Cambodia – Interesting Place To Travel, But No Fun To Live

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Cambodia is a popular addition to the often trodden Southeast Asia trail, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing, or interesting. If you can stomach it – spend a day or two in the capital, Phnom Penh and visit the heartbreaking Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and The Killing Fields. Find out about how a third of the country was killed off  by Pol Pot during the brutal Khmer Rouge era.

After a visit here – you’ll start to notice that there are not many old people living in Cambodia because of this and it will feel harrowing as you try to comprehend the magnitude of torture that went on.

killing tree

Watch Sunrise at Angkor Wat

angkor wat sunrise
He’s not a morning person.

I find sightseeing generally overrated and boring – but you’d have to be a complete philistine to not appreciate the work of art that is Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Best seen at sunrise, yes even if you’re not a morning person.

Sihanoukville

Don’t lose any sleep if you don’t make it here and don’t make any extra efforts to go. Yawnfest. Don’t go here like the bazillion of other travellers do and trust me when I say Kampot is a lot better, less saturated by tourists and more fun.

Living in Phnom Penh

The Capital of Cambodia is definitely a useful addition to your Asian sojourn, but it is not the kind of place where you should look to be a ‘Digital Nomad.’ The wifi strength is frustrating so you won’t be very efficient with your work. The nightlife is boring and sleazy – everyone always ends up at the same nightclub, called ‘Pontoon.’ Which is terrible.

Robbery is high in Phnom Penh and the police, like anyone else in Cambodia with authority – are as corrupt as you can get. The locals (those who don’t rob you, or throw bricks at you) are lovely and friendly. The minority really does ruin the city, but I’ll reiterate – Cambodians are generally warm-hearted and friendly people and the Cambodia visa system is a lot less convoluted than most countries I’ve visited.

Learn from my experience and use me as a willing Guinea Pig. If you work online and you’re looking for a base which ticks all of the boxes you need – Phnom Penh is not that place.



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5 comments

  1. Ian Ord - Where Sidewalks End Reply

    Interesting perspective, as with the new (terrible and idiotic) Thai visa rules which are forcing out most of the digital nomads, I’ve been looking at an alternative and Phnom Penh was certainly an option that crossed my mind… especially seeing as how easy it is to extend visas there. I’m thankful to hear an opposing view… though I do love Cambodian’s as you said, they’re generally some of the most warmhearted peeps you’ll meet 🙂 (who threw bricks at you dude? lol)

    1. Anthony Middleton Reply

      I had to Google about new Thai visa rules. Shit – I hope they revery back for everyone’s sake!

      Haha oh so I never told you the parable of the Khmer road rage? 😛

  2. TammyOnTheMove Reply

    I actually lived in Phnom Penh for two years. I was only supposed to stay for 6 months, but I extended it again and again because I loved it so much. I agree with you on the locals. They are some of the strongest, curageous and warmhearted people I have ever met. I worked on human rights projects there and once you meet people who are affected by human rights abuses, yet dedicate their lives to fight injustice, you will forget about the minority who might be involved with petty crime (the crime rate in Cambodia is lower than that in most European countries, including England). The people were actually one of the reasons why I stayed there for so much longer.

    I actually found the wifi to be surprisingly good and compared to Germany it was available everywhere.

    In Sihanoukville it is only worth going to Otres beach and to the islands offshore, which are absolutely stunning. Did you see those islands?

    I highly recommend that people visit not just the touristy sights, but also venture more off the beaten path, because they will be in for a real surprise and most probably fall for Cambodia just as much as I did.

  3. Todd @ Visit50 Reply

    Like most travelers to Cambodia, I only made it to Siem Reap on a quick trip. Some of my photos are in the link below (via comment luv)

    I always appreciate the different perspectives, so it was great to see yours with Tammy’s as well. I’ve been meaning to get back to see more of Cambodia. Soon!

  4. What is it Like Living in ColOmbia As a Digital Nomad? - Man vs Clock Reply

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