I’ve been in Cambodia for 6 months, and I freaking love it!
You may think Cambodia is one of the last places on your bucket list to visit. I understand — you can find some pretty off-putting stories about the country online.
“It’s dirty, disorganized, has bad food, and is mosquito infested.”
I don’t know why this blogger wrote that, as it’s all wrong.
Over the last few days, I’ve received nice comments and interesting questions about Cambodia. I will answer them here for you all to see.
My fellow writing colleague, Steven Antony, raised these valid concerns.
My main concerns would be weather — is it hot and humid most of the time, sometimes? How hot and how humid?
It’s hot everywhere in Southeast Asia. However, I find the temperatures great. There’s always a breeze, cooling things down. The humidity is nothing compared to how it was in Bali.
It’s 30C or 93F now at 6 pm. However, it’s not that humid, there’s a breeze and it feels comfortable.
I noted in the story — I’ve been here for 6 months and haven’t been bitten by a single mosquito. Not in my apartment, outside walking, on the beach, or in the mountains.
That’s something I’m most surprised about. Before coming to Cambodia, I read that it’s mosquito-infested. It’s not at all.
Language: Not just whether people can speak English, but are the signs in English in most places?
Yes! Pretty much everything is in Khmer, English, and some Chinese. Unlike in China, where everything is Chinese, it is impossible for visitors to go anywhere alone.
Any idea how Cambodians feel/treat Americans?
Cambodians are the kindest and friendliest people I’ve met so far, in the world. And that is not an exaggeration.
Many American Expats live here, they all love it and are treated just like all foreigners — with respect, courtesy, and kindness.
The Cambodian people are extremely grateful for foreign tourists and ex-pats coming here.
The war seems long forgotten. They all simply want to get on with life and make Cambodia popular, and a prosperous country.
What’s the level of organized crime and how corrupt are the police?
There is no “mafia-style” crime here or protection fees. Again, Cambodians welcome foreigners to come here, open a business, and employ folks.
The police I have seen so far, which are very few, are always friendly, and nice. One policeman regularly fist bumps me in my daily morning walks at the Independence monument. I’ve not seen any corruption. I’m sure there is some, but again, it’s nothing as blatant as I’ve seen in the neighboring countries.
Can you just stay as long as you want if you keep buying a visa or is there a limit?
There’s no limit to your stay, as long as you apply for a business visa when you first arrive. The 1-month tourist visa can only be extended once for 1-month. You can renew your visa for 3, 6, or 12 months, endlessly.
It’s advisable to go with the 6- or 12-month visa, as it gives you unlimited exits and entries. The 3-month visa doesn’t.
If you have any more questions about Cambodia, and how life is here, please message me.
Cambodia is the new shining star of Southeast Asia — here’s why:
- The people are super friendly and helpful
- Nobody is out to back-stab or use you
- People are grateful & respectful
- The banks are efficient and always open
- You can pay anywhere with your mobile app — no cash required
- The restaurants, cafes, and hotels are top-notch quality
- The local food is delicious
- The countryside and mountains are stunning
- The Buddhist Temples are beautiful
- Traveling around the country is seamless, and cheap
- There’s little traffic or air pollution
- The beaches are great, some are even pristine with white sand
- The visa on arrival is cheap and fast to get
- Anyone can work here, no matter where you’re from
- If you work online, no work permit is required
- If a company hires you, they pay your work permit which is simple to obtain for anyone
- I’ve not been bitten by 1 single mosquito
- No food poisoning either!
The cost and ease of living in Cambodia
The 1-year visa costs $250, and you can get one with no questions asked.
The 6-month visa goes for $170.
If you have a foreign driving license, you can obtain a Cambodian license by taking a mini-question-based test in English — the cost is $50.
You can rent a luxurious 1-bedroom apartment in the capital, Phnom Penh, for $600 per month. Down south on the coast, a 2-bedroom house will only set you back by $250.
You can easily eat 3-meals a day on a $10 budget. If you go for good-quality western restaurants, $30 will see you through the day.
Gas is $1.5 a liter — way cheaper than in the USA and Europe.
If you cook and buy your groceries at the local markets or the high-standard supermarkets you can get by on $150 per week.
Nice, 3-star hotels cost between $20 to $ per night. A lovely hostel will come in around $15 per night.
Thousands of working expats live in Phnom Penh, Siam Reap, and other smaller cities.
Most of them are down-to-earth, friendly, and helpful. Nobody is aggressive, rude, or arrogant.
The country and cities are vibrant and active. The people work hard and are happy and content with life.
Cambodia is the most relaxed, easy-going, friendly, and forward-thinking country I’ve ever visited.
Please come to see for yourself. I’ll be happy to show you around.
You will be surprised what Cambodia is like. You, like me, will fall in love with it.
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