Bits From The Beach – April 2019

Well this will probably be one if the shortest Bits from the Beach, due to well, most things being same-same and a lack of interesting antics from the non-Sino expats.

There are some interesting photos on social media, showing the new multi-level buildings being erected on sites previously occupied by well-known previously expat managed places such as Reef Resort, Beach Road, Coolabah, Golden Lion Plaza, Ernies burgers/Stevie C’s , Bar from Home, to name a few.

Also there is an interesting aerial photo we are showing here which shows the dramatic changes in Sihanoukville in just a few years. The most striking is the reduction in green spaces being replaced by giant scars on the landscape. This is not the only change wrought by the new overlords, apparently reported crime in Sinoukville is up by 25% in recent times.

Last month we mentioned the new Casino on Kho Rong Sanloem. Well that was recently closed, not for spilling sewage into the bay, but for excessive noise and lights. It seems that environmental pollution is allowed until the locals have trouble sleeping.

In other barang news, Khmer Wholesale should be closed by the time this edition hits the streets, having sold off most of their remaining stock. The client base basically disappeared, as all the business’ were overtaken by the new Sino Overlords.

Speaking of the Chinese invasion, the Khmer hierarchy is just waking up to the fact that they almost only shop in stores owned by their own nationals and that they import most of the goods and foods they sell as well as importing their own labor. Most of the few remaining Khmer business owners are beginning complain that although there are more people in town than ever, their businesses are suffering. Not that those at the top really care.

Tuk Out continues to operate in Sihanoukville but from a steadily reducing pool of restaurants, which at last look was about seven places. The popular Titanic restaurant has also recently closed.

Meanwhile The Small Hotel is entering its last few weeks of operation as the landlord resumes the building to lease it out to the Chinese in May.

Meanwhile in Kampot, Tuk Out has well over a dozen restaurant partners, including some familiar names of popular businesses that have relocated from Sinoukville. In a sign of the
times, Tuk Out announced that they will be making deliveries until midnight from those restaurants that remain open until that time.

This in itself is a big change from the sleepy old Kampot that was generally asleep by 10pm not so long ago. Things are ever changing in Kampot these days. The Australian football season (NRL and AFL) has started and a few bars in town are showing these games live, including Raging Bull Sports bar, Bundy Bar and Salt Bar.

By the was Stu has Salt Bar up for sale as the new baby is making life a bit too complicated. Another that is up for sale is the Magic Sponge but this time they appear to be selling the real estate as well as the asking price is well into the seven figure mark.

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!

Bits From The Beach – February 2019

Well the big news in the ever dwindling Barang community in Sinoukville is the closing and swift demolition of the long-time Backpacker behemoth the Monkey Republic. Its closure was almost immediate after the announcement and the wreckers did not waste any time in moving in.

That leaves only the Big Easy in that part of beach road, one wonders how long they will last, at least they are doing good business due to a lack of competition. The Big Easy has begun expanding its chain/empire with the recent opening of the Big Easy on Kho Rong Sanleom which followed a relatively recent opening of the very stylish Big Easy in the heart of the Phnom Penh Backpacker Ghetto in street 172.

Hot on the heels of the Big Easy is the announcement by popular Sihanoukville eatery Olive and Olive that they are planning to open a branch somewhere in Phnom Penh in the near future. Olive and Olive is one of the few remaining Western restaurants in Sihanoukville.

Rumours are circulating that two of the Chinese Casinos have found that they cannot make enough money in Sihanoukville and are closing. If this is true, we are sure there will be plenty of other operators willing to lease the space as the numbers of Casinos seems to grow weekly. The Chinese invasion has been gaining more publicity recently in the overseas main stream media with even Al Jazzera running a piece.

But the best piece on the invasion of Sihanoukville came recently from a Chinese Blogger looking at the invasion from the eyes of a Chinese national. The blogger was none too complimentary about the quality of their fellow nationals in the town, apparently the casino workers are referred to as Spinach Dogs and the Chinese name for Sihanoukville is Westport. It is a good idea to rename the town Westport as little of Sihanoukville as people remember it remains. The blogger may be right about the quality of the people because there were the usual reports of brawls and kidnappings over un- paid gambling loans/debts and arrests of Spinach Dogs by the Cambodian Constabulary, (ably supported by the plain clothes Chinese Police that appear to have a base in Westport) in the news over the past month. It is believed that there could be as many as 120,000 Chinese in Sihanoukville at the moment, which given the continual traffic jams (that rival peak hour in Phnom Penh) is believable.

The Chinese Navy are sending a few of their naval ships on a visit to Cambodia to celebrate the opening of the new Cambodian Naval Base on the seaward side of Kho Rong. The Chinese have denied that they will establish a naval base in Cambodia, but helping the poor Cambodian Navy does not count as establishing a base so it seems.

The good news is that construction of the 190km new express- way between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is about to begin soon with lots of workers and machinery having been delivered from China. The cost is mooted at $1.9 billion – that right $1,900,000,000, which works out at a phenomenal $10,000 per metre length of road. How this loan will be paid back is any ones guess as is how much is being paid in facilitation fees.

The rubbish situation got so bad in Sinoukville that the Competent Authorities sent down 170 workers and 30 garbage trucks to clean up the town. One electrical fire has been blamed on the Garbage piled up around the transformer. Once they go it should be back to situation normal as the new contractor does not have the resources to cope with the population boom.

Things are so dire in Sihanoukville that one of the last Barang hold outs, the Party cycle tours has even moved to Kampot and the people behind it and are astounded that they now have customers. These are not the only Bikers in Kampot, the Rebels Motor Cycle Club appear to be opening up a chapter in Kampot after most of their members fled Sihanoukville. Their new hang- out is located near the Salt workers roundabout in the ex- Sihanoukville ghetto near Salt and Bundy Bar.

Another business that has relocated from Westport to Kampot is the popular Top Cat Cinema which opened around the time Ecran Movie House near the river closed it’s cinema after being unable to sell the business or lease for their desired amount. Speaking of the Bundy Bar, old Kevin apparently never go around to running the book on how long affable Dave-Ex would last at running the aptly named Bogan Villas in Kep that we referenced in last month’s Bits. Too late, it was a bit under three weeks, Dave can now be seen back in Kampot.

One of Dave-Ex’s former places of employment has also changed hands recently. The Walkabout Bar (and some say boat in rainy season due to road flooding) has been sold with the now former owner back in Australia licking his financial wounds. The bar is briefly closed but should be reopened in early February apparently as the Raging Bull Sports Bar, which will be an air-conditioned sports bar with outdoor beer garden.

There seems to have been some happenings in the poker community in Kampot, with the game at the Durian Sports bar being forced to move due to personality issues. The game has finally moved to its own premises, but how long it will last remains to be seen as it is rumoured that another operator is eying up the town.

Westerners seem to be increasingly keen to leave this world here in Kampot with the number of Western deaths increasing markedly. So much so that it prompted a Doctor who formerly worked in the town last century to issue a warning to Westerners, he seem to believe that it is energy drinks that is the cause. Whilst that could be true, we believe it is just due to the massive increase in the numbers of Expats that now reside in town since Sihanoukville became Westportand the subsequent increase in numbers (and decrease in quality) of tourists. Sihanoukville was number two behind Phnom Penh for western deaths for years, now it looks like Kampot has claimed that spot. So to those older Kampotians that dislike the influx of Sinoukville refugees, you should be grateful that Kampot is now being put on the death map.

Not all Westerners leave Kampot by death, recently (we forgot to include it last month) a well-known British writer who wanted to move, but was hampered by a lack of funds to pay for a 3 year overstay, handed himself into the immigration authorities. It got him out of paying the fine and out of the country.

Recently it was reported that immigration were making the rounds of some businesses in Kampot checking on peoples visas and there were more than a few nervous people in town as a result. Still they were able to drown their sorrows in with one of the increasing choices of craft beers that are available in Kampot town. Flowers Nano Brewery makes a variety of different craft beer on premises, with the selection changing regularly. Razor Back BBQ (for sale, down from $40,000 to $29,000) and Stumble Inn both stock a selection of craft beers imported from Vietnam.

The food and beverage scene in Kampot just keeps getting bigger and better, no wonder Dave-Ex could not wait to come back

Bits From The Beach – January 2019

Another of the few Barang drinking establishments remaining in Sinoukville is no longer, Jack and Daniels Bar closed its doors and will become something Chinese orientated of course. It pretty much just leaves the Big Easy and the Monkey Republic as it in that area for places to drink, plus Above Us Only Sky down on the Serendipity end Ochheatal beach, which has been pretty quiet of late.

In the Sinoukville police blotter there has been a fair bit of activity.As it is another month then that means that there has been an- other group/gang fight involving the Chinese. One of the latest is when a group of drunken casino workers came back to their residential compound without the correct identification on them. The Khmer security guards would not let them in and a ruckus ensued with other residents of the accommodation compound ganging up on the Khmer security guards and a fight began which was broken up by the police who made arrests.

Early in the month one of the Sino Overlords died in a testosterone fueled fight when one group visited a local brothel and did not want to wait their turn and a fight with knives erupted with another group who was waiting their turn. This was around the same time as one Chinese restaurant worker stabbed a colleague to death after being insulted, who knew they took their food so seriously. It seems to be a monthly occurrence that yet another Chinese Extortion gang has been arrested with weapons including knives, sticks, handcuffs and a gun.

The big news, which is getting publicity on social media, but seems to be being largely ignored in the press is the state of the beaches. Sokha beach is having a sewerage and image problem with foul water now polluting what was one of the few clean beaches. Mean- while Ochheateal beach is becoming a huge sewerage pond. A Khmer environmental activist recently did a video showing a couple of dozen pipes emptying raw sewerage onto the beach, which eventually runs out to sea. He had the water there tested in Phnom Penh and it was indeed waste water. Swim in the beaches at Sinoukville at your own risk and Typhoid continues to be a risk.

The plight and transformation of Sinoukville is getting some press in foreign media but there is as yet no pressure on authorities to do anything about the poor infrastructure. Articles highlight the rental increases and the impact on Khmers, with quoted locals saying that many people have been forced to move back to the provinces due to increased rents and lack of availability. A couple of Barangs that continue to reside in town are looking for a new place due to one of the highest rent increases we have heard of; the rent on their two bedroom house (located in what is now the booming red light district) will go up from the $500 they negotiated at the start of 2018, to a whopping $4,000 per month.

Maybe it is the high rents that have prevented any noticeable action taking place by any of the task forces that were announced a couple of months ago to help get Sinoukville back on the correct path as they not appear to have been doing anything except collection of salaries. However it must be said that the roads are continuing to be rebuilt, but as yet the much promised improvement in the water supply has not yet taken place.

The rumor mill is in overdrive regarding Koh Rong Sanleom. The current rumor is that the Chinese have leased the whole island, except for M’Paibay village and all the existing businesses will have their leases cancelled. Given that a large Regal comglomerate (heavily aligned with Chinese interests) is supposed to have a lease over the island for 99 years from 2008, gives weight to the rumour, but we will believe it when we see it with this one.

Meanwhile the transformation of a sleepy town that was Kampot into the old Sihanoukville is also taking place so it seems and at a similar speedy pace. There has been a noticeable increase in deaths of Westerners in hotels, often from “Heart Attacks”, which would appear to be bought on by high quality illicit substances. But one poor young guy did it a bit differently, falling from a rooftop, no one knows if it was an accident or a choice.

In addition there have been a few drug busts recently involving Barangs and a token Khmer (usually a female it seems), some of the busts include some very large quantities of substances. How long it will be before the new Kampot becomes the new (current) Sinoukville remains to be seen as the rumour doing the rounds here is that 8 casino licenses have been granted for Kampot. Let us hope that the rumours are not true with this one. We wonder if they will do any good as the Casino on Bokor Mountain is empty and the very hastily refurbished old casino is starting to fall to pieces.

Another rumour is that the Chinese are interested in taking the whole of Fish Island. We are not sure about that one coming off but we note that land prices in and around Kampot continue to rise rapidly and rents are on the increase as well. Commercial rents around the Old Market continue to rise to the point of questionable financial viability for any hardy soul who wants to open a business there.

One of our favourites from Bits from the Beach, the Affable Aussie Dave Ex has reemerged from a hibernation after a couple of rough starts in Kampot, he is (at time of writing) running a small resort in Kep apparently aptly named Bogan Villas. Bets can be made with Kevin at the Bundy Bar on how long before he is Ex Bogan Villa Dave, but we suggest you get your bets on early.

Have the BBQ wars taken their toll? The Texas BBQ café has finally reopened its doors in the new location (near Walkabout). This previously non going concern has been for sale for a while at an ever reducing price, maybe they will have more luck selling it as a going concern. Meanwhile across the river the RazorBack BBQ, located on the riverfront right beside the old bridge is also up for sale at a decent asking price for a business that has only been going a relatively short time.

It seems that sausage wars have broken out between Sinoukville and Kampot. The recently opened JJ’s in Kampot is, according to the owner Big Al, not associated with his late fathers (JJ, John Gir- van) business. The business in Sihanoukville have been re- branded JJ Girv’s to differentiate it from the usurpers and is now a wholesale small goods suppliers. (Editors Note: In a bit of shameless cross advertiser promotion, JJ Girv’s goods are still available from The Pub in street 174 in Phnom Penh).

Speaking of food in Kampot, Kristan at The Dog House, who does tasty great value food specials nearly daily, has been making some very popular English Pork pies, which are going down well with the British community. The Dog House killer pool night on a Wednesday is also becoming more popular.

Bits From The Beach – December 2014

Lots of talk down on the coast about WP (work permits) recently. A load of PP cops have been taking in the pleasures of Otres beach.

So picture 12 cops walk into your tranquil picturesque bar asking the western owner do you have a work permit “no, do you need one”? According to the cops the answer is yes and if you can’t provide one the fine is an instant $130 and we will be back in a month to check that you have one.

Other business on the beach were fined for also not having correct business licenses and any other flaw in their paperwork that they could think off. Total fines ran into 4 figures for some. Some owners had there receipts for fines of not having a WP translated and they translate into no business license fine no mention of a WP. We tried to go to the Department of Labour who issue WPs and they were closed until next week.

If you try and apply for a WP it is possible that they can back date the Permit for every E visa in your passport at $100 a year. That puts you off especially if you have been here for a few years. The STA (Sihanoukville Tourist Authority) have lobbied for an amnesty on the back date fines but there has been no definite agreement from the right authority. Confusion all around and rumours the cops will be back down from PP next week to target other areas of Sihanoukville.

There is a newish company in Sihanoukville who offer a dog kennels service. They also can train your dog, sell you a dog and everything that goes with the dog. One of their Western staff who was formerly in the military as a dog trainer was actually AWOL, MIA, etc. His wife has also accusing him of interfering with their kids. They tracked him down to Cambodia and this uncompromising town on the coast. He managed to somehow get wind of the cops tail and high tailed to PP then onto Kampong Cham & eventually was caught in Kratie still riding his distinctive black Honda.

The number of crazy people on the streets is increasing, at least two hangings one schizophrenic Brit and an Eastern Euro ice whore.

The traffic police now have so many staff they can work thru the lunch hour. If you are going to drive or ride in Sihanoukville you must have a helmet on a motorbike wear a seat belt in a car and have a current Khmer or International driving license….you have been warned.

If you are coming for Christmas or New Year make sure you book ahead it will be a riot down here…

Bits From The Beach – November 2014

The roads of Sihanoukille are very topical this month for a couple of reasons firstly a couple of bad accidents that have caused multiple fatalities.

A middle aged Russian lost control of his high powered automobile slamming into a student riding his moto. The student who was due re retake his exam the next day died instantly. His moto was in several bits proving the Russian was going at some speed. It was rumoured the driver of the speeding car had had a few vodkas.

More recently an 80 year old Khmer lost control of his Lexus at the junction of Ekereach Street & CT Street outside Charlie Harpers. Two were killed instantly and many injured some seriously the old man was confused with his pedals and slammed on the accelerator instead of the brake why am I not stopping more accelerator bang slam what a mess. The police took him away for questioning.

The local authorities are always looking to widen Ekereach Street, dig it up to lay pipes cables etc, but now they are starting to widen some of the side streets. The latest is Makara Street which is where Snookys is located. They have taken away about 5 meters on each side and made a right mess. Snookys have released a statement saying that they are still open for business. The local authorities want to widen the road to take some of the traffic away from Ekereach Street.

Climate change has affected the weather in Snooky. The last two months which are normally the wettest have been very dry. June & July were probably wetter than normal but the dry period in September & October is certainly unusual to say the least. Early next year we will probably not have enough water again so start planning for a drought.

The director of a French NGO and school in Sihanoukville was arrested recently for messing around with young boys. The French community was in shock and refused to believe the accusations. Apparently the former French judge had been on the radar for some time but there was not enough evidence to arrest him. More recently 2 boys had the balls to come forward and press charges against the Frenchman. It is amazing how these people can immerse themselves in the community for years without being discovered. His Khmer wife is probably an accomplice in so far as she knew what was going on.

The authorities seem to be taking an interest in sprucing up the beaches! Below are a couple of before and after pics of Ochheuteal beach showing how a complete lack of drains can impact a beach and the nice job they did of filling it in.

Photos: Steve Cline

Bits From The Beach – October 2014

It has been a bit wet down here recently. But when the sun comes out it is truly splendid.

The 7th annual poker run took place this past month. Many of the old organisers had left or are otherwise engaged and it took a new team to get it up and running. An event that has proven to be the most popular event in the calendar a great way for the expats to meet new & old friends.

The 7th run started downtown at possibly downtowns most popular venue Charlie Harpers the first cards given out and the first beers down. Next stop still in town was Rebels MC just off the main road Sihanoukvilles favourite biker hang out. Mobbed with over a 100 people drinking beer and hoping for a good card. A hop skip & a jump to Snookys and a bite to eat. Washed down with Bruntys cider on special offer.

Cards are looking good as we head towards the beach & Kong bar where we are entertained with some live music the mix of cider & beer is making the head buzz and the card at Kong was s***.

On to the beach Martini bar the breeze is brisk and a better card gives me renewed hope for that $100 first prize.
From beach to Ochheuteal GH the penultimate bar I think we are going to make it to the end but my hand is ruined by another awful card.

The final beers were drunk at the (can’t be mentioned for legal reasons) The winner announced & congratulations to those that made it the end a truly great day out and thanks to all that helped organise & sponsor my favourite day of the year

All in all a fun day and it raised $921 which was donated to Romduol Ream River School.

White Sand Palace The huge building site on the second road back from Occheuteal beach will be called The White Sand Palace Hotel (see pic). It will also feature a large water park adjacent to it. Apparently it will be open in December.

As for the photo below?
Nick The Greek Who the hell knows what is going on but I am not ringing the number to find out!

Bits From The Beach – September 2014

Same bus ? Queenco Casino on Victory Beach held the first ever APT poker event in Cambodia at the end of July. Over 40 nationalities were represented with the eventual winner being a Dane who raked in over $27,000 over the 4 day event. He was a tourist who thought it would be fun! Well done mate. The event was reported to be a huge success. The only complaints were about being unable to fly direct to Sihanoukville. Well that is being corrected already with chartered flights now coming in from Singapore, China & South Korea with Russia being touted to join in later this year.

The local police with a new Governor & new chief of Immigration police are stepping up to the mark and announcing that petty crime has to stop. There have already been several high profile arrests made. Nop Sambo (a policeman) posts the reports on the expats and locals Sihanoukville FB page and has been rather busy as of late with one westerner being posted on there for fraud.

They have also put a ban on the selling of nitros oxide gas in balloons, which were being sold mainly on Ochheuteal beach. This gas can with prolonged use cause brain damage (most that use it seem to have already been damaged).

Road 4 to Otres The new road from Route 4 to Otres beach is now open (see pic). Giving way faster access to that beach and avoiding having to do a massive loop through town. The turning is on Route 4 200m before the Welcome to Sihanoukville sign. This also allows easier access for the excavator to knock down bungalows on the beach (see pic)!

Clearing the beach again Everyone has known for years that you can only build temporary structures on the beachside. So if your dumb enough to build concrete structures tough shit! Mind you the authorities are going to widen the road down to Serendipity (god knows why) and have marked a line for demolition. Some businesses will lose their frontage some will lose half the building! Again. Check the demarcation boundaries before renting as Khmers always push or overstep the limits.

Taste of Greece is a new restaurant in the Ochheuteal Beach area next door to Ernies Burgers & opposite Coolabah Resort serving a good variety of Greek starters & mains lots of lamb dishes though a little over priced well worth a look.

All in all things are looking up for the high season. The governor is actually doing stuff unlike his predecessors. The power situation is slowly sorting itself out. And you can get real ale here at dirt cheap prices!

Bits From The Beach – August 2014

Another fire to report this time it was a boat well in fact three. It was reported that an electrical fire stated the fire but witness statements suggest arson.

The triple decker Sun Boat which has been plying day trips to the islands for some time and the German owner has been quite successful. So jealousy could be a factor especially considering a new contract had been signed meaning a second boat would be needed. The second boat arrived about a week after the fire so business was not interrupted too badly.

The other two boats were speed boats moored alongside. One belonging to the same owner as the Sun Tours and the other belonging to a tycoon.

New restaurant to try is The Spot which is located at the very end of Ochheuteal beach just before the head land with Otres and one road back from the beach. The Dubai/Russian owners with an Uzbek chef have been cooking up a stir with some suggesting that this is the best restaurant in Snooky. Baked lamb is their speciality, but it has to be booked a day ahead. But there are other delights including a sumptuous beef stroganoff. Word of warning. The restaurant is currently BYO beer & wine & closed on Monday.

Ochheuteal beach was the site of an unfortunate incident recently involving some American military. This prompted the American embassy to issue a warning to the effect that Ochheuteal beach is dangerous late at night with gangs of youths fueled with drugs & alcohol. Big thank you to the American Embassy for promoting Sihanoukville’s tourism.

Maybe just maybe the military personnel were fueled by the same drugs & alcohol and were acting like complete arseholes and got what they deserved. Two were stabbed and one succumbed to his injuries passing away in hospital a few days later. As a result the new chief of Immigration police and the new governor visited the area late at night, well 11PM. Probably late for them but I doubt you would find too much going on that time of night!

There are rumours that the late night bars may be forced to change the style of bar are even force them to close. The owner of the bar where the incident happened is a local police officer so he should be alright.

On the long road to Independence beach from Eckhareach is the 5 Men Fresh Beer brewery run by the brewmaster that set up Cambodia beer. They are Sihanoukville first micro-brewery and offer a blonde and a dark beer for an unbelievable 50c & 75c a mug respectively. They also offer some Khmer style snacks and BBQ. The beer is a bit cloudy but this is only cosmetic as it is true LIVE ALE (not pasteurized) and does not take away from the beers wonderful taste. Check it out.

Bits From The Beach – July 2014

At the beginning of the past month what a lot of big bikes there were in town and generally the riders were big boys. The girlie bars were wetting themselves at the thought of doing some brisk business with many bikers from all over SE Asia and further afield. The Rebels club organised a punk band named Psychotic Reactions who went down a storm with the local residents of the normally quiet residential street. They must have wondered what hit them when they complained about the noise coming from the bar so all the bikers came out side got on their trusty steeds and revved the hell out of them. Now they have something to complain about. In the end a few crates of beer were handed over to smooth things over.

Queenco hosted an event with live music had some side stands. Unfortunately the likes of Harley Davidson, Honda etc were not present at this event so some bikers said that the show was not properly organised and so did not attend. Sounds like some disagreement between gangs to me (or the management not being paid as rumoured around town).

A massage parlour located on Ekereach Street in the centre of town, not the most discreet location, was raided and shut down by the police recently. Two customers were nearing the conclusion of their happy ending massage when the cops burst in catching them in the act. The girls & customers were re-educated and the mamma san has been sent to jail for running a place of ill repute.

A British man who ran website for ‘best Thai woman’ in Devon has been arrested in Cambodia on sex charges. Officials named the man as 68-year-old Geoffrey Peter Ewen, although Cambodian police are known to often get the names of foreigners muddled. The Briton was arrested in the southern resort of Sihanoukville on charges which include filming her naked against her will. ‘He confessed that he sexually assaulted his girlfriend and produced pornography’, provincial deputy police chief Mam Makal told the Cambodia Daily website. A Cambodian website used by expatriates claimed that the man had also hired a Vietnamese woman for sex and that police believed the video was being shot for commercial purposes. According to police, Peter has been a regular visitor to Cambodia. He was said to have met his alleged victim, a 20-year-old at the Dream Bar in Sihanoukville, a drinking establishment which claims to have the ‘most beautiful girls in Sihanoukville’, and where a draft beer sells for just 75 cents. They began a sexual relationship, but a week later the woman went to police. She claimed that she had caught Peter videoing her as she left the bathroom naked – and that he had used a sex toy against her will while they were having sex.

Never a dull moment down at the beach!