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Expat Exchange - Pros and Cons of Living in Cambodia
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Siem Reap, Cambodia


Pros and Cons of Living in Cambodia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: If you're moving to Cambodia, it's important to learn about both the Pros AND Cons of living in Cambodia.

Are you considering a move to the exotic and enchanting Kingdom of Cambodia? This Southeast Asian nation, known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, has become an increasingly popular destination for expats from around the world. But like any country, living in Cambodia comes with its own unique set of advantages and challenges. In this article, we'll delve into the pros and cons of making Cambodia your new home.

Pros of Living in Cambodia

One of the most significant advantages of living in Cambodia is the low cost of living. From rent and groceries to dining out and transportation, your dollar can stretch much further here than in many Western countries. For example, a meal at a local restaurant can cost as little as $2, while a one-bedroom apartment in the city center might set you back around $300 per month.

Another major draw for expats is Cambodia's warm and welcoming culture. The locals, known as Khmers, are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. Whether you're navigating the bustling markets of Phnom Penh or exploring the tranquil countryside, you're likely to be met with smiles and open arms. This sense of community can make settling into your new life much easier.

Cambodia's rich history and culture are also a major draw. The country is home to Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. But beyond the well-trodden tourist path, there are countless other temples, historical sites, and cultural experiences to explore. From traditional Khmer dance performances to the intricate art of silk weaving, there's always something new to learn and discover.

For nature lovers, Cambodia offers a wealth of natural beauty. From the pristine beaches of Sihanoukville to the lush jungles of the Cardamom Mountains, there's no shortage of stunning landscapes to explore. Plus, the country's tropical climate means it's warm year-round, perfect for outdoor adventures.

Finally, Cambodia's strategic location in Southeast Asia makes it an ideal base for travel. With countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos on your doorstep, you'll have endless opportunities for weekend getaways and longer trips.

Cons of Living in Cambodia

While there are many benefits to living in Cambodia, it's also important to consider the potential challenges. One of the most significant is the lack of reliable healthcare. While Phnom Penh has a few decent hospitals, medical facilities in the rest of the country are generally poor. Many expats choose to travel to Thailand or Singapore for serious medical issues, which can be costly and inconvenient.

Another challenge is the country's underdeveloped infrastructure. Power outages are common, especially in rural areas, and the roads can be in poor condition. Internet access is improving but can still be unreliable, particularly outside of the major cities.

While the cost of living is low, wages in Cambodia are also significantly lower than in Western countries. This can make it difficult to save money, especially if you're supporting a family or planning for retirement. It's also worth noting that while the cost of living is low, certain things like imported goods and international school fees can be expensive.

The language barrier can also be a challenge. While English is widely spoken in tourist areas and among younger Cambodians, many locals only speak Khmer. This can make everyday tasks like shopping or dealing with bureaucracy more difficult. However, many expats see this as an opportunity to learn a new language and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Finally, while Cambodia is generally safe, petty crime like bag-snatching and pickpocketing can be a problem, particularly in larger cities. It's important to take precautions and stay aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Despite these challenges, many expats find that the benefits of living in Cambodia far outweigh the downsides. With its low cost of living, friendly locals, and rich culture, it's no wonder that more and more people are choosing to call this Southeast Asian gem home.

Expats Talk about Pros & Cons of Living in Cambodia

"The people are friendly when you get to know them, but there is a general consensus that all expatriates are rich It is important to appreciate what is available around you be it local fruit and vegetables, entertainment, sightseeing, health care or any else and not allow yourself to concentrate on what is not available. For instance ice skating is not available in general, nor is ballet prevalent. In my case neither of these would be of any interest to me even if they were available. as far as fruit is concerned the local fresh fruit is generally cheap and good quality and the imported fruit is extremely expensive and is generally not as good as my home country. The answer is to enjoy what is good and change your diet to suit. You can not live your life abroad always craving the things from home.," commented one expat living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

"Life in Cambodia is not always easy but in time you can learn to cope with the various problems that crop up and find an acceptable level of satisfaction. The occurrence of COVIC restrictions have added to the problem for everyone and have made family visits to my family in UK and my wife's family in Vietnam almost impossible but we have access to telephone and social media that has helped to keep in touch. The particular problems are that my mother and my mother-in-law are both very elderly and not in the best of health. In the event of serious illnesss or worse we have extremely difficult decisions to make," mentioned one expat living in Cambodia.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Siem Reap, Cambodia

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