Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.
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- Population: 15,205,539
- Capital City: Phnom Penh
- Climate: : Tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
- Time Zone: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
It’s 2 a.m. and the young bakers at the 333 Bakery arestooped and shirtless as they stack the first baguettes of the day against a faded French-colonial façade. Come daybreak, just about every eatery in the sleepy riverside town of Kampot, from the high-end guesthouse restaurants to the roaming street vendors, will be peddling the soft, airy loaves. But for now, I’m their first and only customer.
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most acclaimed and mysterious ancient ruins. Many of these once-bustling cities and monumental religious sites lay forgotten until relatively recently, jungle-shrouded and known only to a few locals, who thought them the haunts of ghosts and spirits. These marvels of the ancient world are now more accessible to travelers than ever before. Some are well known and easy to reach, others are more of an adventure. Here’s a rundown…
In 2007, a rough dirt road in the Cambodian beach town of Sihanoukville led to an abandoned and neglected 15-room hotel. The traffic on Serendipity Road was mainly pedestrian because the local tuk-tuk drivers often refused to travel on it. As unappealing as it looked back then, the Sea View Villa seemed like a business opportunity to a 27-year-old British backpacker, Stacy Carney.
Visit the old royal capital of Kyoto, Japan, the weekend of June 1 for Takigi O-Noh to celebrate Japan’s ancient musical-theater traditions at the city’s Heian Jingu Shrine. Burning torches illuminate the stage and the costumed performers. Across the East China Sea, the Dragon Boat Festival in Xiamen, China, falls on June 2. Gorge on sticky-rice snacks, watch the race, and place a rice parcel in the water in memory of ancient poet Qu Yuan.
You’ve just weighed anchor on another night of bliss, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of your sailboat in the calm sea. Before you is a small cove lined by craggy cliffs. Clear blue waters end at a white-sand beach. You’ve had it all to yourself for the last week. It was supposed to be just an overnight stop. But it was so beautiful, you decided to stick around. After a quick dip, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast on deck as you contemplate which island paradise you’ll go to next.
Begin the month in Scotland’s Spey Valley where, as part of “Whisky Month,” the Spirit of Speyside Festival runs from May 1 to 5. Tastings, workshops, and even a guide on how to properly photograph a “wee dram” of whisky are all on the schedule.
You’re buying property in Sihanoukville? Are you crazy?” I lost count of how many times I heard those words when I decided to move to this Cambodian beach town. To my friends back home, Sihanoukville was a little-known backwater in a dangerous and unstable country. I shared their feelings until—on a whim of curiosity—I took a side trip there while traveling in Asia. I intended to spend just a few days there before moving on to Thailand.
Most days here are beautiful: warm and sunny, with a pleasant ocean breeze sweeping in from the Gulf of Thailand. In the evenings, vibrant splashes of magenta, fiery orange, and bright pink dance across the sky as the sun sets over the water. Everywhere I look, I see coconut palms and sandy beaches. Some call it paradise. I call it home.
I happen to think that I’m one of the luckiest guys in the world. Not only do I live in Malaysia, a beautiful country on so many levels, but also I love what I do. I travel at will, pretty much at the drop of a hat. I’ve enjoyed complimentary meals and hotel upgrades along the way.
People are brewing small quantities of beer in garages all across America….but some of them have taken that passion for “home brewing” overseas and turned it into a livelihood. It seems the whole world is waking up to the higher quality of craft beers, and the market for them is growing. If you’ve been in a bar recently you know about the thirst for craft beers
As a busy carpenter and contractor in his native Canada, Steve Quinn relished his regular trips to Costa Rica to relax and unwind on the beach. After six years of short visits, he decided to make this beach lifestyle permanent. He took over a beach bar and restaurant in Tamarindo, a funky surf town on the country’s northern Pacific coast. He’s leasing the property for three years, with an option to buy, which is a great way to test the waters without committing to purchasing property right off the bat.
Asia beckons for many reasons. Tropical islands with white-sand beaches, lush rain forests filled with fragrant blooms, tree-covered misty mountains, and—if you’re more a big-city type—some of the most frenetic cities on earth, a heady mix of the ultra-modern and exotic traditions.
Thomas O’Neal had never been to Malaysia. In fact he hadn’t been anywhere in Asia, which made his sudden decision to move to the tropical island of Penang a brave one. “I figured that I’d take a chance and move lock, stock, and barrel. I could have just visited but where is the fun in that? After just a few months here I love it. It’s home for me now. New York has changed over the years and although I’ll always be a New Yorker I needed to travel.”
Exhilarating, comfortable, and affordable are just some of the ways expats describe their life in Asia. For those looking to relocate in Asia, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia are among the best places to live. The low cost of living, excellent health care and stunning scenery are some of the reasons why many expats choose to start a new life in Asia.
For any careful investor it’s important to understand not just the current trend but rather where we’re headed. As such, keep an eye toward the future for the growth leaders of tomorrow. Since 2007, emerging markets have been outspending American consumers. Take a look at the charts here to see how the international growth/redistribution of current consumption trends will change the landscape of international business.
The devil masks worn for the Diablada de Pillaro (The Dance of the Devils) in Pillaro, Ecuador, have spawned a whole school of art. It’s well worth joining the thousands of onlookers to see the elaborate processions that take place each night from New Year’s Day to January 6. The feast of Edina Bronya, which essentially represents Christmas for the people of Ghana, in west Africa, falls this year on January 2.
It wasn’t long ago that the major streets in the northern Cambodian town of Siem Reap were unpaved. There were no shopping malls, no cocktail bars…in short, it was a place only the most intrepid expats would consider living in. John McDermott, and Narisara Murray, were two of those adventurous expats.
A low cost of living is one of the most important factors for retirees who move overseas. You can live a richer life overseas, probably for what you’re currently spending at home (or even less). Here are some of the top places where the cost of living is low, and the quality of life is high, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014.
Sihanoukville wasn’t on Joe Royle’s list of semi-retirement destinations when he came to Southeast Asia looking for a new life in 2005. In fact, he didn’t even know that Sihanoukville, a beach town of 250,000 some 140 miles southwest of Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, even existed.
The soft light of dawn rising behind the tiered towers of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple is a sight that will remain with you for a lifetime. The sky behind the temple turns from a deep blue to shades of pink and orange, with a perfect mirror image reflected in the ponds that lie in the temple grounds. Without a doubt, it’s the country’s biggest draw for foreign visitors.
Winter is nigh in North America. Bitter cold, ice storms, flurries, and blizzards are on their way. These are the months spent indoors, staring out at grey skies, pining for spring. But there are places where the sun is shining right now, temperatures are going up, and it’s already beach season.
There’s always room for wealth creation. Despite the world’s economic woes, the number of people with $30 million or more in net assets rose by 5% globally last year. And according to the Frank Knight Wealth Report 2013, over the next 10 years there’ll be a 50% rise in the number of people breaking that barrier.
The Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh was once called the “Pearl of Asia” for a reason. Wide boulevards, riverfront promenades, and elegant colonial buildings were all signs of the city’s French influence. Its bustling markets, golden temples, and smiling citizens rooted it in a rich and ancient culture.
In the spring of 2010, our family of four sailed around the world—25,000 miles, 110 days, 11 countries. We were hired by Semester at Sea, a University of Virginia program that allows students to spend a semester traveling internationally by ship, to coordinate spiritual life for the shipboard community and plan programming for the 18 children onboard. Our son Andrew was then eight years old and our daughter Lizzie was five.
Like many expats in Cambodia, I ended up in “the Kingdom of Wonder” completely by accident. But living in the capital Phnom Penh, I feel like I have discovered the secret to a laid-back lifestyle.
InternationalLiving.com reports on three top countries in Southeast Asia where life is exhilarating, comfortable and affordable.
In Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia you can feast your eyes on tasty local cuisine, endless stretches of white-sand beaches, unspoiled Pacific coastline and immerse yourself in a whole new—stress-free—lifestyle.
Living in Southeast Asia is a lot easier than you probably think…it’s easier to get around, to get what you need, to find a community that will welcome you. While the distance may be intimidating, the reality on the ground is much less so than you may imagine. Expats living in this part of the world report that life is at once exhilarating, comfortable and affordable.
You don’t need to be rich to enjoy life in Cambodia. My Saturday breakfast costs just $3, and last Saturday, between breakfast, renting a catamaran, and dinner for two, I came away with change out of the $25 I had in my pocket that morning.
It’s not every morning you find a monkey eating your breakfast. But it happens. Investigating a noise in the kitchen the other day, my husband John found a Macaque monkey carelessly tossing banana skins onto the floor. After a brief stare-off, the monkey tucked our bananas under his arm and bolted into our garden.
My Saturday mornings usually begin with a short cycle down a quiet back road to my favourite French pâtisserie. Over a breakfast of a delicious omelette, croissant, and cappuccino, I plan my day.
No matter how small the world gets due to technology, Asia retains an exotic allure for North Americans. Maybe it’s the distance—on the other side of the globe. Or the huge variety of cultures, cuisines, languages, and ways of life.
I’ve always been a list-maker: Things To Do Today, Things To Do Tomorrow, and Things I Should Have Done Yesterday. A few years ago, I made this list:
When Aaron Bradford first traveled to Southeast Asia in 2008, he had no idea he’d wind up staying. He visited Thailand…Laos…Vietnam…Malaysia…and Indonesia. He explored undiscovered beaches, wild jungles, and ancient temples. He tasted exotic cuisine. And he made new friends from all over the world. His original plan had him returning home once the trip was over.
On a palm-filled patio five stories up, overlooking the Tonlé sap River, we Americans apparently conjure up a certain cosmopolitan flair. Order an “Americano” at Le moon Terrace Bar and you get a martini-campari cocktail. (creature of habit, I opted for a G&T.)
With dawn breaking on the Mekong River, my speed boat slows to dock. There’s a touch of James Bond to my arrival. The Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, is an exotic place: a city of temples and old colonial buildings, where you can sip martinis in the Foreign Correspondents Club or wander through bustling markets.
Americans knew little of Cambodia until, in 1924, a stalwart Titanic survivor, Helen Churchill Candee, published her adventures there in a book called, Angkor the Magnificent. “We think we have exposed and investigated the secret places of the whole round globe,” she says, “when there comes word of a new one, and not only a secret place but a place full of secrets.”
For over 400 years, the temple city of Angkor Wat in northern Cambodia served as the capital of the vast and powerful Khmer Empire. From the 9th century, successive kings tried to outdo each other with ever grander designs, and you’ll find their legacy spread across 150 square miles. Ornate carvings, decorated palaces and symbolic temples are everywhere, much of it covered in jungle. At times it feels as if you’ve walked onto the set of Indiana Jones.
When my husband Skip and I boarded the plane with a one-way ticket to Cambodia, we weren’t quite sure what we were heading to. We were sure, however, what we were leaving behind: our lovely home in a seaside town in Massachusetts, our friends, Skip’s well-paid job, my small business, and a comfortable existence.
It’s six o’clock in the morning and I am standing at the water’s edge, a pilgrim at the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat. Like millions of others who have ventured to this same spot in the 900 years it has been a worthy destination—I’m waiting for the sun to rise. I’m waiting in the quiet of the dawn for that moment when the outline of the five stony-gray towers comes into focus and the ancient temple begins to glow.