The Tuk Tuk mafia are waiting, hovering, ready to pounce. Its a game I know well and I'm ready!
From Phnom Penh airport to Sihanoukville is a relatively easy process - there's a shop selling bus tickets near then end of the runway. After trying hard to convince me the only way to get the Sihanoukville bus is to ride into downtown first, and with me refusing to believe it, they give up. Yes, I didn't fall for the lies, well, actually I've done this before so I had some Knowledge. Too Knackered to argue anymore I paid the $5 tuk tuk ride to the Southern end of the runway, to a shop by the big busy roundabout. I guess a hike might have taken about half an hour, but not just after an overnight flight! A desk with a handful of ticket books and the chap there promptly handed me a ticket and demanded $12 all before I had time to ask for the cheapest ticket - a 4$ rise on last time and nobody seems to know when the next bus is, just wait - oh well, this life in Cambodia!
The Chinese influence around here in Sihanoukville is plain to see. The proliferation of casinos, land clearance, construction and destruction all part of the Chinese effect, especially between the port and Independence beach. They seem to be grabbing land like there's no tomorrow. The giant Emario complex, practically empty 2 years ago now houses a casino, a shop selling only Chinese food, a gambling shop - even a vets! The once sleepy little beach road from Independence towards the town is now a newly constructed 4 lane highway and as the bulldozers move in so the unofficial beach-side vendors move out! its a shame but was always inevitable as Sihanoukville grows in popularity as a holiday hot spot. Yes, since my last visit almost 2 years ago development has stepped up a gear. Despite all this the actual beach fronts remain largely untouched for now, with plenty of rustic and not so rustic spots to choose from - changes afoot to this life in Cambodia.
More destruction and construction here.