In retrospect, would you move again to Cambodia?

Hi all,

If you had to look back on your expat experience in Cambodia, would you heartily say "let’s do it again"?

From the preparation stage to your actual everyday life in your new country, what did you enjoy the most?

Would you do certain things differently? Could you tell us why?

How would you describe the benefits of your expatriation in Cambodia so far?

Thank you in advance for sharing your experience. We look forward to hearing from you!


To the first question I would answer YES, i would do it again, and again.... His population is one of the nicest i met, you are always welcome by the Khmers...

What I would change ? The contacts with the expats, if the first 4 years I stayed only with Khmers relationship, doing business with tourists only and barely never went out in the expats places... I changed this last point in 2013 when I met some french people who looked nice at first, we really became close, for 6 months... then it started to be a nightmare, we committed in a partnership that collapsed 2 or 3 months after we started, which can happen... but then they shown their real face, slandering me, threating me to death and so on.... and the worse sent some personal pictures of me dressed in a local police uniform and with guns in hand... then they filled a complaint to tell i scared them and so on.... useless to say i have been in a stress for a week, going every single day to the immigration police untill they had enough with me not giving them any cash :) .... . whatever, this was the end of a first period in CAmbodia, i left for few months to get a surgery done and resourcing my bank account... I finally came back here at Kampot where I restart from ground... and happy to do so.... without any foreigner, just locals!

regarding the benefits of staying in Cambodia ? Hum the climate suits to me, the permanent smiles from the locals, the slow life we get here.... less stress than anywhere in EU....

Wow, that's a great question. I believe I would come to Cambo if I had to do it again....HOWEVER, I would definitely change some things. First off, I'd get medical insurance of some kind (no, I don't have it now and am regretting it....recovering from a fractured heel and it SUCKS without insurance!!) I'd also apply for a teaching job a lot sooner than I did. I'd also go explore the town more (Siem Reap) than I have.

I'm a  Cambodian American who has been in and out of the country for the last 15 years. 

Cambodia is a poor, underdeveloped country, and there are certain benefits that you only get from such a country.  They include things like lower costs of living, the relative simplicity of life, relief from endless taxes and bills, being pampered by the locals, and so on and so forth. 

Sometimes, you get really sick of the corruption, dishonesty, ripoffs, lack of modern conveniences, and whatnot, and feel the need to get out of this country. 

Then you'll miss all the good things about Cambodia and will want to come back again.

My point of view is  somewhat different than that of previous posters.  I met my wife 15 years ago and fell in love at an advanced age with a wonderful woman.  I've lived in several countries and like  many men been in and out of love a good deal.  But this time I knew there would be no "out of love.". So we have been married every since and now have two teenage kids.  The second reason I am still here is because both of my parents are deceased and I have no brothers or sisters.  In short back home isn't really home so I wanted my kids to have a home and nationality didn't seem important.

So, we opted to move to the small rural village my wife comes from, bought land and had a modest but comfortable home built.  So now my kids have a family, a really big one, for which I am grateful and we make ends meet on the pittance of Social Security that I get monthly.  Far less than we would require in my home country.

So far so good.  The kicker is rural education.  I think my moms had a more advanced system when she was a student in a one room school house in the mountains of Tennessee.  While the Khmer Rouge regime hobbled it the current government is the most responsible.  I will spare you the litany of shortcomings and say that not only is it inferior to the education the sons and daughters of the privileged class it is lamentably lacking in qualified staff and has no art, no music, no labs for chemistry and physics and no supervised sports.  There is  more but that is in the litany I promised to spare you.

So, in short I feel that I was somewhat selfish in pursuing my love interest.  But I was naive and really didn't have the financial wherewithal to move a family back to my country.  They now see themselves as Cambodian and would miss the country terribly if they were uprooted.  As for me I'm an old man; I can live or die anywhere.  But I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for having put my interests first.

So, in conclusion if I were single I would have left long ago and never come back.  There are many other small countries that admirably cope with their problems and constructively use foreign aid to advance the whole country, not just a select few.

hotpeppers69 :

There are many other small countries that admirably cope with their problems and constructively use foreign aid to advance the whole country, not just a select few.

Which other countries would you recommend. We are considering moving to Cambodia or Vietnam, with two little ones. Not sure , if it will be a good move, but then we got tired of the monotonous life of the western world. I do believe that underdeveloped countries will make good progress in next decade or so. But, also debating , on the same thoughts that is it fair to my children to keep them away from opportunities and education here, which somehow has contributed to me being at this juncture myself.

Karma 2005, the poster you're addressing no longer posts on this forum.

Very well written. I am wondering, is the education better in the larger metropolitan areas (Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap)?

Absolutely. Ups and downs but what a great 11 years.

petercambo :

Absolutely. Ups and downs but what a great 11 years.


You see we do not differ on all topics, here we are on the same side ;)



Absolutely cambodia has been one of my life’s greatest decisions

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