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Living and working overseas destinations: Cambodia

Written by Mike

Topics: Mobile living, Travel

Following on from my post on living overseas, I am going to profile some of the countries I have been to for the suitability for living in to develop your internet business or perhaps to even start your own non-internet related business.


Famous for: Angkor Wot, Khmer Rouge, Killing Fields

Visas: Cambodia is perhaps one of the easiest countries to obtain a business visa for a 6 month or 12 month period. It is called a business visa pretty much in name only, because you can basically work, run a business or even just lay on the beach. You don’t need any proof of income, as Cambodians typically just expect you to be able to support yourself.

Living Costs: Cambodia is a very cheap place to live. A small apartment in the capital Phnom Penh can be rented for around $200 a month. A fan room with a shared bathroom in a cheap hotel starts from around $3 a night. There are even places in Sihanoukville which advertise free accommodation as long as you eat in their restaurant, which might not be the best option, but it does show that you can live for next to nothing. Food, beer is also cheap.

Infrastructure: Power outages are fairly common. Internet access can be a little expensive and is not super fast, although I am sure this should only improve. Roads between major cities are pretty good and transport is plentiful.

Downsides: Cambodia is an extremely poor country. The Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot killed over 2 million people, just over 30 years ago, which not surprisingly left a huge scar on the country and the people. Health care is very limited. Any major illnesses people (with insurance) are evacuated to neighboring Thailand. Land mines are still a problem in less frequented areas. Corruption is rife.

Upsides: Other than the cheap cost of living, the people are warm and friendly. It can be a good base for visiting neighboring Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Several foreign banks are now operating in Cambodia improving the financial infrastructure. There is a fairly large expatriate community who work mostly for NGOs.

Running a business: There are plenty of good opportunities to start your own business in Cambodia. Many foreigners run bars, restaurants and hotels.

This is a good article on setting up your own bar in Cambodia.

7 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Dennis says:

    Thats really neat!! I’m Cambodian myself and my parents have visited a few times

  2. Mike says:

    But your blog says you were born in Florida? Are your parents are from Cambodia? BTW, I like the design of your site.

  3. soundofgold says:

    Great sum up of the necessary bits Mike good read.

    And yeah I think you touched a little bit of another interesting topic right here: How do you define a one’s nationality? Is it as simple as looking into his/her passport or as hard as looking into one’s heart? Will be interesting determining looking into the future with more and more global migration taking place. 😉

  4. An absolutely fascinating article – keep them coming!

    I love to travel and am always interested in new places to visit with my laptop!

    – Martin Reed

  5. Mike says:

    I am planning to write similar articles for Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Australia, Japan.

  6. Claire says:

    Include links to pics!

  7. Nice article there. You have emphasized the good and bad sides of the country. That’s fair enough. I’m thinking of visiting the country someday. I have heard lots of good things about the country.


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