Expat Exchange
Siem Reap, Cambodia

Living in Cambodia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Cambodia: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Cambodia?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Cambodia responded:

"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.," added another expat in Phnom Penh.

"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," explained one expat living in Phnom Penh.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Cambodia?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Cambodia, they replied:

"I am married, my wife is Vietnamese and she has had almost no problem in finding friends," remarked another expat in Phnom Penh.

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"Through my work and through the friends of my wife I am able to have assistance with the Khmere language problems," explained one expat living in Phnom Penh.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Cambodia?

"I don't have health insurance. The cost of medical care is quite low. A typical consultation is typically $20. PS I would no longer recommend Sihanoukville. 10,000+ Chinese have moved there and buying up hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, and land. It's not the pleasant beach town it used to be," explained one expat living in Sihanoukville.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

What do expats in Cambodia appreciate most about the local culture?

"They do not seem to worry a lot & that rubs off over a period of time. They are more tolerant of each other & are quick to please & with a smile as I'm an older person that goes a long way," added another person living in Kampot.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Language of cause & bribes that are paid to officials when you need to go through official channels," remarked another in Kampot.

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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.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

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