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Kep, Cambodia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

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

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What do I need to know before moving to Kep?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Kep, they said:

"Kep is a small coastal city known for its seafood, particularly crab, and its relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. The official language is Khmer, but English and French are also widely spoken due to the country's history as a French colony. The local currency is the Cambodian Riel, but US dollars are also widely accepted. The cost of living in Kep is relatively low compared to Western countries, but slightly higher than in other parts of Cambodia due to its popularity as a tourist destination. Accommodation ranges from budget guesthouses to more luxurious villas and resorts. Kep's climate is tropical, with a rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April. The city is generally safe, but like anywhere, it's important to take precautions against petty crime. Healthcare facilities in Kep are limited, so for serious medical issues, you may need to travel to Phnom Penh or even to another country. It's recommended to have comprehensive health insurance that covers medical evacuation. The city is known for its seafood market and its national park, which offers hiking trails and stunning views. There's also a growing arts scene, with several galleries and studios in the area. Public transportation is limited in Kep, so many expats choose to rent or buy a motorbike to get around. Driving in Cambodia can be chaotic, so it's important to be cautious and aware of your surroundings. The visa process for Cambodia is relatively straightforward, with tourist visas available on arrival at the airport or at land border crossings. These can be extended for longer stays. However, the rules can change, so it's important to check the latest information before you travel. The Cambodian people are generally friendly and welcoming to foreigners, but it's important to respect local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly, particularly when visiting temples or other religious sites. Internet and mobile phone coverage is generally good in Kep, although it can be slower and less reliable than in Western countries. There are several internet service providers to choose from, and SIM cards for mobile phones are readily available. Finally, it's important to be aware that Cambodia has a troubled history, with many people still affected by the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. It's important to approach this topic with sensitivity and respect," remarked one expat who made the move to Cambodia.

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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.

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