Cambodian Essay on Sihanoukville

By Rothayya

Sihanoukville on the crossroads of paradise and tourism with a beautiful coastline and is Cambodia’s second most important tourist site after Siem Reap.

However, the province’s attractions have gradually moved from the heart of Cambodian people, while the coastal province has come to a point of change. There has been a departure from the tourist paradise for Cambodians and foreigners, and has become a place with a Chinese presence. It is also home to the most casinos.

An alarming indicator was revealed when the number of national and international tourists declined on the Pchum Ben holiday because they It is understood that the price for everything has gotten too high. Food, hotels and guesthouses have all increased in cost after the Chinese settled in and began working in the coastal province. Those traveling to Sihanoukville will see the construction of hotels and casinos by Chinese. Not as wealthy Chinese are also business people, and set up marketplaces selling all kinds of goods right down to hairdressers.

Currently there are no less than 40 casinos operating, and, according to a Ministry of Tourism official informal source that number could reach nearly 100. Whichever figure, casinos, mostly run by Chinese, are shifting Sihanoukville’s profile from a beautiful seaside resorts into a casino paradise.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, 1.2 million Chinese tourists visited Sihanoukville in 2017, up to 50 percent compared to 2016. Other foreign tourists are gradually withdrawing. The Chinese presence gives both fun and fear. The fun thing is that the economy is booming, and so many big investments by the Chinese are making the US dollar flow into Sihanoukville. At the same time, many jobs are created for construction workers, hotels, casinos and entertainment staff. The increase of construction has made many Cambodians, and their families, who work there, receive more benefits than elsewhere.

A construction worker there said he is paid up to $ 11 a day, and his wife works in a store with a $ 250 salary. In addition, some Sihanoukville residents have also become rich due to rising land prices and renting a building to Chinese. But this has meant that businesses of Cambodian people, such as restaurants and small shops, have started shutting down because of the inability to pay land rental fees, which have skyrocketed.

Some NGOs have begun to worry about social issues that will come as a result of the presence of Chinese and casinos. . A human rights NGO says, “Whenever there is gambling, there will be a lot of problems. It can make some Cambodians living there drowning in gambling and robbery and kidnapping may also occur, because of gambling. ”

According to Cambodian law, Cambodians are not allowed to play in casinos. But an “Island of Peace” reporter has indicated that there is no proper review. The “Island of Peace” reporter entered casinos in Sihanoukville without being checked. A number of Cambodians were sitting gamblers, though most of them were Chinese.

Chinese business is also characterized as a tourist triangle such as opening a hotel, opening a restaurant, opening a karaoke and other entertainment services and all kinds of businesses. The Chinese also prefer to buy and use services and accommodation where the same Chinese people work. Such a trend would make it hard for Cambodians to gain the greatest benefit from the growth of Chinese tourists to Cambodia because of the money exits a Chinese pocket into another pocket of another from China.

At the same time, the general feeling of Cambodians in Sihanoukville is no longer an attractive place for them to travel, for reasons of high cost and excessive Chinese presence. The situation in Sihanoukville now requires special attention to ensure it is an attractive tourist destination for Cambodians to visit. It is also an important source of income for Cambodia and its people. Sihanoukville must maintain its original reputation as one of the most beautiful seaside tourist destinations.

Currently, it should not be altered to a gambling paradise. Provincial authorities and governments are taking more action in managing Sihanoukville. Management should pay special attention to managing casinos, developing tourism, managing immigrants and protecting small-scale livelihoods of citizens Cambodia living there.





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