Every year over 6 million people (and growing) visit Cambodia as tourists, nearly 200,000 of which are Brits. With 10th century temples, stunning untouched forests, wellness and yoga retreats, and of course, 273 miles of coastline (not to mention the islands!) it’s no wonder why millions make the journey. However, there has been a growing trend amongst visitors, they are choosing to stay.
Those that just can’t get enough are also now realizing that as well as Cambodia being a unique place of culture and beauty, it is also a rapidly developing economy that benefits from ex-pats living and working in Cambodia. Therefore, we have compiled a list of the top 13 reasons why people are choosing to move, live and work in Cambodia!
Before we begin, don’t forget to check out the rest of our website, where you can view and apply for jobs in Cambodia and even book moving services to make the dream of living and working in Cambodia a reality.
Now, we present 12 reasons why people love living in Cambodia!
1) The Khmer people are famously friendly
Although it has been said time and again about Cambodia, the surveys don’t lie! One of the reasons people love living and working in Cambodia is because of how genuine and friendly Cambodians are. Whether it be welcoming you into their homes, sharing their culture, teaching you their language, or just sharing a plate of rice, there’s never a smile far away.
When living and working in Cambodia, makes daily challenges that you would face anywhere much easier to overcome. We sure know the feeling well when you’re having a bad day, it’s already dark, cold, and raining outside and everyone is miserable too. You’re living in Cambodia, the children laughing and waving in the street, friendly smiles at the street food stalls and shops plus the sunshine really help to lift your mood.
2) Low cost of living in Cambodia
Although working in Cambodia may not pay the high salaries that you would get doing an equivalent position elsewhere in the world, living in Cambodia is very cheap, meaning your salary could actually work outgoing a lot further. There is also a lot more choice in the standard of living you want to have, meaning lots of opportunities to live cheaper if you want to. For example, if you want to really indulge in luxury while living in Cambodia, you can get swanky apartments with rooftop pools and gyms for around 500-700 per month. However, if you’re happy with a small studio apartment you can secure one for as little as 200 per month. With average ex-pat pay around 1200-1500, that means you can opt to have a thousand dollars or more leftover depending on the lifestyle you want. Cambodia has a very outdoor lifestyle, with plenty of rooftop swimming pools and open-top restaurants so you won’t be spending much time at home anyway!
Equally, there are plenty of choices when it comes to food and drink. They’re world-class hotels and restaurants dotted around the upmarket areas across the country, but there are also hidden street-side gems that serve up tasty treats for less than $2. You can also opt to have a $10 cocktail if you should like, or there will be a bar around a corner that will serve a draft Cambodian beer for 50 cents, the choice is really up to you!
Travel is also cheap. Personal travel costs little because of the low price of petrol and many choose to cycle to work because of the small size of many of Cambodia’s cities and towns. Commercial travel cost is also down to you, with shared minibus journeys from as little as $10 from the capital to the coast, or private taxis can be booked for around $50 (which can be shared by 4 passengers, so still only $12.50 each!)
In short, you have much more choice about how you want to live, and you can always mix it up depending on your budget! Either way, even if living in Cambodia on a shoestring you can still have a great quality of life. If you want to know more about living and working in Cambodia, you could always contact us at NextStep. We provide relocation and recruitment services in Cambodia specifically for ex-pats. You can contact us via email anytime or book a one-to-one consultation and one of our fully trained staff can answer any of your questions and even give you some information you haven’t thought of! We look forward to hearing from you.
3) To enjoy the rich culture, heritage, and traditions
The first thing you will notice when living in Cambodia is that the Khmer people are very proud of their culture and heritage. Whether it be when showing you around the iconic temples and religious sites – such as Angkor Wat – or when showcasing their traditional dance, art, music, and folklore, Cambodian history is fascinating. Cambodia is also aware of the dark times of its past, when the Khmer Rouge inflicted terrible atrocities on its people. However, it has approached its past positively by turning the sites where these horrific events happened into tourist destinations where people can learn from the past for it not to be repeated.
The beauty of Cambodian heritage is it does not shy away from the good and the bad but embraces it as both a milestone in its history and also as a marker to show how far it has come since. Part of NextSteps Cambodian relocation package involves a Tuk Tuk tour which not only takes new arrivals around some of the most beautiful landmarks in the country’s capital but also includes a visit to the infamous Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, the former prison where the Khmer Rouge tortured lots of Cambodians. We believe that it is important to understand the highs and lows of Khmer history to understand the country and its culture today.
4) It’s one of the fastest developing countries in South East Asia
The only way to describe Cambodia’s development is rapid. Whether it be improvements to infrastructure, new governmental economic initiatives launched multiple new regional trade deals, a new skyscraper beginning construction, or otherwise, Cambodia is growing.
This is exciting for several reasons. Firstly, it means there are a lot of opportunities, whether people want to work in Cambodia or begin a business, the Kingdom welcomes new development partners. Secondly, it means that Cambodia is continuing to become more international, connecting with not only its neighbors but other global blocs, such as Europe. This means more opportunities for Cambodian products to reach international markets, firmly putting the Kingdom on the map. Thirdly, for those living and working in Cambodia, it means there is always something new to do!
Whether it is checking out the new rooftop restaurants just opened up in the city or heading to the brand-new yoga retreat out in a nearby province, you won’t be short of ideas to fill the weekends or even business trips for your colleagues/staff!
Cambodia doesn’t show signs of stopping and is reportedly on track to become the fastest-growing economy in South East Asia by 2026. Those who come to live and work in Cambodia sooner will benefit from being there during the growth spur and being part of the country’s phenomenal development. If you want to work and live in Cambodia, you can find out more by clicking on our recruitment and relocation pages.
5) The laidback lifestyle and finding new friends
Life in Cambodia, compared to living in other countries, is a lot more relaxed. Although the cities are bustling and work-life still has deadlines and timeframes to follow, the pace of life in Cambodia is definitely different, and ex-pats love it! Living and working in Cambodia means finding a new rhythm to life.
Whether it’s how locals adapt to the various seasons – such as the annual dry and wet seasons – or long lunch breaks during the hot parts of the day, Cambodia runs on its own time. It is a true testament to Cambodia that it has managed to achieve so much development in such a short time frame while still staying true to its way of life. While that way of life may be slowly changing in the cities, breaks in the province are a must if you want to experience a truly chilled experience. From herding cows to late-night oyster picking under the stars, you’re never too far from a truly Cambodian experience.
Many people move to Cambodia thinking of its stunning scenery, fantastic job opportunities, and exotic cuisine. However, many people choose to stay, live and work in the Kingdom because of the friends they make while living in Cambodia. The good news about choosing NextStep when relocating to Cambodia is that you will not only meet great contacts through employment within a Khmer company, but we also have a strong emphasis on the social aspect of relocating to Cambodia. Living and working in Cambodia is not only about seeing the beautiful sites and getting international career experience, it’s also about having some fun!
That’s why here at NextStep we have partnered with lots of in-country lifestyle magazines, activity boards, restaurants, bars, and more to make sure your work and social life hit the ground running. The best bit is, you can get discounts and rewards for mentioning that you’re from NextStep, and you may even bump into a few other movers while out and about! Check out our partner section to find lots of cool business and things to do, we look forward to seeing you around.
6) Lots of national holidays!
Those who live and work in Cambodia will definitely notice the number of national holidays they are treated to, which average out at some 27 each year!
In fact, Khmer people love celebrations, and many celebrate the western calendar new year, their own Khmer new year, and Chinese New Year. There are lots of different holidays to celebrate and each one has exciting rituals and traditions which you can observe or join in with. Water festival is a well-loved festival around October and November which sees thousands of people head to the rivers around the country to watch boat racing. Pchum Ben festival marks the end of the Buddhist lent and many families gather and share food and drinks to mark the occasion. There are also many others including for various members of the Royal Family, all of which have their own accompanying traditions.
For those living in Cambodia, make sure to ask your Khmer friends and relatives about the events and perhaps you will be invited to observe or join in! NextStep also keeps a handy record of the year’s events in the office so if you are relocating to Cambodia make sure to ask us when the next holiday is.
Want more reasons to live and work in Cambodia?
Fear not! This is only part one. Check out part two for another 6 great reasons to live and work in Cambodia. Heard enough? Get in touch with one of our team or find opportunities in the Kingdom of Wonder right here
Remember, Next Step International is the complete A-Z moving platform. So we can not only get you fully prepared on everything you need to know before you plan your trip, but we also advertise the latesy opportunities in Cambodia as well as offering full moving services. Living and working in Cambodia couldn’t be easier, with Next Step.