Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ola - We Miss You!

This week, one of our friends in SihanoukVille, Cambodia, Ola Jordansson, passed away.
We miss him already.

Here are some pictures going back 5 years.

Pictures of Ola Jordansson

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Winter 2009 in SihanoukVille, Cambodia

Winter has arrived in SihanoukVille, Cambodia at last.

Everybody's favorite time of year.

Only problem, is that the next 4 months seem to go by in a few weeks.

Starting the first week of November, the yearly rains stopped right away, and SihanoukVille's hotels and beaches filled right up.

There's lots of new hotels, mini-resorts and activities in town this year.

Some new openings from The Sihanoukville Advertiser and other sources

* Ali Kebab has joined Wayne at Escape Gourmet
* Thida's Inn is now Ocean Walk Inn
* Beach Bungalows opened on Otres Beach
* Boom Boom Room became Rogue
* Pretemama Motor Yacht is doing island tours from Cloud 9
* A new diving college opened, CamboDive, part of the Chez Claude empire
* Stray Dog Adventures is branching out from dirt bike tours, to all kinds of adventure tours
* Araska Finnish restaurant opened in a newer, nicer location
* Les Rougets, a French restaurant opened next to Snooky's Restaurant
* Honey Bunny Bar, a late night place, opened downtown
* The Villa reopened on Karaoke street
* GST opened up GST III right on Serendipity Beach

and SihanoukVille's neighbors, Kampot, Kep and Koh Kong have also seen some changes.

Koh Kong was listed as one of the worlds' top 10 destinations by The Lonely Planet. (haven't seen the book yet, just newspaper articles from all over the world). There's a lot of mountain / eco / jungle tours there now, and lots of accommodations in the jungle and on rivers for tourists.

The road from Thailand, in Koh Kong, to Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville has been completed, so many more people are going to visit.

Kampot and Kep have seen phenomenal growth in the last year, with Kampot hosing several riverside lodges, and Kep building up on the ocean and in the hillsides, while still keeping 99% of the jungle. (maybe 98%).

Cruise ships are starting to come back for the season. And many condos, resorts, and hotels are being built. (still no golf course). Many existing hotels are adding swimming pools as well.

A new night market opened up around the Golden Lions Circle. Otres Beach has been filling up more than ever this season.

Everyone's having a great time in SihanoukVille!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 2009 in SihanoukVille, Cambodia

Happy P'chum Bun, the 2 week festival for the dead starting today!

The local Wats (Buddhist Temples) will be filled with people bringing food and gifts for their ancestors, and for the monks.

We're in the middle of the rainy season, and it's been raining for the last few days!

July in SihanoukVille was the best month ever for many businesses, probably due to the summer holidays in the Western World, and the low prices and beautiful beaches here.

Can't say the same for August though.

Billy Bob's Bar & Grill with Western music opened on Victory Hill

Ocean Walk Inn is opening this month just off Serendipity Beach

There's construction all over town for new shopping, offices, housing, and resorts,
but not much else going on.

SihanoukVille's neighbors, Kampot , Bokor Mountain, and Kep, Cambodia are also booming, especially in Kep near the beaches.

Much rain now, but also many perfect days in between and the temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius.

Tourist arrivals look to go up about 15% this coming Winter over last Winter, with many hotels and resorts fully booked for a couple solid months.

It's not the best time to come here, but it's the best time to make plans for Winter now.

Check out the SihanoukVille website, or SihanoukvilleBeachResorts, or SihanoukVilleBackpacker for more details.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 2009 in SihanoukVille, Cambodia

Happy New Year again from SihanoukVille, Cambodia. April was Cambodia's 3 day New Years celebration, which of course in SihanoukVille lasts for 9 days. The town was packed as usual with vacationers from all over Cambodia and all over the world.

Last 2 weeks we had 10 out of 11 days that were holidays or weekends, so the town was full once again as well.

Now, starts the slow season, when the yearly rains start and the town quiets down. Of course the SihanoukVille Port, the main port for Cambodia is still growing, and construction on new homes, businesses and hotels never stops here.

The bus station has moved a couple blocks to the old New Market behind the New New Market. A few new businesses opened in town as well.

Papagayo has a new hotel near the Golden Lions Plaza on Ocheteaul Beach....
Malibu Snack, a Korean restaurant opened up in front of Utopia,
Casa replaces Atomosphere Bar near Serendipity Beach,
Green Mood Italian Restaurant and Guesthouse opened on Victory Hill as did the Step In Bar and Honey Bee Bar..... Wat's Up Bar opened above the Corner Bar on "The Hill".
Also on the Hill, we have our third Indian Restaurant, Chennai Rottys, and Paco's Spanish Restaurant moved from downtown to Victory Hill as well.
Out of the Blue guesthouse opened on Victory Hill as did Hong Kong Restaurant.

Two new businesses, selling businesses opened, Charles Evans Marketing and Kamreal.
HooHa House Guesthouse opened near the new Papagayo, and i'm sure there's a few more.

The Fitness Club moved and expanded (about 10 times bigger), and now features massages and massage training classes, a restaurant, and other new endeavors.

That's about it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy New Year Cambodia!

Khmer (Cambodian) New Years is almost here! April 14 - 16th, and (but really April 11th to the 19th), is Cambodian New Year.

The town will once again be full of party goers filling up every room in SihanoukVille.

Some new places have opened in town.... including

* iBall - you step in a giant plastic ball, and roll down a hill???
* Paco's has moved from downtown to Victory Hill
* Ann's Thai Pub & Restaurant opened downtown.
* Escape Gourmet Coffee opened in the Beach Road complex.
* Sunset Cafe, a Japanese restaurant opened near the Golden Lions Circle
* and Cafe Sushi, another Japanese restaurant opened near Poco Loco
* Airport beach bar and restaurant, another project from the Snake House people, opened on Victory Beach.
* Ecstatic Pizza opened (almost right next to Happy Herb Pizza) on Ocheteaul Beach
* Rainy Season opened a Pizza place on Ocheteaul Beach
* Aegean Guesthouse opened at Ocheteaul Beach
* At least 3 new bars opened on Victory Hill, with 2 more readying for opening
* A guesthouse opened on Victory Hill, with great ocean views.
* Sri Ramas Indian is open on Ocheteaul Beach
* Traktir Russian Restaurant opened (next to Sri Ramas)
* Several new bars and restaurants opened on Otres Beach, including WonderLand, with horseback riding
* the Fitness & Boxing Center moved to a new location on CT Street with a restaurant, massage training, acupuncture, spa.
* Several beach bars on Ocheteaul changed names and owners
* Le Gaugan, a live music restaurant opened downtown
* Casa bar opened on Beach Road next to Monkey Republic
* 3 new tattoo shops opened around town

and that's about it.

If you're coming to town during Khmer New Year, don't forget to make hotel or guesthouse reservations!

Sour S'day Chnam Thmei

Friday, January 16, 2009

Happy New Year from SihanoukVille, Cambodia.

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.