New to Cambodia with young family

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John Bingham
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Burkina Faso

Re: New to Cambodia with young family

Post by John Bingham »

Luke and co wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:05 pm
armchairlawyer wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:40 pm I can't imagine having my children with me in Cambodia (they are grown up now). I cannot imagine not being able to walk around the city, go on public transport, drive places, go to the park, go to the library, go to the zoo, go to the beach. What would you do? There is the cinema I suppose. And the museum.
I don't really understand your post. Are you saying we wouldn't be able to go to the beach, zoo ,park , library, walk around , drive places?
You can of course do these things, they just tend to involve long and uncomfortable journeys. I have a kid approaching teenage who was born and grew up here. We were back in Europe recently. Although he's been there a few times he's a bit older and saw things differently this time. Some things that you may take for granted at home are just not the same here. A simple example would be walking on pavements. Where I'm from the pavements are very nice, clean with smooth surfaces and regular concrete edges, ramps and pedestrian crossings where vehicles actually stop ( he was shocked the first time he saw this!), good street lighting, bicycle lanes, lawns on verges, flower beds etc. So if you wanted to stroll the ten minutes to the shops or beach it's quite convenient. There are trees and parks and sports-grounds everywhere. Most houses have nice gardens that aren't behind 5 meter walls decked with razorwire. There are loads of museums/ galleries etc that are free to enter.

Here you can forget that. The pavements are all at different levels, with missing tiles, piles of rubble, cars and motorbikes parked completely blocking them, small stalls set up, holes etc. So you usually have to walk on the road, which might have puddles/ mud on it and also of course vehicles speeding past. It might at times be a foot deep lake of crud. People drive on any side, pull out of parking spaces without warning, and often break lights.

I suppose I'm lucky coming from a place where we can walk to the beach in 10 minutes, or drive to the mountains in a similar amount of time. If you live in Phnom Penh it's a harrowing three or four hour drive to the beach, and the nearest mountains are about 70 km away. There is a huge amount of litter and garbage dumped everywhere, so even a visit to what should be a pleasant spot can be less than satisfactory. Siem Reap and Battambang are even further from any beach, but have mountains/ forests nearby and much more wildlife.

There are good things about living here, the streets back home are generally deserted, while here the streets are very lively with people everywhere. People are generally very welcoming and friendly, especially if you have children. You can swim outdoors all year round and rarely need to wear more than one layer of clothes. Some things like taxis/ beer & cigarettes are very cheap while western style groceries are often 3-4 times the price you may be used to. International schools are expensive, even mid level they will be around $500 a month.

Medical care should be a major concern. The state of clinics in rural parts and even many public hospitals in the cities would likely shock you. There are some okay private facilities now, but these will cost you a fair amount. Make sure you have good medical insurance.

So don't let all this put you off too much, it could be a great experience for you and your children. Just be aware that there are some serious disadvantages to living in a developing country, and do your best to avoid the pitfalls. There are many families like yourselves living here, and you'll likely meet some of them and be able to figure out stuff like babysitting between you.
Silence, exile, and cunning.
Luke and co
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Australia

Re: New to Cambodia with young family

Post by Luke and co »

John Bingham wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:38 pm
Luke and co wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:05 pm
armchairlawyer wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:40 pm I can't imagine having my children with me in Cambodia (they are grown up now). I cannot imagine not being able to walk around the city, go on public transport, drive places, go to the park, go to the library, go to the zoo, go to the beach. What would you do? There is the cinema I suppose. And the museum.
I don't really understand your post. Are you saying we wouldn't be able to go to the beach, zoo ,park , library, walk around , drive places?
You can of course do these things, they just tend to involve long and uncomfortable journeys. I have a kid approaching teenage who was born and grew up here. We were back in Europe recently. Although he's been there a few times he's a bit older and saw things differently this time. Some things that you may take for granted at home are just not the same here. A simple example would be walking on pavements. Where I'm from the pavements are very nice, clean with smooth surfaces and regular concrete edges, ramps and pedestrian crossings where vehicles actually stop ( he was shocked the first time he saw this!), good street lighting, bicycle lanes, lawns on verges, flower beds etc. So if you wanted to stroll the ten minutes to the shops or beach it's quite convenient. There are trees and parks and sports-grounds everywhere. Most houses have nice gardens that aren't behind 5 meter walls decked with razorwire. There are loads of museums/ galleries etc that are free to enter.

Here you can forget that. The pavements are all at different levels, with missing tiles, piles of rubble, cars and motorbikes parked completely blocking them, small stalls set up, holes etc. So you usually have to walk on the road, which might have puddles/ mud on it and also of course vehicles speeding past. It might at times be a foot deep lake of crud. People drive on any side, pull out of parking spaces without warning, and often break lights.

I suppose I'm lucky coming from a place where we can walk to the beach in 10 minutes, or drive to the mountains in a similar amount of time. If you live in Phnom Penh it's a harrowing three or four hour drive to the beach, and the nearest mountains are about 70 km away. There is a huge amount of litter and garbage dumped everywhere, so even a visit to what should be a pleasant spot can be less than satisfactory. Siem Reap and Battambang are even further from any beach, but have mountains/ forests nearby and much more wildlife.

There are good things about living here, the streets back home are generally deserted, while here the streets are very lively with people everywhere. People are generally very welcoming and friendly, especially if you have children. You can swim outdoors all year round and rarely need to wear more than one layer of clothes. Some things like taxis/ beer & cigarettes are very cheap while western style groceries are often 3-4 times the price you may be used to. International schools are expensive, even mid level they will be around $500 a month.

Medical care should be a major concern. The state of clinics in rural parts and even many public hospitals in the cities would likely shock you. There are some okay private facilities now, but these will cost you a fair amount. Make sure you have good medical insurance.

So don't let all this put you off too much, it could be a great experience for you and your children. Just be aware that there are some serious disadvantages to living in a developing country, and do your best to avoid the pitfalls. There are many families like yourselves living here, and you'll likely meet some of them and be able to figure out stuff like babysitting between you.
Yeah, great post. That's actually very close to my expectations and my experience in Indonesia and Malaysia. Our main regret the last trip we did with the kids around bali was not getting our heads around someone watching the kids for periods of time. I just want to make sure that I've researched it well enough to start this trip on the front foot in that regard, if it's not at all doable then that's ok.
TWY
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Macedonia

Re: New to Cambodia with young family

Post by TWY »

And just to follow up with a real time real life example.

Today we went for our son's scheduled influenza booster shot...…….. we are out of stock says the hospital. Me - why didn't you tell me this before we showed up? Silence. Rescheduled for next month but no idea of when their next shipment is.

Ease and quality of life. Thailand.
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