Otres Beach Gone Soon

by Deb
(St. Louis)

In Jan 2010 the Cambodian government gave notices to owners of the small hotels and bars / restaurants located along the beach in Sihanoukville.


The notice said that they had 30 days to vacate their property.

Apparently the government was still issuing leasing permits but on the other hand decided it wants to build a "public garden to attract tourists". So it's throwing everyone off the beach.

What??!! Build a garden in the sand??!!

Needless to say this small patch of paradise will probably be replaced with mega resorts, etc. soon. Sad to say.... another great paradise bites the dust.

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Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Wow. I was on Otres Beach, Sihanoukville last week (May 30th and 31st 2010) and it is business as usual on this gorgeous beach.

I have been in Cambodia on and off for 4 years, living and working in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

This is just a government money grab. Everything, once the skin is peeled away, is about money. The government sees the tourism growth and the dollars coming in from it.

Then they salivate.

They want to ensure that they have a piece of the action going forward and now they have.

As well, they can justify hiking all current fees and adding new taxes to foreigners who lease the land to open and maintain bars and restaurants along the beach.

The Government won't be building any garden in the sand. That made me laugh! Thank you for your comments.

My trip to Otres beach was wonderful. The beaches are still clean and the water perfect. It is a beautiful place.

I wouldn't say the same for Occhetual beach or anywhere else in between Victory Beach (Yuk!) and Otres beach (Beautiful).

There is garbage everywhere, floating in the water and wrapping around your legs as you wade out into the warm seas.

It is such a shame but an expected occurrence due to the huge number of tourists using the beaches and no real means of garbage disposal.

In the end, nothing will happen on the beaches of Sihanoukville as long as the people leasing the land pay their bills and accept the rising costs that are coming soon (No, you haven't yet seen the worst of it, yet).

Just wait until they finally finish extending the electricity lines past Otres beach.

It will mean more tourists, more garbage and more money into the government officials' pockets.

So, in many ways you are right. Quote "Sad to say.... another great paradise bites the dust."

We agree that demise is coming to the beaches of Sihanoukville but disagree on how it will happen.

They won't or don't want to build a Garden or National Park. They just want more money before the tourist end up destroying it all on their own.

In Sihanoukville, just because you throw your garbage into a garbage can doesn't mean it's going anywhere else but out to sea or dumped behind a palm tree.

Now I'm sad.

This will not happen for a few years yet so if you are in Cambodia then please take a bus down to Sihanoukville.

I recommend Castaways beach bar. It is a quiet place with great bars and restaurants very near yet not loud enough to bother your sleep.

Otres Beach is a beautiful place right this moment (June 7, 2010). Don't avoid it because of anything said here.

It is one step closer to heaven than most places in the world.

Good, happy and safe travels everyone,

Philip.

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Aug 10, 2010
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Otres Beach is Gone!
by: Tom (formerly castaways)

Hi Phil!

Just in case you have not been informed, the Government did clear 75% of the bars and guesthouses out from Otres beach, From La Casa to Golden Sunset, a distance of 1.5 Km.

About one month ago there was the usual rumors flying around, I was actually in Thailand at this time, I returned to hear the so called rumors but then there were police and soldiers strolling along the beach checking each bar and using sort of intimidating tactics!

then I was told by my landlord to leave within the next 24 hours,

As owners were vacating their premises a large metal fence was being erected at the rear of the bars along the road. and that was that, 2 weeks later the bulldozers came and flattened what was left of the 62 business's affected!

There are still bars/guesthouses left on Otres at either end, but the community spirit and the good feeling that was once there is no longer.

Rest in peace Otres beach !!!

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Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Tom. I am very sorry. Not just for you but for the loss of many of you who lost years of work. I want to say I'm shocked but I have been in Asia too long I suppose.

They are planning a large tourist park project for the area and you got in the way. I want to tell people not to support the projects going up at Otres Beach but a clear-cut, prime example of 'Progress' as the government sees fit.

The small group of bar owners didn't have a chance fighting the rich tycoons who probably bought the entire place. Maybe it was Taksin Shiniwatra!.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. I feel lucky to have stayed in your guesthouse on Otres beach before the Jerks ripped it down. Best of luck to you, Tom.

Philip.

Jun 07, 2010
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Otres Beach Destroyed
by: Anonymous

Well Philip! You just about got that right on the nail, couldn't have put things better myself except to say that in my opinion it will be at least 4-5 years before anything major happens down here, So we live in hope!

Tom

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Thanks, Tom. Hope you are keeping the place going. Enjoyed our stay!

(Castaways Beach Bar is Gone as of November 2012)

Philip

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