Sihanoukville: The Dark Side of Cambodia's Coastal Paradise
Thanks to its stunning beaches and affordable prices, Sihanoukville, once a sleepy beach town in Cambodia, has become a hotspot for tourism in recent years. However, with the rise of overtourism, rubbish and pollution have become major issues.
This influx has led to overcrowding and environmental damage. Many of the beaches are now littered with rubbish and waste.
The growth of foreign investment has increased infrastructure and economic development. Chinese investors, in particular, have been heavily involved in Sihanoukville’s reshape, financing large-scale projects such as casinos, hotels, and a deep-water port.
This foreign investment has raised concerns about sovereignty and economic dependency. For some Chinese government’s close ties with the Cambodian government have allowed it to exert undue influence over the country, particularly in terms of economic policy. Additionally, some worry that Cambodia’s reliance on Chinese investment could leave it vulnerable to debt traps and exploitation.
Development of tourism infrastructure has led to a significant increase in the use of plastic products such as bottles, bags, and food packaging that end up polluting the environment.
The city has struggled to keep up with the increase of waste that is overflowing landfills and illegal dumping. This has resulted in unsanitary conditions and health hazards for locals and tourists alike.