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The Kingdom of Cambodia is situated in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, which borders Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand. This beautiful country has recently been called the “Kingdom of Wonder” thanks to its magnificent Buddhist temples, beautiful beaches that stretch over 440 km, and its tropical islands. While it is not talked about nearly as much as its neighboring country, Thailand, it is becoming more and more popular among international visitors. In fact, it welcomed more than 6 million international visitors in 2019, many of which come to explore the majestic Angkor Wat.
Besides its tourism, Cambodia is also recognized as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. In the past decade, the country has an average growth rate of 8%. A combination of the country’s flourishing tourism, fast-growing economy, and strategic location has sparked the interests of thousands of foreigners to relocate to this beautiful country.
Many people who visit Cambodia usually proceed directly to Siem Reap. Visitors mostly come to this city to see the majestic Angkor Wat, the most famous temples in the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archeological Park that is illustrated on the country’s national flag. Angkor Archeological Park is one of the most important archeological sites in Southeast Asia. It was the capital of the Khmer Empire and it includes many other temples besides Angkor Wat, such as Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm Temple.
Aside from Siem Reap, another popular city is Phnom Penh, which is the capital and, with a population of over 1.5 million, the most populous city in the country. This picturesque city was built around the Royal Place and the Preah Morakot Pagoda (Silver Pagoda), two of the most popular attractions in the city. Phnom Penh is filled with high rise buildings, Western-style shopping malls, French colonial buildings, Khmer temples, and monuments, as well as a number of historical museums.
Along with Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville is also famous among international visitors. This seaside town on the southern part of the country offers its visitors stunning beaches and clear blue water. Visitors can also get on a boat to visit the beautiful islands off the coast. However, this once-quiet seaside town has been getting a bad rap in the past few years due to its casinos and nightlife.
Condos in Cambodia usually come with quality furnishings to allow its renters to live comfortably and enough space for its renters to live in style. Most condos in the country are newly built and have various amenities. Standard condos usually offer shared swimming pools, gym memberships, and 24-hour security. Some condos also offer additional amenities, such as cleaning services, internet, laundry, and parking spaces that may be added to the management fee. There are also luxurious condos in the country, which usually have children’s playroom, sauna, sky bar, yoga room, and many other facilities in addition to its standard amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, and 24-hour security. Several condominium buildings in Cambodia have restaurants and retail stores on the ground level and residential spaces on the upper floors. The sizes usually range from studio rooms (1 room with an open kitchen and a bathroom), 1 bedroom (a bedroom, a bathroom, and a living room with open/closed kitchen), to 2 to 4 bedrooms (bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room with open/closed kitchen).
The standard of living in Cambodia has risen in the last couple of decades. However, it is still relatively affordable. As in other countries, the cost of living is based on your own lifestyle, but most foreigners can live comfortably in Cambodia regardless of their lifestyle choices. Cambodia uses the Cambodian Riels as the official currency. The exchange rate from 1 USD is around 4,093 KHR, which is favorable for many foreigners who come from Western countries.
In addition to Cambodian Riels, US dollars are accepted in many places in the country. In fact, some ATMs dispense US dollars instead of Cambodian Riels. Thai Baht is also accepted in areas near the Thai borders.
Cambodia is known to have a rich culture and friendly people. More than 95% of the country’s population follows Buddhism, but the Constitution provides for freedom of religion for its citizen. Islam and Christianity are among the largest minor religion in the country.
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, but some people also speak Chinese and Vietnamese. English is not widely spoken in the country, except in tourist areas and major cities.
Since Buddhism is the predominant religion in Cambodia, the etiquette and customs in the country are based on Buddhist values. It is important that you wear modest clothing that does not show too much skin when traveling around the country, particularly when you are visiting temples or away from the beaches.
Cambodia has a tropical climate, which means that the weather stays warm all year round and the temperature rarely drops below 20°C. There are two seasons in the country, dry and wet. The dry season starts from November until April. It has pleasant and sunny weather, perfect for some outdoor adventure. However, the temperatures during this season can rise to35°C, particularly in March. The wet season arrives in May and ends in October. Expect to experience brief rainfall during the day.
To stay in Cambodia for an extended period of time, foreigners need to apply for an E-class visa, which is valid for 30 days but can be extended indefinitely. There are numerous visa extensions to choose from, including EB, EG, ER, and ES visa extensions.