Monday, May 26, 2008

Building up SihanoukVille

Some recent progress on SihanoukVille's infrastructure.

* The bridge to Snake Island has officially started construction
Plans are for the island to be a large resort and residential place.
The marina, which is at the base of the bridge on the mainland will have condos, a shopping mall, and many services. The marina is still about 80% finished (except for a couple big buildings)

* No news on oil drilling, but not too many helicopters flying overhead lately.

* and the helicopters were the only users of the SihanoukVille Airport, which still does not have any scheduled flights.

* The town's public hospital is expanding, thanks in part to Bill Gates (Gates Foundation is one of the donors to the new Lab building). And another building is going up next to the AIDS clinic, run by the French Red Cross.

* All the bridges between Koh Kong and SihanoukVille (and Phnom Penh) are finished, which shortens the ride between these places dramatically. Should bring more tourists to SihanoukVille from Thailand, as the trip is now shorter and cheaper.

* A large coal fired power plant will be constructed in town, with completion several years away.

* A small oil refinery and delivery infrastructure is planned (being built?) on the road to Steung Hauv, outside of town.

* The first 2 traffic lights have been installed (not yet turned on) downtown.

* Still waiting for KFC to come to town as planned.

* Another bank opened, and another bank is already planned for downtown. This makes about 10 banks in town.

* Land prices are going up, but much more slowly than in the past couple of years.
Several land development project, large and small have begun around town. Condos townhouses, shopping complexes, single family home complexes. And the number of real estate sales offices is also going up.

* Don't know of any progress on the islands off the coast of SihanoukVille, but it's hard to tell what's going on out there.

* Many new government buildings are going up around town.

and that's about it!

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