Sihanoukville Infrastructure and Tourism Trends

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:43 p.m.


Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s only seaport, a crucial import/export hub for the massive garment and agriculture industries - and, simultaneously, a tropical holiday resort destination on Cambodia's southern coast.
Due to these two features, Sihanoukville city is growing rapidly and is an increasingly important Cambodian economic center. The Sihanoukville real estate market is diversifying fast too. Thankfully, in contrast to the neighboring beach/port areas in Thailand and Vietnam, Sihanoukville does not suffer from the threat of major flooding, typhoons, tsunamis or earthquakes. Even during the rainy season, the coast of Sihanoukville happily hosts guests. This is certainly a positive thing for the Sihanoukville real estate market. Although tourism has increased rapidly over the past years, the beaches of Sihanoukville remain some of the most unspoiled and picturesque in all of mainland Southeast Asia. Major improvements are also being made to Sihanoukville's airport currently, and plans are supposedly in place to build an international airport on the island of Koh Rong in future. Tourism in the province is expected to see a large boost in coming years, and the Siem Reap real estate market is certainly reflecting this. Tourism clearly defines certain sectors of the Sihanoukville real estate market, and land prices directly reflect this in tourism hot spots around the city, and along the coast. However, because Sihanoukville has been developed as a tourism destination in a relatively short space of time. What was once a city defined by scattered bungalows - and very little else - is quickly being replaced by high-end resorts and beachfront condo developments, casinos, world-class golf courses and monopolized mass tourism networks. These dramatic changes are not-surprisingly putting pressure on amenities such as water and electricity throughout the city of Sihanoukville, especially near the largest new developments. Nevertheless, power cuts and water shortages are much less frequent in Sihanoukville than smaller, less-developed tourist destinations such as Kep, Kampot or even Battambang. Keep these infrastructural considerations in mind as you choose which part of the Sihanoukville real estate market you wish to buy property in. For those businesses and individuals wishing to ensure consistently stable electricity, backup generators are a common sight in Sihanoukville. They are a cheap and dependable option. This is standard practice for the majority of major hotels, resorts and restaurants in Sihanoukville. Renewable electricity solutions are also increasingly available throughout Cambodia, especially in regards to wind and solar power. Renewable power solutions can be bought and installed at very competitive prices in Cambodia, and offer significant financial rewards in the longer-term - as they lessen dependence on the grid. Water is predominantly city-sourced in Sihanoukville city. For property owners this might mean the occasional shortage can occur in Sihanoukville. Drilling a deep well is an option chosen by many with high water demands in Sihanoukville; yet, keep in mind that water may still require proper filtration once pumped. Alternatively, and considerably more inexpensively, water banks are a solution recommended by many Sihanoukville property owners with high, or consistent, water demands. Cambodia's only deep-sea port is located in Sihanoukville. Plans have recently been announced to increase the capacity of this port through sand dredging. Sihanoukville deep sea port can currently only host “feeder” vessels. What this means, is that any long haul sea freight being imported or exported from Sihanoukville must first connect to larger “mother” vessels at deeper-water regional ports, such as the hub ports of Hong Kong or Singapore. Only after transferring freight cargo from feeder vessels to these mother vessels can it then depart to final destinations in the US or Europe; or, in the case of import freight, landing in Cambodia at the Sihanoukville port. When this port expansion is completed in 2020, mother vessels will be able to dock at the Sihanoukville port. This will mean costs for importers and exporters operating from within Cambodia will be significantly reduced, as will the time it takes to reach final destinations worldwide. Significant reserves of offshore oil have been prospected near Sihanoukville and are currently being sold by the Cambodian Government to various international extraction companies. Because to these potential resources, a considerable amount of international aid has been poured into Sihanoukville to improve the infrastructure of the province so far. No doubt, in the future, as the oil is sold and extracted, the city’s infrastructure will develop hugely. Now might just be the perfect time to stake your claim in the Sihanoukville real estate market before prices soar in future - so you had better get there fast... footernews