Sihanoukville Travel Blog› entry 40 of 94 › view all entries
Sihanoukville is freshening its overall appearance to compete with Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in becoming a major Cambodian tourist destination. A newly repaved section of Ekareach Street has been fitted with two traffic signals, painted crosswalks (use at your own risk), and huge directional signboards that hint at some kind of massive interchange just around the corner.
Old buildings are being cleaned up, refurbished, or painted and new ones being constructed. All of the structures seem to be tall and narrow and maintain the French Colonial styling that the city has had since its founding in the 1950s.
Construction methods are crude and simple, employing an enormous work force.
Rickety bamboo scaffolding supports bricklayers, carpenters, and painters. Buckets of building materials are hoisted to the upper floors by ropes and pulleys, some by motors and cables. Sparks from welder's torches fall from the sky as framework for metal roofing is assembled. Carpenters and cabinet makers work long hours to provide a steady flow of products being carted off to the scattered sites. The buzz of their saws and planers can be heard throughout one neighborhood - driven by crude gasoline engines or aged electric motors with wobbling rubber belts.