Moving to Cambodia

This is a part of our Cambodia forums to chat about anything Cambodia-related. This discussion forum is at the top of our site because it's usually the busiest part of the expat community chatter with random topics on just about everything, including expat life, Khmer politics, Cambodian blogs we have or have come across, or whatever else our members want to discuss. Whether you're an expatriate, tourist, Cambodian or random traveler just passing through South East Asia, you are welcome to talk about anything or start new topics yourselves.
Jaime H.
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Moving to Cambodia

Post by Jaime H. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:52 am

I've recently been offered a position in Siem Reap through the company I work for and I need to do my research before I even consider accepting. I currently reside in San Francisco, CA (been here for a year), but originally from Hawaii. I figured I'd try out this forum to get some real life answers/suggestions from expats actually living there. If anyone out there is able to help me out with my questions below, I'd greatly appreciate it!

1. I've read that there is a big expat community in Siem Reap and it is a huge travel destination, but what is the average cost of living in Siem Reap? Rent? Utilities?

2. How does income tax work there?

3. Is Siem Reap a safe area to live?

4. I'd be relocating with my boyfriend. Would it be difficult for him to find a part-time job?

5. I'm used to tropical weather, but nothing like Southeast Asia where there's monsoon season. How bad does it REALLY get?

I have a ton more questions, but I'll just stick with those 5 for now. Again, appreciate anyone's help/advice/suggestions because this would be a big move for us.

THANKS SO MUCH!!!
-JAIME
TheGrinchSR
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by TheGrinchSR » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:13 am

1. It's a small expat community (around 2,000 people in total - including Asian speaking and French speaking expats). It depends how you want to live a room starts at about $60, an apartment or house at about $120-$150 and at the top end - you can pay $3-4,000 a month for a riverside luxury apartment or a luxury villa. Utilities aren't cheap if you're heavy on the air-conditioning but if you're sparing on it about $30-$50 a month.

2. It doesn't really work here but assuming your employer deducts and pays the tax - 20% is likely.

3. Yes, but not so safe that you can wander the streets at silly o'clock in the morning with large amounts of cash and computer hardware.

4. Depends on his expectations. Well paid jobs are thin on the ground. Bar work's possible - about $400 a month. ESL Teaching - about $800 a month (unless he's a qualified teacher). Travel and tourism can offer better paid opportunities but no guarantees of vacancies.

5. The monsoon here is nothing like India. It rains for a couple of hours a day.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
starkmonster
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by starkmonster » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:53 am

If you are being sent here, I'm guessing you'll be earning the same salary you get at home, if so don't worry about money or housing or your boyfriend needing a job, you'll have everything you need on your salary alone. Although you might want to get your boyfriend something to do, in Cambodia having too much time on your hands and money in your pocket can sometimes be a dangerous recipe.
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Cowshed Cowboy
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by Cowshed Cowboy » Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:59 am

Jaime, if you're not already on it I'd recommend joining the Expats and Locals Living in Siem Reap facebook page. If you follow it for a while you can pick up useful information from other questions asked just by lurking. There are a lot of property rentals posted with pictures and prices to give you a flavour of what's on offer. Good luck with your move, Siem Reap's got a lot to offer.
Never trust a man who when left alone with a tea cosey, doesn't try it on.
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phuketrichard
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by phuketrichard » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:49 am

FYI; you live in THE most wonderful place on earth>
if ur earning good money there fuck Cambodia for work
visit yes but dont give up the bay area!!

I lived in the city in 1972-74, and in Monterey in 97-98
my daughter lives up in Santa Rosa

Now to ur questions
the expat community is small and not that social
there is nothing like what u have in sf as far as arts or social things go, there is not even a movie theater
Last year there was ONLY 2 small supermarkets that stocked western goods, not sure if another has opened
all SR has going for it is the temples and millions of tourists.
if u get place outside town it could be nice, i have a few close friend that live up there

I'd say u can easily live for two of ya on $1,500/month

Tax should be handled by ur company and u still have to file US tax but you will not be double tax'd

As safe as anywhere but always be aware of where you are and dont go wandering around the streets late/drunk, much of the crime is the quick grab an snatch or house break ins

Depends on what experience he has

Gets very hot up there and when it rains it rains for months -not all the time but mostly short down pours which means it can get very humid
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
TheGrinchSR
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by TheGrinchSR » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:44 am

phuketrichard wrote:FYI; you live in THE most wonderful place on earth>
if ur earning good money there fuck Cambodia for work
visit yes but dont give up the bay area!!

I lived in the city in 1972-74, and in Monterey in 97-98
my daughter lives up in Santa Rosa

Now to ur questions
the expat community is small and not that social
there is nothing like what u have in sf as far as arts or social things go, there is not even a movie theater
Last year there was ONLY 2 small supermarkets that stocked western goods, not sure if another has opened
all SR has going for it is the temples and millions of tourists.
if u get place outside town it could be nice, i have a few close friend that live up there

I'd say u can easily live for two of ya on $1,500/month

Tax should be handled by ur company and u still have to file US tax but you will not be double tax'd

As safe as anywhere but always be aware of where you are and dont go wandering around the streets late/drunk, much of the crime is the quick grab an snatch or house break ins

Depends on what experience he has

Gets very hot up there and when it rains it rains for months -not all the time but mostly short down pours which means it can get very humid
I tend to disagree that the community here is not very social, quite the opposite thanks to the limited amounts of things to do other than drink. In fairness too, we have a cinema as of today, 5 screen Cineplex. Minions and Jurassic World are our first two English language movies to be aired. And there are 5 supermarkets in town and several mini-mart versions of supermarkets too.

What Siem Reap really has going for it, is a quiet life. It's not a big city - it's a small town with big city pretensions. You don't move here for the nightlife, you move here to get away from nightlife.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever." - George Orwell
Jaime H.
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by Jaime H. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:56 am

Cowshed Cowboy wrote:Jaime, if you're not already on it I'd recommend joining the Expats and Locals Living in Siem Reap facebook page. If you follow it for a while you can pick up useful information from other questions asked just by lurking. There are a lot of property rentals posted with pictures and prices to give you a flavour of what's on offer. Good luck with your move, Siem Reap's got a lot to offer.

Thanks so much for the suggestion! I'll definitely check it out!
Jaime H.
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by Jaime H. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:01 am

TheGrinchSR wrote:1. It's a small expat community (around 2,000 people in total - including Asian speaking and French speaking expats). It depends how you want to live a room starts at about $60, an apartment or house at about $120-$150 and at the top end - you can pay $3-4,000 a month for a riverside luxury apartment or a luxury villa. Utilities aren't cheap if you're heavy on the air-conditioning but if you're sparing on it about $30-$50 a month.

2. It doesn't really work here but assuming your employer deducts and pays the tax - 20% is likely.

3. Yes, but not so safe that you can wander the streets at silly o'clock in the morning with large amounts of cash and computer hardware.

4. Depends on his expectations. Well paid jobs are thin on the ground. Bar work's possible - about $400 a month. ESL Teaching - about $800 a month (unless he's a qualified teacher). Travel and tourism can offer better paid opportunities but no guarantees of vacancies.

5. The monsoon here is nothing like India. It rains for a couple of hours a day.

Thanks so much for this valuable information!
Jaime H.
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Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:39 am
Reputation: 0

Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by Jaime H. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:07 am

phuketrichard wrote:FYI; you live in THE most wonderful place on earth>
if ur earning good money there fuck Cambodia for work
visit yes but dont give up the bay area!!

I lived in the city in 1972-74, and in Monterey in 97-98
my daughter lives up in Santa Rosa

Now to ur questions
the expat community is small and not that social
there is nothing like what u have in sf as far as arts or social things go, there is not even a movie theater
Last year there was ONLY 2 small supermarkets that stocked western goods, not sure if another has opened
all SR has going for it is the temples and millions of tourists.
if u get place outside town it could be nice, i have a few close friend that live up there

I'd say u can easily live for two of ya on $1,500/month

Tax should be handled by ur company and u still have to file US tax but you will not be double tax'd

As safe as anywhere but always be aware of where you are and dont go wandering around the streets late/drunk, much of the crime is the quick grab an snatch or house break ins

Depends on what experience he has

Gets very hot up there and when it rains it rains for months -not all the time but mostly short down pours which means it can get very humid
I'm actually pretty comfortable with what I'm making here. San Francisco is a very cool place, but it being saturated and gentrified by young up and coming techies, which is making the cost of living sky rocket. Plus, I'm not much of a city girl. I bet the city was a lot more fun and interesting back when you were here in the 70s :)
Jaime H.
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Re: Moving to Cambodia

Post by Jaime H. » Fri Jul 17, 2015 9:11 am

TheGrinchSR wrote:
phuketrichard wrote:FYI; you live in THE most wonderful place on earth>
if ur earning good money there fuck Cambodia for work
visit yes but dont give up the bay area!!

I lived in the city in 1972-74, and in Monterey in 97-98
my daughter lives up in Santa Rosa

Now to ur questions
the expat community is small and not that social
there is nothing like what u have in sf as far as arts or social things go, there is not even a movie theater
Last year there was ONLY 2 small supermarkets that stocked western goods, not sure if another has opened
all SR has going for it is the temples and millions of tourists.
if u get place outside town it could be nice, i have a few close friend that live up there

I'd say u can easily live for two of ya on $1,500/month

Tax should be handled by ur company and u still have to file US tax but you will not be double tax'd

As safe as anywhere but always be aware of where you are and dont go wandering around the streets late/drunk, much of the crime is the quick grab an snatch or house break ins

Depends on what experience he has

Gets very hot up there and when it rains it rains for months -not all the time but mostly short down pours which means it can get very humid
I tend to disagree that the community here is not very social, quite the opposite thanks to the limited amounts of things to do other than drink. In fairness too, we have a cinema as of today, 5 screen Cineplex. Minions and Jurassic World are our first two English language movies to be aired. And there are 5 supermarkets in town and several mini-mart versions of supermarkets too.

What Siem Reap really has going for it, is a quiet life. It's not a big city - it's a small town with big city pretensions. You don't move here for the nightlife, you move here to get away from nightlife.

I'm not a big city kinda girl, so your last comment definitely has me a little more sold :)
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