Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Life’s a beach bar

Life’s a beach bar

Life’s a beach bar

Chea Navy, a 23-year-old bar owner, stands behind the bartop at Heng Hut Bar on Occheuteal Beach, where she says business has been is good.

TAKING on a bar is a precarious venture, even if you have a prime beachfront site, but this does not seem to faze Chea Navy. The 23-year-old took over Heng Hut Bar and Restaurant on Occheuteal Beach five months ago.

“Before I used to work here,” she says. “I have worked for five years at restaurants on the beach.”

Initially she waited at restaurants for her aunt, but after she married she turned first to cooking and then to management.

“When this restaurant came up for rent, I took it,” she says.

Chea Navy has a two-year licence, paying US$500 each month.

“Business is really good, but this month has become quiet,” she says. “A few months ago a lot of tourists came here.”

Despite her management inexperience, Chea Navy seems to have learned the three most important factors for business success: location, location, location.

“This is a good site for business,” she says. “Most foreigners they come to enjoy themselves here.”

Together with her husband, Chea Navy raised US$5,000 to take on the restaurant. While she works at the bar, her husband is busy cooking in the kitchen. It seems a sensible division of labour. “He is so shy,” she says.

At the moment the couple have no clear direction for the future. “We just run the restaurant and do not have any other plans yet,” she says. “Other owners have run their restaurants for a long time and have saved a lot more money.”

As for the recent improvements to the beachfront, Chea Navy is a fan.

“For my business it is very good,” she says. “My heart also likes it. We have the walkway. It looks better than before.”



  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman