Exclusive: Chinese Describes Sihanoukville

Casinos, Brothels, Scams, Sihanoukville- Broken by the Chinese

*This comes from a well-known Chinese language blogger, who for obvious reasons keeps prefers to remain anonymous, but writes as “Not Far From The Distance”

EDIT: Since publication, this article caused some problems for the source, and the original content has since been removed from Chinese media.

I came to Cambodia ‘s Sihanoukville Port for full ten days. I traveled to every corner of the city, gaining knowledge and feeling a lot. 

In this extraterrestrial place of the Chinese, crazy dramas about gambling, sex trade, killing, etc. are being performed every day, reminiscent of the preface to Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities -This is the best of times and the worst of times; People are going straight to heaven, people are falling to hell.

Crazy Chinatown in Southeast Asia

The port of Sihanouk, named after the King of Cambodia, was originally a quiet and beautiful port city. Beach waves, leisure life and ultra-low consumption attracted global visitors. Nowadays, the city is no longer a hotspot, instead , it is a physical casino opened by the Chinese, a network betting base, a clubhouse brothel, a telecom fraud center, and a Shaxian snack bar in the city.

Walking on the streets of Sihanouk, you will have a strong illusion of not leaving the country (*China). The shops opened by the Chinese are located in every street of the main city, and the Chinese people are everywhere. Shaxian snacks, Lanzhou noodles, net fish net coffee, Taikang clinic, Rujia hotel, good and many supermarkets, Sichuan flavoring wholesale, Dinghong club, heaven and earth… everything that involves Chinese food, clothing and accommodation is available.

▲Shaxian snacks all over the city

▲Chinese clinic

▲ clubhouse

Sihanoukville even appeared on the online shopping platform of “ Westport ”. Local shoppers also hang out under simple translated Chinese signboards to attract Chinese customers. According to incomplete statistics, there are currently about 120,000 Chinese in Sihanoukville, which is equivalent to the number of Cambodian natives. 

The local Cambodian metropolis has some simple Chinese, and the number of students who specialize in learning Chinese is far more than learning English. Today, Sihanouk is more like a Chinese city than a Cambodian.

Everything is related to gambling

▲Chinese casino under construction

The Chinese who were keen on overhauling making big buildings turned the whole city into a large construction site, and the dust generated by the construction gave Sihanouk a prosperous coat. Under the surface, it is the desire and sin that is enough to change the soul of the city. All the construction sites are busy with one thing – the casino and the hotel that are coming.  There are more than 30 Chinese casinos that have already opened, and about 70 casinos are under construction.

In the bustling area of ​​the city, “Double Lions”, the glamorous Chinese casino is the most dazzling building, in stark contrast to the local ruined streets. These casinos only accept Chinese people, and most of them come from China. Sihanouk is also the largest overseas city where Chinese people open casinos, far exceeding the Golden Triangle and Burma. 

The Chinese casino is in Westport, like a candle filled with cakes. In order to attract customers, some casinos use a “signing” model – even if you don’t have the money, the casino can let you gamble, and the amount of money can range from $2,000 to $5,000. 

The size of the individual casinos in Westport is not large, but the number is large. I have gone to five in total and are usually packed in the evening.

▲China Casino in downtown Sihanoukville

There is no doubt that Sihanouk is becoming an overseas gambling center for Chinese people. By the time the casinos under construction are all completed, this extraterrestrial place will be even more spectacular.

Spinach dog with telecommunications scam carnival base (?)

However, compared to the larger online gaming industry, casinos can only be seen. Thanks to a few readers who are far away from the distance, they are engaged in online gambling in Sihanoukville, also known as “spinach” (the words sound similar in Chinese, so is a kind of slang).

I was able to understand the real situation of this business. Unlike physical casinos, online spinach gambling is in the form of a network and and online places become actual gambling venues. The operator (banker) builds a gaming website, recruits a large number of customer service staff, finds customers through online promotion, and conducts gambling.

On the first day, one of my readers took me to visit his spinach base (currently he has left). The base is similar to an office building. There are no signboards. There are rows of computers in the room. At first glance, it looks like an Internet cafe 10 years ago or a network company in the startup stage. In each room, hundreds of extensions sit in front of the computer, contact customers via WeChat, and guide customers to bet.

▲I have the casino and gaming base marked on the map.

The promotion staff work from 12 noon to midnight every day. The dormitory is a simple board room, d staff have only one or two days off a month. 

A person in charge of the base of my readers said in a chat with me that there are about 5,000 Chinese people in the base who are engaged in the online gaming industry and belong to the larger scale of the Xigang gaming base. Throughout Westport, there are dozens of online gaming bases.

More than 80% of the hundreds of thousands of Chinese in Westport are engaged in online gambling. The industry workforce is commonly known as spinach dogs. 

Spinach dogs are roughly divided into three types of people. They can’t find any legitimate jobs in China. They owe gambling debts, and they don’t have professional skills and think that domestic wages are low. Spinach dogs constitute the main force of the Chinese people in Westport, but if they talk about rivers and lakes, they will not be ranked first. 

At the notorious “New Peak” in Westport, some Chinese are working hard to run telecom fraud. In October this year, the Chinese police dispatched hundreds of special police officers to fly to Westport to arrest relevant employees.

Chinese people make money, local people eat soil

Sihanouk has gathered a large number of spinach dogs, telecom scam dogs, gambling dogs, businessmen and tourists, which naturally generates a lot of consumer demand. 

On the surface, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Chinese people should stimulate local consumption and promote economic development. But in fact, most Cambodian locals have not benefited from it.

A wide variety of domestic restaurants have poured in, and there are almost no Chinese people eating local food. Chinese supermarkets can be seen everywhere, and there are few Chinese people in local shops. There are many hotels from China, and there are no Chinese people living in local hotels.

In addition to housing leasing and raw material purchases, as well as sporadic travel services, the Chinese in Westport have hardly traded with Cambodians. 

Chinese money is turning around in the pockets of the Chinese, forming a closed loop. At the same time, the arrival of the Chinese has destroyed the original consumer market in Westport, the most obvious of which is the decline of the tourism economy.

▲ Native Chinese Cambodian Chinese

When I was in the fishing village of Xigang, I met a Chinese-Cambodian. He is 75 years old this year and has spent a lifetime in Westport. He told me that before the Chinese came, Sihanouk was a quiet and beautiful tourist destination. Every year, a large number of European, American, Japanese and Korean tourists came to vacation. 

Nowadays, Westport has become a big construction site, not only dusty and noisy. Coupled with the casino and the Chinese elements everywhere, the number of Western tourists has dropped sharply.According to the data of the first nine months of this year, in Europe and the United States, France’s visitors to Westport were 2,341,17, down 13.94% year-on-year. In Asia, Thai tourists have fallen sharply by 38.05%.

▲ Westport’s European and American tourists are greatly reducing

This is a big blow for the locals, because unlike the Chinese closed-loop consumption, the consumption of European and American tourists directly benefits Cambodian locals. 

European and American tourists in Westport’s clothing, food and shelter, almost all directly from the locals to buy, and the Chinese people’s consumption is just the opposite, almost exclusively from Chinese businessmen.

More seriously, the influx of hot money from China, the imbalance between supply and demand, has given rise to local prices. At present, the price of Sihanoukville (local price) has surpassed the capital of Phnom Penh , especially housing rents soared, while the income of local residents in Westport still stays around $200 a month.

The construction of hundreds of thousands of Chinese people in Westport has also affected the mood of local people to some extent. Imagine, assuming that your country’s rural towns are originally quiet and beautiful, there are many foreigners coming to travel every year. Suddenly somehow, hundreds of thousands of Koreans or Japanese are pouring in, building casinos in your city, doing online gambling, and opening brothels. They have raised prices and reduced your income, and look down on you from time to time. Look like that. What do you think?

Arrogant anti-China organization VS silent Chinese

▲Chinese people who were chopped by anti-China organizations. The picture comes from the public number ” 

Angkor today “On the one hand, more and more Chinese people are pouring in, and on the other hand, local Chinese expatriation tends to be serious. In this context, anti-China organizations have finally emerged. The local youth motorcycles have a knife, and the number of Chinese people has been slashed and killed in a row in a month or two.

At the height of the slashing incident, the Chinese may be cut at any time on the street, and even those who you know will be chopped. At that time, in the Westport network community and various Chinese WeChat groups, the Chinese were filled with indignation and they called for the organization of thousands of people to march and pressure the Cambodian government. 

However, no one discussed the details of when, where, how to march, and no one is willing to stand up and take the lead. Within a few days, the group advertised and advertised. The promotion also started to push the spinach website link. The customer service of the clubhouse launched a photo of the technician. No one talked about the slaying event, let alone the demonstration. Why do hundreds of thousands of Chinese people make extraordinary money in Sihanouk, but when the knife is on the neck of the compatriots, it will only bluff?

▲The compatriots who were interviewed (the data line was lost, the video could not be exported)

I don’t think this can be simply summed up by the “Chinese people scattered sand”. I interviewed two of the chopped compatriots. One of the compatriots had a knife stuck in his back and almost died. When I asked the two compatriots how to look at the local anti-China organization, they were angry, they were eager to catch the murderer, but at the same time the identity of the gambling practitioners made them look less confident.

They even did not choose to call the police or contact the Chinese Embassy after being stabbed. Of the more than 30 compatriots who were attacked in the early days, only two chose the police and contacted the embassy.

▲Chinese investors are inspecting Sihanouk

“Not so confident” is a common sentiment in the Westport Chinese community. The Chinese know that what they are doing in Xigang is not a glorious activity. It is also clear that the huge wave of investment and construction has not materially benefited local people.In addition, Chinese investors are swaying billions of dollars in Westport, but they are not willing to make a small amount of money to do folk charity. 

In contrast, Japan and South Korea, while using Cambodia’s cheap labor and opening up factories to pollute the environment, have opened a large number of private charitable organizations, where they have built convenient bridge and built a school there, which has won the hearts of the local people.

▲The dollar is the main currency of Cambodia

Regarding what the Chinese are doing in Xigang, a compatriot who claims to be well-mixed and has a salary of 2 million a year is frank: “To put it bluntly, the Chinese are a piece of Cambodian land in the Westport Circle, earning Chinese money, and local people. There is no such thing as a half-dollar relationship. Westport is now the highest cost in Cambodia, how can Cambodian locals live? If you do this, can people not cut you?”

But even if we cut another 100 Chinese people, the purpose of local anti-China organizations trying to force the Chinese to leave will not be realized, because there is a huge wealth. 

In Westport, Chinese investors can get higher returns, and ordinary workers in China can get higher income than domestic ones. Whether it is casino, gambling or pornography, the Chinese’s actions in Westport did not violate Cambodia’s laws. The Cambodian government has designated Westport as a special economic zone. The Chinese investment is in line with Cambodia’s national interests. The corrupt Cambodian government has benefited from it. Even if it destroys the environment and the market, the consequences will only be the local people who eat the people.

▲Sihanoukville appearanceWest and West Twin Cities

After the storm, everything in Westport continues, and the Chinese will not easily withdraw from the game. Casinos, brothels, Shaxian, fraud, etc. are also growing. Some people refer to what happened here as “Western Gang chaos”, and some people publicly accuse the Chinese of doing what they do, but I always feel that there is no right or wrong in this world, no right and wrong, and some are only their respective positions. .

So for the Chinese and the Cambodians, the Sihanouk version of the preface to The Tale of Two Cities may be like this:This is the best time – Chinese gold digger relies on the gaming industry to dream in Sihanoukville; this is the worst era – the Cambodians have forever lost the beautiful and simple Westport. Source: not far from the distance


*Thanks again for our Mandarin maiden Jane, who keeps the Chinese POV flowing to CNE, we love ya!

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