Backpacking this year in SihanoukVille, Cambodia has be a blast for thousands of tourists during the rainy season.
July was one of the busiest months ever here in SihanoukVille, while August was very quiet.
Many tourists ended up in beach shacks, eating and drinking and watching the rain, gambling at the casinos, watching movies (and playing games) on the big screen, and touring around in the rain.
The traditional hotspots, Monkey Republic to Utopia on Beach Road on Serendipity Beach, and Victory Hill have had a lot of new businesses open in the last few months, with many more on the way.
There's even talk that Utopia will finish their swimming pool before 2010 to welcome Mark back.
This Winter, tourist numbers should be up about 15% over last year, according to statistics on the SihanoukVille website. That's not the greatest for here, but we'll take it.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
2008 was a banner year for backpackers, and 2009 looks even better. Many beach shacks on Ocheteaul beach are offering free or $1 beds for the night. Competition has given us 50 cent (U.S.) beach beers and $3 BBQ's on the beach.
Traditional backpacker places like Utopia, Monkey Republic, and Victory Hill all had banner years.
Otres Beach has expanded the number of beach shacks and beach bungalows, but still has no public electricity or water, which makes for a pleasant day on the beach. Many places do, however, have small generators. This beach has plans for a $300 million resort someday, (as do most beaches now that don't have them already). Now is a good time to visit.
Top Cat Cinema has been a hit with backpackers, as is Pim's Mini Golf.
A number of casinos opened in the last year, and all have 1 cent slot machines and free beer. (you are however expected to play for more than one cent to get your free beer.)
Serendipity, Ocheteaul and Victory Beaches have seen a lot of new establishments, and we have our first million dollar beach shack on Victory Beach. An airport hanger, with a Russian plane suspended inside, dollar draft beers, hookahs, and great pizza. After 9pm, this turns into a disco, with the DJ sitting inside a truck cab.
We're hoping that Utopia will finish their swimming pool this year, but that remains to be seen.
The boat from Trat Thailand has stopped, but the new road has opened, and trips from Trat / Hat Lek Thailand to SihanoukVille are about 4 hours and $15 now. Nice ride through the jungle and across several rivers.
You can find full moon parties every month, and sometimes half moon parties as well on the beaches and islands.
Other than that, all is as usual.