Author Topic: Another year over and a new one just begun  (Read 4409 times)

Offline Black Cat

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Another year over and a new one just begun
« on: December 27, 2014, 10:10:47 PM »
It's been a long year and for many a very long year. High Season was reportedly very late this year, despite a not particularly Rainy, Rainy Season. Times have been hard with increased competition and no increase in prices. Many bars in town never made it the whole year, especially bars around the 'new' Square Complex. At one time it was rumored that 2 people owned over 50% of the bars there, keen to 'flip' when the time was right. Right or not, bars have changed had for as little as 3.5k and as high as 20k, so the stories go.

But it wasn't only them that had it tough.

Victory Hill has had the worst year on record and didn't get busy until only a few days ago. Pretty much every bar there is for sale despite, or maybe partly due to the newly concreted road. Though reportedly the much feared 'widening' never really affected anyone. It has however changed the feel of the place, less seedy. Whether that is a good or bad thing willy remain to be seen.

Downtown hasn't fared much better with bars / boats / partners changing very quickly at times. For example D.D Canada, the previous guy out due to an excessive rent increase (more of that too follow), then the new owners having a huge fall out the day before opening. This resulted in them walking away. Some also say that, again, this was in fact due to the greedy landlord.

Ochheuteal area has boomed, if you hadn't been here for a couple of years and were somehow transported onto Serendipty Beach Road, you would have zero clue as to where you were! Is it better? Yes and no. Again, too little custom and way too much competition seems to be the screams from business owners in the area. That with Cutthroat prices despite mutual agreements to raise prices and stamp out the ridiculous 50c beers that plague the area.

Otres Beach. Well what can I say? Early on it was simply crazy that people would happily pay $50 per night to sleep on the beach under a mosquito net with only battery powered light (and sometimes a fan). Things have improved and there are now some very nice places there, charging almost (reportedly) $100 per night but they have a pool, power and AC. Quite why you'd need a pool when you're 15m from the Sea confuses the hell out of me, but there you go.

Power Cuts, not as bad as last year put many areas still go without power for excessive lengths of time despite the wonderful new power station (thank you China). Considering the number of Hotels, Guesthouses, Bar Complexes and Swift Houses going up it's not too bad though. Ok, I know Swift Houses don't take up too much electric but it's certainly more peaceful when the damned taped singing stops.

Crime in Sihanoukville. Definitely on the increase despite what appears to be a genuine attempt by the Police to take action. Thefts by "two khmer guys on a moto" is an all too frequent addition to Police Crime Reports. Basically, take great care when leaving Victory Hill (in any direction) and anywhere around the Golden Lion Circle. The Police themselves are still only to happy to pull over anyone who appears to be in the slightest bit 'un khmer ish'. With reports of $50 being asked if you aren't carrying a viable Driving License. Some people pay it and bitch later, others realize they're in Asia and haggle the price down to something more realistic.

The number of fatalities in town must have hit an all time high. Everyone in Sihanoukville who has spent more than a year here must have known someone who passed away this year. Some of the long termers lost many friends. For some strange reason this was a subject of great humor on a long running Expat Forum. With one of it's founders and some would say, most popular members, being the main protagonist in the Sihanoukville Hate Campaign. Sadly, everyone said, he also passed away recently. Despite the many RIP and "my thoughts go out to the family" wishes, only 11 westerners attended his funeral.

Greedy Landlords. Dear God! What is going on here? Why do these people consider a 100% (even a 50%) increase a suitable rent increase. So many bars and guesthouses, particularly around Serendipity Beach, have been forced to close. They still remain closed nearly a year later. Nice going there guys.

Ok, any good news? Of course, the good bars are doing well, there is still something for everyone who visits. Easier if you know your way around though. For example, The Plaza (sorry Pub Street!?) seems to have picked up this year, possibly because it's a safer haven than the Square and Victory Hill. Previously the bars here were the domain of grumpy expats, but now, it's busier and generally a good place to be.

The Islands seem to be the main benefactors of 2014 tourist money however. I've managed to sneak over a couple of times and really don't see what the fuss is about. I just see people doing what they used to do on Otres, that is, drink barefoot in beachbars with no fans, warm bar and terrible food. Ok, some are better than others, but the amount of litter on the beaches now is an expensive price to pay. Do the tourists care, no. Do the business owners, obviously not.

Anyway, High Season now. Three Happy New Years to look forward to. More reports to follow.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 10:13:48 PM by Black Cat »



Offline casper

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2014, 10:38:46 PM »
Definitely the longest post by a newbie, lol. Welcome :)
"It's not easy being drunk everyday, if it was, everyone would do it" - Tyrion Lannister

Click to visit - Charlie Harper's Bar



Offline Dacah

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 05:58:18 PM »
Pretty well sums things up....:)



Offline eddie

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 08:53:30 AM »
What bar do you own or support in pub street was there two weeks ago  not one customer in any of the bars
just board looking girls sat around can't see this place ever doing any good nice place but in the wrong location



Offline casper

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 07:42:09 PM »
Oh Eddie, don't go stating the obvious ! :)
"It's not easy being drunk everyday, if it was, everyone would do it" - Tyrion Lannister

Click to visit - Charlie Harper's Bar



Offline barracuda

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 09:04:09 PM »
Yep ever since BJ left it's gone downhill



Offline Gondal

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Re: Another year over and a new one just begun
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2014, 07:34:06 AM »
Black Cat, you didn't mention the tuk tuk mafia!!! And despite tourist numbers being down the expat population has grown significantly judging by the numbers shopping at Samudera and perpetual lack of parking!!!!



 

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