Your Complete Guide to Living in Cambodia!
Do you want to live in a country where you can enjoy a modern-day lifestyle while exploring majestic green forests, rich heritage, vibrant cities, captivating architecture and much more? If yes, then Cambodia is the TEFL destinations for you.
Situated in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is the favourite choice for expats who want to live a perfect life abroad. Why is this?
Firstly, the locals are super friendly. They’ll always welcome you with their smiles and warm hospitality. Secondly, the food is flavourful and heaven for food lovers. To add to this, the weather is fantastic, especially if you want to escape the winter and love catching rays while drinking an ice cold beer or cocktail. Also, the wildlife is fascinating and a great place for animal lovers. And finally, the cheap cost of living means you’ll have plenty of cash left over for exploring and making the most of your new life.
So, if you want to experience this beautiful country, read this article till the end to find out all the important aspects of living your best life as an expat in Cambodia.
Experiencing the magic culture is a great reason to live in Cambodia.
Known for its rich heritage, culture and history, Cambodia is a country that you should visit if you love to explore different cultures and witness temples, rice fields and rivers all in one day. Whether visiting the famous temples and historical landmarks or experiencing the traditional festivals, you’ll make many wonderful memories that you’ll cherish forever. So, without experiencing the culture, your trip to Cambodia is incomplete.
If you’re a foodie who always wants to explore new dishes, living in Cambodia is for memorable for you. You’ll have the chance to try a unique culinary experience. Cambodian cuisine is one of the most flavourful cuisines in the region and has a very long history. Rice is pretty popular in Cambodia and can be found almost everywhere. You’ll get to taste many varieties of fish dishes, all of which are worth trying. Also, for the more adventurous of you, eating insects is another experience that you can have here- try something different today!
Here’s a list of some of the best dishes that you must try during your time in Cambodia:
- Num Bunhchok
- Fish Amok
- Twa ko
- Samlor Kako
- Khmer Red Curry
- Lort Cha
- Kuy Teav
- Lok Lak
- Bai Sach Chrouk
- Sach Ko Ang
Places of Interest
During your time living in Cambodia, you’ll find many amazing places to visit. Whether you love sunny sea beaches or green mountain ranges, Cambodia has it all. That’s why this amazing country is also one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia for travellers and expats.
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the main attractions in Cambodia. Your trip to Cambodia won’t be incomplete without visiting Angkor Wat. I was lucky enough to visit here with my parents right before COVID and it really amazing to see what was built here and the scale of it. Plus, the temples are very impressive due to their intricate engravings and carvings.
Battambang Bat Cave is also a very popular tourist destination that is located around 13 km from Battambang city. At sunset, you’ll get to witness a magical moment when five million bats fly out of the cave into the sky. (Well, this is how many the tuk tuk driver quoted!). I recently did this trip and watching the bats flying out the mouth of the cave in such a huge group with the sun setting in the background is a truly amazing experience. The bats stick together and make a huge snake across the sky, twisiting and turning and moving as one. It was incredible to watch.
The capital city of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, which is also a major tourist hub for the country. If you love bustling city life, Phnom Penh is the city you should visit. Here you’ll get to explore captivating architecture, delicious street food, vibrant nightlife on Bassac lane and much more.
For people who love golden sea beaches and serene blue water, the islands off Sihanoukville such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanleom is the ideal place. As for wildlife lovers, visiting the Cardamom mountains is a must. Known for its rich biodiversity, the Cardamom mountains is one of the most spectacular places in the country.
And if you’re tired of long work weeks and want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a trip to the countryside could be perfect for you. By staying close to nature, you can discover many awesome things that will surely be worth your time. There’s plenty of places to go for a cycle ride, walk down by the river or go with a local group hiking in the mountains or to the local waterfalls, or visit the beautiful Kirirom National Park.
There are lots of places of interest in Cambodia and we’ve made a list of the few top places to visit: that you shouldn’t miss:
- Angkor Wat
- Preah Vihear Temple
- Beng Mealea Temple
- Ta Prohm Temple
- Wat Phnom
- Silver Pagoda
- Royal Palace
- Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
- Battambang Bat Caves
- Cardamom Mountains
- Tonlé Sap Lake
- Koh Rong Samloem
- Mondulkiri Province
Cost of Living
Living in Cambodia isn’t that expensive and it’s way cheaper than living in Europe or the US. The cost of living is highly subjective and varies from person to person. But if you live an ordinary and simple life with proper budgeting, you can live a great life here. The low cost of living is something that attracts many expats from around the world to work and live in this beautiful country.
A monthly budget of around US$ 1000 – US$ 1300 should suffice to lead a comfortable life in Cambodia. Depending upon location, house rent ranges from US$ 300 – US$ 500 if you want to live alone in a small apartment. But if you choose a shared apartment, the cost can be as low as $100 per month.
Expect to pay somewhere between US$ 150 – US$ 300 for food per month. In normal eateries, you can get a full meal for around US$ 5 – US$ 7 while you can easily get street food for $1-2 US. Whereas a meal in a fancy restaurant will cost you around US$ 15 – US$20. You can also cut the cost if you make your food yourself.
Electricity charges are around US$ 60 – US$ 100 depending on how much you like to use the aircon! For roaming in and around the cities, you can opt for public transport or rent a motorbike.
The cost of renting a motorbike can be approximately US$ 60 – US$ 80 per month. And for public transport, US$ 100 should be enough, depending on how many rides you take every month. You can easily just book Grab or Pass App, the Asian equivalent of Uber.
Cambodians are really welcoming. You’ll encounter many friendly locals and talking with them is super easy. If you need any help, they are always there to help you with their smiling faces. Interacting and sharing experiences with them will definitely make your time in Cambodia more memorable, and learning a little of the language goes a long way. It is one of the world’s friendliest countries, so while you’re in Cambodia, expect to make many local friends.
Things to Do
Cambodia is a beautiful country with lots of amazing things to do apart from visiting temples or enjoying city life.
If you love adventure, then you should definitely visit Cambodia. Pristine sea beaches, tall mountains and green forests have made this incredible country more appealing to adventure seekers. If you like to hike, there are many hiking trails you can choose from. If riding a motorbike is your passion, then you can opt for motorbike tours. If you are an adventure sports lover, then here you can have that as well.
Here’s a list of things that you should do during your time in Cambodia:
- Hiking in the Cardamom Mountains
- Kep Mountain Trail
- Jungle Trekking at Mondulkiri and visiting Elephant Valley Project
- Water Sports Activities in Sihanoukville
- Paragliding in Sihanoukville