Starting a new life in Cambodia as an expat can be a fantastic journey with all kinds of fun to be had. In the initial arrival period you will likely spend most of your time getting used to the culture, acclimatizing to the weather, and finding a nice place to call home.
Wherever you are in the world, rent tends to fall into two categories; either an outrageous burden or a relative joy. In Cambodia paying rent is definitely not a burden thanks in no small part to the reasonably priced properties that are available for expats in places like Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
Cambodia has a lot to offer international tourists and expats with unrivaled and spectacular ancient temples, some of the best beaches in Asia, and impressive colonial cities. It also boasts some of the best value property rentals in the region.
Cambodia is becoming known for its competitive affordability and low expat living costs. It is because of this that the country has ranked as the most affordable retirement destination in the world, two years running, in International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index.
For a long time, Cambodia was bottom of the list for tourists and expats visiting Southeast Asia, until about 15 years ago, when the Hollywood blockbuster Tomb Raider was filmed amid the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.
Phnom Penh is known as the "Charming City" for good reason. Expats are increasingly attracted to Cambodia's capital city because of the low living costs, simple visa requirements, and foreigner-friendly local population.
Expat life in Cambodia really does prove that it is the Kingdom of Wonder, and this country never ceases to amaze me in how the quality of my life has improved since moving here.
Phnom Penh has hundreds of years of history that can be discovered by visiting the main landmarks. The Royal Palace allows visitors to join a special tour each day where you can see so many cultural highlights, including the Silver Pagoda (a royal tower with a spectacular silver floor, home to Cambodia’s Emerald Buddha) and the Throne Hall, where many national ceremonies take place.
“I found myself out of work a few years back and, at my age (62), it wasn’t looking like I would find anything suitable, so it was a bit of a dilemma,” explains Paul Jones. “Fortunately, I made a few small property investments, which I was able to get a decent return on, so there was enough cash in the kitty to explore my options. I could have stayed at home but I’d had enough of big-city living and was looking for something different.”
“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 by taking vacations to popular destinations in Southeast Asia, including Penang, Malaysia and the Thai capital, Bangkok. “After a few trips I realized retirement could set me free; that I didn’t have to limit myself to one location for the rest of my life.”