, now the main airport in Thailand is shut down, (and the secondary one) where everyone transfers to and from Cambodia, visa renewals for tourists and businesspeople wishing to remain in Cambodia have stopped, and yet the rain in the dry season hasn't, yet tourism is still booming here.

Several dozen new guesthouses, hotels and resorts, restaurants, tour companies, and entertainment venues have opened in town, prices are coming down, the weather is improving, and SihanoukVille is only getting more popular.

Ocheteaul and Serendipity Beaches have seen the biggest improvements, with a number of both backpacker guesthouses and mini-resorts moving in. The restaurant selection has tripled in the last year.

The new airport is opened? but doesn't have any flights yet, except for charters. This year has seen the most visitors from cruise ships, and 2009 should be even better. All the world's navies want to be friends with SihanoukVille, and we've even seen the first Chinese naval ship in the county. Also, the American, French, Australian, and Indian navies have been here.

The number of Casinos has quadrupled in the last year, and one more (at least) is due soon. Cambodia's first inland sea marina is almost finished, and Cambodia's first bridge between the mainland and an island has started. The tallest building in SihanoukVille, and once all of Asia, the 7 story hotel at Independence Beach was renovated and newly opened for the first time in a couple decades.

During all the big holiday weekends and weeks, all the rooms in town were filled, with people sleeping on the beach as well. (take note: Christmas / New Years is coming up. Think "reservations").

2009, see you soon!

Another day in Paradise.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

SihanoukVille update. November 2008

A lot of changes happening in and around SihanoukVille these days. The only thing that hasn't changed is the weather. For the first time in memory, the rains are still coming down in early November. Global warming is happening everywhere.

Many new places have opened in SihanoukVille..... (thanks to the SihanoukVille Advertiser)

Holiday Palace Casino features Cambodia's first Indonesian restaurant

The Red House, from Phnom Penh has opened a branch here serving Singaporean and Malaysian Food.

We've got Cambodia's first miniature golf course, in back of Pim's restaurant on Ocheteaul Beach.

Sweet Chili, serving authentic Indian food, opened on the main street

Pim's has SihanoukVille's first Traditional Cambodian Apsara dance show (well.... except for Chi Khmer).

The Red Snapper Guesthouse has reopened after renovations

as has The Blue Frog Guesthouse.

L'Ambassade Guesthouse and restaurant on Victory Hill has reopened.

Hurricane Windsurfing on Otres Beach has opened at the Daquiri Hut.

Above Us Only Sky Bar & Bungalows opened on Serendipity Beach.

The Frogman, scuba diving is back in action on Serendipity Beach.

SihanoukVille's first night market, at Savery Guesthouse opened.

Happy Herb Pizza moved to Ocheteaul Beach, and everyone's much happier now.

The Villa swimming pool bar and Thai restaurant is opened on Karaoke Street.

The new market, which was the old market before it burned down last year reopened.

The bridge from the mainland to Snake Island has started construction.....

Regina and Julian are back.......

and that's about it.

We're just finishing Water Festival week, where 4 million people crowd into Phnom Penh to watch the boat races, and everyone who can, gets out of Phnom Penh for a week swimming and playing in Sunny? SihanoukVille.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's New in SihanoukVille, Cambodia.

Rainy season 2008 has seen about as many holiday visitors as all of 2006. Several places have shut down for a few months vacation, yet several more new places have opened.

From the August to October The SihanoukVille, Advertiser.

* New World Hotel - the first and only Czech point in cambodia is open

* Mr. Big Fish has Fish & Chips from $1.50

* Rainy Season Bar has started a pizza delivery service

* Chez Corinne has a new French bakery downtown

* Pim's is open again at a newer, bigger (and closer to the beach) location near Ocheteaul Beach

* Sasha Guesthouse opened on Independence Beach

in addition.... Holiday Palace Casino has opened up a new gambling wing and is reopening Holiday Beach Hotel across the street.

* Beach Club is finishing up another 18 or so new rooms

* Otres Beach has added a few more beach bars

* Victory Hill still is adding a few new watering holes

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New from the May to July SihanoukVille Advertiser

and other sources.

* Angelo's Greek & BBQ restaurant
and Angelo's Seafood restaurant are now open on Ocheteaul Beach.

* Le Bistro Gourmand is open on Serendipity Beach Road

* Corner Bar Mark has a second place... Thida's Inn on Serendipity Beach Road

* New World Hotel, the first Czech place is open downtown.

* Hard Rock Sport Bar & Restaurant is now open downtown.

* Le Barometre consultations & Brain Storming is open on Victory Hill.

* Rainy Season now has pizza delivery.

* Beach Club now features The Maharajah's Indian Restaurant.

* Blue Dolphin Internet and computer services opened on Serendipity Beach Road.

* L'arcobaleno guesthouse with Italian management in open on Blue Mountain.

* Savery Guesthouse, Bistro and Beer Garden is open downtown, near the bus station.

* Fisherman's Den has moved to a new, air-conditioned (and ground level) location.

* Claire's Place, owned by Claire and managed by Claire is open in the guesthouse with no name, downtown. (Dick's Place)

* Thai by Thai Massage is open near Luna D'Autunno

* Zoco Clothing has a new shop at the Independence Hotel.

* Jagreal Real Estate company is open downtown.

* Sorya Beach restaurant on Ocheteaul Beach is open, serving Western, Khmer and Indian food.

* S Villa real estate is open downtown.

* Sihanoukville Design is open.

and that's about it. Occasional rains most days now, and the temperature has dropped (about 3 degrees).

Construction on the bridge to Snake Island has begun, and the rebuilding of the Market (which burned down) is near completion.

Everything else is pretty normal (for SihanoukVille).


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Happy New Year

Khmer (Cambodian) New Year is almost here. April 13 to 15 (and the 16th and 17th are public holidays), SihanoukVille's beaches will be full of tourist from around Cambodia and around the world!

A week or more of celebrations, including fireworks, water, swimming, eating and drinking, and dancing. For several days, especially the 13th to 17th of April, most or all of the rooms in town will be booked. If you're coming down here, best to make reservations first, and get your transportation lined up a couple days in advance if possible.

Right now, it's a little slow here, as everyone is waiting for New Years, and the week after New Years is also a bit slow, because everyone's back at work, and resting from the festivities.

You can get a list of places to stay at the SihanoukVille website, and don't forget to book transportation here a few days in advance. From Phnom Penh, it's about a 4 hour ride by car or bus, and costs $6 and up per person.

Come see for yourself!

Sooa Sday Chnam Tumuhy! as we say in Cambodia.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More new news from SihanoukVille

Rainbow foundation opened a new clothing and accesories shop outside Utopia, supporting the children's charity. Also selling Jonathan's hand drawn SihanoukVille T-shirts

Hard Rock (not Cafe) opens tomorrow, behind Shifty's old place. A couple of Finns, so it should be fun.

The Greek is back, and we're waiting on info from the new Angelo's suite of restaurants on Ocheteaul Beach

SihanoukVille Casino is the newest website in town.

Paco's has completed his move, and now has rooms for rent.

The Lounge on Victory Beach is open.

A Swedish Dentist is doing good work on CT street.

Sunday, a new 30 room guesthouse has opened.

.... and that's about it!

(p.s... the name of the guesthouse is SUNDAY.

The old blog

Sorry, the old blog broke.

this is the new blog without the previous comments.

Not SihanoukVille News

the February 26th, 2008

Time goes on, and SihanoukVille keeps growing.

2 new websites are up about SihanoukVille


no backpacker resort websites yet….. but just wait

Otres beach, which was closing…..didn’t, but Independence Beach which wasn’t closing….. did.

Independence is only open in front of SeaBreeze, and Independence Hotel, so it’s almost like a private beach for their customers.

Otres is getting a casino, waterpark, and resort… but not for some time

and Golden Sands has opened up the towns 4th casino (machine games only)

Ramada which was open, is now closed. don’t know why.

Chinese New Years was a blast here, with Dragon Dances everyday for a week at hundreds of homes and businesses.

Beer factory (Cambrew / Angkor Brewery) at the top of the hill working 24/7. They ran out of beer for the whole country. Same with Anchor perhaps. Beer prices went up for a while to balance the supply/demand.

Plenty of new places opened up…….
* Golden Lions Plaza has opened a few new bars and a restaurant

* Dan Meats has a new location next to Golden Sands hotel and offers
a much larger variety of foods than before.

* The Swedish are (still) coming, and so is Little Sweden Restaurant on Victory Hill

* EcoSea Diving has opened up a bungalow resort on Koh Rong Samloem island

* The Look Restaurant and Bar replaces Zombie Bar on Victory Hill

* Dannie is back at Dannie’s newly renovated bar on the Hill

* Our first new Irish Bar in a while, Darby O’Gill’s opens St. Patrick’s Day downtown.

anyone know of any new places, let us know.


New Years #2

February 7th, 2008

Chinese / Vietnamese New Years has arrived! Gung Zee Fa Chai. Once again, the town is packed with tourists. It’s been very cloudy recently, but no rain. Several new guesthouses have just opened, hoping to fill up for New Years.

No military vessels in town in the last couple months, but a few cruise ships have docked for one or two day stopovers.

The market is a few weeks away from being rebuilt after the fire last month. Everyone has moved to the new market for now (except all the sellers refuse to pay for stalls, so they are camped out in the parking lot).

the Sokha company, which has Sokha Hotels, and building a new resort on the former golf course, has also bought Bokor Mountain (for the next 99 years anyway) and have shut down the road to the top, while they build a new road. (should re-open in 2010 or so)

Khmer New Years (New Years #3) is coming up in 2 months time, and we should see a repeat of this week.

all for now….

Happy New Year 2008 from Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

January 3rd, 2008

New years has rolled into Sihanoukville with a bang, once again. 2008 saw most of the action on Ocheteaul Beach, where there were more than 50,000 fireworks (mostly small) shot out into the ocean by more than 9,000 locals and tourists. Every room in Sihanoukville was booked, so many hundreds of tourists were left sleeping on the beach. (they could use the ocean for a bath and other things however). It was one of the coldest nights of 2007, with temperatures dropping into the mid 20’s.

Most hotels are fairly booked for the next couple months, but a lot of new hotels are opening up as well.
Two casinos opened up in the last month ( a total of 3 here now). One is even offering coupons for free food and $5 gambling money, every day for the next 2 months.

Dive shops are virtually abandoned in the days, as everyone working there is busy taking out divers on trips and training sessions.

Prices for many foods literally doubled today, as the central market burned to the ground last night, but the fire was contained to the market and did not spread.

The Angkor Beer factory at the top of the hill is working 24 hours a day for the next few months, trying to keep up with demand, and many clothing factories are expanding as exports rise.

Still haven’t seen any cruise ships in town, but are expecting some, and several warships docking for shore leave this coming year.

The pace of new building has slowed down, but there’s still several (hundred) projects still going on.

The islands were probably the second most popular destination for New Years, after Ocheteaul Beach. Many islands have opened up to tourists late last year, and this trend will continue. Talks of resorts, golf courses, airports, horse racing tracks, an American naval base, and many more casinos on the islands is picking up. Also, oil drilling may be commencing after many years of talk and exploration.

You could say this little town is growing.

New Happenings from the January 2008 Sihanouk Ville Advertiser

January 3rd, 2008

* Chi Khmer, a division of Happa serving fine cambodian cuisine has opened
* Session bar and restaurant has opened, possibly on Ocheteaul beach
* The Dive Shop Cambodia, with all PADI courses has opened, near Serendipity Beach. Mares and Bauer Air Lab equipment available for rent.
* Tiki Hut. Bob’s answer to Club // Sandwich has opened on Ocheteaul.
* The Beach Club on Ocheteaul is now opened with 16 rooms and a swimming pool.

* Marco Polo has re-opened with after major renovations.
* TravelShop tour service has opened next to Monkey Republic.
* Tranquility bungalows are opened on Serendipity Beach
* Lazy Beach on Koh Rong Saloem island is open
* LaOr Thai restaurant on Ocheteaul is open.
* The Small Green Guesthouse is open downtown.

* The Sushi Bar, a creation from Kyoko from EcoSea is open downtown.
* Underground, at Bar Ru’s old location is open.
* Khemara, formerly Lovely Guesthouse is open downtown.
* Peak Hotel and Casino is open.
* Zombi Bar on Victory Hill is open.
* Daddy’s Oceans Club has finished 2 years of building, to finally open downtown.
* Para Cambodia paragliding is now open.
* Artex tours downtown, part of the Tourist Information Center is open.
* Dan Meats is now open at Die Backerei at a new location downtown.
* Captain Morgan bar is now open at the Golden Lion Plaza
* SinVill Tattoo is open at a new location across from Fortuna Casino around the Golden Lions Circle.
* French Grill ov Victory Hill is open.

That’s it!

Time to rest

December 4th, 2007

The USS Essex, a small American aircraft carrier / marine transport just left town. Now we can rest a bit. Almost 3,000 Sailors and Marines took over the town for a week. Constant military helicoptor flights made it seem like we were right on the ship. Everyone seemed to have a good time. Locals here now think that they can charge 10 times the normal price for everything, instead of double the normal price, so if anyone reading this comes to visit, bargain down to 10% of the original price, and you should be doing well.

And all this was coming right off the Cambodian Water Festival last week, when 3 million Khmers go to Phnom Penh to see the boat races, and anyone with money in Phnom Penh comes to Sihanoukville, to get away from the extra 3 million people there. Many hotels are booked for the next few months, especially the higher end hotels that cater to group tours.
Weather’s been perfect every day for a month now. Don’t think it rained more than once, and it gets a bit chilly in the morning (23 degrees celcius). Ocheteaul Beach is packed every day, and Otres Beach is moving up in the world. Otres now has several bungalows right on the beach. Pretty basic service, but mostly quiet. Construction on Victory Beach seems to be finished, and there are now several beach stands on one end of the beach, and just a few beach chairs near the Snake House pier.

A new casino opened last week and another one, on the Golden Lions Circle is scheduled to open this week. Several new places are trying to get opened by the end of 2007.

….. And that’s about it. Time to rest.

Sihanoukville Happenings

November 8th, 2007

News taken from The Sihanouk Ville Advertiser, November edition:

* DevaRaja Villa Garden has finished construction and is full most days.

* Utopia now has free internet after 7pm (and free rooms). happy hour draft beer is 37 cents.

* SinVille tattoo opened at a new location around the Golden Lions circle.

* Chez Popeye has a Big Screen for blues and rock concerts.

* Max Guesthouse is now open

* Chez Nous restaurant is open, with live shows

* Top Cat has and air conditioned movie theater with an 8 meter screen

* New Christmas Bungalows on Ocheteaul is open.

* Beach Club on Ocheteaul is scheduled for a December opening

* Zoco Clothes now has 5 locations in town.

* XXL now has a guesthouse attached to the restaurant

* Retox is hiring DJ’s (they pay with beer)

* Tropical Massage opened downtown

* Mary does nails now at the Golden Rooster Hotel

* We’ve got the first biodiesel shuttle in town.

* Finlandia is now open

* Grand Kampuchea restaurant at the Golden Lions circle is open

* a dedicated wine shop, Celliers d’Asie is open

* The Britannia is open.

* Dan Meats is now available at Die Backerei

* An architect firm and a building firm have opened.

* Sea Dragon travel is opened next to the Golden Sands

* Sailing Cambodia has a 45 foot racing yacht for day trips

* ParaCambodia has paragliding lessons and rentals.

* Golden Sands has opend a massage and beauty parlor

* Rubix at the Golden Lion Plaza is now opened.

* Cool Banana is open 24 hours

* and Sushi Square is open on Victory Hill.

* the New Peak casino has opened
That’s about it for this week!

Sihanoukville Cambodia

the October 1st, 2007

Sihanoukville, Cambodia
October 2007

The big building boom is definetly underway. Ramada Wordwide just opened, KFC is coming to town, there’s an ATM on most streets, and international flights will be coming to Sihanoukville soon. By the end of 2007, the town should be double the population that it was at the end of 2006.

While the rainy season hasn’t quite ended yet, several hotels around town are allready full.

To add to the typical French, Italian, and Thai restaurants and guesthouses, we now have Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian, Spanish, Polish and Japanese owned places around town.

An expected 600 Swedish toursists a month on package tours will be competing with hundreds of Finnish and Norwegians. The Aussies, Americans English, French, and German tourists are coming in force too.

All the islands have apparently been bought out, there will be 4 casinos in town, a couple golf courses, a marina, and several 3 and 4 star hotels. It’s going to be like Pataya, (but better) here in a few years, but it’s still a small town now.

It’s now the Pchum Ben festival, so all the locals are going to the Wats in town, to give alms to their ancestors all month.

And that’s just this month.

Hold on to your Snus

August 31st, 2007

The Swedish are coming. The Swedish now are coming to the website, more than any other country in the world. They just beat out the U.S. this week. So hold on to your snus, and learn to say yaw, yaw, yaw, and tuk sunfan.


Looking for….. in SihanoukVille

July 28th, 2007

want to by a jeep with proper registrationpaper.
call 092783285

want to rent a house with high wall and garden/parking for minimum
downtown/ochheuteal bech.2-4rooms.long contract.
call 092783285

kind regards

New Happenings in Sihanoukville

May 26th, 2007

Happenings in May 2007
The tourist boom is slowing down, but the building boom is picking up pace. 14 new projects completed or announced this month. Hotels, bars, restaurants, oil drilling and who knows what else.

Independence Hotel finally opened after a several year renovation. Few guests but lots of lookers. They’re still fixing up the place with final touches, but it’s definitely useable.

Corner Bar had it’s 5th anniversary celebration, and as usual, it was a blast.

2 new Thai restaurants coming to town, one with Greek food, and a Greek delivery only restaurant just opened as well.

Oil drilling off the coast is going ahead, but nobody in town has ever met anyone working on the project.

Australian Navy just left after a few days. They came here to try to buy fishnet stockings for the passage across the equator. couldn’t really explain. Think they had a good time though.

The marina on Hawaii Beach is making good progress. A lot of the residences are for lease for 35 years and many have been pre-sold.

The pier at the old Holiday Beach hotel disappeared, but on Victory Beach is a brand new tourist pier with small tourist ships?? And a Russian airplane is sitting on the beach in pieces. This can only mean the Russians are here. If they can do as well as they did at the Snake House, it will be another world class tourist attraction.

No news on the bridge to Snake Island for the $300 million project. Only rumors of $800/night rooms.

The street running through town is being torn up again, and will soon be a 6 lane freeway, probably from Victory Hill to the Golden Lions circle.

Remy Zero, (the theme song to SmallVille) is collaborating with JoeBodia Matt (swam 20km with handcuffs, and famous videographer) on a project. does this mean Angelina Jolie is coming to town?

April in Sihanoukville

April 17th, 2007

New Happenings in Sihanoukville Cambodia.
April 17th. The day after Cambodian New Year.

The town is only starting to slow down a bit. Some of the thousands of tourists from all over the country are heading back home. School doesn’t start for another 5 days, and many people have taken the whole week off work, so they can celebrate on the beaches of Sihanoukville.

Wat Leu and Wat Kraom were filled with guests, making the annual offerings to the Wats and hoping for a properous new year. The last day of New Years was filled with water thowing, and more than 2,000 people an hour were going to the Wats for the festivities.

At homes and restaurants, dancing, singing, eating and drinking, were the main activities for 3 days. Now everyone is tired, but happy that New Years is over.

Every hotel in town was fully booked, and many new hotels and guesthouses coincidentally opened just in time for New Year.

Investments and new building projects are booming everywhere, and package tour groups are decending on the once small town.

Haven’t heard anything new about the oil exploration going on, except that they’re thinking of building a pipeline from the ocean to the port.

Carlsberg beer production will be starting at Cambrew, the Angkor Beer factory in a month or so. We’ll be glad to have a bigger beer selection soon.

That’s if for now. Sur S’day Chnam Thmei, Gung Zi Fa Chai, and Happy New Year to all!

New law

March 5th, 2007

you now must have either a Cambodian driver’s license or maybe a foreign license with an international driver’s license to drive a car or motorcycle in Cambodia.

February in Sihanoukville Part II

February 26th, 2007

Sihanoukville has finally quieted down a bit after Chinese New Years week is over, the King’s come and gone, and the American warship left after 5 days. Most every hotel was booked up. Many new places have opened up in the last month, especially on Otres beach.

Victory hill is very quiet in the day, but still booming at night, and Ocheteaul beach has been packed for the last few months.

Finally got some rain here, and it looks like it will continue raining about once a week for the next few months. Good thing, since the lake that supplies us (and the Angkor Beer factory) with water has been getting kind of low.

The islands are being sold off quicker now. The Russians have bought Snake Island for a $300,000,000 project and the Malaysians are going for over $1,000,000,000 on another island.

That’s it for now.

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February in Sihanoukville

February 14th, 2007

February 13th, 2007

February in SihanoukVille, Cambodia.Exciting times.

Chinese / Vietnamese New Years starts February 18th. Should be a big party all over the country, and especially in Sihanoukville.

The King just came to town for his first official visit since his coronation. The streets were lined with people cheering the King as he drove through town.

Also, the first U.S. Naval ship has been in town for the last several days. The U.S.S. Gary as I understand has about 200 sailors, and they can be seen all over town.

Other than that, the town keeps growing. The Independence Hotel, or 7 Story Hotel is set to open after being left in ruins for the last couple decades. The hotel sits atop a small hill overlooking the Bay of Thailand (Cambodia). It has a swimming pool, giant conference room, and large gardens. Several new beach places have opened on Otres beach, including a mexican restaurant from Phnom Penh. The new beer bar garden, Golden Lions Plaza has sold all 8 of it’s bars and will be taking off soon.

Happy Herb Pizza was doing so good, they had to move next door to a place twice as big.

Angkor Arms, now unoficially known as Les Arms de Angkor, has been bought by a French family, and they are also responsible for getting the new airport open and running.

Weatherwise, we saw our first rain last night in a long tim, but nobody really saw it, we just woke up to wet streets.

for travellers, all the busses now leave directly from the bus station, instead of their own offices. This actually saves about 5 minutes on the ride to Phnom Penh and Koh Kong. Cars to Kampot and Kep still leave from in front of the market.