1. Getting a visa is easy. For less than a dollar a day, almost anyone can get a visa to stay in the country. Cambodia has one of the most relaxed visa programs in the world…for now.
2. The cost of living is low. Cambodia is cheap. Not as cheap as a lot of backpackers hope, but it’s still very inexpensive to live here. Most expats can survive by working part-time, a luxury they would not have back home.
3. The weather. Okay, maybe most expats can’t agree on this one, but anyone who has lived through a harsh, snowy winter can appreciate Cambodia’s year-round warm temperatures…although most do agree that hot season can be unpleasant.
4. Cambodia is filled with great opportunities. Whether you’re looking to get work experience in the development sector, teaching experience in the classroom, or material for your novel, Cambodia offers an abundance of opportunities for those willing to pursue them. Foreign experience is highly valued here, and most expats are able to find a job easily. In fact, many are able to find jobs that they wouldn’t be regarded as qualified to do at home.
5. The locals are friendly. Serial expats know that in many countries settling in can be difficult due to difficult locals. Cambodians can be difficult, of course, but they’re always friendly. If Thailand is known as the “land of smiles,” Cambodia could be called the land of genuine smiles. Even small interactions like bargaining with a tuk tuk driver usually involve smiles and laughter. Male expats also find that their charms are magnified in Cambodia and that they are far more impressive to Khmer women than to the girls back home.
6. Life is easy. It’s a mystery as to why, but expats in Cambodia just seem to have easier lives than they do in their home countries. Maybe it’s because they’re finally able to afford to have someone else clean their apartments, or just that they’re working fewer hours, but foreigners who’ve settled in Cambodia fall in love with the country. They may whine and complain, but don’t believe them. If they’re here, they’re having a good time.
7. Cambodia expats are funny. While it’s true that weirdos are drawn to Cambodia, the country is full of some of the most creative, interesting and entertaining people that I know. Sure, they might have gotten bullied in school, but in Cambodia they’ve found a place where they can be themselves. So, Gavin, when you finally decide to move we’ll welcome you with open arms.