Victory Hill Area
Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 54 of 62 › view all entries
I decided to go up to Victory Hill for the area's finest pizza at the Australian-run Corner Bar. I had the moto taxi take the round-about way so that I could check out St. Michael's Church which sits at the base of Sihanoukville Mountain. Built in 1962 to serve local Catholics, the church was used as a prison from 1975 to 1979 under the Khmer Rouge regime then as a storage facility until it reopened in 1993. Designed by the noted Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann - who also designed the Independence Monument and Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh - St. Michael's impressive brickwork includes a ship's sail at the front and boats on the sides. The church remains active today, serving about 50 families, primarily Vietnamese.
I had the motorbike driver drop me off on nearby Victory Hill and paid him $2 for the 'detour' and the wait while I photographed the church.
I enjoyed a pepperoni pizza and bottle of Coca Cola at the Corner Bar then walked the short distance down the hill to the Victory Monument. That monument was constructed in 1985 to symbolize Cambodia's friendship with Vietnam for its assistance in the victory over the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.
Once thriving with numerous open-air bars and eateries, Victory Beach is rather quiet these days - undergoing development. Since my visit last year, a new pier has been added and a Russian Antanov AN-24 twin-engine airplane has been put on static display. Spiral stairs lead to its forward door but it was pad-locked shut. Only a handful of foreigners basked on padded lounge chairs in front of the two or three local restaurants that were open. A white cruise ship docked at the nearby port terminal. I had seen it on occasion over the past three seasons but have no idea where it comes from or where it sails. I'd only ever seen its passengers ride by on air-conditioned busses while touring the Sihanoukville area.
Victory Beach is an excellent spot for watching sunsets but I walked back up the hill and took a moto taxi back to town and the Freedom Hotel.