May 5, 2023
Key Areas to Consider Visiting
Cambodia is a beautiful country with a rich history and vibrant culture. It's not only home to breathtaking landscapes and historical sites but also warm, friendly, and welcoming people. Here's a list of the most popular tourist sites in Cambodia that you can explore, not just for their inherent beauty and historical significance, but also for the opportunity to meet someone special. Remember, it's all about being respectful and understanding of the local culture.
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap: This stunning temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit. It attracts thousands of tourists, including many locals. You can really learn alot about Cambodia's incredible rich history here while exploring the beautiful ruins or attending the sunrise or sunset viewings that are very popular here. Make sure to visit the vibrant Siem Reap town in the evenings. The night markets, local eateries, and bars are great places to mingle.
Phnom Penh: Cambodia's bustling capital is a great place to meet people. Visit the Royal Palace, the National Museum or stroll along the beautiful riverside. The city is known for its vibrant nightlife, with many bars and nightclubs, especially around Street 51, where you could meet someone who shares your interests.
Sihanoukville: If beach life is your thing, this is the place to be. There are many beach parties and social events where you can meet new people. The Serendipity Beach area is particularly popular. Just remember to respect the local culture and customs.
Kampot: A charming riverside town, known for its relaxed atmosphere. Here you can meet someone while enjoying river cruises, visiting the famous pepper plantations, or exploring the colonial architecture.
Battambang: This city has a thriving art scene and is known for its French colonial architecture. Visit the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus where young Cambodians train in arts. It's a great place to meet locals and those interested in the arts.
Here are a few additional tips:
Learning a few basic phrases in Khmer, the local language, can be a huge plus. It shows respect for the local culture and can be a great conversation starter.
Be respectful and understand that Cambodian culture is quite traditional. Not all women will be open to dating foreign men, particularly for short-term relationships.
Always be polite and respectful in your approach. Cambodian women are generally modest and respectful; they appreciate those qualities in a man as well.
Join local events, festivals, and community activities. Cambodians are friendly people and these gatherings provide a great opportunity to meet locals.
Remember, the most important thing is to be yourself and to respect others. Enjoy the journey and the experiences, and who knows? You might just meet that special someone along the way. Good luck!
Online dating has become more popular worldwide, and Cambodia is no exception. There are a number of dating apps that you might find useful for meeting friendly traditional local women. Here are some dating apps used in Cambodia:
Tinder: This is one of the most popular dating apps worldwide and it's quite popular in Cambodia as well. It's easy to use and allows you to connect with locals as well as other expats.
Badoo: This is another popular dating app in Cambodia. It has a large user base and offers a location-based service that allows you to find people nearby.
AsianDating: This is a part of the Cupid Media network that operates over 30 reputable niche dating sites. It's a trusted site for meeting singles not only in Cambodia but from all over Asia.
OkCupid: OkCupid is popular in many countries and you'll find users in Cambodia as well. It's known for its detailed profile setup and wide range of questions that help match you with compatible users.
Facebook Dating: Facebook has a vast user base in Cambodia, and its dating feature allows you to meet people who have similar interests.
Cambodian Cupid: This is a local dating app that specifically caters to people interested in dating Cambodian singles.
Remember, online dating requires caution. Always meet in a public place for the first time, tell someone else about your date, and don't share too much personal information until you've built up trust with the other person. Respect is crucial, both online and offline. Always be mindful and respectful of the cultural differences that may exist.
Cambodia's nightlife scene is vibrant and diverse, particularly in the major cities and tourist destinations. It varies from traditional performances and quiet spots to lively bars and clubs. Cambodians are generally social and friendly, and the country is known for its welcoming atmosphere. Here is an overview of the nightlife scene in Cambodia and some places you might want to check out:
The capital city of Cambodia is a buzzing hub of nightlife activity, with an array of bars, clubs, and restaurants:
Pontoon Nightclub: One of the most popular nightclubs in Phnom Penh, offering a mix of music and a lively crowd, often with international DJs.
Epic Club: This is one of the largest clubs in Phnom Penh, attracting a mix of locals, expats, and tourists.
Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor Wat, has a thriving nightlife scene mostly centered around Pub Street:
Angkor What? Bar: One of the first bars to open on Pub Street, it's a popular spot with a laid-back atmosphere and music ranging from rock to hip-hop.
Miss Wong Cocktail Bar: A little away from the main Pub Street area, this bar offers a more sophisticated atmosphere, with classic cocktails and a vintage Shanghai-style setting.
Known for its beach life and party scene, Sihanoukville offers a range of options:
Monkey Republic: A popular bar and guesthouse known for its lively atmosphere and regular live music events.
A relaxed riverside town, Kampot has a growing nightlife scene as well.
Remember, the best way to meet people is to be respectful and approachable. Cambodian women tend to be quite traditional, so it's important to approach them with respect.
Also, note that in recent years, Cambodia has made efforts to clean up its nightlife scene and crack down on inappropriate behavior. Always be respectful and mindful of local laws and customs.
Cambodia's culinary scene has much to offer, from local Khmer cuisine to a wide range of international fare. Here are some popular restaurants, often recommended by American expats and travelers:
Friends the Restaurant: Known for its fantastic work in training disadvantaged youth in hospitality, this restaurant serves a variety of creative international dishes.
Malis Restaurant: If you want to try high-end Khmer cuisine, this is the place. The restaurant is run by renowned Cambodian chef Luu Meng.
The Exchange: An upmarket venue with a variety of Western dishes, it's a popular spot for expats.
Haven: A social enterprise restaurant that serves delicious international and Khmer food and trains disadvantaged young adults.
Cuisine Wat Damnak: Run by a Michelin-starred chef, it's the first Cambodian restaurant to be listed among Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.
Viroth's Restaurant: Known for its excellent Khmer cuisine, it's a favorite among tourists and expats alike.
SANDAN: Another restaurant that trains and employs disadvantaged youth, it offers a mix of Khmer and international dishes.
Otres Market: A lively night market with a wide range of food stalls offering local and international fare.
Rikitikitavi: Offers a range of Western and Khmer dishes with lovely views from the rooftop terrace.
The Fishmarket: A popular restaurant offering a variety of fresh seafood and a selection of Western dishes.
These are just a few examples of the wide variety of dining options available in Cambodia. When exploring, don't forget to try local street food for an authentic taste of Cambodia. Always remember to check recent reviews and the current status of these restaurants.
[Hotels & AirBnB]
Cambodia offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Here are some options that are often recommended for their good value and quality:
The Pavilion: This boutique hotel offers beautiful rooms, two pools, and a central location at reasonable rates.
Airbnb: Check out the "Riverfront Apartment," which has good reviews and is centrally located.
Onederz Hostel Siem Reap: This hostel is known for its clean rooms, great service, and a beautiful rooftop pool.
Airbnb: "Private Boutique Villa" is a well-rated option offering a whole villa with a pool.
Airbnb: "Beach House on Otres 2" is a good value for a beachfront location.
Arcadia: A backpacker's paradise with water slides, rope swings, and a laid-back vibe.
Airbnb: "Kampot Riverside Bungalow" offers a peaceful retreat on the river.
Remember, the best deals can often be found by booking in advance and comparing prices on different platforms. Always check recent reviews and the safety of the neighborhood, especially when booking through Airbnb.
Also, the hotel and Airbnb situation can change quickly, especially in light of the global pandemic. Some places may have closed, and new ones may have opened. Always check the current status and recent reviews of these places.
[Cost of Living]
Cambodia generally has a significantly lower cost of living compared to the United States. Here are some comparisons:
Housing: Rent in Cambodia is considerably cheaper. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center might cost around $300-$500 per month, compared to $1,600-$2,300 in a U.S. city. The cost decreases further if you live outside of the city center or in smaller towns.
Food: Eating out at local restaurants in Cambodia can be very affordable, often costing just a few dollars per meal. Western-style restaurants tend to be more expensive but are generally cheaper than their counterparts in the U.S. Groceries also tend to be cheaper, particularly local produce. The average cost of a meal at a mid-range restaurant in Cambodia is about $5, compared to $16 in the United States.
Transportation: Local transportation, such as tuk-tuks and motos (motorbike taxis), is usually inexpensive. Car ownership is less common, as cars can be expensive due to import taxes. The average cost of a taxi ride in Cambodia is about $2, compared to $13 in the United States.
Utilities and Internet: Utility costs can be lower, but this depends on usage and lifestyle. The cost of internet is comparable or slightly cheaper than in the U.S., but speeds might be slower.
Healthcare: Healthcare can be less expensive, but it's important to note that while there are adequate healthcare facilities in cities like Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, they may not be up to the standards you're used to in the U.S. Many expats choose to have health insurance that covers medical evacuation to a neighboring country like Thailand for serious conditions.
Lifestyle: Entertainment, nightlife, and activities such as visiting gyms, yoga classes, etc., are typically cheaper in Cambodia. The average cost of a movie ticket in Cambodia is about $2, compared to $15 in the United States.
Remember that the cost of living can vary greatly depending on your lifestyle and the city or region where you choose to live. Also, as an expat, there might be additional costs to consider, such as health insurance, travel costs, and potentially higher prices for imported goods.
Keep in mind that this information is based on general estimates and can change due to various factors like inflation, changes in exchange rates, and updates in local pricing. Always check for the most recent and detailed information before making a decision to relocate to Cambodia.
The largest American expat communities in Cambodia are located in the following areas:
These cities are all popular tourist destinations, and they offer a variety of amenities and services that are attractive to expats. For example, Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor Wat, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, and it is a major economic and cultural center. Battambang is a charming city with a rich history and culture. Sihanoukville is a popular beach resort town, and Kep is a beautiful island town known for its seafood.
The American expat communities in these cities are diverse, and they come from all walks of life. Some expats are retirees who are looking for a low-cost place to live. Others are digital nomads who are working remotely from Cambodia. And still others are entrepreneurs who are starting businesses in Cambodia.
No matter what your reasons for moving to Cambodia, you are sure to find a welcoming community of expats in one of these cities.
[Exchange Rate & Currency]
The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel (KHR), but the US Dollar is also widely used and accepted throughout the country. Many places, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, list prices in USD. Even ATMs often dispense both USD and KHR.
The Cambodian riel (KHR) is divided into 100 sen. The exchange rate between the US dollar and the riel is constantly fluctuating, but as of March 8, 2023, 1 US dollar is equal to 4,132.24 Cambodian riels. However, please note that exchange rates fluctuate due to economic factors, so it's important to check for the most current rate before coming to Cambodia. You can use online currency converters or financial news websites for this.
Also, while small transactions (like street food or local markets) might be dealt with in Riels, larger ones are usually conducted in USD. Change may be given in a combination of both currencies. It's advisable to carry small denominations of both USD and KHR for convenience.
When it comes to banking, Cambodia has a growing number of international and local banks. Most expatriates choose to bank with institutions that provide international services. Major credit cards are accepted in many places in cities, but less so in rural areas.
Finally, it's recommended to inform your home bank of your relocation to ensure that your cards will work and to understand any fees that may be associated with international transactions or ATM withdrawals.
The U.S. Embassy in Cambodia is located in the capital city of Phnom Penh. The embassy provides a variety of services to American citizens, including passport services, consular reports of birth abroad, notarial services, and emergency assistance.
Here are the contact details for the embassy:
U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
No.1, Street 96, Sangkat Wat Phnom Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh Cambodia
Telephone: +(855) 23-728-000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(855) 23-728-000
Fax: +(855) 23-728-700
The embassy's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, but consular services for U.S. citizens typically require an appointment, which can be made through the embassy's website.
The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh is also a valuable source of information for American expatriates living in Cambodia, providing updates on local laws, safety and security conditions, and other relevant information.
Always verify the contact details and procedures from the official embassy website or other reliable sources.