As the holiday season blooms Sihanoukville has become a mad house. Hotels and guesthouses are mostly full and we are still a week away from the main vacation holiday rush that is sure to come. For the big western holidays, Christmas and New Years, many of the NGO & expatiate community in Phnom Penh will come to the beach to enjoy sun and sand with their families and friends. Many Cambodians from the growing middle class of Cambodia come to the beach on a regular basis as well, further inflating the holiday madness.
Sihanoukville is fast becoming a main Asia tourist destination with a transition from the backpackers , flash packers and flesh packers to more travel groups, and main stream self directed tourists. With the airport scheduled to open soon, more and more visitors will come to Cambodia and to Sihanoukville for the cheap prices, and the atmosphere that you use to find in Thailand 30 years ago
The promise of next year seems to have finally arrived here in Sihanoukville, as many thought that this beach resort city would take off years ago, but with little support from the government, and the repeated missed deadlines for the opening of the airport, it never quite hit its stride. Also slated, but now cancelled, was a golf course complex, which many felt in conjunction with the airport, would bring lots of well healed tourists to Sihanoukville. Another avenue for tourists to come to the city is from cruise ships, which do come, but the people off the cruise ships are being shunted off to only a couple of venues, or even bussed and flown out of Phnom Penh to Siem Reap for an overnight trip to Angkor Wat, so their impact is for all intents and purposes is nil for the people that live and work in Sihanoukville. Even the local guides that service the ships are brought in from Phnom Penh.
Next year an additional burden will be put on the housing and infrastructure as the oil companies start gearing up for full scale production. Sihanoukville is the only deep water port in Cambodia, so by default it will be the center for the oil industries efforts here in Cambodia.
Fred Tittle has lived in holiday vacation resorts his entire life, from the famous Lake Geneva Playboy Club , Aspen Colorado where he was a rock jock for KSPN FM, Hawaii Scuba Diving in Waikiki on Oahu and now as a owner of EcoSea Dive in Sihanoukville Cambodia where he teaches PADI and SSI Scuba Diving and runs adventure tours, http://www.ecosea.com
Fred's 2 new projects http://www.CheapCharliesHotels.com where he reviews cheap hotels & budget guesthouses but really is an excuse to go on vacation more with his lawyers and http://www.Cheap-Lawyers.us where he gives up the free advise he gets on vacation.