The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in South East Asia. It covers some 181,035 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 15 million people, of which 95% practice the official religion of Theravada Buddhism.
Tropical, with the wet monsoon season dominate from May through to October, and the dry season through the period November to April. Most rain occurs during the months of September and October, when many rural areas in particular can be prone to flooding.
Cambodian Riel (KHR) and the US Dollar (USD)
Generally good in main urban centres, but far less reliable in rural areas. The international code is +855 and the internet code is .kh
This would probably be the countries weakest element with regards retirees and long stay expats. Whilst improving it can still be inconsistent. Phnom Penh has without doubt the best medical facilities in the country and the most foreign trained doctors. We will strongly recommend that you have travel or health insurance which includes cover for medical evacuation just in case you are in need of emergency treatment.
Capital: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and largest city, with a population well in excess of 2 million people. It combines a mix of colonial buildings with modern skyscrapers, a multitude of temples and a scattering of parks, to create a fast evolving and rapidly developing metropolis. For expats the city offers a good mix of retail, food and entertainment, with many new coffee shops, convenience stores and movie theatres.
The city has a recently upgraded international airport, which is about 10kms from the city centre. Whilst there are currently no direct flights between Australia and Cambodia, there are number of indirect options, with the most popular being via Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City. And Phnom Penh is well serviced by low cost airlines, which keeps the prices very competitive.
Buses, taxis and river boats service the city, and there is a train service linking the capital to the southern towns of Sihanoukville, Kep and Kampot. Prices are generally cheap, but it pays to lock in the cost upfront when using a local taxi service.
Key Retirement Locations
Siem Reap (REP)
Other than Phnom Penh, the other key tourist destination in the country is Siem Reap, mainly due to its proximity to the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex. The city has an excellent modern international airport, good infrastructure, a thriving arts scene, diverse range of shopping, markets, restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment. There is a small by vibrant expat community and the warmer, wetter climate than is available in the capital provides for a attractive lush countryside around the city centre.
The town of Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s premier beach destination, and one which is growing rapidly as more visitors discover its delights and those of the nearby tropical islands, such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem. The town has a small airport with links to the capital and Siem Reap, and there is also a train line to Phnom Penh, in addition to the highway. Whilst there is a good mix of restaurants, cafes and bars, medical services are limited, meaning long term residents will need to make trips to Phnom Penh or elsewhere in the region for healthcare matters
Kep and Kampot
Just further along the coast from Sihanoukville, are the delightful, quiet towns of Kep and Kampot. Both offer beautiful scenery, an incredibly cheap cost of living and improving infrastructure. Expats are slowly discovering the area, and it certainly suits those who enjoy a very relaxed low key lifestyle – and the seafood is magnificent.