Cambodia is known throughout the world as the Kingdom of Wonder. My life here as an expat has long proven to me that it truly deserves that title. This magical country never ceases to amaze me and nor do the many ways in which the quality of my life has improved since moving here.
Cambodia is known for its sheer affordability and the abundance of opportunities it offers expats to enjoy the finer things in life without the high price tag. For me, the cost of living here is a quarter of what it was back home, and, as a bonus, I can enjoy all the little luxuries that were beyond my reach in my old life.
Everything I do here, I can do in style. Indeed, when it comes to style, you can certainly afford to dress to impress in Cambodia. Every single piece of clothing I own is tailor made to my exact measurements using the finest of materials. My wardrobe has grown to such proportions that I now have more than enough shirts and trousers to last me every day for three months. A personal favourite is my bespoke suit—my tailor designed and made it for me using top notch imported Italian fabrics.
If jewellery is more your thing, then—once you cover the cost for the gold or silver used—you can have one of Cambodia’s finest silversmiths or goldsmiths create a special piece for you for as little as $35.
When it comes to dining options, you’ll be spoiled for choice. In Phnom Penh it’s possible to eat out every night at a different restaurant for an entire year, such is the range of eateries that exist. Among them you’ll find Italian, French, Australian, American, Lebanese, Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Chinese, Thai… There’s also some great Khmer restaurants which are a must-visit. And they’re all serving up delicious dishes for your gastronomic pleasure at a snip of the price of back home.
To take a date out for dinner with wine at a high-end restaurant rarely costs more than $65, while many mid-range places will charge as little as $35 for a selection of their best dishes.
If you’d prefer to cater for yourself, that won’t prove a problem. I shop at three supermarkets, each with its own specialty—one is a large chain store stocking imported and local produce, another is a French owned market with an amazing range of European delights, and my current favourite is an organic store offering the best quality fruits, vegetables and breads. And there’s no need to struggle home with your bags…simply take one of the competitively priced, air-conditioned taxis which charge as little as $1.50 for a short journey.
For many expats the purpose of moving to Cambodia is to spend their free time travelling and exploring the country’s most beautiful tourist spots…and if that’s you, there’s more good news. The cost of four- and five-star hotels and boutique resorts is incredibly reasonable, ranging from $55 to $130 a night for hotels in great locations, with all the amenities you could wish for, whether you are visiting Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kep or Kampot.
The key to success as an expat is learning to enjoy your new world…and this is easy in Cambodia, whether you’re on a budget or have a sizeable retirement pension. Here, you can enjoy your life with everything you could ever want without having to worry about the cost…
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