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Pictures Report

RTS37NXY
In scrappy Cambodian casino town, Chinese plan future beyond coronavirus
The Chinese-funded gambling enclave of Sihanoukville has suffered a double blow. Travel restrictions imposed in recent weeks to slow the global coronavirus pandemic have deepened the effects of a ban last year on lucrative online gambling.

But casino owners are betting on a future beyond the pandemic, banking on the return of money from China to finish transforming the scrappy frontier town into a gleaming metropolis.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSM
March 30, 2020
Men sit together outside a closed-down casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, February 27, 2020. The Chinese-funded...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Men sit together outside a closed-down casino in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, February 27, 2020. The Chinese-funded gambling enclave of Sihanoukville has suffered a double blow. Travel restrictions imposed in recent weeks to slow the global coronavirus pandemic have deepened the effects of a ban last year on lucrative online gambling. But casino owners are betting on a future beyond the pandemic, banking on the return of money from China to finish transforming the scrappy frontier town into a gleaming metropolis.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTJ
March 30, 2020
When casino owner Kang Qiang looks out the window of his 20th floor office in this city on the remote...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
When casino owner Kang Qiang looks out the window of his 20th floor office in this city on the remote Cambodian coast, he sees construction cranes sitting idle.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTS
March 30, 2020
In a sign of his confidence, Kang's casino has installed gold urinals. "This city is just starting, there...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
In a sign of his confidence, Kang's casino has installed gold urinals. "This city is just starting, there is a lot of potential," says Kang, 60. "I love it. Sihanoukville gives you a feeling of freedom and no control."

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTD
March 30, 2020
A Cambodian worker stands on a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. For Kang and...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A Cambodian worker stands on a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. For Kang and others, the city is like the China of several decades ago - with all of the promise and none of the competition. The current idle is only a blip. "China is huge, there will always be people interested in Sihanoukville," says Yin Hongsi, a 30-year-old from Chengdu who hires workers for one of the casinos. "You don't need to worry if the Chinese will come back."

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTF
March 30, 2020
A Chinese worker stands on a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. The boom town on the Cambodian...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A Chinese worker stands on a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. The boom town on the Cambodian coast has a deep water port and is part of China's Belt and Road initiative. In the next three years, Sihanoukville will also host both the Southeast Asian Games and a meeting of regional leaders.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSV
March 30, 2020
People gather around gambling tables in the casino area of the Nanhai Pearl Casino Hotel, in Sihanoukville....
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
People gather around gambling tables in the casino area of the Nanhai Pearl Casino Hotel, in Sihanoukville. As Chinese money has swept across Southeast Asia, Cambodia has become one of the most visible examples of the investment, with authoritarian Prime Minister Hun Sen doing all he can to strengthen ties to Beijing.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSZ
March 30, 2020
Children of Cambodian construction workers play in front of their temporary housing near a construction...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Children of Cambodian construction workers play in front of their temporary housing near a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. In Sihanoukville, most of the money has been private, and the biggest share has gone into some 70 casinos - all of which are being ordered to shut from April 1 as a temporary measure to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTV
March 30, 2020
The Chinese-owned Xihu resort Hotel stands in Sihanoukville. The casinos have reshaped the city's landscape...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
The Chinese-owned Xihu resort Hotel stands in Sihanoukville. The casinos have reshaped the city's landscape so frequently that locals struggle to recognize it. The contrasts can be jarring. Inside casinos, wads of U.S. hundred-dollar bills pile up in batches of $10,000 beside white marble ashtrays.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSR
March 30, 2020
Makeshift tents lived in by Cambodian construction workers, stand in front of a construction site in...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Makeshift tents lived in by Cambodian construction workers, stand in front of a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. Outside, streets are coated in fine orange dust and pedestrians cross rivulets of sewage on scraps of plywood. It's a disconnect familiar to anyone who lives on China's margins.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTO
March 30, 2020
A group of Chinese men enjoy an afternoon on Ochheuteal beach, Sihanoukville. "China speed", exclaims...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A group of Chinese men enjoy an afternoon on Ochheuteal beach, Sihanoukville. "China speed", exclaims Gavin Gao, a gleeful young Chinese tech entrepreneur from Chengdu who has chosen to stick things out. "Sihanoukville is going at China speed ... Here is China 2.0!"

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NST
March 30, 2020
Sun-beds stand on a private beach at the Chinese-owned Xihu Resort Hotel in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Sun-beds stand on a private beach at the Chinese-owned Xihu Resort Hotel in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSN
March 30, 2020
Chinese men walk past a construction site in Chinatown near Otres beach, Sihanoukville. The collapse...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Chinese men walk past a construction site in Chinatown near Otres beach, Sihanoukville. The collapse of a half-built Chinese-owned building last year, killing dozens, fuelled resentment in the town. So did the constant noise of construction, rising crime and rubbish piled in the streets. "The growth was just phenomenal, too fast!" says Transport Minister Sun Chanthol. "Now things are slowing down so it's a good opportunity for us to catch up."

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NT4
March 30, 2020
A man buys an ice cream on Ochheuteal beach, in Sihanoukville. The expatriates' confidence is buoyed...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A man buys an ice cream on Ochheuteal beach, in Sihanoukville. The expatriates' confidence is buoyed by China's apparent success in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. As cases skyrocket elsewhere in the world, zero local transmissions have been reported on some days in China, where the virus originated.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSP
March 30, 2020
A group of Chinese men stand on Ochheuteal beach in Sihanoukville. "They got it under control," says...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A group of Chinese men stand on Ochheuteal beach in Sihanoukville. "They got it under control," says Bob Zhao, an earnest 28-year-old from Shandong who came to Sihanoukville seeking his fortune and found it as a sales consultant for a Chinese property developer. "In China there are so many competitors. They've been to good schools, have good social experience. They are better than you. And the pay is low," he says. "The opportunity here is better."

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NT5
March 30, 2020
A man receives a massage whilst having a meal with friends at Ochheuteal beach. Zhao sits in a window-lined...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A man receives a massage whilst having a meal with friends at Ochheuteal beach. Zhao sits in a window-lined atrium of a half a billion-dollar hotel, casino and apartment complex on the beachfront. It broke ground last August, just as the online gambling ban was announced, and has seen a sharp slowdown in sales because of the coronavirus, but is still on track to open in two years. Zhao ticks off reasons Cambodia is appealing: it's a U.S. dollar economy, Hun Sen is close to China and is a longtime, stable autocrat. "Our money is safe," he says.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTQ
March 30, 2020
A Cambodian construction worker poses for a photo in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A Cambodian construction worker poses for a photo in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSJ
March 30, 2020
Clothes and sausages are hung out to dry at a makeshift camp for Cambodian workers at a construction...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Clothes and sausages are hung out to dry at a makeshift camp for Cambodian workers at a construction site in Chinatown, Sihanoukville. Casino manager Yin has been making "at least double" what he would in China by working in Sihanoukville, but he acknowledges the flood of Chinese money has led to surging prices and the growing piles of rubbish. Still, he says the Chinese money has sparked the economy in what he sees as a forgotten country. "It seems like other countries are not interested in Cambodia, like America and Europe," he says. "China is interested."

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTI
March 30, 2020
Casino workers visit a beauty salon inside Phsar Leu Market, in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Casino workers visit a beauty salon inside Phsar Leu Market, in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTT
March 30, 2020
A man stands in front of a karaoke bar in Sihanoukville. Kang, a casino owner, is from Guangzhou, one...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A man stands in front of a karaoke bar in Sihanoukville. Kang, a casino owner, is from Guangzhou, one of China's biggest and most-developed cities. But he is convinced his future is on the dusty streets of Sihanoukville despite his casino losing money since November. "Persistence means victory," he says.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSX
March 30, 2020
Casino workers wait for transportation organised by the casino where they work, to take them back home...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Casino workers wait for transportation organised by the casino where they work, to take them back home after finishing work for the day in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTM
March 30, 2020
Traffic passes through Golden Lions roundabout in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
Traffic passes through Golden Lions roundabout in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NT6
March 30, 2020
A ladder stands in the lounge area of The Coffee Club, a night club in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A ladder stands in the lounge area of The Coffee Club, a night club in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NT2
March 30, 2020
A swing hangs on Otres beach opposite the closed down and demolished bar 'Last Hippie Standing' in Sihanoukville....
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A swing hangs on Otres beach opposite the closed down and demolished bar 'Last Hippie Standing' in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSY
March 30, 2020
A climbing frame for children stands in a swimming pool at the Chinese-owned Xihu Resort Hotel in Sihanoukville....
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A climbing frame for children stands in a swimming pool at the Chinese-owned Xihu Resort Hotel in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSW
March 30, 2020
A hotel worker places an inflatable unicorn toy into a swimming pool on the rooftop of La Vogue Boutique...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A hotel worker places an inflatable unicorn toy into a swimming pool on the rooftop of La Vogue Boutique Hotel & Casino in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NSS
March 30, 2020
A Chinese man with a tattoo on his back of Guan Yu, a warrior, uses his mobile phone on a private beach...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A Chinese man with a tattoo on his back of Guan Yu, a warrior, uses his mobile phone on a private beach at the Chinese-owned Xihu Resort Hotel in Sihanoukville. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SIHANOUKVILLE
RTS37NTU
March 30, 2020
A man speaks on his phone on the rooftop of Chinese businessman Kang Quiang's casino Dong Yuan. REUTERS/Jorge...
Sihanoukville, Cambodia
The Wider Image: In Cambodian casino town, Chinese bet on future after coronavirus
A man speaks on his phone on the rooftop of Chinese businessman Kang Quiang's casino Dong Yuan. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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