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Mover to Cambo? Report back pls


swissie

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As I understand, quite a few Farangs were planning to make the move to settle in Cambodia. (pulling up stakes in Thailand).


- Some of them that ACTUALLY made the move, how about some feedback here. = What's better, what not, regrets?


No need to mention the "easy-visa" part, as this is common knowledge.
Let's hear it !
Cheers.

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If you look behind the Khmer smile, this is what you will see and it isn't pretty.

 

Yes, they give out easy long stay visas and the beer, cigarettes and hookers looking for husbands are cheap,  ( in comparison to Thailand ) but at what cost? and what is the reason they give the easy access?

 

If that is all people need, they can move to Isaarn. Believe me, Isaarn is better Most places are within a couple of hours of a decent private hospital. You do NOT want to get ill in Cambodia.

 

I have spent extended amounts of time in Cambodia and had thoughts to moving there especially when the constant changing of rules and regulations and weekly announcements of changes Thailand started to get on my nerves.

 

I am glad I did not.

 

With the exception of visiting the temples on holiday, working there for a big company or foreigners ' forced to like it ' as they do not have enough money to reach the Thai budget or visa requirements, it is not worth going to.

 

Garbage is everywhere and I mean everywhere, so are vermin.rats all over the place It is a dirty hell hole.

 

The roads and infrastructure are terrible as soon as you leave the city limits, there is no decent hospital care as we know it. Food products are not of the quality of Thailand and many products are imported from Thailand so obviously making them more expensive.

 

The police force is actually WORSE than their Thai counterparts, which in itself is an achievement. Law and order is virtually non existent with a lazy, arrogant, unhelpful police force who are not interested in solving crime nor protecting tourists. Opportunistic crime, thefts, burglaries, handbag and phone snatching are at epidemic levels in Phnom Penn and Siem reap.

 

Sihanoukville on the coast is a backwater with  ' wild west '  feel, a police force that think they are far enough from the capital that rules don't apply, not that any apply in the capital!!

 

A lot of lowlifes and people go there to hide out that are wanted in other parts of the world, Cambodian hoodlums and thugs are in abundance, Russian mafias have made it a small base of operations and it is a very poor example of Cambodia's only beach resort that has been completely underfunded by the government as a place to welcome tourists.

 

Education standards are very poor with many kids dropping out of school or needed to help families survive on their small farms. A Cambodian degree is not worth the paper it is written on.

 

It is NOT, as many say, Thailand 30 years ago. It is a god forsaken place where the greedy filth in authority are stealing any aid given by the EU, China and Japan. The poor as usual bear the brunt and are not in a strong enough position to do anything. Hun Sen was not elected as the best leader,he was placed there before the exodus by the Vietnamese as a ' puppet regime ' subservient to Vietnam and has spent  his time filling his pockets.

 

As regards to government, it is fast becoming an autocratic state with Hun Sen at the helm. his immediate family and ex- Khmer rouge cronies are all in any positions that matter to keep the crooked clock ticking, A judicial system that does not function and an Army used  solely to repress the people and cripple any dissent.

 

Give me Thailand or Vietnam any day for a holiday or retirement, regardless of a few moans and groans. Be happy and count your blessings.

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I spend about half my time in Cambodia and half in Thailand, roughly. There are pros and cons to each place.

 

I do not understand the above poster's comment "If you look behind the Khmer smile, this is what you will see and it isn't pretty. ".  Most Khmer people are absolutely wonderful, in my decades long experience of the place. Indeed, the people, and their much more open attitude towards foreigners (compared to Thailand) is the biggest "plus" to the place. Anyone who is experiencing otherwise is either hanging out in very much the wrong places, or needs to examine their own behavior and way of interacting.

 

The post  is however correct regarding the abysmal state of medical care, unfortunately. Every Cambodian who can afford it, goes to Thailand or Viet Nam when they need health care, and for very good reason. Not just the wealthy ones, the middle class as well -- and there is a rapidly growing middle class in Cambodia.

 

Also true that there is a lot of garbage on the streets.

 

And definitely the police are corrupt, and the government a dictatorship.

 

But a lot else posted above does not resemble the country I know. Education standards are improving and the levels of education have risen very dramatically in the past decade. Which is not to say there isn't still a long way to go but frankly I don't think it is much worse than in rural Thailand. Students are very, very motivated and almost all of them take private classes after hours, especially for English and computer, something you seldom find in Thailand. English speaking is as a result much more widespread than in Thailand.

 

Despite the bad political situation the economy is booming and has enjoyed more than a decade of nearly double digit growth. Cambodia was just reclassifed from lower income to lower middle income status and one of the nicest things to see has been the explosion of size of an educated middle class, the emergence of very well read and articulate Cambodian intellectuals etc.

 

As for cost of living -- some things cost more and some things cost less.  How this will shake out for you depends on your lifestyle. In Phnom Penh, you can get what I would consider an acceptable 1 bedroom apartment (a/c, wifi, hot water, center of town, etc) for about $300 on up. At $300 the level of furnishing will be pretty sparse but will include basics.  If you go up to $400 it gets much nicer and there are some services apartments in the $450-500 range (i.e. maid service etc). However electricity costs are very high and are additional to rent.About  $100/month for a small apartment, more in the hot season or if you are home most of the time.

 

Rents are much cheaper in the provinces but quality of accomodation is less as is general availability of things a Westerner might want to buy or do, except for Siem Reap where some  nice apartments have gone up catering to Westerners in recent years.

 

Basically the people who seem to settle in happily are those with a genuine interest in the culture and the people and willingness to make Khmer friends. Those just going for a cheaper cost of living and wanting only bars etc, in my experience may be content for a few months but not for the long haul.

 

The medical care issue is a big one and older people in particular should take note. It is essential to have a health insurance policy that will cover medical evacuation to Thailand if needed.

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I stand by everything I said and I do not feel I need to examine my ways of behavior or interacting. I am a business person and act accordingly. I do not sit in bars all day drinking and smoking with a hooker hanging from each arm!!

 

The ' open attitude ' to foreigners you mention, I believe, is usually from the people on the ground or the man / woman in the street, not those in  positions of power.

 

What I am saying is behind the smile most are thoroughly miserable with the state of affairs in Cambodia but are helpless to do anything. It is now more than ever, a one party dictatorship.

 

Time and time again, (with the exception of very few) that I have spoken with, they hate their conditions and feel as though they are existing as opposed to living. The people themselves cannot object or complain or even gather as they are ruthlessly put down by Hun Sen and his band of merry men.

 

Very few in positions of authority are worth talking to as most are intoxicated by their own power and have no wish to listen, and like in parts of India, would sooner drive around in the blacked out windowed Mercedes Benz cars, where they can pretend not to notice the grinding poverty.

 

The Cambodian government recently announced that Cambodia was at ' full employment ' . You can laugh at that one. Why are the young pouring over the borders to work in low skilled jobs in Thailand if this is the case??

 

It hasn't actually enjoyed double digit growth, it has been nearer 7% - 8%, which I agree is not bad, but you must bear in mind the small size of the economy. Cambodia is beginning to stagnate as Hun Sen, after repeated warnings, continues to disregard any advice from economic and professional organizations around the world responsible for aid, that the economy is too focused on the garment trade and tourism. It has not diversified adequately especially in areas outside the immediate tourist and business areas of Phnom Penn and Siem Reap.

 

As recently as the last two weeks, the Hun Sen government has decided to choke off the micro finance loans by companies to the rural poor. These are the main source of small loans for people without security, and have an excellent repayment rate and very low defaults.  All experts agree that this will hurt the poor more than any other group and that most of these loans are used to expand and build their small businesses, not to purchase consumables and  unnecessary luxury items.

 

Yes, those in schools speak better English and there is a much more open attitude to learning English. This I believe, is as a result of previous colonization, the willingness to accept foreign ideas and to believe there is much more in the world outside of Cambodia unlike the Thais, brainwashed from an early age that the world would cease to turn without them, which we all know to be nonsense.However, due to grinding poverty, the drop out rate in schools and educational establishments is very high.

 

The Cambodian government also has criteria regards improvements in education and infrastructure  to continue receiving EU aid. They hate these checks on where the aid money is spent and are constantly trying to outmaneuver the EU regards transparency. They want ' Chinese aid ' who don't ask them to show and prove where funds are spent. But the rest of us know, the Chinese ' sting in the tail ' will come later down the line. Nothing is for free.

 

Educational standards that you mention, in rural Thailand are pitiful.I know that and have seen it first hand, after being up here many years, when I retired due to ill health. Before I was in the bigger cities of Thailand for a long time.The Thai powers that be care little outside of  their power base of Bangkok what is going on in real Thailand. I have seen many changes in the last 25 years.

 

The authorities in rural Thailand, although employing foreigners to teach English because they are unable and incapable themselves, spend their time sabotaging any useful forward thinking or ideas of foreigners, believing their own positions of rank and authority are threatened.

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OP you have had only 2 posters reply in several days. That should tell you everything you need to know.
I've been many times in the past for visa runs and enjoyed a few days in the tourist section on the river Phnom Pen. Nice resteraunts and some really nice bars however once you leave that short strip you are in another world.. Genuine 3rd world.. Not nice.

I found the local farangs to be of the lowest of class, makes Pattaya locals look sophisticated by comparison. Many are deeply into the drug culture which was freely available without prosecution .. No police around makes it all quite lawless.

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On 4/7/2017 at 10:32 AM, Scouse123 said:

If you look behind the Khmer smile, this is what you will see and it isn't pretty.

 

Yes, they give out easy long stay visas and the beer, cigarettes and hookers looking for husbands are cheap,  ( in comparison to Thailand ) but at what cost? and what is the reason they give the easy access?

 

If that is all people need, they can move to Isaarn. Believe me, Isaarn is better Most places are within a couple of hours of a decent private hospital. You do NOT want to get ill in Cambodia.

 

I have spent extended amounts of time in Cambodia and had thoughts to moving there especially when the constant changing of rules and regulations and weekly announcements of changes Thailand started to get on my nerves.

 

I am glad I did not.

 

With the exception of visiting the temples on holiday, working there for a big company or foreigners ' forced to like it ' as they do not have enough money to reach the Thai budget or visa requirements, it is not worth going to.

 

Garbage is everywhere and I mean everywhere, so are vermin.rats all over the place It is a dirty hell hole.

 

The roads and infrastructure are terrible as soon as you leave the city limits, there is no decent hospital care as we know it. Food products are not of the quality of Thailand and many products are imported from Thailand so obviously making them more expensive.

 

The police force is actually WORSE than their Thai counterparts, which in itself is an achievement. Law and order is virtually non existent with a lazy, arrogant, unhelpful police force who are not interested in solving crime nor protecting tourists. Opportunistic crime, thefts, burglaries, handbag and phone snatching are at epidemic levels in Phnom Penn and Siem reap.

 

Sihanoukville on the coast is a backwater with  ' wild west '  feel, a police force that think they are far enough from the capital that rules don't apply, not that any apply in the capital!!

 

A lot of lowlifes and people go there to hide out that are wanted in other parts of the world, Cambodian hoodlums and thugs are in abundance, Russian mafias have made it a small base of operations and it is a very poor example of Cambodia's only beach resort that has been completely underfunded by the government as a place to welcome tourists.

 

Education standards are very poor with many kids dropping out of school or needed to help families survive on their small farms. A Cambodian degree is not worth the paper it is written on.

 

It is NOT, as many say, Thailand 30 years ago. It is a god forsaken place where the greedy filth in authority are stealing any aid given by the EU, China and Japan. The poor as usual bear the brunt and are not in a strong enough position to do anything. Hun Sen was not elected as the best leader,he was placed there before the exodus by the Vietnamese as a ' puppet regime ' subservient to Vietnam and has spent  his time filling his pockets.

 

As regards to government, it is fast becoming an autocratic state with Hun Sen at the helm. his immediate family and ex- Khmer rouge cronies are all in any positions that matter to keep the crooked clock ticking, A judicial system that does not function and an Army used  solely to repress the people and cripple any dissent.

 

Give me Thailand or Vietnam any day for a holiday or retirement, regardless of a few moans and groans. Be happy and count your blessings.

 

 

This is the post of a grumpy old man who had problems living in Thailand and was thinking that Cambodia was heaven...

 

Of course it is not as bad as lied on this post.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, abab said:

 

 

This is the post of a grumpy old man who had problems living in Thailand and was thinking that Cambodia was heaven...

 

Of course it is not as bad as lied on this post.

 

 

 

I am not grumpy, I am not old unless you consider 54 old? Your assumptions are wrong and to call somebody a liar without justification is also very wrong.

 

I have many years experience of Thailand and a number of years now with long visits to Vietnam and  I do business in Cambodia.

 

If you wish to disagree, kindly point out on which points that you think I am wrong.

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7 hours ago, Scouse123 said:

I am not grumpy, I am not old unless you consider 54 old? Your assumptions are wrong and to call somebody a liar without justification is also very wrong.

 

I have many years experience of Thailand and a number of years now with long visits to Vietnam and  I do business in Cambodia.

 

If you wish to disagree, kindly point out on which points that you think I am wrong.

 

 

Sorry i do not work for free for this forum and have no interest to lecture anyway. I just tell the facts and it's enough for anybody who is able to understand.

 

 

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I am glad I started this thread. Good Info. Posts # 5 & 6 would indicate that Cambodia can not become my "Retirement-Destination".


- If I were 25 years old, I would consider it as an "Adventure", especially if my stay would be supported by an NGO salary.


As it were: Friend of mine (my age), has returned fron Sihanoukville after a 3 month stay. Him disliking the crowd of Barang "Visa-Desperados".
Thanks again & cheers.

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5 hours ago, Sheryl said:

Please keep it civil. No flaming.

Sheryl, what about the recent opening of the new international hospital/hospitals in PP?

 

From your comments on the medical situation above, you don't seem to be suggesting that their arrival has provided  a reasonable quality local option for medical care.

 

Frankly, I've heard and seen very little thus far on just how that place/those places are doing.

 

I'm referring for starters to the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital, that I gather is operated by the Bangkok Hospital conglomerate.

 

Quote

 

Our medical team consists of more than 40 internationally trained medical experts from Thailand, Cambodia, the United States and France. Medical support services are provided by high-standard, well-known professional organizations: the laboratory and sterilization of medical equipment have been contracted to N Health Cambodia, food for patients is provided by Gourmet House, and PCS Cambodia delivers security and housekeeping.

Our hospital is affiliated with all major international insurance providers. With a convenient location, cutting-edge technology, international standards of quality and adherence to professional ethics as well as an outstanding commitment by our international medical team, there is no doubt that Royal Phnom Penh Hospital is the best healthcare provider in Cambodia.

 

http://royalphnompenhhospital.com/about-us/

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The are extremely expensive, have small staff/limited range of specialties and quality liek anywhere varies greatly with the individual  doctor.

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swissie, my advice would be to travel to Kampot and befriend some of the older "long-termer's" who have been living quiet lives there. None of them won't post here. Then, take a look at nearby Kep also.

 

Sihanoukville, I would avoid and is not a good bench mark for the country. I don't like SE Asian big cities, so for me, PP is out - but so are BKK, KUL, Saigon, Hanoi, Jakarta, Manila - the pollution, the noise, lack of nature, no way, Jose.

 

Cambodia is a gem for those who can take it for what it is and accept its significant imperfections (most of which will likely not concern you, despite Scouse123's dramatic tales which are heavily infused with his own personality, writing like a jilted lover, my god what business where you in and what expectations did you have), which IMHO are more than evened out by the freedoms you can enjoy there (can own your own company and can work w. the work permit) and the fewer hassles you'll have compared to Thailand (like 90 day reporting & visa runs).

 

About myself: Lived & worked in Thailand from 2001 - 2005; been coming to Cambodia since 2003 and now up to 2 visits per year and preparing my move their in 2019 - I love the place.

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i was one of those who left to live in cambodia. at 9 months cut my lease short and returned to thailand. lived in sihanoukville, phenom pehn and siem reap.

 

without writing a book, its an in your face third world country.

 

basically a last resort if your from anywhere better. chances of preferring it over thailand or more developed places are slim to nill unless your into drug culture, a do gooder ngo or save the children type, really laying low and need no extradition or to put it bluntly running out of money.

 

that said, i survived there fine and could have continued to do so. adequate access to cheap housing, food, sex and water

 

but i was not happy and it did not meet my standards as somewhere i could see my life path ending up or as a retirement destination.

 

what i found myself doing after about 6 months was projecting my own unhappiness onto the people and just isolating, drinking etc. thats when i mnew it was not permanent for me and was time to consider leaving. its a big move if your used to a western country or have not lived in a asia a couple years at least.

 

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On 4/7/2017 at 10:32 AM, Scouse123 said:

If you look behind the Khmer smile, this is what you will see and it isn't pretty.

 

Yes, they give out easy long stay visas and the beer, cigarettes and hookers looking for husbands are cheap,  ( in comparison to Thailand ) but at what cost? and what is the reason they give the easy access?

 

If that is all people need, they can move to Isaarn. Believe me, Isaarn is better Most places are within a couple of hours of a decent private hospital. You do NOT want to get ill in Cambodia.

 

I have spent extended amounts of time in Cambodia and had thoughts to moving there especially when the constant changing of rules and regulations and weekly announcements of changes Thailand started to get on my nerves.

 

I am glad I did not.

 

With the exception of visiting the temples on holiday, working there for a big company or foreigners ' forced to like it ' as they do not have enough money to reach the Thai budget or visa requirements, it is not worth going to.

 

Garbage is everywhere and I mean everywhere, so are vermin.rats all over the place It is a dirty hell hole.

 

The roads and infrastructure are terrible as soon as you leave the city limits, there is no decent hospital care as we know it. Food products are not of the quality of Thailand and many products are imported from Thailand so obviously making them more expensive.

 

The police force is actually WORSE than their Thai counterparts, which in itself is an achievement. Law and order is virtually non existent with a lazy, arrogant, unhelpful police force who are not interested in solving crime nor protecting tourists. Opportunistic crime, thefts, burglaries, handbag and phone snatching are at epidemic levels in Phnom Penn and Siem reap.

 

Sihanoukville on the coast is a backwater with  ' wild west '  feel, a police force that think they are far enough from the capital that rules don't apply, not that any apply in the capital!!

 

A lot of lowlifes and people go there to hide out that are wanted in other parts of the world, Cambodian hoodlums and thugs are in abundance, Russian mafias have made it a small base of operations and it is a very poor example of Cambodia's only beach resort that has been completely underfunded by the government as a place to welcome tourists.

 

Education standards are very poor with many kids dropping out of school or needed to help families survive on their small farms. A Cambodian degree is not worth the paper it is written on.

 

It is NOT, as many say, Thailand 30 years ago. It is a god forsaken place where the greedy filth in authority are stealing any aid given by the EU, China and Japan. The poor as usual bear the brunt and are not in a strong enough position to do anything. Hun Sen was not elected as the best leader,he was placed there before the exodus by the Vietnamese as a ' puppet regime ' subservient to Vietnam and has spent  his time filling his pockets.

 

As regards to government, it is fast becoming an autocratic state with Hun Sen at the helm. his immediate family and ex- Khmer rouge cronies are all in any positions that matter to keep the crooked clock ticking, A judicial system that does not function and an Army used  solely to repress the people and cripple any dissent.

 

Give me Thailand or Vietnam any day for a holiday or retirement, regardless of a few moans and groans. Be happy and count your blessings.

A good read

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Find it very comfortable.  Can work without worry.  The Internet is adequate.  Food is more expensive than Bangkok and the quality is not as good in the sense of preparation.  As a second home, it is fine.  If you are looking for retirement, Thailand would be better.  If you are still able bodied and like working, than Cambodia is a better option.  Snooky would not be my first choice.  Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are better.  Yes, police here are paid poorly as such the quality of enforcement is rather low.  One country is still recovering from a genocide the other has had peace for 70 years.  Thailand has nice resources but few opportunities.  Cambodia is the opposite.  Nimble minds see opportunities in the differences and understand the shortcomings. 

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14 hours ago, JimCrane said:

i was one of those who left to live in cambodia. at 9 months cut my lease short and returned to thailand. lived in sihanoukville, phenom pehn and siem reap.

 

without writing a book, its an in your face third world country.

 

basically a last resort if your from anywhere better. chances of preferring it over thailand or more developed places are slim to nill unless your into drug culture, a do gooder ngo or save the children type, really laying low and need no extradition or to put it bluntly running out of money.

 

that said, i survived there fine and could have continued to do so. adequate access to cheap housing, food, sex and water

 

but i was not happy and it did not meet my standards as somewhere i could see my life path ending up or as a retirement destination.

 

what i found myself doing after about 6 months was projecting my own unhappiness onto the people and just isolating, drinking etc. thats when i mnew it was not permanent for me and was time to consider leaving. its a big move if your used to a western country or have not lived in a asia a couple years at least.

 

This post pretty much sums the place up. I'm living in Phnom Penh - been here 3 years - its an awful place. I'm only here because of work and now have a family here. I lived in Thailand previously for a few years - its, way, way better there in nearly all respects. There are so many bad things about Cambodia I'd be here all day if I had to list them - but I'll give one small example. There is no competition here between businesses - so the supermarkets (Lucky has the market by the balls) fix the prices on everything. As everything is 'imported' (from Thailand, Vietnam etc.) all those goods are considered 'luxury' by the Cambodians. Even a box of crackers will cost you double what you'd pay in Big C back in Thailand. The place is a total rip off so for westerners a very difficult place to live. These rip-off prices (rents are also very high compared to Thailand) are also fuelled by foreign NGO workers who live here and earn western rate salaries. I would never advise anyone to move here - you'll definitely regret it. Stay in Thailand or move to Vietnam.

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thailand is more westernized which seems to be what grumpy old men are looking for. cambodia is very rural, the people are generally more polite and  less violent then thais, its not a police state like thailand (in phnom penh anyway) because foriegn aid and the monarchy isnt under threat, you never see a policeman and can even play cards in public (while smoking a joint if thats your thing). its a lot quieter, phnom penh is really just a large county town. a lot of poverty because they are too polite to resist their overlords and dont care anyway. difficult to answer your question without knowing what you are looking for. I like it.

 

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45 minutes ago, phycokiller said:

thailand is more westernized which seems to be what grumpy old men are looking for. cambodia is very rural, the people are generally more polite and  less violent then thais, its not a police state like thailand (in phnom penh anyway) because foriegn aid and the monarchy isnt under threat, you never see a policeman and can even play cards in public (while smoking a joint if thats your thing). its a lot quieter, phnom penh is really just a large county town. a lot of poverty because they are too polite to resist their overlords and dont care anyway. difficult to answer your question without knowing what you are looking for. I like it.

 

 

So far from the opponents to my posts, NOT ONE  POSTER WHO DISAGREES has been able to point out that anything in my posts that were incorrect. All they have been able to do is resort to name calling.

 

I think phycokiller has been smoking too many of these joints before he wrote this load of nonsense in the box above. Either that or sunbathing too much without a hat.

 

Cambodia is not a ' police state like Thailand ' Where did you dig that gem up from?  Cambodia is a full on autocratic dictatorship with Hun Sen at the helm. Democratic opposition leaders fleeing the country or risk being thrown in jail on trumped up charges, extra judicial killings and murders of opposition members, because elections are looming in 2018, and he knows he will have to cheat the numbers like he did before to forcibly stay in power. The ' monarchy isn't under threat '  Another gem in your collection! The monarchy has no power at all and is only a symbol of Cambodia to hold and bring the people together in times of suffering and crisis.

 

Hun Sen entered into a coalition with a member of the monarchy in the 90s, after losing the election and refusing to give up power, and then got rid of him afterwards and reneged on all his promises or didn't you know that?

 

He has a habit of doing such things when he loses an election or ignoring the result or refusing to accept it.

 

He has his own complete private bodyguard including a Mini-army that operates and answers to him only, in case things do not go his own way, did you know that?

 

He uses the Army against the population. It is not that the people do not want change, they yearn change and freedom. It is repression and fear that stops them rising up, not because as you stated , ' they are too polite to resist their overlords and don't care anyway '

 

Below is a link so that you can educate yourself on Cambodian recent history.

 

https://www.hrw.org/news/2007/07/27/cambodia-july-1997-shock-and-aftermath

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You lost the Path......read slowly once again the Topic :"What's better, what not, regrets".......compared to TH. I think, most readers are amazed at your aggressive, unsophisticated style.

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Cambodia sucks. Ho Chi Min is the place to go, easy to get residency and work permit or just live on tourist visas.

Mostly expats families and young entrepreneurs. It is not as fun as Thailand but offers a better quality of life than Cambo.

 

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2 hours ago, yellowboat said:

Find it very comfortable.  Can work without worry.  The Internet is adequate.  Food is more expensive than Bangkok and the quality is not as good in the sense of preparation.  As a second home, it is fine.  If you are looking for retirement, Thailand would be better.  If you are still able bodied and like working, than Cambodia is a better option.  Snooky would not be my first choice.  Siem Reap and Phnom Penh are better.  Yes, police here are paid poorly as such the quality of enforcement is rather low.  One country is still recovering from a genocide the other has had peace for 70 years.  Thailand has nice resources but few opportunities.  Cambodia is the opposite.  Nimble minds see opportunities in the differences and understand the shortcomings. 

Every coin has two sides. 

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On 4/7/2017 at 7:35 PM, Sheryl said:

I spend about half my time in Cambodia and half in Thailand, roughly. There are pros and cons to each place.

 

I do not understand the above poster's comment "If you look behind the Khmer smile, this is what you will see and it isn't pretty. ".  Most Khmer people are absolutely wonderful, in my decades long experience of the place. Indeed, the people, and their much more open attitude towards foreigners (compared to Thailand) is the biggest "plus" to the place. Anyone who is experiencing otherwise is either hanging out in very much the wrong places, or needs to examine their own behavior and way of interacting.

 

The post  is however correct regarding the abysmal state of medical care, unfortunately. Every Cambodian who can afford it, goes to Thailand or Viet Nam when they need health care, and for very good reason. Not just the wealthy ones, the middle class as well -- and there is a rapidly growing middle class in Cambodia.

 

Also true that there is a lot of garbage on the streets.

 

And definitely the police are corrupt, and the government a dictatorship.

 

But a lot else posted above does not resemble the country I know. Education standards are improving and the levels of education have risen very dramatically in the past decade. Which is not to say there isn't still a long way to go but frankly I don't think it is much worse than in rural Thailand. Students are very, very motivated and almost all of them take private classes after hours, especially for English and computer, something you seldom find in Thailand. English speaking is as a result much more widespread than in Thailand.

 

Despite the bad political situation the economy is booming and has enjoyed more than a decade of nearly double digit growth. Cambodia was just reclassifed from lower income to lower middle income status and one of the nicest things to see has been the explosion of size of an educated middle class, the emergence of very well read and articulate Cambodian intellectuals etc.

 

As for cost of living -- some things cost more and some things cost less.  How this will shake out for you depends on your lifestyle. In Phnom Penh, you can get what I would consider an acceptable 1 bedroom apartment (a/c, wifi, hot water, center of town, etc) for about $300 on up. At $300 the level of furnishing will be pretty sparse but will include basics.  If you go up to $400 it gets much nicer and there are some services apartments in the $450-500 range (i.e. maid service etc). However electricity costs are very high and are additional to rent.About  $100/month for a small apartment, more in the hot season or if you are home most of the time.

 

Rents are much cheaper in the provinces but quality of accomodation is less as is general availability of things a Westerner might want to buy or do, except for Siem Reap where some  nice apartments have gone up catering to Westerners in recent years.

 

Basically the people who seem to settle in happily are those with a genuine interest in the culture and the people and willingness to make Khmer friends. Those just going for a cheaper cost of living and wanting only bars etc, in my experience may be content for a few months but not for the long haul.

 

The medical care issue is a big one and older people in particular should take note. It is essential to have a health insurance policy that will cover medical evacuation to Thailand if needed.

Thanks Sheryl this coin is turning out to have more than 2 sides

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4 minutes ago, elgordo38 said:

Every coin has two sides. 

Yes, mine has two heads.  I have chosen to be happy.   Also, lived through the transformation of a few "hell holes" only to see them turn into good places.  Some far worse than Phnom Penh or some Bangkok outskirts. 

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Just now, yellowboat said:

Yes, mine has two heads.  I have chosen to be happy.   Also, lived through the transformation of a few "hell holes" only to see them turn into good places.  Some far worse than Phnom Penh or some Bangkok outskirts. 

My last statement was more than 2 sides as other posters have jumped in and thats fine to. Whatever works for you works me. Whatever turns your crank Hank more power to you go for the whole enchalada

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Just now, Destiny1990 said:

Nop its 3 sides.

From the amount of play this topic is getting the number of sides could be endless. Great topic though lots of feedback. Personally I will stay put. To many attachments like hospital close by close shopping eating and close g/f. I have learned how to navigate this place and I am no relation to Christopher Columbus. 

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5 minutes ago, elgordo38 said:

From the amount of play this topic is getting the number of sides could be endless. Great topic though lots of feedback. Personally I will stay put. To many attachments like hospital close by close shopping eating and close g/f. I have learned how to navigate this place and I am no relation to Christopher Columbus. 

as i said before Cambodia  its a horrible country sorry just mine honest opinion.crossing roads there its pure suicide.

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