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.