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!

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