Why Cambodia is Perfect for American ExPats

For the last few days I have been soaking up all information I can find regarding moving to, or traveling in Southeast Asia, namely, Cambodia. Perhaps my Korean bath house experience stirred something inside of me regarding the Asian cultures, or maybe it was a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is from Cambodia.  As it turns out, Cambodia is a perfect place for US expats to move to. And I realized I knew nothing about this magical, friendly and oh so affordable place.

Agriculture has long been the most important sector to the Cambodian economy, with around 59% of the population relying on agriculture for their livelihood (with rice being the principal crop). Other important sectors include garments, construction and tourism – foreign visitors to Angkor Wat numbered more than 4 million in 2007.


The capital city, Phnom Penh has a population of about 2 million people but there are also cities and villages outside which are appealing to many visitors as well. Not to mention the beautiful white sand beaches in Sihanoukville.



The idea of visiting somewhere totally different like Southeast Asia sounds like such an amazing adventure of perspective, humanity, spirit and self. I have also learned that it is very easy to live there in terms of actually living and working. So many places are available for staying but so few offer the living and working experience without a lengthy process of immigrations and visas.

Cambodia is one of the easiest countries in the world to stay long term.

Upon arrival, just apply for a business visa rather than a tourist visa. You will get a one month visa that can be extended for 3, 6 or 12 months. The 3 month extension is single entry, the 6 or 12 month are multiple entry. Extensions cost around $80, $160, $270 depending on which one you get. Once you are in Cambodia, you can just renew your visa while you’re there every 6 mos to a year and it’s a very easy process.

Buying property in Cambodia is an obstacle, but if you just want to live there without the fuss, it’s pretty simple.

And cheap.

The cost of living in Cambodia is really cheap ($250 per month rentals with all bills included) and the costs of meals, appx. $2-$5 per day. Getting around is also a breeze. You can either hop on a tuk-tuk for $1 or rent your own scooter. For those who intend to stay longer, you can buy your own. I imagine myself on a scooter…minus the hospital scrubs, of course.

Then there is the realm of the gods at the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat, a spectacular fusion of symbolism, symmetry and spirituality. Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple but has long since been converted to a Buddhist temple.


Although Cambodia is not the first place one would think of for a vacation, let alone an extended stay or Expat living, I think it could encompass all things for the person seeking a new opportunity, a project, a break, good food, good atmosphere, inexpensive accommodations and a warm, friendly people and environment. And although I have never been there to know for sure, something tells me it could be a place to fall in love with.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s