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.”



  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune