Living in Battambang with Children and Pets - Information Requested

As I continue to research Cambodia, I have become fond of Battambang for the spiritual and relaxed lifestyle that is being portrayed on the internet. 

What is it like in this beautiful world of wonder?  How do parents get along with having young kids running around while they choose to work?  What is the education system like here and what other activities would there be available.

Also, I have 3 dogs 1 American Staffordshire Pitbull and English Bull Terrier and a Miniature Schnauzer.  As well as one special kitty in my life. Pet food supply stores? Would this be an area of business to start if none exist?

I am interested in arts, design, technology and nature.  My kid is very artistic and wants to do this when she grows up even tho it changes on the daily between doctor and everything else a child dreams about. :)   

When I saw images of the temples it reminded me of drawings I did as a child and feels like it is calling me. 

I guess on another note I love gardening and maybe doing a greenhouse/farm would be more my taste as I do have a green thumb and grew up on an American farm as a child.  We grow beans and corn as well as wild herbs in the forest.  All thoughts are welcome.

I would love to hear about personal experiences living and finding work in any region of Cambodia to help broaden my understanding of what it really takes to make this move a reality.

Best to all!  Jennifer

The answer is very easy, look arround you and study, study, study how people live, work, school, eat, work, salary, mariage, everything. Try to understand the differance in culture, habitudes, religion, education of children... Don't ask advice to other Western, have contact with local parents, look in their houses, visit  4-5 local schools and don't forgett: "Phnom Pehn is not Cambodia, Cambodia is not Phnom Pehn!

In Cambodia dogs are not house animals (not in house), you may even not touch them and if you do, they ask you to wash your hands before you touch some one.

When you study all this, you shall detect a beautifull world, a world plenty with questions for you! YOU shall detect the Khmer World... the KAMBUCHEA world like it was 1.000 years ago... And they live much less difficult than many western cultures; in many ways....


The year round heat may be a tad uncomfortable for bull dogs. Are your dogs inside pets? Hm...that raises another question. I wonder how landlords feel about the Westerner's tendency to keep indoor pets? Will they allow it? I hope so. I currently have no pets, but I do want one or two once I get there. But MY "babies" are indoor/outdoor pets. I do the doggy door thing.  As for your other questions/concerns...I seek and am awaiting for these other folks to answer just as you are. You never said,(I don't think), when are you planning your move? Also, I have browsed over some of the international schools there. One thing that stands out for me, are the huge variations in cost. There was this one Christian school that was much less than all the others. Don't recall actual tuition rates off hand, but I do remember reading that it was a significant difference. These were all in the Phnom Penh area. Battambang? Sounds interesting. I'll have to read up on it. It sounds like you are really doing the research and asking the questions that you need to be asking. I am honestly getting really positive "vibes" about you and your situation. You and your family are going to do very well, I just KNOW IT. I WHOLEHEARTEDLY believe that a year or two from now, you'll look back and say, "I can't imagine things happening any differently than they did." God bless you and your little family.

Thank you both for some insight. 

I am curious why Cambodia and Phnom Penh are two worlds apart?  Is it because of the globalization that is taking place or just two worlds that do not want to be affiliated with one another?  This is the first time I have heard this. 

My dogs are my life and they are indoor/outdoor.  I allow my little guy to sleep at the foot of my bed while my big bullies get the kennel as to not cause trouble while I am asleep.  I guess pets are not everyone's taste when you jump cultures.  I will make sure I wash my hands and pay respects to how others view my pets. 

If renting someplace becomes a problem with animals, I will just have to purchase and set my own rules for the house.  This is where I am not a fan of Phnom Penh as I have seen few homes that suit my lifestyle opposed to the country wild side of Cambodia which I have fallen so in love with.

I was just offered to come in for an interview in Phnom Penh, so I am becoming more hopeful about finding work.  I have been applying just to see if I am needed.  I have applied all over the country doing various things.. and the one job I applied for is Graphic Design which is what I do best with my time.  It would be ideal to have something locked in place before I arrive to ensure I can have some money flow. 

When I arrive in Cambodia is a question of my husbands Immigration situation in America.  He is on a list to be deported and we are just saving up until his order is executed.  But I am not going to wing it, I want to be as advised and educated as one can become. 

We will probably travel around and try new places before settling down.

Have a wonderful day everyone!


And heat is not really a bad thing. I am currently living in the Mohave Desert in Las Vegas.  It gets up to 115* in the summer.  I know humidity is another level of heat, but I have lived in hot humid places before and should be able to adapt as well as set something up for my dogs to chill out on.

Hey there,

There is a huge difference between Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.  Phnom Penh is a more business/international friendly. It is large and busy and loud. Siem Reap is a tourist destination. There are areas with all the modern conveniences and western goods and services and areas that are very quiet and Khmer. Battambang is what I consider the major "Khmer" city. It is small, quiet and peaceful with a slower pace and better air.  Battambang is my favorite of the three but I think it will be the most difficult to adapt to (less English, Western goods etc) and find work in if you don't speak the language.  You might consider starting in PP or SR and making a move to BTB once you have a firm footing in the country.  In SR you can find the country you seem to be looking for but still have some familiar structure until you adapt. SR can also be cheaper.

Pets - Transit for your Schnauzer and cat are not a problem just follow the rules to a T to get them on the plane.  Your Bullies are another issue.  If your Staffie looks like a "Pitbull" you might not be able to get him on the plane.  Depending on how short his nose is it might be dangerous to try. (Short nosed dogs can have trouble breathing at altitude) Your bull terrier might not be on the restricted list and should have a long enough nose, but (as I am sure you already know having these dogs) people are stupid, and they are often misidentify them as pit bulls which would put them on a airline breed ban as well.  Check the lists for the different airlines for more details as some specifically ban American Staffordshires and and some just ban all bull breeds. You might also talk to your vet about how you could identify them differently on the paperwork but don't count on that working. This isn't an issue with Cambodia, it is an issue with the airlines.

That said, I had no problem renting a place with two inside dogs, people just thought it was a strange choice.  And pet-ownership is on the rise in Cambodia even among the Khmer.  Just remember that some people do eat dog and keep an eye on them accordingly. Pet food is easy enough.  It is readily available in PP and SR.  I don't know about BTB, but my guess is you will be going to Bangkok or PP to do big shopping anyway, so it is just a matter of buying ahead.  You can also make your own food with any of 100 recipes on the internet. I have Eskimo dogs (lots of fur) and just kept a child's pool for them to cool off in. They LOVED Cambodia as it has lots of smells dogs like. There are good vets in PP but I don't know about the rest of the country.  And do be careful of other peoples dogs.  They are often mistreated and not used to much human contact so they may well misunderstand attempts to pet them and bite.  Vaccinations are not common there and rabies is a big problem so I would make sure your kids get the rabies vaccination just to be sure.  The vaccinations are not longer a big deal and are relatively cheap in PP.

I don't have children, but my guess is schools are best in PP, with SR following.

As for work pretty much any English speaker can get a job teaching English with a minimal education.  My 20 yo niece took a course on teaching English on the internet and was able to get a job her second day looking making 10$ an hour.  Now I doubt that is what you are looking for, but it would help pay bills while you found something more in your line. There is a considerable expat community in Cambodia and jobs can be had. They won't pay what you make in the US but you won't need them to.  Hope this helps.  Good luck

Thank you so much for enlighting me. For some reason, I searched bans on breeds in Cambodia but did not even consider checking airlines.  I do have some vet friends who can try and make her a mixed breed, but it is no mistake she looks like a blue nose pit bull and does have a shorter snout. 

SR is starting to sound more my taste if the language is a barrier to the beautiful world of BB. I have been offered an interview in PP for graphics, yes it's not the pay I would like but would pay some bills while I am getting established.

Transportation is another topic I would like to dive into.  I have followed a few blogs of people in Cambodia and seen a lot of scooters moving around insane streets.  What is driving like in PP vs SR? Insurance that sort of thing?  I know in some parts of USA scooters do not need insurance (laws might change soon or are changing in January 2017).  Registration do they have a DMV service?

Traffic laws are more like suggestions in general, but SR is much smaller than PP and much easier to get around.  Many or most people don't have insurance on their Motos but you can get it if you want it.  Drivers license you can get from local driving schools or car rental.  Usually you don't have to really do anything.  Sometimes you will have to take a test but you can have someone local "translate" and do it for you.  If you don't have a license and get stopped you will have to pay a fine of about $1 so keep some bills handy.

Please be careful riding a moto in pp. it's a different world, so I suggest riding on back of moto everywhere you go, for at least first month , then you will know if you can do it , I'm not ashamed to say I own motorcycles, several , ride them in the states , although I'm over 50 I used to race in high school, and a Cambodian school girl can ride better than I can or ever could , with two other school girls on the back drinking a drink driving one handed, so please be careful , you will understand it and be able to ride , but I would not run out and get a bike first thing , almost anywhere in town on moto 2-3$ good luck

Thanks for the advice!  :)

Hi. Personally I think bringing dogs here would be a nightmare.  If your bully dogs like to fight you could be in for drama as dogs here run around free and often in small packs. You would need a fenced in section around your house. Seems alot of places are 2 or 3 stories high without sections for dogs in pp . It would probably cost a fair bit to rent a good place with a fence and it would chew up your savings until you get some income. But I dont want to put you off but maybe a visit here on your own for a few weeks to check it out first. Cambodia is a cool country but its only for those who would like the lifestyle.  All the best.

"drinking a drink driving one handed..."

Well unless she's on her cellphone with Facebook.

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