Bits From The Beach – March 2019

W ell it appears this has been one on the most boring (or normal) periods down by the coast for quite a while. Not a lot has happened, especially in the Barang circles, the craziness of Wet season madness has disappeared. It is so quiet that it appears that one news source is repeating last years story of the bull attack on Kho Rong as if it is current news.

In good old Kamot, there has not been too much happening. Sure you have the usual events of drunken Barangs crashing motos and hurting themselves (thankfully not too badly). Hopefully they are crashing the right moto as there seems to be a never ending stream of posts on facebook asking for people to return the correct moto (or the realisation that it has been stolen).

Speaking of stolen there has been several reported incidents of bag snatching, especially from Western females, with the roundabouts being a prime location.If you think this is bad, get prepared for the period starting from late March in the lead up to Khmer New Year, which is known as robbery week but now starts a few weeks earlier.

In bar news, the former Walkabout Bar has been reopened as the Raging Bull Sports Bar, by a group from Sihanoukville including John from the Aqua. Daryl the manager has put up an impressive array of sports memorabilia including Ali – Frazer boxing gloves, a signed Pele Brazilian football jersey and quite a bit more. Raging Bull is air-conditioned and will be non-smoking inside. Friday night is killer pool night which is run and hosted by the very Gary Bellam, formerly the owner of the Shipwreck Bar in the now gone Golden Lions Plaza in Sihanoukville. The poker game that was located downstairs at the Durian Sports Bar has moved in upstairs at Raging Bull with a group of new owners of the game.

Meanwhile the smaller stakes poker game that was located at the River lodge has wound up and the Durian Sports bar is urgently for sale. Marco Polo restaurant in Sihanoukville town has closed down, the latest victim of Chinese development. They will soon be followed by the closure of the first and foremost Dive operation in Cambodia, Scuba Nation, who, whilst not being bought out by the Chinese, have decided to close their dive business due to the rapid changes in town. The equipment servicing business will still be continuing.

In nautical related news, the poor health of Ronny from Sail Cambodia has made the news, with a Khmer Okna friend of his garnering publicity for helping Ronny out with some much needed medical treatment, it appears that the poor chap may have had a stroke and of course lacks medical insurance. This is a similar situation for one young hostel owner from Otres who is currently in a coma in hospital after a nasty bike accident with family and friends trying to raise funds through Go Fund Me, which seems to the backstop for Millennials who cannot be bothered to get medical or travel insurance. Saving yourself a little bit costs your family and friends a lot later it seems.

The new overlords in Westport (Chinese name for Sihanoukville) continue to provide media fodder. Unfortunately it is pretty much same same, with fights and poor driving and hit and run accidents. Just beware of some of these people as the police are finding more and more are carrying illegal guns. Westport is developing into the 21st century Sino version of the old Wild West. Police recently carried out well publicised raids of Chinese Brothels, located in the new red light are around the Missing Monkey, which somehow manages to survive.

On the infrastructure side, the creeks and small rivers continue to be filled with mountains of plastic and foam rubbish, which constantly needs to be dredged out by excavators. It appears that the new Sino overlords have even less regard for the environment than the locals, which is really saying something.

In this regard the islands are sounding like they are becoming more and more like Westport every day. There is much concern that the new and first Casino to open on the islands, on Koh Rong- Sanleom, is spewing raw sewage into the bay. Whilst this concern is admirable we note that most of the other accommodations on the islands, including the much vaunted Eco accommodation, pretty much continue to do the same.

On the sewerage side of things the (in) Competent Authorities have announced that the hastily ordered and constructed new sewerage works are nearing completion and there will be several treatment facilities. They say this will stop 100% or sewerage entering the sea in dry season and 80% in wet season. Here is a hint, separate your sewerage system from your stormwater system. We have hopes that this will work, but those hopes are not very high.

On a less shitty note we note that one of our favourite points of amusement, the affable Dave-Ex, now appears to be helping out working part time at the new Raging Bull Sports bar in Kampot, so drop in and meet the person behind the growing legend!