Development in Sihanoukville: a photo blog

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I’ve written about development in Sihanoukville in a few recent posts, including Big Changes in Sihanoukville and Sihanoukville is Growing Fast Everywhere You Look. I guess I’m a little obsessed about it because I see new developments everywhere I go. Some are apartment blocks, others are casinos and the larger ones are hotels and resorts. I could post 100 photos of developments and still just scratch the surface, so I’ll just share some I saw when I drove on the beach road yesterday.

Development in Sihanoukville

There are a few new developments near the Sokha Resort. This is one of them.

hotel near Sokha Resort Sihanoukville Cambodia

Near Sokha Resort

And here is another. There are others near this one, but I didn’t want to post too many or this would be a long post with too many photographs.

There’s even more developments being built near Independence Beach. I posted a photo of the biggest one a few posts ago, but there are also developments on the opposite side of the road from the beach. Here’s one of the biggest.

development near Independence beach Sihanoukville Cambodia

Note the cement truck (I counted five). Near Independence Beach

And here is another development in the same area.

two developments near Independence beach Sihanoukville Cambodia

After I took these photos, I was still a little early for dinner, so I took the long way to my favourite Cambodian restaurant on the Hill. I hadn’t been on this road for about six months, so imagine my surprise when I saw a brand new casino near the hotels along this stretch of road. I wondered where the “Rich Casino” was. I found out yesterday.

the Rich Casino near Victory Beach Sihanoukville Cambodia

But that wasn’t the only new development I saw there. I also saw this one. I have no idea what it is or how big it’s going to be, but here it is.

new development near Victory beach Sihanoukville Cambodia

I also saw land being cleared for more developments. One area looked quite large. Who knows what it will be. Possibly another casino or possibly a resort. Time will tell. Some say the Chinese are building all these developments, but wealthy Cambodians are also building. Apartment buildings are going up all over the place. Again, some say it is to house Chinese, who are coming here in droves and driving prices up.

I read recently that Chinese tourists are up by 45.7% in Cambodia in just nine months, but many are staying here long term and renting apartments. I’m told they like to stick together and often offer more money for an entire apartment complex. In some cases, owners have told barang (western expats) to leave so the Chinese could take over the complex.

Sihanoukville is changing and changing fast. I remember when I came here almost 11 years ago and rarely saw a car on the road. Now there seem to be almost as many cars as motorbikes and the beach road is filled with cement trucks and trucks bringing in supplies. It’s not the same town I came to and we’ll just have to see what happens next. One thing seems sure: development in Sihanoukville is not stopping any time soon.

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About Rob Schneider

Rob Schneider is a writer based in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, where he has lived since 2006.

10 Responses to Development in Sihanoukville: a photo blog

  1. gary e mcevilla says:

    Thank you for sharing Rob. I am planning on returning to say hi so some khmer and lingering expat friends soon. Sihanoukville was a great place for me. Still have some great Khmer and expat friends i want to return and see soon . But after awhile plan to go to Philippines again for very long stay .

    • You might be surprised by how many expats have left Sihanoukville. Rising rents are one of the reasons and the Chinese have taken over many apartment buildings by offering higher rents.

  2. Pingback: Sihanoukville Journal

  3. Nerissa says:

    Dear Friend,
    My name is Nerissa and I am Filipino and Italian. I am an expat, a traveler, and a mother. I have just created a website called to talk about the stories of people that for different reasons live or travel around the world.
    I hope you could contribute with your personal story to this website. I would also appreciate if you can also publish summaries of some of your best articles that are currently on your blog/website also on (obviously, I will give you credits for your posts).
    I thank you for your precious time and, whatever your belief is, I wish you a peaceful time for Christmas.
    All the best,

  4. Gerry says:

    Rob, I was recently in Cambodia & noticed the massive developments down on the river in Phnom Penh (and elsewhere in the city) and also the developments in Snooky. Very amazing. As you say, there seems to be Chinese money all over these developments and casinos springing up everywhere. Even the school in Ekareach St near the Golden Lions seems to have been sold off. Fortunately I have a house & land out at Klang Lieu and its all still nice & quiet there, but who knows what the future holds. I also noticed that Serendipity/Occuteal beach areas were VERY quiet at night and very few foreigners about. Most seem to be out at Otres, but that’s undergoing massive changes also. The future will be interesting. Cheers!

  5. eileen says:

    That’s sad, same happened here in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and is still going on – but northern Thais aren’t that keen on Chinese, often making them feel unwelcome, and the junta cracked down on their cheap, all-inclusive tours – guess they might be heading in your direction as a result!

    Was planning an eventual move to Sihanoukville, but now considering Kampot – even though I suspect the Chinese might discover it before I get there!

  6. Johan Dobbelaere says:

    Is it true that the Chinese are everywhere and western people are leaving to Kampot. Is it difficult to find accomodation compared to last year? Is there stille a pleasant vibe through to city and is it changing fast?

    kind regards johan

    • Yes, Chinese are everywhere, especially on the Hill it seems. I’ve heard a lot of people are moving to Kampot. Rents have gone up here and sometimes Chinese take over whole apartment buildings. They offer higher rent. I still like it here, but don’t know how long it will last. So many developments going up and so many casinos. I still have places I like to go, but two of my favourite restaurants closed because their rents went way up.

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