The country that took the top spot for the lowest cost of living in the inaugural International Living Australia Global Retirement Rankings is Vietnam. A fascinating and vibrant destination, rich in natural beauty, steeped in history and brimming with opportunity.
One of the great things about living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city, is that even a pauper can afford to live like a prince. The cost of living is incredibly low. Rent can be as little as a few hundred dollars a month for a decent apartment in the heart of the city and the cost eating out is so reasonable that you’ll never have to cook ever again.
Cambodia is known throughout the world as the Kingdom of Wonder. My life here as an expat has long proven to me that it truly deserves that title. This magical country never ceases to amaze me and nor do the many ways in which the quality of my life has improved since moving here.
“I was a workaholic,” Bob Coleman says. “Then one day I thought of all the places I hadn’t seen and I decided right there and then that something had to change.” At age 55, Bob started his international travels in Southeast Asia, visiting Penang, Malaysia and the Thai capital, Bangkok. “After a few trips I realised retirement could set me free; that I didn’t have to limit myself to one location for the rest of my life.”
Life would be simpler if I lived in Australia. Every day here in Sihanoukville I have difficult decisions to make… Which cafe shall I go to for an afternoon pick-me-up? Which sandy beach with inviting blue waters do I want to swim at?
Tourists and friends often ask me what is it that makes Cambodia so attractive to the many expats like me who have relocated here. Usually I answer this question in two ways: Firstly, I have a great love for the Kingdom of Cambodia, there’s a sense that anything can happen here and the best things in Phnom Penh are free. The beautiful scenic backdrops of the wide Parisian, tree-lined boulevards, the water and light displays that take place nightly at Independence Monument, a stroll down the picturesque Riverside, through the city’s parks and temples, encountering friendly local faces at every turn.
It’s another hot day in Battambang, Cambodia and what better spot to linger than at a downtown sidewalk bistro with a platter of cheese and a chilled glass of French wine… Cambodia’s second largest city moves at a slow and lazy pace. Maybe it’s the heat, but I get the sense that Battambang is like this every day of the year. People stroll down the sidewalk, taking time to stop and chat along the way. No one is in a hurry.