When it comes to expat living, many retirees lean toward Southeast Asia. And Michael Wells is no different. For the 64-year-old, it was a place that fascinated him.
“I have always been an adventurer and travelling has long been one of the things I like to do best,” says Kelly Williams. “This led me to a love affair with Southeast Asia, which I have toured extensively during the past five years, and when I sensed the opportunity to move to Cambodia I just knew I had to do it.”
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.
The Russian Market in Phnom Penh got its name owing to the large numbers of soviet citizens who used to shop there during the Cold War period in the 1980s. Today, it remains one of the most popular markets for foreigners visiting the kingdom of Cambodia.
“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? Tonight, shall I opt for local cuisine or choose from the dozens of international restaurants available?
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.
Once famed as the “Pearl of Asia”, the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, has lots to offer expats. You’ll find a stunningly low cost of living, bustling markets and a thriving food scene, set to a backdrop of colonial French architecture and Buddhist temples. Expat John Grady, 65, discovered all this and more when he moved here. It was Phnom Penh’s beauty, and its people’s warmth, which inspired him to start taking photos as a way to supplement his retirement income.
Siem Reap is Cambodia’s “temple town”, just 10 minutes from the Angkor complex. It’s surrounded by the ruins of the ancient temple city.