What’s up Guys!
My Vietnam adventure is coming to a close soon and I am plotting my next move. I recently wrote that I would be moving to the Philippines… That’s still the plan for this year. However, I’m tempted to head back to Cambodia for another visit.
Cambodia is a fascinating place and I would like to explore this country further. I feel I barely scratched the surface during my two weeks there last year. Plus Phnom Penh is a cheap, six hour bus ride away so it makes sense to drop in for another visit. I’m thinking about spending some time in the capital then heading down to Sihanoukville.
Cambodia looks perfect on paper… The best fuckin visa situation in the region. Really it’s fantastic and I know there are many expats who moved there just because of the easy visa. I wrote about it in my post Easiest Visas in South East Asia.
You can fly into the country and get a visa on arrival. Once in the country you can take your passport to a travel agency and upgrade to a business visa. For $280 you can get a one year multi entry business visa. Incredible. Then you are basically a citizen and you can come and go as you please all year.
When your year is up simply renew it by paying another $280. I don’t know how long they will keep this system in place… But that’s a great deal and it’s tempting to make Cambodia my home base in south east Asia.
Also, you don’t even need to start a business to get the business visa. From what I understand, you don’t need to work, have a bank account or anything. Cambodia needs the tourist dollars so they make it real easy to come and visit.
If you do decide to start a small business, I think Cambodia is the best country in the region. It’s a country that you can easily get a business visa and start a company that’s 100% foreign owned. No need to have a Khmer partner or staff.
You only need to deposit $1,000 USD into a Cambodian bank account. Someone correct me if I’m wrong about that. If you have a unique business idea I think you can cash in on some of those tourist dollars. Just don’t open a bar…
Cambodia has a lot going for it. The people are friendly. Khmer women are gorgeous. Phnom Penh is a fascinating city that’s developing fast. The waters off the coast are home to some of the most beautiful islands in the region.
What’s Not To Like?
Cambodia is a third world country and it has some serious problems. I enjoyed my trip last year, but I left thinking… Damn this place is filthy and depressing.
Why the fuck would someone choose to live there over Thailand or Vietnam? Yeah the visa is easy but so what? I’d rather jump through a few hoops and live somewhere else.
The Last Stop On The Party Train
Cambodia has a well earned reputation as the “wild west of Asia.” It may not be as wild as it was in the past but it’s still rough. Here’s a story about a home invasion where some foreigner got hacked in the head with a machete. Sounds great!
Today the front page of Khmer 440 has a bunch of stories about foreigners dying in Cambodia. Read them here, here and here. That’s just a small sample of the dozen or so deaths in the past few months.
It seems as if Cambodia is the place where all of the drunks, junkies and criminals go to die. Of course, I don’t know the deceased mentioned in those articles and I don’t mean any disrespect… I’m sure that not all of them were losers…
But when someone “well known in the area for walking around drinking beer and acting intoxicated” ends up dead in the gutter, it’s pretty clear what path he was on in life.
Why Cambodia? Of course there’s always some down and out farangs leaping from their Pattaya condos but Cambodia seems to be the preferred place for lost souls to kick the bucket.
Is it the 50 cent beers? The cheap drugs? Maybe it’s the first time they experienced a society with no laws and they just go nuts and ingest every narcotic they can get their hands on?
It puzzles me why Cambodia is the last stop for so many foreigners. This further reinforces my opinion of the country as a dark and depressing place. A place to go “Off The Rails.” The asshole of south east Asia that shits out drugged up foreigners after draining their souls and bank accounts.
I Still Love Cambodia
I’m drawn to the country for some reason. It fascinates me. The people, the history, the culture. Perhaps I like to root for the underdog. I find myself reading books about Cambodia and researching the country online.
There’s certainly a lot more to the place then petty crime, cheap drugs and hookers. I predict a bright future for Cambodia. The country has a large population of young people and development is taking place at a rapid pace.
I can imagine a time in the near future when Phnom Penh is a vibrant modern city and the islands off the coast of Sihanoukville are the new Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. It just has a ways to go yet. The show Survivor is currently filming on Koh Rong Island so maybe that will help boost the tourism industry in the country.
What Do You Think About Cambodia?
Have you been there? Do you think it’s a good candidate for Single Man’s Paradise? Or is it a dump that should be avoided?
Do you think I will contract HIV, blow my life savings on heroin and be found dead in a cheap guest house in Phnom Penh?