The 5 Best Reasons for Expats to Retire in Cambodia

If you are looking for an affordable place to retire then Cambodia, has many attractions. Whether it’s the ancient culture and temples such as Angkor Wat or you are drawn by one of Asia’s most open economies, Cambodia continues to attract an increasing number of expats. It is little wonder that internationals visitors to Cambodia are growing by double digits, at 6.2 million in 2018, a 11 percent increase from 2017

Cost of Living

There are few places in Asia, let alone the world where a bottle of Champagne can be bought for $25 and a round of golf with caddie costs just per $65 at a country club. With rents as low as $250 for a one-bedroom apartment in an expat area, in the capital Phnom Penh, retiring expats can live on a budget as low as $1,000. More typically expats budget on $1500 – $2,500 per month. `
Language and currency
English is the second language of choice for many Cambodians, (particularly in the capital and principal tourist destinations), alongside Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. Compared to neighbouring Thailand, English is much more widely spoken, giving Expats an easier opportunity to communicate with the locals.
The U.S. dollar is widely accepted and many prices are displayed in both the local currency and US Dollars, making day to day calculations a lot easier for an incoming expat.

Condominium Purchase

One major benefit for expat retirees in Cambodia is that government policy allows foreigners to buy Condominiums in Cambodia Since April 2010, the Cambodia foreign ownership property law allows foreigners to buy and own Cambodia properties on the 1st floor or higher to a maximum of 70% of any one apartment building. This law does have restrictions, as it does not include the floor and hence an expat cannot own the land. However, expats can own 100% of a freehold condominium in Cambodia.


Angkor wat is Cambodia’s cultural crown jewel and feted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on a par with the other ancient world wonders. But the people are one of Cambodia’s main attractions as expats and tourists often mention their love of Cambodia is the positive attitude of the local population towards foreigners. Expats are regularly greeted with an open and welcoming “Khmer smile” throughout the country.

Healthcare Options

Advanced healthcare remains limited in Cambodia though the public healthcare system, which is why expat health insurance is essential. Private hospitals do offer a better quality of care but in many areas the specialists or modern equipment is not available on-site to treat certain medical conditions. In the event of a complicated medical condition, it is recommended to seek treatment outside of Cambodia (e.g. Bangkok in Thailand, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam or in China or in Singapore), or even request repatriation to your country of origin. Even though healthcare costs are very low in Cambodia, the services offered can be very limited depending on where you are. Expats are advised to check their health insurance plan includes treatment overseas.

A disadvantage of Cambodia….

While safety on the city streets is reasonable, if you wonder into rural areas landmines from decades old conflicts still pose a threat. Caution is advised when travelling away from the main roads in rural communities. Roads accidents whilst lower than neighbouring Thailand, are still high particularly in rural areas, where fast riding youth motorcycles are more common.

If you are looking for an affordable country that is open and welcoming to foreigners then Cambodia has many advantages. Its low cost of living, growing expat community, great golf, reasonable healthcare should put this country on any expat’s list of choices for retirement.

The 5 Best Places for Expats to Live for in Thailand

Chiang Mai: Mountain Views and a Laid-Back Vibe

Thailand’s second city, Chiang Mai still has a laid-back charm. Coupled with mountain views and a city steeped in culture, Chang Mai is a magnet for expats. Chiang Mai is the old capital of the Lanna Kingdom in Thailand’s North. Expats love exploring the old town inside its ancient city walls, and winding. The old Thai culture and City’s easy-going coffee culture with a friendly vibe prove t0 be highly attractive to expat tourists and residents alike. Its supermarkets with western food, gyms, hospitals with English speaking doctors, and international schools provide an ideal infrastructure for the long-term Expat.

Koh Samui: A Tropical Island Paradise

Thailand’s second-largest island is a slow-paced haven, with beaches and bars, to spice up your stay. Koh Samui is an adventure island full of Expat pursuits such as exploring remote beaches by motorbike or sidling down to the old port, and take in the old-world charm of wooden houses. For an expat that wants the night life but also quiet beautiful escapes, then Koh Samui provides the best of both worlds. Although island life can be isolating and travelling to and from the island is expensive.

Bangkok: Modern, Bustling and Low Cost

Thailand’s capital Bangkok, is a modern metropolis which is loved by some expats and hated by others. With some of the Worlds top rated Hotels, a top Asian Finance centre, one of Asia’s Leading Conference destination, Bangkok will always attract business expats. Fall in love with the vibrancy, cheap and delicious street food, friendly locals or get put off with the all year-round humidity and stickiness. But for many the climate is bearable and westerners continue to be attracted to Bangkok by its American Style shopping malls, cinemas, galleries, libraries, bars, restaurants. Not to mention Bangkok’s World Class hospitals, that are medical tourist destinations in themselves.

Hua Hin: Seaside weekend Retreat

Only 3 hours drive, south of Bangkok, Hua Hin, is a popular destination for Thais and Expats at the weekend. In the 1920s, Thailand’s royal family built a summer palace on Hua Hin’s shore, which led to the Thai capital’s elite following suit, establishing vacation homes on the area’s wide, sandy beaches. Quiet during the weekday, this seaside city comes to life with the influx of Bangkok weekenders. Many old stately houses along the beachfront are now converted into chic restaurants, giving an old-world charm to nights out. A a high proportion of expats in Hua Hin are Scandinavian, particularly as Snowbirds, here just for the winter months, attracted by the Golf, Peaceful surroundings and Royal connection.

Phuket: A Pricey Beach Lifestyle with All the Amenities

Phuket is a modern, well-developed island, with World Class amenities including healthcare. There are Western shopping centers, bars, restaurants and the nightlife is great. Phuket Town, on the east of the island, is a Digital Nomad haven as there are fewer tourists than the coastal areas. But the culture is laid back with a historic Chinatown. But for those expats who prefer a faster night lfie then there is Patong. However, Transport is a problem in Phuket as Taxis are expensive and drivers are renowned for cheating. Some expats hire scooters, but the roads are dangerous and Thailand has a very poor road safety record. Certainly, before squeeze the throttle, make sure you have Expat Health Insurance for Thailand.

Pros and Cons of Being an Expatriate in Thailand

If you are thinking of moving to Thailand, then this country has benefits galore. Of course, not everything will be to your liking. But in this article, we will try to give you a taste of what the country has to offer, particularly if you are a European, North American or Australian/NZ Expat, thinking of making Thailand your base

Pros for an Expat

COVID -19 Free

With the COVID raging in most countries, Thailand is one of the few countries to have eradicated the virus. At the time of this article in 2020, there was no current local transmission of COVID-19. There are some social distancing measures but by and large people can go about their lives normally. Bars, Clubs, Schools, Restaurants are all open. A complete difference to almost all of Europe and North America.


If you are used to the Canadian arctic chill, or the Northern European cold bluster, then you will have no complaints when the sunshine of Thailand envelopes you, the all year round. Thailand has a rainy season for around 6 months of the year, but even then, there’s a big difference between the biting cold rain of a North American winter and the warm droplets that fall in Thailand. And the rain is still pleasantly warm in Thailand.

Word Renowned Cuisine

Thai food is popular the world over, and of course there’s nothing like sampling Thai cuisine in its native land. The streets are abuzz with delicious Thai fried snacks and for the health conscious there is a cut fresh fruit vendor on every corner. Bangkok has a sampling of every country’s food and there is something for every palette, even if you just stick to McDonalds or Burger King. Whether you are on a budget or you frequent swanky Five Star Hotels there are plenty of choices at every level

Cost of living

Thailand’s cost of living is one of the lowest cost popular Expat destinations. Expats can live on less that USD$1000 a month. Certainly. a comfortable lifestyle can be had for USD $2000 per month.

World Class Medical Facilities

Thailand has globally renowned hospitals and specialist clinics and prices are much lower than comparable institutions in Europe, the UK and America. Many people can use their Expat Medical Insurance and gain access to the great facilities here

Cons for an Expat


Although Thailand’s weather is great for some, the all year-round heat can make walking around a sweaty experience. But nothing a tea shirt under a shirt couldn’t handle. You can easily make sure you are well turned out for your business meeting.

Political Situation

There has been varying degrees of political turmoil in the last twenty years in Thailand. The Thai Democracy has a General in charge and there are various movements that are trying to achieve political change. However, for an expat focussed on business or leisure, the political issues rarely effect daily life.

Poor road Safety

One area where Thailand consistently performs poorly is road accidents. Although Thailand has traffic legislation often as tough as Europe or North America, the enforcement is lax. The accident rate is one of the highest in the world. In 2016, 32.7 out of every 100,000 Thais died on the nation’s roads, compared to the road fatality rate in the United State of 12.4 (WHO stats). Just remember when you cross the road here, you need to keep an eye on the traffic as well as the lights. Certainly, ensure you have Expat Health Insurance just in case you are unlucky.

All in all, though Thailand remains one of the most attractive places for expats. The issues that do exist are small compared to the benefits of climate, Great Tourist Locations. Cost of living and friendliness of the Thai people