Visiting a country and actually living there are 2 separate things that require different levels of preparations, and that is certainly the case when it comes to moving to Cambodia. Obviously, there will be a ton of challenges that you will have to face when moving to the Kingdom of Wonder, so hopefully this article will help become more familiar with the country and show you what you need to do before coming here.
1. Update your documents
It is very important to check the validity of your documents before moving to any country. Documents here refer to any official documents such as identification, passport, photo, credit card, driver’s license, and medical record. They should have at least 6 months of eligibility left.
In terms of medical documents, try not to obtain it at the last minute and assume that everything is okay. Doing a medical check up in advance can help leave some time to deal with any unexpected health problem(s). All your plans could be compromised by health issues that are encountered when checking up at the last minute.
2. Where to get information
Facebook is everything in Cambodia. That is not an exaggeration. There are countless groups and pages that provide you with information for almost everything. In fact, Facebook is so successful here that businesses prefer to have a Facebook page over a website. Facebook isn’t only used to post vacation photos or pictures of toddlers, but it is also a platform where people share news regarding updated government policies as well as any useful information about the country you might want to keep up to date with. Joining a Facebook group with other expats is recommended as you are able to ask questions and share some of your thoughts about the country while also learning from experience of those who were here before you.
3. Where to live
There are places in Cambodia that are expat-friendly with Phnom Penh being the one people head towards the most, while Kampot and Siem Reap are great alternatives. Because it is the capital, Phnom Penh is the city you would want to take a look at first as it offers many job opportunities as well as more choices for places to live. Siem Reap is the historical and cultural focal point of Cambodia so you will probably find more tourists than fellow expats there. However, being the tourist-oriented city that it is, language barrier is not a major problem as many people can speak English there. Finally, if you’re looking for a laid-back, slow lifestyle while still being able to immerse yourself in the culture and its history, Kampot is certainly a great place to settle.
Finding a place to rent in Cambodia is usually done by hiring a real-estate agent. Luckily, the owner of the building pays commission to the agents, so you don’t need to pay extra. Be sure to get an English copy of the lease agreement before you agree to any contract. The highest you should pay for a deposit is around one month’s rent in advance.
Cambodia’s rapidly growing economy means that the number of cars is constantly increasing, as the infrastructures are not able to keep up. This, in addition to the local people’s questionable driving habits, makes transportation within the city incredibly frustrating. A good way to traverse the city would be to get motorcycles. The price and cost of maintenance are relatively cheap, not to mention getting from here to there very quickly due to its small size. Want to know how to get a Cambodian driver’s license?
If you’re not ready to own a vehicle in Cambodia yet, transportation services are available here too. Apps such as Grab and PassApp are the most reliable and popular ones here.