Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Modern times for hut vendors

Modern times for hut vendors

Modern times for hut vendors

A young girl takes it easy on a Sunday beside Kep beach. On holidays and weekends the beachfront at Kep is packed with tourists, both local and foreign.

PHAT Sokhom, 32, is one of the many women who line the road running along the small public beach in the heart of Kep. As a car approaches she rushes out hoping to draw some custom.

“I offer tourists my food menu and if they like it I cook food for them beside my hut,” she says.

Just across the road from the beach, Phat Sokhom’s hut is identical to its neighbours. Constructed only two years ago as part of municipal improvements, it is modern with a concrete base and metal pillars.

“I used to have a wooden stall here,” she says admitting that the previous huts would break endangering her customers. “The new huts are safer.”

The improvements have come at a cost. Phat Sokhorn now pays $25 per month for her hut, whereas she used to pay $13 per month for the previous wooden one. This though has not dampened business.

“Before the hut was not so good and we also rented at a cheap price, but now it is better and we rent at a higher price,” she says. “On a normal day if customers just want to sit in the hut and not order food, we charge $5 per day, at weekends and on public holidays we charge US$10.”

Although she does get some foreign tourists, the majority of her customers are Cambodian.

“Saturdays and Sundays are very good, but the best days are the public holidays and especially Khmer New Year and Chinese New Year,” she says.

One problem is the increasing number of huts. While there were only 30 wooden huts, now there are 42 modernised ones. This has stiffened competition.  “I think there are too many huts,” she says. “This week I have only had one customer.”

Phat Sokhom views the changes to the beach huts as part of a more general recent improvement in Kep.

“If we compare with three years ago we have seen a lot of changes,” she says. “Lots of roads are paved and more guest houses are open. Everything is cleaner and car parking is better than before.”


  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading