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Is Sihanoukville the most dangerous place in SE Asia?


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It says here that they've spent a lot of money on improving Sihanoukville:

According to Im Chantha, deputy director of Preah Sihanouk Province's tourism department, tourist arrivals rose almost 17 per cent YoY during the first half of the year, topping one million visitors. Some two million tourists are expected to visit the province in 2016.

 

According to Ms Im Sihanoukville has been putting considerable effort into cleaning up its image as a seedy backpacker haunt with poor infrastructure and rampant crime, with an increasing array of upscale accommodation, better infrastructure, and a host of city beautification projects helping to boost the city’s appeal to local and international tourists.

 

Street lighting, sidewalks, gardens and better utilities have all been invested in by provincial authorities, while more proactive policing has helped to significantly reduce crime. The number of snatch-and-grab robberies, one of the most frequent crimes against tourists, are down substantially since a new provincial police chief took over in April 2015, she said.

 

Word must be getting out, particularly in Cambodia. Local tourists to Sihanoukville increased by 21 per cent YoY in the first half of the year, compared to only a 3.1 per cent increase in foreign visitors. In the first half of 2016 some 223,000 foreign visitor ventured to Sihanoukville, in addition to 810,000 Khmer, she said.

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" Street lighting, sidewalks, gardens and better utilities have all been invested in by provincial authorities, while more proactive policing has helped to significantly reduce crime. "

 

Anyone on a motorbike will agree.... I heard the next upgrade will be toll booths at Lion Circle, up the hill, at the orange supermarket. Discount tickets will be available so a ride from the Lion Circle to Samudera will be charged at only 3 USD instead of 5-6.

 

Sorry, but I did not see any improved police conduct a month ago. Same (deleted) from the same (deleted)  heads.

 

If they really would like to improve get some songteaws. This would reduce traffic and offer a reasonable alternative. Plus the toyotas can carry more drugs than any motortaxi driver or tuktuk. In sum, no loss of income for the police

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Sihanoukville is definitely becoming a much more mainstream destination. I stayed there for a month and did not experience or hear of any type of violent crime. If it was such a dangerous place I would have expected to hear of something, but nothing. I did hear of a khmer committing suicide as well as serious motorbike accidents and property theft at the hotel, but no violence.

I think it's bad reputation comes from the early 2000's when there were very few expats and it was extremely dangerous, with regular shootings. Friends who lived there told me a large percentage of foreigners died during that time within a couple years, do to various causes. including being murdered for debts, etc. Cambodia has come a long way since then, and right now there is no evidence that it's anymore dangerous than other parts of Cambodia, or Thailand.

As for prostitutes, a large percentage of Cambodian streetwalkers who go with foreigners are in fact hardcore criminals. The same is true in Phnom Penh.

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I think that, like anyplace, a lot depends on where you stay, the kind and location of places you frequent, and the hours you keep. Cambodian families continue to go there for holiday and do nto regard it as dangerous. When I go, it is with my adopted Khmer family and we stay at/frequent  family friendly places and keep local hours (i.e. in by 7-8 PM max) and no problems at all.

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  • 5 months later...

The people are poor and tough and dispossessed.  Thoughtless insensitive Westeners  - especially backpackers put themselves in the line of fire with flaunting of wealth and general poor behaviour often oblivious to there surroundings. The Philippines is the most dangerous violent place in SE  Asia I believe. 

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On Sunday, December 01, 2013 at 11:00 PM, Jip99 said:

YOU ask a lot of questions but contribute NOTHING.

You have had a pop at two highly respected forum members (and flamed them) but fail to add anything of substance to the discussion.

YOU tell us, davidst01 - what exactly are your personal experiences of Sihanoukville.

Mr worldwide is nothing but a troll and always has been 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

You are calling this place the most dangerous based on just one personal experience? You could have had a similar experience almost any place in any country.  

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On 01/12/2013 at 4:12 AM, hanno said:

Both TravellingMark and AdventurousKate are a bunch of losers who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. They are hyping up something that doesn't exist. Unlike them, I have lived in Cambodia foe 5 years and not once have I encountered what they supposedly dod in their 3-week visit.

 
 
 
 
 

 

What's your opinion on all the people in the blog post comments and their, quite terrifying, experiences?

 

They're making it up?

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Bassosa said:

 

What's your opinion on all the people in the blog post comments and their, quite terrifying, experiences?

 

They're making it up?

 

 

 

 

Exactly. Obviously these people have experienced a bad event. Who would be bothered to go to the extent that travelling mike did unless some bad shit happened??

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It's a form of political correctness.

 

Whenever you hear something negative about something you hold dear,  just close your eyes, close your ears and start yelling 'lalalalalalalala'.

 

Or utter the following phrases:

 

"Nothing happened to me when I was there so Sihanoukville is obviously not a dangerous place"

"They were probably asking for it"

"Damn you for flaunting your wealth"

"They are poor, what do you expect?"

 

 

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Obviously, different people will have different experiences.

 

Some of it is down to their own behavior: where they go/hang out, at what hours, how cautious they are, how well they know the place and what normal precuations to take, whether they get stoned/inebriated etc.

 

And some of it is pure luck.

 

Pretty much anyplace in Cambodia - and most especially in Phnom Penh and SHV - it is necessary to observe precautions one would not in Thailand. Khmers do this automatically, as do long-time resident expats,  but visitors and people newly arrived  will often not know these unwritten "rules" for keeping safe nor have a feel for how to read a street and detect what places are not a good idea to be in at night, etc. And both in Cambodia and Thailand, there is a tendency to through caution ot the winds when at a beach resort.

 

Of course, even the most aware and cautious person can still fall victim to crime. Less likely, but still possible, there is the sheer luck factor.

 

SHV has certainly become more dangerous over the last few years though hardly to the level of the "most dangerous in all of SEA".

 

Phnom Penh has also got much more dangerous in the past year or so. That tends to happen in election years. (Commune elections this summer).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 30/11/2013 at 9:49 AM, ghworker2010 said:

Whats the name of the bar you own Rarky????

If anyone googles 'dangers of sihanoukville' you will see numerous threads on snookyville. There's a story on trip advisor (copy and paste below). This is a typical snookyville story and thus one should be careful if visiting snookyville which I agree has to be one of the dodgiest places in Asia. I've been there many times and know fully well how shady the police are, the dodgy tuk tuk drivers and all the problems with the guys on yabba. 'Travellingmark' has an interesting blog on this subject matter if you want to google it.

''Me and my partner and best friend are in Sihanoukville now, after spending 6months travelling in South-East Asia. We have genuinely loved Cambodia so far... until 2 nights ago when we were brutally attacked... TWICE.

My boyfriend and I were walking along the beach in the evening on our way home from a bar, when a Cambodian man ran past, grabbed my bag from my shoulder and bolted into the darkness. (In it was my camera, both our phones, ipods, money etc). We walked about 40 meters from the beach to the main road looking for help. We both looked obviously upset and distressed, and to add insult to injury (or injury to insult in this case) a middle aged white man who was sitting in a tuk-tuk by the road ran at us from behind, beating my boyfriend around the head with a metal bar. I started screaming as my boyfriend fell to the floor, at which point the man turned around, ran at me, and smashed my face in with the bar. He then got back in the tuk-tuk and drove away. He didn't speak, or take anything (we clearly had already been robbed minutes earlier). The tuk-tuk driver, a Cambodian man, just watched. A group of Cambodian people who were sat eating nearby immediately ran away also, clearly not wanting to get involved. We staggered up the street hysterical and bleeding, when another Cambodian man turned up and took us to the police booth. The policeman on duty took one look at us and laughed, telling us it was not his problem, and to go away before he arrested us for disturbing his nap. Within minutes, a group of about 70 people were surrounding us trying to help, including a Cambodian man who said "I saw everything, I was the man's tuk-tuk driver." When asked where he took the man, he promptly changed his story and left. Someone rang the police who were annoyed that there was no money in it for them (they wanted us to pay them to find the criminals), and told us to go to hospital. Some friendly Russian men took us to hospital, paying for the tuk-tuk. The hospital staff would not treat my partner for his head injury, then proceeded to stitch my face up without anaesthetic! Horrific pain. One of the Russian guys helping us was actually weeping seeing the distress we were in. They did not treat me for my clearly broken nose, or ask if we had other injuries. Then, they were reluctant to let us leave because we couldn't pay the bill - even though we explained we had just been robbed and needed to get in touch with our insurance company.

My mum, back home in England, got in touch with a member of the British Embassy based in Sihanoukville, who came to our hotel and helped us. He first took us to the general purpose chief of police who said it was not his problem - we needed to go to the tourist chief of police. We went there, and this policeman accused us of everything being our fault, and told us to go back the next day. We returned the next day to get a police report, which we had to write ourselves, and it had a word limit! They also demanded that we omit the whole metal-bar violent attack part because it would look bad on their records!! We wrote it on anyway because none of them could speak or read English. The British Ambassador told us no investigation would take place, as the police worked pretty much solely on bribes, and even if they did catch the two separate criminals, they would be able to pay off the police so there would be no just outcome.

The horror of this ordeal has left us distressed, traumatised and massively out of pocket (but thankfully our insurance are going to cover it). Since then I have read up about the vast amount of crime that occurs and goes unreported or unsolved in the area. I still love Cambodia, but would advise anyone who visits Sihanoukville to exercise extreme caution, even when traveling in groups. And if you are unlucky enough to experience crime, make sure you get all the correct documentation needed for insurance, and do not have faith in the police.''

 

 

I have heared enough. I am definitely never going to that place.

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I have lived in Sihanoukville  for just about 3 years, and luckily have not had any bad experiences. In the last 6 to 8 months a number of foreigners have been found dead. Some deaths were obvious murders and some were very suspect. A couple I knew visiting from Canada was robbed in daylight two times while walking on the road behind the beach. they were not hurt and have not returned to Sihanoukville. They leave Canada yearly in the winter. None of my many friends have had a problem. Shit happen everywhere.  Not being a country run by rule of law makes these events more distasteful when you are a victim. I can tell you I have read uncountable reports of Cambodian's attacking and beating perpetrators. I like that. In the USA they would go to jail.

 

I am diligent in my action right down to walking on the correct side of the street and how I cross streets. However, I venture out. I do 100K bike rides on lonely roads, which Cambodian warn are dangerous, and have had no problems. Late at night I have walked down dark street to get home with no problems. However, when I walk down those same streets in the daylight, I greet people and smile. Eventually, they return the courtesy. At night I am not a foreign stranger.

 

As for Cambodian society and people. I find both to be very warm and polite. I now know many Cambodians and must say I find them to be some of the most wonderful people I have ever met.

 

the world is overrun with drugs, alcohol and functions treating  money and greed as it's god. What the folks that have been harmed experienced is tragic and it's epidemic proportions around the world. Judgement is judgement no matter which side of this argument you stand. All one can do is decide what works for you. Personally, I appreciate individuals speaking out as part of an effort to make this world a safer and better place for us all. You may just be the one that helps change the priorities of the public safety system.

 

I personally am friends with a PP police officer. He is a good man. We have talked about police work in this country in detail. He also asked me, after watching on YouTube, videos on USA police killings how this can happen. He and his co-workers were horrified. Frankly, I feel more safe here.

 

Note: I wanted to weigh in on the Thailand comments. I lived in Bangkok for 6 years and returned two times a year ago, after a 4 year absence. Personally, I feel very uncomfortable with the Thai people and have noticed their rudeness and unfriendliness. The smiles are gone and nationalistic arrogance seems to be arising. I had numerous conversations with Thai people and they all expressed a dissatisfaction with the quality of their at this time.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Dangerous ? I haven't met any danger yet ! But as some people can also be in danger in Thailand, which never happened to me, I guess that it's exactly similar...

 

 

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On 9/2/2014 at 2:32 AM, davidst01 said:

Hi mike2011 do you own a bar or do you have a vested interested in snookeyville? It sounds like you do.

I was sober and got whacked by 3 guys on a beach at 5pm trying to rob me. I ended up having a 7 hour operation on my face.

It is a dodgy place. All you have to do is to google it and look for evidence...

Yes davidst01, he owns a bar - pretty much all of us who haven't been mugged do. In fact, it's one of our sources of income, robbing patrons after they leave for home.

 

Look, I get it, you had a bad experience and got robbed. It's unfortunate and no doubt quite unpleasant, especially if you had to get a 7-hour operation on your face. Yet there are thousands of people who have gone to SHV and never even had someone be rude to them, never mind threaten them. I have been dozens of times, no problem ever. Mind you, I've been all over Southeast Asia and never have been threatened or had a fight or got robbed or anything else of the sort. It does seem to happen to some few unfortunate souls who for whatever reason are more prone to this. Perhaps they might ask themselves "why?" if it has happened more than once. 

 

And I'll admit that my being a large farang doesn't hurt in this regard, but I've seen more than enough videos of large farang who thought they'd be able to crack a few Thai skulls who discover that being Billy Big <deleted> doesn't work out so well when the opponents don't care to engage one on one. My MO is being nice to people and speaking their language, it's never failed me yet.

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On 2/16/2017 at 1:27 AM, Bassosa said:

 

What's your opinion on all the people in the blog post comments and their, quite terrifying, experiences?

 

They're making it up?

 

 

 

 

Entitled backpackers who wouldn't hesitate to spice up their stories to gain traffic. Klueless Kate and Muppet Mark. Their observations on the local people and culture demonstrate that they don't know what's going on around them, hence they'd make perfect targets for the ill-intentioned.

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  • 1 month later...

I was thinking going Sih. for visa run, taking my fam and kid.
Final dest. some islands around. Is it good idea or bad?

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

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I seriously doubt that Sihanoukville is the most dangerous place in Asia. However, let's remember that for years now people have been warned that there are occasionally some dangers present in places like Phnom Penh, and to a lesser degree Sihanoukville.

 

Yet i have to say that with a little common sense you can mostly avoid these dangers which are usually related to petty theft.

 

Simply avoid carrying anything expensive on you, and don't carry a bag in a way to make it easier for a motorbike thief. Don't get too drunk, and don't leave valuables alone for 1 minute.

 

If you break these rules and do get robbed, do not resist, or it may end badly.

 

Also ~ Don't get too drunk and wander along beaches at night, or be abusive towards locals.

 

Think common sense, and use travel insurance.

 

I've travelled loads of times to Sihanoukville. Crime does happen, but there are many tourists who do not have a clue about how to travel wisely.

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On 7/10/2017 at 2:47 PM, chris455 said:

 

I've travelled loads of times to Sihanoukville. Crime does happen, but there are many tourists who do not have a clue about how to travel wisely.

 

Yes, all these backpackers who enjoy publishing BS on their ridiculous travel blogs that they think will make them rich !

 

 

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