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Is it safe to move my family to Cambodia?

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Joined: 18 Apr 2006
Posts: 292

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Is it safe to move my family to Cambodia? Reply with quote

Hello, I've been trying to find information about expat families in Cambodia, but so far have been unsuccessful. I hope someone can read this and help me out!

I'm a Canadian, and my wife is a Taiwanese. We live in Taiwan, where I run a private language school. My wife is an executive for a shipping company and runs the Phnom Penh and Saigon branches. Her boss has been giving her pressure to move to Cambodia, as she already spends one week of every month there. We had originally planned to move to Saigon, but that is no longer on the table. We've decided we're going to do it after our second child is born and gets past the six-month stage.

So at that time we'll have a six-month old and a three year old. I want to hear from others who have brought their families, so that we can get a clear picture of what we're in for.

Sorry for posting this here, as it's not really related to English teaching (although I might do some, I guess). I appreciate any info from people in the same situation. Thanks!
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Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 572

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'll probably get a better response if you post your question on khmer440 dot com (I can't post the full web address here), though bear in mind that many of the Western expats in Cambodia - who make up the majority of the posters on that board - are either most decidedly not family types, or else they are married to and have kids with locals, which makes their situation somewhat different.

That said, there are plenty of Western, Asian and mixed families here (mostly, but not exclusively, the NGO crowd) and there are a few pretty good if fairly expensive private schools. Of course, as your children are still very young, education may not be an immediate concern.

Personal safety is not really a serious issue any more than it would be in most other capital cities. While certainly a little edgier than say Taipei, as long as you exercise reasonable caution (particularly at night), you are more likely to fall foul of Phnom Penh's horrendous traffic than become a victim of crime. Cambodia has moved on a bit from the lawless, frontier-style reputation it had in the nineties.

With two very young children in tow, I would be much more concerned about the availability of medical services, which although improving slowly, can still be somewhat hit and miss. (PM me if you want the name of a reliable pediatrician.) Reasonable quality care also tends to cost considerably more than in neighbouring countries, so ensure that you have good medical insurance with provision for an evacuation to Bangkok (or better, Singapore) in an emergency.

Phnom Penh attracts expatriates of all types and nationalities, and most of them enjoy living here. Supermarkets are well-stocked with Western and Asian comforts, there are some very good restaurants offering a range of cuisines at fairly reasonable prices (much cheaper than Taipei!). It is quite easy to get around in English, immigration procedures are a breeze, and the local people are generally friendly, tolerant and easy going.


Also check your personal messages.
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