Best City To Live in Cambodia?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Skins, May 2, 2017.

  1. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

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  2. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    I just got back from Cambodia. 3rd time that I've been there. 4th if you count the one time I did a border run. But that time I directly turned around and went back to Vietnam.

    Personally, I don't think that I could live there. The primary factors for me would be the heat, the poverty and lack of infrastructure. Also, because I am an English teacher. The wages would be too low for me to want to live there vs Vietnam. If I were a digital nomad. Then things could be a little different. I think I could stay in Cambodia longer because working online would give you the freedom to travel around.

    Cambodia certainly has some fun things going for it. There are some hot women there. It is cheap. It has some interesting attractions to visit. Things seem to be generally laid back there.

    If I had to live in Cambodia long term. From a digital nomad perspective. I would base myself in Phnom Penh, but then spend weeks or several months at a time in the other cities listed. Probably in the south of the country more. I like to be around beaches and tropical islands. So, I could definitely stay in Snooky for awhile and take frequent mini trips to the neighboring islands.

    As an English teacher. I would have to live in PP. Simply because that is where the majority of the jobs would be and it's common for teachers to work in multiple schools in order to get enough hours.

    Maybe when the weather is good, I would live in Snooky. Then live in PP when the rainy season starts and the beach towns slow down.
  3. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    You mentioned Cambodia having a 1 year, multi-entry visa for $280. That is a good deal.


    I just renewed my Business Visa in Vietnam and got a 1 year, multi-entry for $390. No border runs, or 3 month check-ins, or anything like that. Also, I didn't even have to leave the country to do it. It was all handled for me right here in HCMC. After my visa is up next year this time, I can renew for another.

    For the extra $110/year, I would rather have a business visa from Vietnam and live there instead of Cambodia.

    In Vietnam, tourist visas require border runs. Business visas don't.
  4. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    I have probably spent a total of 5 or 6 months in Cambodia over the past few years. All of that has been in Phnom Penh, except for 5 days in Sihanoukville, and I think 3 in Siem Reap.
    Both of those trips were in 2014.
    I've been back to Cambodia every year since, but I can't pry myself away from Phnom Penh.
    Maybe now that I know the Cambodian scene a bit better, I might do alright in Sihanoukville or Siem Reap, but both seemed way too tame for my taste.
    I'm also told that they both completely shut down, fun wise anyway, in the rainy season.
    Places like Battambang and the other provincial capital cities are too quiet for me even in the tourist season, and if I want to live in a place like that, I have friends in Vietnam who I can go live with.
    Right now PP is the only real option in Cambodia for full time living as far as I'm concerned.
    I guess if you have a pension and a wife, and you don't like to party very much, then any of the other cities would be fine.
    @Skins makes an excellent point about living in Siem Reap, and taking advantage of all the women on vacation, but again, there's the rainy season.
    I don't feel like dating would be that exciting in Siem Reap or Sihanoukville either, and most of the hookers will leave town right after the tourists do.
  5. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    What's the process for that Business visa? I don't mind paying the extra money but I don't work here or run a business. Any tips would be great.

    I jumped on that new one year tourist visa when it first came out. Only later I found out I still have to leave every three months... Really I don't mind short trips to neighboring countries but sometimes it's a hassle. Plus the added expense of flying to and from Bangkok. Or going to Cambodia and losing a full page in my passport.
    dangnomad and drifter like this.
  6. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    I have thought about that too. I get bored easily in 2nd tier cities. As much as I love the beach and the countryside, I eventually start to suffer from Fear Of Missing Out and I go back to the big city.
  7. Shalabadoo

    Shalabadoo Well-Known Member

    Isn't Phnom Penh on the way up now? I went two years ago, and there was tons of construction. I can imagine the city getting to, hum, "less-third-worldly" (or more developed, if you're a glass half-full kinda guy) much much faster than the rest of the country.
    Skins likes this.
  8. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what the process is. I've heard that you need a sponsorship letter from a company, or Vietnamese business partner. However, when I switched over to a Business Visa, I didn't have any of those things. I used the Visa agent through the hotel that I was staying at. I simply provided them my passport and they handled the rest.

    Because I was switching over from a Tourist Visa to a Business Visa, I had to do a border run. This is the only border run that I have had to do. Ever since I got my Business Visa, I've been able to extend it in the country. Without leaving. I just drop my Passport off each time with the Visa Agent and get it back about a week later with my new Visa. Before I was doing 3 month extensions each time. This last time I decided to pay up and just get the 1 year. I was sick of renewing every 3 months.

    This last time I was shopping around for quotes and one Visa agent asked me about a Sponsor letter. I told her that I didn't have one and she said "Ok, my company can do for you" I think maybe these places just fake something for you. TBH..........I'm not sure how they get around it. But, I do know that my school has never helped me with my visa and I've never provided any extra documents for it.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
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  9. mistergrumpus

    mistergrumpus I Ride My Bicycle To Church

    Beats me, but I'd guess that P-P is still the winner, so really it's a question of neighborhoods and such.
    Skins likes this.
  10. the lockmaster

    the lockmaster Well-Known Member

    I would agree that PP has to be the winner. Cambodia isn't that big of a country. They don't have the population that Vietnam, or Thailand has. I would think that you would need to live in the biggest city to keep from getting bored.

    I think the 2nd tier cities would be fine for short stretches, or if you were a family man and ready to settle down and run a business. An expat-oriented business that was geared towards travelers could do very well. Especially in Siem Reap. @Skins This may be a good location for your digital-nomad hotel idea.
    ryan754326 and Skins like this.
  11. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    It's definitely on the way up, lots of construction everywhere, but it's still pretty slummy. Way more than Saigon or Bangkok. I would say that the whole city is on a lower level than Pattaya. Even the nice areas of town.
    Skins likes this.
  12. Travel Bum Bum

    Travel Bum Bum Well-Known Member

    When is the rainy months for Sihanoukville?
  13. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Thanks man. I did a little research myself and I read that I need either an invitation from a Viet partner or a company to vouch for me. Both of which I don't have. I do know some business owners here but I'm not about to say "hey can you sign off on this so I can get a visa!"

    But, as we all know, money talks. I'm sure there are some travel agencies who can hook it up if you have the money. I'll try it when my tourist visa is finished.
  14. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Unfortunately, coastal Cambodia suffers from a long and wet rainy season. I believe it lasts from about May to October. When I went it was raining all day every day for a week, but there was a big storm off shore. I don't think that's the norm.

    I don't usually mind rainy season in Asia. Usually you will get a heavy down pour for an hour or two every day and that's it. Just pack a rain coat and be prepared to duck inside when the dark clouds start to roll in.

    Pros of rainy season is less tourists, cheaper prices and more motivated (desperate) hookers if you're looking for that. Honestly I enjoy a heavy rain in Asia. It cleans the streets and cools things off a bit. Nice to watch a torrential downpour while sitting indoors with a cold beer. But if you traveled half way across the world to go island hopping I can see how it would be annoying.
    creepyuncleron, dangnomad and drifter like this.
  15. Descent

    Descent Well-Known Member

    I stayed for a stretch in Siem Reap. I agree with @Skins about the flight access and affordability. Airport is modern and has a lot of flights. For digital nomads there's plenty of decent WiFi, and also a co-working space if that's your thing. You can find decent places for only slightly more than cheaper places in Thailand.

    The only things that would hold me back would:

    1) Nightlife. While pub street is indeed fun and busy, it's tiny. Beyond that small core there really isn't anything to speak of.
    2) Being hassled. I found Siem Reap had a very high amount of people asking you to buy stuff. It's pretty touristy (as to be expected). After 2 hours I was sick of the "tuk tuk?" questions - it's endless, more so than anywhere else and a close tie with Kuta and Legian in Bali.
    3) Lack of mongering. There are apparently two main places that have freelancers but honestly they aren't much to speak of. Mongering seems a bit trickier than other places. Haven't tried this extensively but just doesn't seem easy.
    4) Transportation. The centre is walkable. Outside of the triangle you'll need a bike or a tuk tuk. No Uber or Grab, for example.

    I think it's a great town, and the temples are fantastic. Personally, for my taste, couldn't see it as a long-term thing. A bit too sleepy. My $0.02.
  16. creepyuncleron

    creepyuncleron Well-Known Member

    hey all! I've been to Siem Reap 3 times, and for 15 days on the longest trip so I kinda know my way around.

    First thing it's oppressively hot from March until October, period! I made the mistake of visiting in June once, Holly fuck that sucked! I literally stayed in my hotel room for nearly the whole trip aside from some scant Temple hopping.
    I can't remember the name of the place but there used to be a "Climax" style night club with a really cool open air patio restaurant next door. This was a great place to pick up quality younger freelancers and the manager of the Restaurant was a real shady Khmer mobster kinda dude that was a wonderful host if he took a liking to you and your party! There was also a kinda gogo bar with dancers with a soapy style fish bowl set up for take out girls, I went there few times?
    All and all I guess it would be ok long term but I'm such a pussy when it comes to the heat. I would loose all mass and turn into big flabby pig because I have such a low heat tolerance, and drinking is dirt cheap so my over all health would definitely suffer. But if you can exercise some discipline, maybe it would work for you?
    Oddly I only ventured onto pub street a few times just because I wanted to avoid all the dreadlocked, stinky ass Birkenstock wearing, unshaven Euro trash backpackers that make the Kosan Road-Siem Reap-Vientiane circuit...
  17. Ghengis

    Ghengis Well-Known Member

    If you like cooking there's a restaurant called Tigre de Papier on pub street that has a cooking class for about three hours and costs less than $35. You go to the market and buy the stuff you need for your entre, go upstairs,put it together, cook and eat downstairs in the restaurant. I thought it was well worth the price.
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  18. ryan754326

    ryan754326 Well-Known Member

    Did you happen to go to a place called Top Town? I went there with a Tuk Tuk driver and he said it was a Kareoke. This was in 2014.
    It was loaded with girls but I didn't stay, just poked my head in for a look.
    I'd be interested to know if it's still operating, and if it was the same place you are talking about.
    GuidoSexMachine likes this.
  19. Skins

    Skins Head Nigga in Charge Staff Member

    Good stuff guys. Just the kind of info I'm looking for. I went to Siem Reap but I just did the typical tourist thing. Fly in -> Guest house -> tuk tuk to the temples -> pub street for dinner and drinks -> fly out.

    Didn't really scope it out as a place to live and now I'm a bit curious. I got a good feel for Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville but not SR so I'm considering another trip.
  20. creepyuncleron

    creepyuncleron Well-Known Member

    I had to go check my old passport to see what year I was in SR the last time, fuck 2011! I guess my info (aside from the weather for casting) is pretty much shit as most things change quite a bit in 6 years! That also explains why I can't remember the names of anything, I thought it was just me getting old? Was a long time ago~
    GuidoSexMachine likes this.
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