Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sihanoukville Airport to Open

There are three towns that tourists tend to visit in Cambodia: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. As of now, Sihanoukville was the only one without an airport, but that will all change next month. The airport will provide direct access to the Cambodian Coast for the first time since the end of the civil war. A few quick thoughts:

The airport is located a ways to the East of town, on the edge of Ream National Park. Sihanoukville is a rapidly evolving, hard-edged, money-chasing sort of place. With thousands of wealthy tourists suddenly falling out of the sky, you can bet that the touts and hookers and gangsters (oops, I meant developers) will fall over themselves to chase after them. Will hotels sprout up on Ream’s untracked beaches? Eventually, but for now there is plenty of open land between downtown and the airport that is not part of the National Park. Look for the beaches to the East of town to get busy fast, especially those just beyond Ocheauteal.

With no airport, Sihanoukville doesn’t get many wealthy tourists, whose experience of Cambodia is usually limited to Siem Reap and the Angkor Temples. The airport will bring more business to the one luxury hotel already in Sihanoukville, but it will also enable high-end eco-tourism along the more remote areas of the coast – in places like Kep and the offshore islands. Look’s like the expedition Ryan and I are making to these parts next month will happen just in time…

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sie schreiben im Dezember, dass nächsten Monat - also Jänner 2007 - sich vieles wegen der Eröffnung des Airport SHV ändern wird.
Meine Freunde in SHV wissen bis heute nichts von dieser Eröffnung
(außer jener Scheineröffnung 2004).
Was wissen Sie wirklich über die Neueröffnung ?

10:38 AM  

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