7 Reasons Why You Really Shouldn’t Move to Cambodia

Lately, there have been a lot of Westerners moving to Cambodia or making plans to move to Cambodia. This is partly due to the difficult job market in many Western countries, and it’s partly due to Cambodia becoming a more “mainstream” destination for tourists and expatriates. Some of the recent interest in Cambodia has come from Westerners living in Thailand. Rising prices in Thailand and stricter Thai visa regulations have already contributed to a noticeable influx of shifty-eyed, tattooed sexpats creeping across the border into Cambodia. Fortunately, a lot of those dudes haven’t made it past Sihanoukville.

There has been such an overwhelming interest in moving to Cambodia that two recent books have been published on the topic. Lina Goldberg published the excellent “Move to Cambodia: A Guide to Living and Working in the Kingdom of Wonder” in late 2012. Earlier this year, Khmer440 contributor Gabi Yetter released her own very well-received manual, “The Definitive Guide to Southeast Asia: Cambodia.”

Both of these books provide helpful information and optimistic encouragement to readers who are considering relocating to Cambodia. It’s the optimistic encouragement that I have a problem with. I personally believe that there are significant drawbacks to moving to Cambodia that could probably fill an entire book. Maybe not a real book, but definitely one of those silly e-books.

Unlike Ms. Goldberg and Ms. Yetter, I don’t have the necessary work ethic or attention span to write a whole book about anything. So I’m just going to offer these 7 Reasons Why You Really Shouldn’t Move to Cambodia.

1. You will die younger in Cambodia.

This is a big one. The average life expectancy for Westerners living in Western countries is about 75 to 80 years old, depending on the country. Unofficially, the average life expectancy for Western expatriates living in Cambodia is 57.4 years old.

There are a number of reasons why moving to Cambodia will shave about twenty years off your life. Cambodia has a lot of common diseases that you would never catch in your home country, like Typhoid, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis, and Malaria. The medical care in Cambodia is atrociously bad. The ambulances are unreliable; the doctors are unqualified; the hospitals are unsanitary. Even easily treatable illnesses can quickly become life-threatening if Cambodian doctors get involved.

Sometimes expats in Cambodia succumb not to illness, but to traffic accidents or other hazards. Expats like to ride motorbikes, often helmetless, presumably because they think it makes them look cool. This can be rather dangerous in a country with reckless local drivers, no enforcement of traffic laws, and poor emergency medical care. Private ambulances in Cambodia will actually refuse to take patients who are seriously injured, because they don’t want to risk transporting a dying patient who won’t be able to pay the hospital bill.

But perhaps the primary reason why expats tend to die young in Cambodia is that many of them “lose the plot” and develop unhealthy habits involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitution. This leads to weekly reports of expats in their forties and fifties being found dead on their bathroom floors from a “heart attack” or “fall.”

Cambodia is full of dangers, and very few of the locals even know basic first aid. If you start choking in a restaurant in a Western country, your waiter or another customer will quickly perform the Heimlich Maneuver on you. If you start choking in a restaurant in Cambodia, the locals will all stand around dumbfounded and stare at you until you turn blue and collapse on the floor. Only then will one of them spring into action and attempt to revive you by vigorously rubbing tiger balm on your forehead.

2. Cambodia is a horrible place to raise a child.

If you have a child or you are planning to have children, you definitely should not move to Cambodia. World Health Organization statistics show that a child born in Cambodia is ten times more likely to die before the age of 5 than a child born in France. All of the diseases that kill adults in Cambodia are even more dangerous to young children. Kids are also more likely to be involved in accidents requiring emergency medical care, because kids are fragile and kind of stupid.

While children may be coddled and overprotected in Western societies, they are simply left to their Darwinian fate in Cambodia. Cambodian children are often seen wandering the streets without adult supervision or perched helmetless on the front of passing motorbikes. Last year a “mystery illness” killed 60 children in Cambodia. Nobody really cared.

Raising any child in Cambodia presents grave risks that you wouldn’t have in a Western country. If your daughter develops acute appendicitis in your home country, you can take her to the emergency room at a modern hospital. A knowledgeable doctor will promptly diagnose her condition, a skilled surgeon will remove her appendix before it bursts, and she’ll be back to normal in no time.

If your daughter develops acute appendicitis in Cambodia . . . well, she’s probably screwed. Just start over with a new kid.

Let’s assume that your children are lucky and that the Cambodian diseases, traffic accidents, and poor medical care don’t kill them. Their future will still be quite bleak. The educational system in Cambodia is absolutely dire, from the primary schools through the universities. The only way to properly educate your child in Cambodia is to pay about $15,000 per year to send her to a top international school. This is going to be hard to afford if you moved to Cambodia to teach English for $9 an hour.

You may fancy the idea of moving to “wild” Cambodia, but the true test of being a good parent is whether you place your child’s safety and security above your own interests. That’s why many devoted parents from third world countries will do anything possible to sneak their families into Western countries where their kids will have a brighter future.

As young Western citizens, your children enjoy the same wonderful opportunity that you had to grow up in a civilized country with good schools, quality health care, free speech, seat belts, career prospects, democracy, Fig Newtons, and long life expectancies. They would kindly appreciate if you don’t fuck all that up for them by raising them in a corrupt, oppressive third world shithole. Your choice.

What amazes me is that the Westerners who decide to raise their children in Cambodia remain in total denial about what terrible, selfish parents they really are. Some have even started a Yahoo group called the “Cambodia Parent Network,” where they exchange tips on how to raise their doomed offspring in a country where no responsible Western parent would ever voluntarily raise a child. Cambodia Parent Network? Good grief. That’s like starting the Chernobyl Gardening Club.

3. The infrastructure sucks.

Even compared to neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand, the infrastructure in Cambodia is truly appalling. The schools, hospitals, roads, and utilities are all of very poor quality. Trash piles up in the street. Rats and roaches abound. Main roads in the capital city are now gridlocked during rush hours, and traffic only gets worse each year. There is no mass transit system and nowhere to park your car. Sidewalks are impassable. Internet connections are relatively slow. The tap water is dodgy. There are no zoning laws and no effective law enforcement. The noise pollution from karaoke parlors at 2 a.m., barking dogs at 4 a.m., and construction workers at 6 a.m. can be unbearable.

Many expats report regular power outages in their neighborhoods, sometimes lasting 3-5 hours a day. That will put a major damper on your online porn habit.

Cambodia does have excellent nightlife, but there’s absolutely nothing to do during the day – no decent parks, cinemas, museums, malls, libraries, etc. Just walking outside between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. can be quite unpleasant due to the heat and humidity. Oh, and Cambodia smells really bad. If you’re thinking of moving to Phnom Penh, you need to know that the entire city stinks of garbage, smoke, urine, and rotten fish. Not just the Walkabout.

4. Living in Cambodia will destroy your financial future.

Let us agree that the hallmark of a successful life is living as long as possible while simultaneously acquiring as many material possessions as you can. Like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, but with a hot young wife too.

You may be able to find a hot young wife in Cambodia, but unless you are transferred there by a multinational company, you’re not going to make any decent money working in Cambodia. If you’re one of these guys who just decides to move to Cambodia to “teach English” or “open a bar,” you will guarantee yourself a life of relative poverty. You’ll likely start out making about $8 – $10 per hour, which would be the bare minimum wage in many Western countries.

You may be thinking, “But I heard I can teach English and live like a king making $1,200 per month in Cambodia.” You can’t. You’ll be able to afford a relatively crappy Khmer-style apartment with tiled walls, bars on the windows, unreliable electricity, and loud, annoying neighbors. Near Russian Market, of course.

You won’t be saving any money, and you won’t have health insurance. So if you get sick and and can’t teach for a few weeks, you’ll be on the verge of selling your passport for noodle money.

Unlike the minimum wage earners in Western countries, you won’t even be paying into social security, or a pension plan, or any kind of retirement benefits. So just plan on working in a low paid teaching job in Cambodia until the day you die. Of course, your lack of retirement planning will be the least of your concerns when you’re lying on your deathbed in a dirty Cambodian hospital at age 57.

Because you’ll have no savings, you won’t even be able to leave money to take care of your wife and kids when you die. Keep in mind that your kids will already be well behind the financial eight ball because you raised them in an impoverished country with an inadequate school system and few legitimate career opportunities.

I know what you’re thinking now. “I’ll just move to Cambodia for a few years, then I’ll move back home and get a good job that pays well.” Not a chance. The job market is extremely competitive these days in most Western countries. Cambodia still has a notorious reputation, and it’s hard to get a good job when the hiring manager who reviews your application says, “This candidate has a fascinating resumé. I wonder if he’s a pedophile.”

5. Your mother will be so disappointed.

If you move to Cambodia, you’re probably going to have to tell your mother at some point. Of course she’ll tell you that she supports your decision, because that’s what good mothers do. But deep down, she will be crushed that you are moving so far away from her.

You have a moral obligation to help take care of your mother in her later years. Don’t be a selfish ass who passes that responsibility off on your siblings so that you can live 8,000 miles away in Cambodia getting drunk by 3 p.m. every day.

Yes, your mother will know what you’re really doing in Cambodia. You might as well just send her a Mother’s Day card that says “Thanks for raising me and all that, sorry I haven’t seen you in a few years, it just turns out that I enjoy drugs, alcohol and hookers much more than spending time with you.”

And what if you eventually have kids in Cambodia? Are you going to deprive your mother of the pleasure of seeing her sickly, under-educated, half-brown grandchildren because you’re raising them 8,000 miles away from her? That’s a cruel, selfish thing to do to your mom. She may justifiably respond to this affront by cutting you out of her will. And since you’ll be working for peanuts in Cambodia, that inheritance would have been your only chance of acquiring any real money during your lifetime.

6. You’ll become an alcoholic and have to make friends with gossipy, alcoholic expats.

Cambodia has long been a haven for fugitives and fuck ups, deadbeats and deathpats. And those are just the St. 136 bar owners.

There are a lot of Western bar owners in Cambodia, because there are a lot of Western bars in Cambodia. Excessive drinking is by far the most popular pastime among Western expatriates. You will probably end up spending a lot of time drinking in these dingy bars, since there’s really nothing else to do for fun in Cambodia.

Because Cambodia only attracts certain types of expats, you will end up making friends in bars with the kind of undesirable people that you would never associate with back home. Junkies. Whoremongers. Journalists.

Even though you have little in common with these people, you will become friends out of necessity, because you need someone to drink with and they need someone to drink with. You will end up spending a lot of time with them, but you will never be able to trust them like your real friends back home. In fact, your new drinking buddies in Cambodia will never even bother to learn your last name. You’ll just forever be known in expat circles by your first name, which is always preceded by an additional descriptive term. Back home your name may be Robert Jenkins; in Cambodia you’ll be “NoseHair Bob.”

Most importantly, your expat friends in Cambodia will not help you at all if you begin to spiral out of control. If you start routinely binge drinking in your home country, your true friends back home will express concern for your well-being and try to stop you from destroying your life. Your expat friends in Cambodia will hand you another beer and try to introduce you to their meth dealer.

7. Your Thai girlfriend will absolutely hate it.

It’s not just Westerners who are getting caught up in the craze of moving to Cambodia. During the last few months, several new posters have actually joined the Khmer440 discussion forums to ask about getting visas for their Thai wives and girlfriends to move to Cambodia also.

We all know that opportunistic young Thai women have been marrying or shacking up with older Western men for decades. But the unstated agreement in these relationships is that the Western man is supposed to improve the poor girl’s standard of living. The impoverished Thai woman reluctantly allows the older Western man’s unsightly, wrinkled penis to enter her vagina from time to time. In exchange, the Western man moves the Thai woman to a proper Western country, or he builds her an oversized house in her home province that is the envy of all her slutty, gold-digging friends. Then she waits comfortably for him to die. That’s the deal that your Thai wife or girlfriend signed up for.

Moving a Thai woman to Cambodia does not improve her standard of living. It’s a shocking downgrade. It will seem to her like a cruel joke, not unlike bailing a black friend out of jail and then driving him straight to a Ku Klux Klan rally. The words a Thai woman longs to hear from her farang boyfriend are “Pack your bags dear, we’re flying to Paris.” Not, “Go buy some Purell, we’re moving to Cambodia.”

Just the idea of setting foot in Cambodia is truly horrifying to many Thai women. You need to understand that all Thais look down on Cambodians, in the strange way that the poor bastards who live in Cleveland still look down on those losers from Detroit. Even the most open-minded Thai girlfriend is probably going to ask some skeptical questions about moving to Cambodia. “What’s Cambodia like?” she will ask. The correct answer is, “It’s a lot like your village in Isaan, except the people are poorer, everyone’s skin is darker, no one speaks Thai, and the food sucks.”

So if you’re a struggling expat in Thailand whose meager foreign pension can no longer keep up with the rising Thai baht, please don’t punish your innocent Thai girlfriend by moving with her to Cambodia. There is a better solution. Do the noble thing that troubled expats in Thailand have been doing for years – break up with your girlfriend and then leap to your death from the balcony of your Pattaya condo.

Gavinmac is a regular contributor to Khmer440 who is considering moving to Cambodia in early 2014. His other “7 Reasons” articles can be found here.

706 thoughts on “7 Reasons Why You Really Shouldn’t Move to Cambodia

      • Sorya Reply

        some of these comments are so fucking stupid. i’m khmer and i’m 16 and i’ve lived here all my life. the only things this article focuses on are sex,drugs and alcohol.
        what about the untouched natural environments, what about the angkor wat and the temples, they blame the place but you’re the one making the decisions of doing what u do.

        and then someone said asians are fake and impolite to their elders? i’m deeply offended- we’re not allowed to talk back, touch an elder’s head, raise our hands to say hello, we’re expected to take care of our parents (there ar no fucking pensions here). asian children are pressured to do what the parents want.
        seriously some people are just so ignorant and racist.

        • M Reply

          Please pardon me my ignorance if you can..

          What do you mean by “untouched natural environment”? Do you refer to that disgusting and overwhelming rubbish and stench continuously laid everywhere over Cambodia? Or perhaps you refer to diminishing forests, might say symbol of greediness?

          What about Angkor Wat? Hmm, do you refer to its double pricing which discriminates foreigners? If foreigners are requested to pay a special fee for being foreigner, just don’t go in, it’s that simple. Do they have a fee for being black when you go to visit Disneyland?

          • K

            May I know how much u pay for a cinema ticket in ur country? $20 for a whole day for temple pass is not expensive at all. If u think so maybe ur well paid salary is just not well enough.

          • M

            Such boring activity is usually $5 to $8.

            And no one will check length of your nose: no additional charge for being a foreigner or other race.

          • W

            Hey, come on, give the kid a break! He’s 16 years old and makes some very good points. Believe me, I know, I’m an expat living in Vietnam for the past 6 years and I see almost everyday the low-life circling around these parts, shitting everything up and making those of us here making an honest living look bad too. And as for entrance charges, don’t look at it like it’s doubling the price for foreigners, it’s more like a discount for locals. It costs a lot of money to maintain these archeological sites and are you really pissing about someone who makes about US$100 a month getting charged a lower price to see something in their own country? Really?

          • Emma violet

            you sound like such an overall shit person. I stayed in Cambodia for 6 weeks and loved every minute. I am planning to work in a hospital there in a few years. You have no idea what you are talking about. people live until their 50? are you dumb? I met so many people that were in their 90’s. Cambodia is a struggling country but they are trying their hardest to improve it. do you think they like having rubbish on the streets? no, they have no control over it the government does and Cambodian people are not to blame or their corrupt government. Not every country in the world is polished clean and rich. Cambodia needs help and support from the western countries. People like you make me so angry because you have no idea what Cambodia has been through. and how dare you be so disrespectable to a 16 year old boy, that lives there?

          • Reach

            fuck you brother..shut up..I don’t want to know your fucking idea. Cambodia is a great Country for us.

          • Thomas

            You’re right about dual pricing though. It’s racist and unacceptable. It’s especially offensive if you’re an expat foreigner living in Cambodia or any other country that practices it because as a tourist you experience it, tell your friends about it and never have to come back. It’s almost worse if some deadbeat, ignorant apologist foreigner says it’s OK to practice it. But yeah expats certainly feel it more than the average tourist as they can’t just walk away from the country.

            I don’t have a problem with the average noodle seller trying to extract a little extra because either I can just bargain it down or walk away, but institutionalized discrimination, as practiced by temples such as Angkor Wat is unfair.

            Imagine the outcry if Khmers were charged more than white, black, Mexican or other “real” Americans for entry to national parks in the USA. Haha. Well maybe they should be.

            Well, it should be the same thing in Cambodia. But of course in Cambodia every foreigner is just a walking ATM and racism is acceptable, so it’s OK, right K?

          • Thomas

            Hey BTW W, did you realize that Vietnam has eliminated dual pricing for foreigners? So actually you don’t know what you are talking about. Vietnam is actually a very fair country these days – of course you get the odd local trying to squeeze some extra cash out of you but that can happen anywhere. But what you don’t have anymore is institutionalized discrimination where a tourist attraction, hotel, transport etc. can charge you more based on the color of your skin. Unfortunately, this still happens in Cambodia but has been stopped in Vietnam.

            Also, no one who earns US$100 a month in Cambodia will have the time or money to visit any tourist sites, subsidized or not – tourist sites in Cambodia, like in any other country are made with middle class visitors in mind. Most Cambodian tourist sites don’t even see any western or other foreign visitors at all (there are far more sites than just Angkor Wat BTW) so it’s not up to foreigners to subsidize the costs for locals. Foreign visitors can’t be taken for granted and in fact, a higher price for foreigners is actually an indication that you’re not welcome. It’s like saying: “we don’t really want you here, but OK if you pay us a lot more you can come in”.

          • Albeiro R.

            M, I don’t think Gavinmac is looking down on Cambodia. Contrary: he is raising very important points such as the goals of some expatriates coming to an impoverished country like Cambodia (for drugs and sex?) There is an unclear policy to promote a moving to Cambodia that benefit certain individuals. In the 1980s and 1990s all expatriates in Cambodia were humanitarian personnel, volunteers and officials doing something for the country – in a visionary way or not, but making a contribution. But now we have many guys doing “nothing” really useful. I have seen how they transformed Sihanoukville from a peaceful fishing town to a sort of growing brothel. In instead to work for a sustainable development that would open really opportunities to Cambodian kids, building a better educational system, improving in health, etc, we see the building of hotels, guesthouses, motels, casinos, drugs, prostitution… I think it is the point of Gavinmac and I thanks it.

          • Kyrsten

            What the hell is making you so bitter and disrespectful? Let people make their own decisions. I understand wanting to give your opinion and some guidance but you have taken it way to far. It is very clear that you have not tried living in another country due to your lack of appreciation of what it means to sustain in foreign lands. You sound like a spoiled brat with a very narrow mind.

          • Sokheng

            Hi Guy, I think “untouched natural environment” refers to the great Angkor Wat temple. We accepted that there were a lot of rubbishes in Cambodia in 2013, not everywhere now. Doubling the price to visit Angkor Wat, how much? 20$? Was that a lot for visiting the World Heritage Temple? I may spend more than 50$ for a one-night drink. Discrimination against foreigners? Come on guy, don’t be childish brain. How much do you learn per month? Can you compare yor annual income to Cambodian? Will they can afford for 20$? This is one thing. The most important is that Cambodia wants to encourage their citizens to visit its own temple. Open your heart, guy and don’t be so stringy, especially not looking down Cambodia.

          • special

            you dumbass bitch cambodia is the best place ever. What the fuck you talking about??????????????????? stupid bitch

          • A Kid

            Please look at condition of cambodia IN the province and then reply to this. Also, It’s not our fault that America bomb the fuck out of our country in the past, resetting us to our curent state. You guys also make a lot more money than us, so much that YOU HAVE THE TIME TO GO SIGHTSEEING IN OTHER PLACES while WE suffer to even live for another day. You better watch your mouth too Mr.M, cause you guyse INDIRECTLY cause this country into this state. And yes, FOREIGNERS should pay that fee because you have enough money and time to come into our country to do whatever you want.

            Jesus, people say that i get along mostly with foreigners than our own kind but there’s a bottom line for what you say since we can fucking sue you for badmouthing another country.

            And for the deforestation you talking about (AKA. Symbol of Greed). Like I said before, WE have no choice but to cut the trees to sell for MONEY to get FOOD and SHELTERS to live for the next day unlike most of you that use that money to buy cars, decorations, GO to other countries for vacations and never experience hardship.

            I deeply apologize to those who get offended for some word i said (since some sound racist),those who experience hardship and i’m not assuming that Mr. M and the guy who write this article are Europeans.

            Lastly, the disgusting and overwhelming rubbish and stench continuously laid everywhere over Cambodia is because we’re a developing country and we have some SPECIAL guest (For those who don’t know, Search google for OPERATION MENU during the vietnam war) and you do realize that we didn’t demand payment for killing thousands of people and factories (They bomb us for fucking 3 years and destroying half the country, I call “Powerhouse country bullying small country for being near their war”).

            If THAT isn’t enough reason for our situation, You’re just a selfish and cruel person. If that is true, i won’t care for what you said since i pity your parents for having a son/daughter like you.

          • Kim

            I might be late to reply. However, here is my comment regarding racism. Why American universities charge more fees for international students than the locals? Racism is everywhere even now in America. Donald Trump won the election is an undeniable proof of that. M, please observe the people and why did they turn out like that? All I’m saying is that we are also sufferer. We are trying our best to fight for freedom and better future for our youngsters. As of right now, we don’t have a mean to fight the evil army. And we don’t want to be as violence as them.

        • Kazinski Reply

          His comments are more directed at the problems Westerners bring with them when they move to Cambodia. Very few westerners move to the pristine places in Cambodia, and they don’t treat their elders as well as you do.

          You and your generation will make Cambodia a better place, despite all the westerners that come here to try to drink themselves into an early grave.

          • anonymous

            There are already lots of problems, ie pollution, decadence, war, filth, immorality in Asia before the arrival of Westerners.
            It is pointless for Westerners trying to solve those too many disgusting Asian problems.

          • A Kid

            anonymous, that’s true since they cause that situation anyways. i might sound racist but go search google for “Operation Menu” and you might understand (It is in the vietnam war)

          • anonymous

            It is the Asian government and those Asian people who did not take care of their country properly.
            Why blame Westerners or visitors?

        • bigj2 Reply

          hmmm make it 8, you forgot infestation with jumped up, two bit, snotty brats

          • A Kid

            oh really? how about you being a descendant of a bunch of countries who leave cambodia with a foot in it’s grave?

        • Michael Sells Reply

          Many Asians, especially Thais, are racists. I currently live in Bangkok, Thailand. I am a Black male who keeps being rejected for work as a teacher, because of my skin color. Despite me being a native English speaker, Thais rather be educated by teachers with white skin, whether they are native speakers or not. I noticed that many Black Americans rather live in Cambodia than Thailand. Why is that? I am one of very few Black Americans living in Bangkok. Since living here, I have met less than 10 Black Americans out of a population of 8 million. Several Africans live here, but Black Americans do not care for Thailand.

          • Jim

            You are not getting a job as an English teacher because your English is not good enough – “less than 10” ?? Try “fewer than”.

          • what

            If you’re black and try to pick up a girl in Cambodia good luck, you’ll be paying 3x the price if she’s pro and probably laughed at and denied if she’s not.

            Azns in general don’t like black people because
            – superstitions “omg, black like darkness he bad luck”
            – the darker you are, the poorer you are in most asian countries because it means you work outside and do farm labor
            – reputation of 3rd world scamming Africans that migrate to Asia and cause problems just read any Bangkok news and type in ‘nigerian arrested’

            Philippines might be different they are more muricanized

          • George Rockwell

            That’s very true. Black men, especially Black men that like money and like getting laid on a regular basis by attractive women, should probably steer clear of Asia. I speak from experience, did time in Japan and Taiwan.

            Cambos and Thais are ugly as fuck anyway.

          • charls dixi

            I lived in BKK for many years and I know why people do not like black Americans. I asked several people what they were telling me is that black American they do not respect their law , for example in subway they just cut the people in line to enter the train, or the same situation in supermarket, they like to listen to loud music (like rap), the music that Thai people do not like.I know that you might not be like this or may be many black American might not be like this but already few bad apples screwed up big time.

          • Bmc

            I agree with u 100%, Thai people are racist to darker skin people.

          • len crowley

            I love Thailand , but any place that sells as manny lotions with dye in them as Thailand to have some issues…. Thais are too proud, but at the same time very uneducated . THEY ARE VERY CONFUSSED ……Still in Thailand ?

          • Coffee

            A valid argument that I’ve heard many times in Thailand. Also a valid argument for blacks seeking positions in the NFL as club presidents and CEOs though the players are 68% black.
            I believe that rural Isaan would be more acceptable of a having a black American as a teacher, more so than BKK, particularly for English math or science private school programs.

          • Ernest Evans

            Try Nigeria instead, you will fit in nicely there.

        • anonymous Reply

          It is not only Asian have parents. Westerners too have parents to take care of. Asians are so selfish. Westerners are expected to pay so much for everything in Asia that is so shabby.
          I think it is wrong for Asians to presssure Westerners to waste and spend so much and unneccessarily in Asia.

          • kanchanburilady

            Who asked you to come to Asia? It is the law of the land – pay more if you are farang and here in our land. No need to pay extra, if you stay home. Enjoy with you big cow!
            Take care na.

          • Thomas

            It’s not like that you are being a bit too general. Kanchanaburilady (what is she doing on a Khmer forum BTW I thought Thais hate Cambodians?) is a racist and of course you can easily pay what you’re supposed to except when dealing with national parks, some museums and temples that have official dual pricing.

            Simple – don’t visit. And maybe encourage your own government to implement dual pricing for Asian visitors – LOL. Maybe it will work.

          • Aimee

            At least in our country, we don’t send our parents to centers for the elderly when they get old.

          • Gomez

            You guys can’t live in your own country comfortably and then you come to Asia with that little money to live because in Asia it become big money due to the exchange rate yet you complaining about the Asian culture and people. If you don’t like the region then you should never come here and if you are living here then you should respect our culture and the people if you can’t then you better leave other than complaining and still enjoying the benefit of living in this country.

          • A Kid

            anonymous, you ever go to school? go search for history of asians or sth. also, if you don’t like our kind, fuck off. we don’t pay you to come into our land, we prefer to kick you out.

            Thomas, we asians might have problem with each others but if foreigners think they can just come in an insult our friends/kind/race, they have to face all of us. i’m speaking not as a cambodian, but as an asian. we stand together as asian and we won’t let anyone boss us around even if we hate each other or not. Also, you are wrong my friend, Thais and Cambodian are more similar than you think even if we have problem but we still think of them as our brothers/sisters (well, most won’t admit that anyways.

            Aimee, true but i think that is too harse. i like what you said tho. we do not just ‘leave’ our parents in some kind of facilities even if they want us to do so. SOME(i said SOME and i mean SOME) of the foreigners don’t even care for their parent’s opinion and left them to ‘rot’ in the facilities. we asians, instead of doing that, at least have the heart to care for our parents and want to spent more time with them and no matter what, WE NEVER SEE THEM AS BURDENS. For us, our parents are the most important people to us since they give birth to us and we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them either.

          • anonymous

            Kid is spouting a lot of nonsense and misleading information about the mostly real bad condition in Asia.

          • anonymous

            Furthermore, it is very common to see poor, disadvantaged people living in squalid condition in Asia. Also, it is common for Asians to put their parents in badly run elderly homes in badly managed “facilities” or nonexistent “facilities” in Asia.
            It is also very common to see Asian parents treating their own children badly and vice versa.
            That is why most parts of Asia is still third world.

        • [email protected] Reply

          Sorya, congrats on your honesty and courage to rebutt. I was born in Singapore, moved to Canada for 25 years and now retired from my Hospital career to teach English. Firstly for 9 months in N. Thailand and recently moved to P.P. to help a Singaporean Canadian friend’s new NGO training village young people culinary skills and English to get jobs in the F&B Industry.
          Yes, most expats come for the booze, easy sex, young wifes/girlfriends etc…too bad…..
          Then there are the rest who come wanting to learn the Culture and hope to contribute to helping Cambodians esp the young ones to get skills so as to enable them to live a better life in the future.
          I admire your insight and perspective on Life.

          Keep kicking Young Person!

          ‘Jackie Chan’ Wannabee

          • alan matthew hanvey

            I live in Cambodia ,what you say is true about the majority of the expat population ,Cambodia was never on my must visit itinery ,I came to visit for 3 days and stayed 8 years, why ,I like the people of Cambodia ,their warmth and their community spirit.Cambodia will grow despite the CPP.

        • Tony Reply

          Hi Sorya, your people are some of the most accepting and beautiful people I have met in this world and your country has much to offer, The western world has lost the plot!! I live in Australia and have noticed a change in peoples care free attitudes in this country.

          Most western people live in a fearful material consumer driven state of mind which propels them to see only the negative in people and places they visit.

          It seems a lot of western people travel with a defencive ridged mindset and seem to look at other places in our world as being beneath them.

          Don’t be to hard on them, there minds are in a cage.

        • Joyce Reply

          l just think that this article was written ” tongue in cheek” !! l don`t believe he really meant a word of what he said, apart from the street children, it was all exagerated , and totally FOR EFFECT !!

          • A Kid

            well, i’m cambodian and everyday, in the street, i see a lot of children begging for money under the hot sun……..i prefer not talking about it anymore……just so disturbing seeing how the country end up after what happen about 30-40 years ago.

            Ps. ever know about the cambodia genocide? search it and you’ll understand our state and even respect us a bit.

        • H Reply

          Hi everyone, it’s too much to read. It’s about 579 responses to this article and most of them were not make sense at all accepted there are some good points which seriously show a really bad tempered of person without considering the question and reason. It doesn’t matter how many reasons had mentioned to Cambodia and it’s to do with people decision to move or not to. I just hope the new generation of Cambodian should watch the oldest video which is more than 40 years ago before Khmer rough and see how was Cambodia developed at this time. There were a lot of products which made in Cambodia and exported to other countries around the world. This is more than 40 years ago though and look at now under the leader who have never been educated. Could you all see how the leader when is on speech each time and what is leader talk about? Is it about to improve their country and people? I guess not. It’s too much to talk about it but remember you all don’t need to make any arguments for those reasons and should focus on reality in a real life in your own home of what you get or provide and help by Government. Also should see the country neighbours around and you will find out how far their country have improved now but I don’t think most Cambodian people see it because it’s been covered and hidden by the government or no one can afford to see other modern countries though accepted wealthy people . There are a lot of more billion billion dollars which government has owed other countries and international bank which will require many times of new generations to pay off. Me and my family have very fortune to live other countries with free educations, hospitals, benefits and more which I can not afford for it if I live or stay over there but I still think back where I come from and can not stand with or see my own people live without foods, educations and more suffering under uneducated government leader who have tortured their own people. So I don’t know why Khmer people can not see the problems in their own country during their life time? Why are there million more people have tried and gone to other countries to get better pay and better life (accepted wealthy and corrupted people who don’t care about their own country though)? The more Cambodian people have education and the more they understand what the right they need from the government. Oops, I’ve forgotten to mention that Cambodia government has no budget to rebuild the country though due to all the money has been gone to the leader and corrupted government though. Why Khmer people can not see it when the leader get salary about $5000 or more than that now in each month and how can the leader has owned a lot of millions dollars home and a lot of things are under his name though like school, buildings, roads and so on. Why Cambodia have a lot of international organizations come to help and no help from their government? Development country forever, right? $20 or more to visit Angkor Watt and I think it’s a small amount but can feed poor people more than 20 people for one meal but those money is not going to the government or helping their own people though. Dammit, I am about to break my anger on Cambodia government who’s never provide a good education to their own poor people. Oh, I think I knew it the leader didn’t want their own people to have a really good education because if they have well educated then they all going to against or a lot of them will cause a lot of problems for it, right? it’s too much to talk about it. So if anyone who understand the question I have mentioned or what I have said it then you think what Cambodian people need it. Education is the most important for people and country is depending on knowledge people. Drugs, alcohol, young woman and more are belong to those rich corrupted people and it helps by government leader. No food, no job, no education….are belong to poor people with no government help or provided. Agree or disagree is your choice? No costs, no fees and no arguments. All nonsense right?

          • A Kid

            You’re the first person here that i don’t consider lashing out to. so, i will tell you the reason for everything, the country has not enough time to develop back into a better country because of what happen before the genocide happen. It was called Operation Menu and leaded by the Americans in the Vietnam war. The operation have only one objective, Bombing the shit out of cambodia. We were bombed for 3 years and is now the current most heavily bombed country in history. The Americans don’t give a shit and try to defend the bombing and succeed, not paying us any money to rebuilt.

            Imagine that and after that the genocide, leaving the country with only thousands of people in 7 jan 1979. know that it was the same person (the governor) who led us back to what we are today. and of course, we start back from scratch, farming and repopulating the whole country. so you have to give us credit for coming here to where we are with minimum help in about 47 years.

            The reason I know so much is because my father is a survivor with the whole family(pretty big family). the only person who passed away is my grandfather who died by lung cancer after the period.

            so for those who are criticizing this country, here me out. Cambodia have only developed back to this state in 47 years with the help of our neighbor countries (and yes, vietnam and thailand i think, help us so please don’t hate them so much since we are all asians).

          • THayes

            I believe that H is correct. I have no knowledge of Cambodia, but the basic problem exists worldwide. In most counties, with exceptions in northwest Europe, the income gap between the wealthy and the poor is not acceptable. The gap causes many, but not all, of the problems that have been expressed in this forum.

        • Andy Reply

          It’s all true what writing above , beside from that Cambodians are
          very stupid brainless most stupid nation in the world .
          And the Cambodians have all super expensive cars what most western people
          Can’t afford , cambodia is a hell and Cambodians are so stupid and dump


          • A Kid

            please, mister, don’t say what isn’t true. You know, most of those cars are owned by large companies with Foreigner owners and you can’t blame us. Also, Mr.Andy, i am very offended by your statement above considering what you foreigners did to our country. need i remind you about Operation Menu which turn us into the most heavily bombed country in history? need i remind you about the fact that you guys refuse to pay for the damage after bombing us for 3 years?

            are you blinded by the sigh of cars and motors in cambodia? well, look at the province and go to the districts that poor people live in. you might be surprise how many people can’t find one dollar or even one cent a day to buy food and eat from the trash. don’t look at those who are rich. you have to look at both side of a coin remember?

            i am very disappointed in you set of words. considering my nation’s past, we have been on the receiving end for many hundred of years already. and if you’re here because you just get mad at the other comment, i recommend traveling to cambodia and go to The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to see the reason i am disappointed in you.

            If you know how cruel that period is you might carefully consider your word.

            if you know how many cambodian died, you might even be horrified

        • ivan Reply

          hello im from mexico i want to live at cambodia this year 2017, what about the turist who want live there? they dont gonna kill me ?

          • Khemara

            most won’t kill you but if i see your little mexican ass, I WILL kill you.

          • A Kid

            well, i’m not racist so i won’t but few would since they are racist(toward other people from other countries). Also, for those who is curious, i am from cambodia and AM Cambodian, just not racist and blind.

        • dan Reply

          i think what the author has tried to do is to discourage selfish westerners from moving to Cambodia and spoil it. by selfish I mean, those kind of people who really couldn’t give a damn about the local people, culture and issues but just live it up with a little money, with which they would get nowhere back home. and for sure there are those whose only motives are drugs and young underaged girls…

      • Socheat Reply

        I have lived since I were born, i believe that would be true if you are agressive from driving or riding carelessly, you coukd get serious injured or might lose your life for that, but if you won’t respect the law properly then you’ll earn what did. About that, if you compare Vietnam or Thailand to Cambodia, i would say Vietnam and Thailand is better, why? Because Vietnam and Thailand have more development in city, if you look to Cambodia, it’s still developing or i can say that it just started to developing. However, nowadays we improved a lot, the traffic is now safer, the public bus, the skyscrapers, etc. As i say it just started developing so the development in the next 10 year will be similiar to Thailand or Vietnam now.
        On the other hand, we provide you lots of stuff in cities, eg. Phnom Penh has riverside for you to enjoy yourself

      • Smey Reply

        Does anybody wants to have their countries full of Trashes . We try to change it hardly every single day! Please ammit that every countries have their own problems! I don’t know which part of my country have you been staying! Did you came here since 90’s! Every parents struggling try to make hard money everyday, raising their kids, teach them how to respect elder’s! Why not to raise ur kid here, we are different in here we try to tech our children to greet others nicely! Just smile and say hello is that kind of life style! Drug sex that what you all said everybody could live like that in every part of the world and they will die young eventually! Traffic accidents and hospital services are the main problem here, we admitted at this points! But we are still a developing country not a developed one! You know how much we been through -war- etc! If you’re not trying to make a different don’t make it worst! Don’t like it get ur passport move out and don’t step on it ever again! We strongly happy if people like you would move out! I don’t care which part of this world you came from, if you’re black or white, Asian or not, as you not respects us we don’t respects you!

        • Barang in Cambodia Reply

          I love many Cambodian people but I live in Phnom Penh and it is true that many locals I see will throw trash on the floor even if there is a trash can inches away. I also know some very clean Cambodians who I am friends with, but they are the exception. I always walk to a trashcan or a trash pile, even if it is far, rather than litter. I get many stares when I do this, but I do it because I respect the country.

          A couple of Khmer friends of mine who also wish to see people change tell me it is hard. They say when they speak to their countrymen about it, they hear things like, “this is my country, I can throw trash where I want.” This is in 2016, not the 90’s.

          Also, in reply to the above quote, “Why not to raise ur kid here, we are different in here we try to tech our children to greet others nicely!”:

          Actually kids here often yell horrible things at barang and their parents just laugh. Maybe they are taught to treat some people nicely, but many of them are taught to be disrespectful toward barang. Just today I passed by a group of kids and one yelled “hello kutuy” (hello faggot) at me over and over again while the others laughed. I’m not gay, not that it matters, and I was dressed in totally normal clothes, with short hair, et cetera — they just do this sort of taunting to show disrespect. When I stopped in disbelief and asked where their parents were, a father of one appeared and just laughed.

          I live near Tuol Sleng, so I understand a bit of the history behind this, such as how the Khmers with western knowledge were all murdered in the 1970’s, and the overseas Khmers were asked by Ieng Sary to return to “rebuild Cambodia” but were sent to S-21 to be tortured to death when they arrived instead. Then of course, English was banned, etc, for years still during the Vietnamese occupation era. I suppose this was all done to prevent Cambodia from having good relations with the West, since that would make Cambodia strong. So now in Cambodia kids see a westerner and yell “hello faggot” in Khmer while their parents point and laugh. Any person like me who just wants to learn about Khmers and help them will eventually become depressed and leave.

          • Tom Jones

            Why does every foreigner who makes a statement about the disrespect they receive say they “love Cambodia”?

            I don’t mean to say that because a few uneducated racist kids make stupid comments that means everyone sucks, but seriously, if I had that experience I would never think about making a statement like you did. I would be saying that there are a lot of punks in Cambodia although there are also some nice people too. Something like that.

            And I would be a lot harsher with rude people who disrespect me. Fortunately, the worst I’ve ever heard hurled my way in Cambodia was not an insult, but rather the incessant cries of “where you go?” by tuk-tuk drivers. Like everyone else, I just ignore them and pretend I didn’t hear what they said.

      • A Kid Reply

        Also, Thomas, do you know about how some Cambodian-Americans are treated? One of them is my friend and he have been mistreated by his American father. Like literally, he gets thrown out of his house to live for fucking 2 weeks when he is 5 yo until his mother find him back. like i said, most of you foreigners don’t understand the concept of developing countries or just don’t care. Did you forgot that your countries was once developing countries too? i used to like foreigners but this have made my opinion of foreigners drop.

        One of you talk about prostitute and stuff? i don’t know but i wonder which fucking culture cause asian to have that since i have never heard about prostitute before Europe culture comes in. I remember that a European also spread the AIDs virus to cambodia too. you guys just want to make this country’s rating go down don’t ya? i didn’t see anyone complaining about america or other European country having prostitute so why are you targeting our little country? shame on all of you, you think it’s funny to badmouth other country? How about you remember what you did in the vietnam war to us huh? what about OPERATION MENU? when you bombed us for 3 fucking years and destroyed half our country making us the NUMBER 1 bombed country in history? you guys even tried to defend your action by saying that it might harm your soldier’s lifes. I ask you, IS THAT A FUCKING REASON TO REDUCE FROM A DEVELOPED COUNTRY TO THIS STATE?????


        • A Kid Reply

          you realize that, your ancestors killed many of us, ruined our country, and we can do nothing except grit our teeth and go along with your action since AMERICA is a superpower country? It isn’t as if we don’t want money to rebuilt our country, it is because YOU don’t want to give us CLAIMING that if you don’t do that, YOUR citizens on cambodia would be killed. And before you bomb, what did you do? call all your soldiers back to base and start bombing us. well, how about calling all your soliers back and don’t fucking bomb the country? oh, you didn’t want to lose your base on Cambodia to Vietnam so you decide that thousand of lives aren’t worth the base since we’re asian?

          In overall, AMERICA don’t even care about asians at all , even more, you foreigners don’t fucking care. now you decide that the commotion have calm down and want to see the temples in cambodia? you know what we should have done? Kill every single one of you and make food out of the meat. then sent those meat back to your countries. we get more money than letting you in and damage our temples even more. You all are just hypocrites and shameless.

          I want to say, In my class, i got an E in english because i cannot write a long essay. now think about how long this is. i want you foreigners to understand that spending a bit more money to help them can help them have a better day. please don’t argue about the price or state of cambodia since it is the result of the war. we do not want you in our land either but we will treat you how you treat us and we will NOT tolerant any action of insulting this country. you have to understand that cambodia just recover for about 30-40 years after the war and you don’t have any rights to criticize us.

        • Deborah Reply

          There are good and bad people around the globe. I am ashamed of how my country has treated yours in the past. Please don’t make assumptions of all Americans as many of us would not do so to all Cambodians. I pray one day there will be worldwide peace and understanding. May you have a happy and healthy life.

        • Stu05 Reply

          A Kid, I am totally on your side and detest American involvement in all past and present conflicts and atrocities. The very bastard nation who invited themselves onto Native American land and slowly began to rule the world for self gain and never humanitarian reasons, never. I would like to correct you on one fact, Laos is the most bombed country on the planet. Laos was declared a neutral country during the Vietnam war yet the Americans dropped their full remaining payload onto the country at the end days of the pointless war and humiliating defeat. People are still being maimed and killed by US ordnance. What happened to your country is sickening and I remember the ongoing news bulletins. An absolute disgrace from a God Fearing nation to commit such a huge scale atrocity believing their god was blessing them all the way.I am a fair man and will always resent American support to these atrocities. I was a soldier and dragged into the American/Iraq war, losing several UK friends. For what? American interest never humanitarian reasons. Kellogg Warburton and Brown were the winners in that war. A corporate klondyke that went from nowhere to worse and today a disaster. A great book is ‘Fuel On The Fire’ it holds nothing back and gets straight into the truth, oil. Wreck and destroy the country’s infrastructure then come wandering in and start rebuilding at a price. Trump has already spoke about an exit price for Afghanistan, a colossal share in natural resources.Jumping to today, N. Korea is reported to have $trillions in natural resources, the very resources the modern IT world requires for the latest technology. The US is a war machine, a war monger and an addict to handing out suffering without conscience. They are deluded in believing some god in the sky blesses every action and sentence they utter. Listen to any speach and you will lose count of the blessings. No god would bless anything from congress and the establishment. It is pure evil. The good people of America suffer not from bomb dropping but from bomb manufacturing. It is the heart beat of America. To hell with people and their poverty, weapons are the saviour of the war machine and fine well you know it my friend. Your country was obliterated in a genocide orchestrated by America. The obliterated Laos, they obliterated Cambodia, they obliterated Iraq, they obliterated Libya cant win Afghanistan and no clue what they are doing in Syria, Somalia will see its fate, Iran, N.Korea, Sudan,West Africa, Georgia, Israel……… they just keep getting blessed by god?

          Stay safe.

    • GK Reply

      Go fuck yourself! Who ever talk bad about Cambodia. Hey, every countries have crimes, poor people and uneducated like u. Cambodia is the great plase to raise the kids. We raise the kids to appriciate their parents, family and the country. We teach our kids to be a good person and the value of hard work. We are Cambodian, we love each other. We are always put our family first. We are always stick together no matter what happen as a family. We are not selffish like some people who think it is all about them. May be some people doesn’t know what a family is that is why they are such hater. Hater is a Bitch. One more thing, fuck u.

      • Sarah Reply

        I would be offended, too, if I lived in Cambodia. Clearly the article was not intended to be kind or complimentary so it makes no sense to defend it or cause further insult. It is racist. There are problems in every country, but people remain in those countries because there are other aspects they love. No one enjoys having their country represented solely by its problems. The additional insults and name-calling is simply showing your immaturity to the Cambodians. It is not making Cambodia look bad, it makes the rest of the world look intolerant.

        • paul Reply

          i believe the auther…and they should be rich…the 2nd biggest trafficers of opium …herion in the world.have kids even if they can’t feed them..
          stick up for their country when they use it as a dump..like Indonesia..
          even Bali is a dump..they are racist and liers and thieves..some good not many.take care..i’m goona leave Bali too it;s a chithole now…been here 15 years.good luck.bundy

          • A Kid

            oh oh, we have a racist here. do you want to know how it feel to be bombed for 3 years and get half your country destroyed? and can your country rise back to this state after a genocide for 4 years? hmm….i guess not. i think we have a little bitch running his mouth here.
            And yes, people in cambodia have a lot of childrens. it’s because we are mostly uneducated due to being the most heavily bombed country in history. hmm….and guess who bombed us? America. the country with no racism even tho it use to have slave aka black people. hmmm…a great country indeed, used to have slave, lying about the reason for bombing another country till it have one leg in the grave with no mercy for 3 years. yep, you Europeans are the High human and we asians and other race are just your slave right? is that what you’re implying? or you’re just running your mouth like i said? since i’m pretty sure you are implying we are your slave.

          • James

            A Kid,first of all LAOS is the most heavily bombed country in history, not Cambodia. That is a well known fact. Of course, Cambodia also suffered immensely, in fact, it was Wall Street that financed the Khmer rouge genocide during 1975-79. Also, Khmers suffered immense losses – around 1.7-2 million lives were lost and that should always be remembered. However, almost no emphasis is made either within Cambodia or outside on who actually set up the Khmer Rouge regime. Pol Pot was simply a tool – he didn’t come up with the genocide even if he carried it out. Henry Kissinger had a lot to do with it. Look him up.

            Cambodians NO longer have lots of children, that’s in the past. In the cities, most young people only have one or two and in 10-20 years time, there will be a large number of childless couples, gays, trannies and others who don’t want/can’t have children. This WILL be the new norm in Cambodia in the coming decades, as it’s fast becoming the case in Thailand, other Asian countries and western countries of course. It won’t be avoided, I can guarantee you it will happen. The only question is how many years it will take.

            The medicalization of child birth means almost no one still gives birth to children inside their homes anymore – 99% of the population goes to the hospital even when it’s not necessary. As long as the home is sanitary (which a middle or upper class Cambodian home would be) it’s better for a woman to give birth at home with a trained midwife or doctor, but like most developing countries (and western countries before them) Cambodians are finding themselves submitting to the authorities on these and most other matters so quickly, in just a matter of a few years the changes to traditional lifestyles are almost unrecognizable. To me that’s the definition of slavery, except that these days citizens are willing slaves of their government masters rather than of individuals like 200 years ago. It’s a sad sight and Asians, particularly in fast developing SE Asian countries are highly vulnerable to this sort of mind control.

            Increasing numbers of middle class Cambodian families are sending their youngest children to day care centers starting from the age of 2. If Cambodians love their families so much, why do they trust strangers so much to raise their children for them? They should be getting the children’s grandparents or aunties and uncles to help out. Alternatively, richer Cambodians could certainly afford a nanny to look after them in their own homes, assuming both parents work.

            At this point in time, Cambodia has a wonderful opportunity to learn from the mistakes of both the west and other Asian countries and not repeat them. However, I fear that they will follow in the exact same footsteps as Vietnam, Thailand, China and other middle income countries, which in turn are following the west – all children handed over the state for indoctrination from ages 2-18, everyone doing as their doctor says without challenging or questioning that false authority (not to mention never doing any of their own research), (almost) everyone eating unhealthy pesticide laden food that they think is healthy because it’s fruits and vegetables, more and more junk food being consumed, more selfish consumerist behaviour (I must have that new Lexus so I can be seen idling in Phnom Penh traffic!) and more hating towards outsiders who are blamed for all these ills instead of understanding who the real enemy is.

            Stop this divide and conquer nonsense speaking for all Cambodians and all Asians. No other Asians care for your thinking and your stereotyping. You’re just as bad as the Asian hating people on this thread and you’re just as much of a useful idiot (btw this is a communist term, not an insult – Google the meaning).

      • Rita Reply

        My Dear JK,

        Please show your true and real Cambodian Noble qualities by avoiding bad words such as fuck, bitch. Let us show the nobleness of Cambodia to the world by good deeds and words.

        • Paul Pot Reply

          Fuck you bitch !! Maybe it is because Khmer people are so damn kind and polite that they’re always screwed up by foreigners. Your noble qualities make you weak and fuckable susy sunshine. I’m french. Come to my country, I’ll show you politeness. Don’t fuck wit us !!

          • Srey Nec

            Come on, Paul Pot!You don’t have to come to this page to curse. You can actually do it on the street! Ok Ok Ok, before you throw a bunch of curse words at me, I surrender!

          • Vichet

            Yo Paul,First thing i’m gonna tell you is that i’m a Cambodian.
            i meet lots of french people here because i’m learning french too and my teachers are a lot more polite than you.Your language is so beautiful that i think i must first tell you this but after reading your comment i don’t think it deserve you.who told you that being kind and polite mean being weak???Come on Paul!

          • paul

            french polite wat a joke…most arrogant people around …and Muslims luv u..and u still haven’t won a war…gheeeeeezzz.

      • CG Reply

        Dear GK, dear Sara and others! I trust the author of this article had completely different idea – he is trying to protect Cambodian of influx of useless, unscrupulous and even harmful people who do not bring with any quality, any new skills, any new opportunities for the country that will help khmers, but even more troubles. Do you need more bars, more drunk people, more drugs traffic, more old westerns, hungry for having sex with your young hungry people?

        I’ve lived in your hospitable land for four months last year. I got to know the land and the sincerity and warmth of hearts, your way ot thinking and the real causes of many of problems. I had the opportunity to be a guest on the Khmer home, to be invited to weddings and funerals, eat and talk with local people most of the time. Im not blind – I can see and understand why it is as it is now.

        And Im worrying every day – how to protect this wonderful country, and the fragile beautiful inhabitants against attacks of neglect, abuse,against invasion of the brutal world …….how to keep in safe all this good you have in your land? I dream to come back – but first I must to find what you need really what I can bringwith me…. Dont ask whoever to come to your country, Keep yourself in safe.

        • LENG Reply

          I acknowledge you deep understanding about Cambodia. We don’t deny all the author wrote, but he don’t actually well understood the difficulties through which Cambodian have passed. We warmly welcome those who come with heart to make this land better and this land may not be very good place for you sexual purpose.

          • dara

            The comments that I read in this forum are both fair and unfair. Ignorance and the lack of understanding are generally their reasons for writing negative comments about Cambodia or any other country in the world.

            I am Khmer American who had lived and worked in America for more than 25 years before returning to live and work here with my family in 2013. I love this country and our people. Every country has its own problems and challenges, so it’s best not to take some of the criticisms so personal.

            We as Cambodian must work together to rebuild our country because no one else will do it for us. We need to keep in mind that as we grow economically, there will be more people visiting and moving to work here. We can’t please everyone, so don’t worry about it. People who don’t like this country, they will move out eventually. People who want to criticize will always criticize; we can never stop them because that’s what they do best.

      • alan Reply

        you are very well cambodia educated it seems
        i dont want my children to trash talk like you

      • HS-Gulla Havlo Reply

        I would never move to Cambodia – Reason your Goverment is Completely appalling, stealing from your own citizen, making the guilty become the innocent/ making the inoccent the guilty. how can you properly raise a child not Born in cambodia ? i know you remember before the activity was outlawed , about child SEX SLAVES in cambodia , and police did not do anything ? now they say outlawed, but still there are child sex workers…no thanks, your country woman only belive in make up , and part party, but most complain of beaning poor or living in poverty , then stop wasting your money you need on fun party’s every night , i know thier is poverty in cambodia and i feel sad for the ones who actually live in poverty and cant help it , most Cambodians can change there poverty status yet they have many excuses, only reason why foreigner go to cambodia is to , FUCK, DRINK, DRUGS nothing ells, your country has no Stability, dont get me Wrong Cambodia is a beautiful country and rich in Culture , and your government is leading you to further problems , solution , put down the drink, get up look for a job , dose not matter what it is (keep it legal of course ) and don’t quit the next day , keep doing it , don’t start a family if you cannont support them i have many Cambodian friends they tell me don’t come here, because Cambodian men only like wealth , and Cambodian woman seek only wealth from men , Cambodians education some areas is great i have to admit , but the younger children from grades 1 – 8 not sure why they bother going to school? if they are not going to be instructed well, i feel sorry for Cambodian children all time and pray for them, they should not live a life , like that …..these are my thoughts i have nothing against Cambodia …

      • JC Reply

        If the above comment of the guy who was insulted by racist Cambodian kids while their parents stand by and laugh is anything to go by, then clearly your country is a very bad place to raise kids, GK. Parents not only don’t teach their kids respect, they teach their kids to ridicule and hate foreigners including and especially Vietnamese.

        Many poor parents don’t care about their kids and just leave them to drift aimlessly about the streets, they work by collecting garbage or selling flowers etc. only because they have to in order to survive, but nobody really cares or questions these practices.

        Don’t make a dumb ass comment about family values and all that – Cambodian society is way more complicated than your fairy tale. The reality is upper class Cambodians can afford to teach their kids manners and proper principles, while lower class ones are too poor to even know or care what their kids are doing. Many families are broken due to child neglect, dad’s drinking, two timing with other women etc. Also, I’m not looking down on poor people per se, I’m just pointing out the reality.

        Before you start criticizing, it might be worth looking at your own faults. People in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones.

    • Ed Reply

      It’s so obvious the writer of this article actually knows very little about Cambodia. I wonder if he’s ever even been there. This article is so inaccurate! Please do not make “any” decisions about Cambodia on anything written by this guy.

      • Roman Reply

        Agree. Looks like he is counting his own bad sides… I’m very sad that I read this article 🙁
        I recomend to all NOT read this scam..

    • Charlie Reply

      Fucking outstanding so so true but some of us are gluten for punishment.

    • Cynthia Reply

      This article is a LOAD OF CRAP! I have lived in Cambodia…. I am a female professional; I was the manager on a cruise ship traveling the Mekong. I would disagree with 95% the statements made in this article. I had few expat friends my friends were Cambodian, and they are some of the nicest people of know. The food was great with lots of selection, there is lots to see and do in Phnom Penh. There are private clinics with Western Doctors. Good shopping and if you are an expat ….with kids ….of course you would send your kids to private school! What expat living in any developing national would send their kids to a local school???? It is quite obvious from the article that you are a stupid American! Stay in US where you belong… watching your brainwashing TV shows, eating your processed GMO food and taking your prescribed medications!

      • kanchanburilady Reply

        Excellent Cynthia! I am also a female 40years, ex-gogo bar girl. Today I own two disco clubs. No shame in talking about my past, I worked hard for what I have now. I do pay tax as employer now. Managing my clubs for last 8years and taking care of 2 more of my friends’. Traveled to US, Oz and Europe too besides others. Food there simply sucks, they are ignorant of taste. Only food I could appreciate was in Mexico.

        Why farangs are in Asia? Is it not for happiness? But they need to pay. If you are afraid of living shorter, go back to your ‘safe den’.

        Leaving out this article, let me tell one bare, bottom-line truth: Farangs cannot live without Asian ladies. Simply cannot. Leave out the reasons, but that is fact. If it is false, all hotels, airlines other scores of business would have crumbled long ago!

        If couple of ‘cheap charlies’ or ‘cannot pay’ farangs hate or write something false like this – nothing happens. There are millions of other farangs find their happy zones in Asia!

        Power of Asia ?? ‘LOVE’

        • JC Reply

          So a “farang” BTW in Cambodia it’s “barang” please learn the local lingo, paid for your ticket to western countries and you start insulting the food? The only ignorant person is you, who doesn’t have a palate or an appreciation for anything you aren’t already used to. You’re probably the kind of moaning, whining bore who constantly goes on about how things are better in Thailand etc.

          Look, if you don’t like it in Europe etc. never go back. Stay in Kanchanaburi or Cambodia or wherever the hell you live. And thank the rich “farang” or “barang” who BTW these days are increasingly Chinese, Indian, Russian or from the middle East than westerners for frequenting your bars. Without these tourists, you’d be struggling to survive.

      • Jan G Reply

        Thank you Cynthia, Sorya and others who shed some realistic, positive light an Cambodia. I have been there twice before, on short visits, and loved it truly. Sure there are problems, it’s still recovering from the atrocities of civil war, which wiped out an entire generation. I, for one, am going back shortly, to help the impoverished get an education, free medicine and food. Even though I am older, and see many of my generation fall into the abyss of drugs, sex tourism and alcoholism, it’s hardly fair to generalize the intent of all who wish to remain useful to their fellow human beings, even after they are retired. I, for one, cannot stand the idea of sitting behind the geraniums, while the world is standing by and does very little to alleviate these problems.

      • Sokheng Reply

        Thanks for supporting Cambodia. We open for every comment, but will not accept any offensive behavior to Cambodia.

    • Cynthia Reply

      The person who wrote this article is an idiot! I have lived and worked in Cambodia. I did not work for an international company I worked for a Asian owned Cruise Ship Company. I made the same salary I would make in Canada. I agree that the health care is not so great but you are a quick & cheap flight to Bangkok. I loved Cambodia and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about moving there! Here are reason to move there!

      1. Safety – Cambodia is very safe compared to North America
      2. Cost of living is cheap – A really nice furnished apartment costs about $800 to $1000 per month.
      3. Cambodian Staff are a “dream Team” the culture is one where they work as a team and help each other. They are very friendly and eager to learn.
      4. Cambodian Culture – Much better than Western!
      5. Natural Beauty – The country is really beautiful
      7. Food – non GMO fruit and vegetables

      I think your comments about drug use and prostitution is absurd because if someone was going to live this type of lifestyle is doesn’t matter where they live they will die young!

      • Bmc Reply

        I agree 100% with u Cynthia, the person who wrote this article is being racist to Cambodia. Cambodia is full of kindness people even tho they are poor. I see most young people in America joined gang and selling drugs. In places like Los Angeles and so on!

        • anonymous Reply

          There are no real kindness in Asia or Cambodia for that matter. It is very common to get mistreated or bullied in Asia if one has very little or no money.
          I know that because I experienced it.
          Other people should also be very wary of coming to Asia to work.

      • valdo Reply

        Cambodia is “safe”till something happens.Neighbour in hotel where I stayed was robed so violently that he had to be transferred to neurosurgery in Bangkok.And it was me who called his embassy Owner was threatening him and just wanted 800 dollars for his uninsured motorcykle.Beautiful country where many poor guys have many weapons.See Angor wat?Yes.But to move in?

      • beentheredonethat Reply

        You are a fucking idiot Cynthia. “Cost of living is cheap – A really nice furnished apartment costs about $800 to $1000 per month.” That’s cheap for who? Those expats perhaps who came to Cambodia to work but paid from their mother company the same wage as they had back home.

        What is Cambodian culture, do you have any idea? Littering is a fact. They sit knee deep in rubbish in their so called restaurants on red plastic chairs and throw more rubbish around. Unfortunately posters can’t post photos, I have a few.

        According to an international survey 70% of the Cambodian population does not have any sort of toilet, not even a hole in the backyard. They shit everywhere in rural areas. In a university Health Education book (used by Pannasastra University if you have doubts) there is a chapter detailing how health workers should educate people in the villages not to shit around but dig a hole. I am not kidding. Why would it be in the book if it wasn’t an issue?

        Do you have Cambodian friends on Facebook? If so, take a look what do they post on a daily basis. Gore photos of mutilated people of traffic accidents, full of blood. Every fucking day you can see a ton of photos of that kind. Now don’t only try to imagine the mind of the person that posts or shares that in Facebook. No, imagine that Khmer cultured person that stands a few meters from the miserable person with one leg under the wheel of the truck and all he/she can think of is taking the bloody golden iPhone and take a shot of the victim that is screaming in pain.

        That’s the Cambodian culture and I have not seen anywhere else. Let me not start with other stuff like scams, lies, rape in the family and all those things they don’t like to talk about.

        One more thing. This is NOT because Cambodians are poor. It is not the lack of money that makes them be like this. It’s something else…. Enough said.

      • James Reply

        I wouldn’t trust that the food in Cambodia is all non-GMO. Already a large portion of food sold in Cambodia is GMO because much of the Cambodian food supply is imported. This means those cookies you bought at Aeon containing peanuts and wheat will probably be GMO. The wheat will be sprayed with glyphosate and be bleached. This means all bakery products should be avoided, as tempting as Eric Kayser might seem, the food there is as toxic and bad for your health as eating a bowl of bleached rice noodles containing MSG.

        Pesticide use is increasing on locally grown crops too, so unless it’s grown naturally or organically it’s toxic and shouldn’t be consumed.

        MSG is also widely used in Cambodian restaurants (as mentioned above) so if you are traveler, unless you bring your own organic food or make sure to only visit markets that you can trust which grow safe produce, you avoid eating ALL imported food except for organically certified food, then you’ll struggle to eat safe, healthy food as much in Cambodia as just about anywhere else in the world.

        • Davo Reply

          There’s actually nothing wrong with MSG it’s a myth that it is dangerous. You’re believing a lie.

    • ensithan Reply

      what do you thinks about about the guy who writing this ?? he so fuck up .. he love drug he stupid by him self and he complaining to other ..

    • phnom penh Reply

      come and visit cambodia .. there is the county of moving on and everything is improving ..we dont care what are guy look badly on us ..but we always keep moving every body do things to build the life better and better everyday .. is you not believe me you came try come to see phnom penh try to get aways 6 monht latter you will get lose … because things are changing really fast ,, the guy write this 7 shit reason am sure he just been in lake side or around street 51 sorya golden male having shit job and stupid ugly one …you can see anything s better because you fuck up … i am cambodia woman i am work very hard ready for stand up for our future and do all my best to goiving a great life for my lovely 2 smart chirdren ..

    • Ing Reply

      WELL. I’m CAMBODIAN, and i find this article very offensive.
      OKAY, I agree at some point, but our youth are working to improve it.
      And, you don’t have to be so pessimistic.
      one more thing, this article only cover the badest thing. AND, it’s not true about the drug.
      Come and see CAMBODIA by yourself, and you’ll change your mind.
      OR, ask any of your foreigner friend who have visited here.

      AND PLEASE, stop using bad word about my country. If you don’t like my country, leave us alone. We are all fine living here.

    • Greg Reply

      This is the best commentary I have ever read about any country. This guy is the best author I have ever read. I can assure you this is all true because I have started at least a year in Cambodia.

    • KairosEgo Reply

      I try to make a long story short!
      The way how Gavinmac told the story is disrespectful and offensive to the People of Cambodia, this makes him sounds like an asshole.
      But what he told, contains a lot of truth. All of the 7 reasons and on how it will, not absolutely but relatively more chance happen to you if you move to Cambodia.
      All that, do have a fundamental reason, that is a PolPot regime legacy!
      It’s wiped out almost the whole population of Cambodia, plus the exodus of a big chunk of the population out of Cambodia, we don’t really expect they will come back soon!
      When the Vietnamese came, what they’ve saw, was something out of this world, death, wounded, a lot of children without parents, famine, all kind of infrastructure are destroyed,
      Transport, Education, Medical, Management, just all kind.
      The Vietnamese were/are still not the good guys, but if they did nothing to help, to fed, to educated, to rebuild, military, local Government Management and training the basic medical staffs from the ground up, put orphans at Vietnamese families to help them etc. There would be nothing left in Cambodia nowadays. Thanks to the Vietnamese, because who else could help to chase Pol Pot away from the existing at that time? Just tell me?
      But all that help could not bring Cambodia back to the period before Pol Pot. The whole generation is wiped out!
      That’s why if you are a westerner, who wants to Help Cambodia, then you’re Welcome! If you want to have a good life, good future or a good career in Cambodia? Read the 7 reasons of Gavinmac!
      Maybe the perspective of Cambodia in the far future would be different, nobody know!
      Last but not least! Why far future?
      Stupid rhetoric of opposite Party of Cambodia. Why, because you can lost more territory in the future by starting a war with country that much stronger then yourself.
      It called War Compensation because of your fault! Centuries ago Khmer’s Kingdoms made the same mistakes again and again.

    • Brad Morton Reply

      I agree. This whole thing is totally ridiculous. Many of these supposed risks are present in Houston, TX.

    • kimhak Reply

      We are living in Cambodia the some of your reason are not correct. #1 You will die younger in Cambodia.

    • j Reply

      just because someone has tattoos and shifty eyes does not make one a sex tourist. the gut who wrote this is an ignorant arsehole who knows nothing about south east asia. How he could even get work with his sensationalist unrealistic anglo-centric views is beyond me. He would be more suited to writing for the Daily Telegraph or being Pauline Hanson or Derryn hinch’s publicist. what a simpleton!!

  1. JK-47 Reply

    Not sure on the raising a child part. I enjoyed the rest though. I can’t wait for the Khmer women on their (prada) high horses to get wind of the article.

  2. chris Reply

    QUOTE: ” If you start choking in a restaurant in Cambodia, the locals will all stand around dumbfounded and stare at you until you turn blue and collapse on the floor. Only then will one of them spring into action and attempt to revive you by vigorously rubbing tiger balm on your forehead.”


    Best post yet!

    • lee hafford Reply

      They do the same in Thailand,my sister in law got run over by a truck and the whole village stood around while 1 rubbed tiger balm on her head,i put her in my truck and took her to hospital.

      • Mike Reply

        Do you live close to the Cambodian Border? Maybe its influencing the behavior.

        • pig-rabbit Reply

          I don’t say what u said is all wrong. But it’s too much to think of it as behavior. Well most people in Cambodia don’t know how to do first aid but that doesn’t mean they intend to just stand and watch. Don’t you know doing first aid without having been trained is dangerous?

          Moreover, many many developing countries in this world are mostly the same since education and training is limited? Don’t you dare to say only Cambodian that do so!

      • Michael Sells Reply

        I agree with you. I have never been to Cambodia, but I live in Bangkok, Thailand. Thais are so backwards and evil people. First and foremost, they are racist ass fuckers who hate dark skin. Second, they are very ignorant and intolerant just like whites in Western countries. Third, Thailand is no better than Cambodia when it comes to education, infrastructure, quality of life, and financial security. Thais are becoming just like Americans. I am Black American who was born in the 70s. I watched my country decline morally and financially, so I left. Cambodia has the opportunity to not fall into the same trap that Thailand is falling into. When ASEAN takes effect in 2015 and Asians from all over SEA will be able to descend into Thailand, especially Bangkok, not needing a visa or work permit, lets see how high minded and proud Thais are then. ASEAN is going to cripple Thailand just like NAFTA did the US. Even after reading this dreadful posting by an obviously racist, ignorant, drunken (takes one to know one), white male who had no intentions on making positive contributions to Cambodian society.

        • brian Reply

          ^5! Well said. His article was deliberately demeaning. All of his comparisons referred to blacks, how convenient. A lot of Cambodians have dark skin.. Hmm I think you honed in on his racist overtones.

          • SC

            Stop being racist. Respect and i know that you are very white

        • Amokaxen Reply

          Michael Sells, I’m completely agree with your opinion. The greater racist in the humanity has found in North America and Europe. All these freeloaders and Western drunks come to Thailand and Cambodia for sex with young girls, because not women like them in they countries and their souls are rotten and service of Satan.

          Very few as is your case comes to educate, help youth either Thai or Cambodian and of course adapted to the model of life and customs of the country as is my and your own case. God bless you in every instant of the day!!!

          • anonymous

            If you all racist and supremacist Asians don’t know how to educate your young ones, please don’t breed so many of them.

          • Starre

            Amokaxen, take your generalisations and racism about white people and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. When travelling around SEA and the world, I’ve noticed all races with the problems you speak of and more. I’ve also noticed many decent people trying to help the lot of indigenous populations through health care, education and charity. It’s a global community in the 21st century – get used to it, you racist cockhead

          • San

            Very true I’m so sick with all these western expat coming for drugs,sex and booze.No wonder why so many of them were found dying alone(I’m not admittimg to all here)

          • Sebhai

            Ssorry Starre but he is right racism might exist everywhere but I take a racist from SEA over racist scum from North America these creatures are the worst.

        • Pet.th Reply

          You can find all the bad and all the goods anywhere in the world or even in your own family. Ones having great nice experience here and there will say something really good about it and ones having bad experience saying something opposite.
          People are good for some and also are bad for some but it does not mean that the white or western people are much better or civilized than the color people. Comments over something true are good for those who seek info for their consideration buy please do not blame the whole country. I do not understand why you had such a very bad experience in Thailand and so I wonder how you behave there; a well educated American or a rude and junk rubbish from US.

        • Pet.th Reply


          Not sure if you are still in Thailand, or if you happen to come again, please let me know.

          I will show you something in Thailand that you have no clues at all before.

          Your hometown is Bronx, New York, right? It’s so so so good, I’ve been there quite often.


        • Thomas Reply

          You are wrong. ASEAN will NOT allow freedom of movement of labor. Only for a few skilled professionals. It will change almost nothing. You’ve got a lot of good points but you’re kidding yourself if you think that AEC 2015 will allow European Union style freedom of movement. With Singapore being one of the richest countries in the world and Cambodia one of the poorest located in the same economic block, you can rest assured that freedom of movement will still be far, far away because Singapore certainly doesn’t want nor can it absorb 15 million poor Cambodians.

        • JC Reply

          Idiot, AEC will not remove work permit or visa requirements for anyone and ASEAN has been in effect since 1967. Migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar have been working in Thailand for decades and they certainly are NOT being allowed in more easily than anytime in the past. What makes you come up with such a BS story. There is no plan for free movement of people. That’s Europe, not South-East Asia. Get your facts straight before commenting here.

          Also, Thailand’s infrastructure isn’t better than Cambodia’s are you kidding me? If you haven’t been to Cambodia how can you know what it’s infrastructure is like? Thailand is 40 years ahead of Cambodia in terms of infrastructure. Cambodia basically only has two-way roads, while Thailand has 8-lane expressways and 4-6 lane highways connecting Bangkok to the country’s borders. Health care is way better as is overall quality of life. It’s not perfect but it’s way better and thus Thais live about 10 years longer than Cambodians on average.

          Rather than froth at the mouth blaming “white males” for your situation, you ignorant fool, how about working hard and contributing to society? Losers like you who yell “racist” all day long are the real racists.

          Also, you accuse Thais of being racist. What the fuck are you doing in Bangkok then? Clearly you aren’t wanted there so just go home.

      • philyate Reply

        And then blamed by the police for causing the accident simply because you are farang!

    • Tim Reply

      Funny? I suppose a little bit. Also extremely racist, and a huge generalisation.

      I assume (from the name gavinmac) that this article is written by a Westerner who is living/ has lived in Cambodia.

      I can’t help but feel this article is written from a first person perspective, and that all the negativity in it is really just a diary from the sort of person that the author implies emigrates there.

      If you live in a foreign country, at least show your host nation a modicum of gratitude for letting you stay there?

    • Joker Reply

      That is funny LOL, you have such a good joke.
      There is a not quote: When I was aboard, my bag was stolen. Some don’t-give-a-shit-atitude chic westerners saw the actions, nobody gave a damn to scream or to stop a thief till I figured out and asked if they saw a thief and they replied they saw the action and thief walked to a direction… (thank to them :x)

      Absolute individual….

      The sarcasm of joker

  3. pedro Reply

    Genius, pure genius.

    Face it baby I don’t want to live for ever.

    • Bousong Reply

      No, this article related to some of fake news which make Cambodia’s face become worst. It’s so WRONG! Try to find another news beside this one.

  4. Dermot Sheehan Reply

    It’s a very astute take, I hope the word spreads.

  5. williagra Reply

    The Mac is back! In prime form. So funny because it’s so true. Makes me feel guilty for returning next month.

  6. Sweeney Todd Reply

    Getting sorted for one’s Brit-pension is a breeze.

    Simply contact

    pension ([email protected]/

    and pay off all your arrears and pony up the dosh to cover the
    future – 30 years’ worth of contributions in total
    is the requirement – and there you are!

  7. ket Reply

    interesting… but don’t forget that the EU is on a death bed right just awaiting for the break-up … can’t hide a dead elephant behind a tray… the US is no better shape the moment the federal reserve decides to quit printing the devalue dollars the whole economy will collapse and riots will ensue and that is why DHS have been buying 2 billions [ yes a B ] ammo and a hundred of armor trucks….

  8. Jordi Reply

    Hilarious, and so funny if it weren’t so true. But you forgot one other all-pervading odour – durian, which sadly smells of a very uhealthy shit.

  9. Logos Reply

    Vintage Gavinmac, thanks for the laughs. My favourite lines are “Some have even started a Yahoo group called the “Cambodia Parent Network,” where they exchange tips on how to raise their doomed offspring in a country where no responsible Western parent would ever voluntarily raise a child. Cambodia Parent Network? Good grief. That’s like starting the Chernobyl Gardening Club”.

    I will be eagerly waiting for the inevitable sequel : seven reasons why you should move to Cambodia. I guess it will be somewhat easier to find consensual reasons. And I am willing to bet that sex and booze will rank highly among those.

  10. Vlad Reply

    LOL, all true, but it begs one question: why is gavinmac here? He must know that there’s no cure for his advanced Russianmarketitis by now, right?

  11. Sweeney Todd Reply

    Honesty requires an admission:

    Brit pensions can only legally be sent to a limited number of countries.

    A certain bit of fast-footing (and lying) is needed to send your pension from its billet in a bank in Ruritania to the ANZ in Snookyville so you can continue your good work providing food and drink to bargirls.

  12. Aleks Reply

    Some good points. However:

    *If one establishes a small business that brings stable income (no less than $2000 p/month), you can afford a comfortable lifestyle and there are a couple of decent hospitals in town.Who says your only option is teaching for $9/hr???Even then PROPERLY qualified teachers can make over $2K in places like ISPP.

    *Agreed.If one already has a Thai gf – best to break up, and perhaps settle down with a Khmer woman, once you’re there?

    * Far from all of the people I met in Cambodia are drunks/junkies. Many decent,intelligent and pleasant people.

    * Dying at 57? Exercise. Don’t do drugs/drink excessively/smoke. Find several hobbies that’ll fill up your day.
    *Get a decent Khmer lady to fill in the night, or…..ok whoremongering isn’t too bad imo.
    Plus, tbh ,I’d rather die in an exotic country, having lived an exciting life, that dying as an 80 yr old wreck at an elderly home in a Western country!….”More porridge,Mr. Smith?”…..ewwwww

    • paul Reply

      I agree with Aleks 100% I am a Canadian thinking about moving to south east for a while and Cambodia is one of the top choices.

      • Khmer291 Reply

        Cambodia is a developing country that has just been through wars recently so if you expect it to be as good as a third world country(developed country) it can’t be the same. Clearly it shows that this article was written from a subjective perspective of a person and if you’re really planning to move to Cambodia you should do a bit more of research on this topic. And one thing that bugs me about this article is that it only stated the negatives of Cambodia; furthermore, not everything he said is true. Such as life expectancy (63% not 57%), becoming an alcoholic (really depends on the person. Ex: you lose all your money to a casino, it’s you who decides to go), dying from disease (One of the well-known hospitals ‘Kantha Bopha’ cures thousands of kids each year with free of charge) etc..
        Of course everything has the bads and goods, from my experience as a Canadian-Cambodian I’ve heard so many things about my country through different people. I have many anglophone friends and teachers who have asked/told me why Cambodia is one of the countries in poverty, but what got my attentions was that why people are still going to Cambodia? then I asked one of my professors in my college who had traveled to Cambodia. He told me, Cambodia is a place for people who love nature, it has the beautiful beach that takes only about 4 hours from the city by driving, mountains, Angkor(One of the wonders of the world). and a hot weather all year. And if you’re a type of person who likes to do hiking, mount climbing, there’s also a calm place in the rural area ‘Ratanakiri’ and ‘Mondulkiri’ where it’s full of mountains everywhere with clear blue skies and birds singing. he said one of the main reasons that people keep going/going-back to Cambodia is because there’s no tax and everything is considerably cheap. FYI: in ‘Siem Reap'(province 5hrs from the city) you’ll find 50% tourists and 50% cambodians and it’s far less likely to see accidents than the city, and tourists actually go to Siem Reap more than going to the city (Phnom Penh)

        • Brad Reply


          “Cambodia is a developing country that has just been through wars recently” – yes this is an argument being used for 30 years, perhaps “recently” is a little outdated and I wonder for how many more decades would this be the major point of defense for all Cambodians.

          Your arguments lack validity – there are no logical links between what you use as for supporting your claims, and your claims. E.g.: “…so if you expect it to be as good as a third world country(developed country) it can’t be the same. Clearly it shows that this article was written from a subjective perspective of a person…”

          What what? What does show that the article was written from a subjective perspective? How come a third world country is called developed country (in brackets)?

          Sorry, your set of sentences make no sense in the effort of sugar coating the obvious and defending your country even against hard evidence.

          The author has done his research and gave an insight that matches the experience of most, however you are right at least partly – he has not provided us with a link to the life expectancy data – just as you failed to do so.
          But at least the author does know that life expectancy figures come in years and not percentage – so before calling for more research, try to do your own.

          I am surprised that you don’t understand a simple thing: if an article is about seven reasons why NOT to move to Cambodia, why on Earth one should write about positive things? Have you ever seen positive things that would make people consider NOT staying in a country? I for one haven’t. But okay, call this semantics.

          I would like to see at least some reference when you state something is not true, such as a quote from the original article with the challenged part (see my quotes above). No one said in the original post that people will become alcoholic in Cambodia, even though you have good chances to become one.

          My favourite one is this: (you say its not true) “…dying from disease (One of the well-known hospitals ‘Kantha Bopha’ cures thousands of kids each year with free of charge) etc.”

          This is friggin great, so tell me how can I pretend to be a toddler and be admitted to this fantastic hospital if I need the world class quality and free services of Kantha Bopha?

          “Cambodia is a place for people who love nature, it has the beautiful beach that takes only about 4 hours from the city by driving…” You got to be kidding, man. You can drive from the Thai border to Phnom Penh and see nothing but rice fields. While at times they are green, they are not even close to anything that is considered nature. 2/3 of your forests disappeared since 1990 and have been transformed into Lexus and Ranger Rover cars and what not.
          That’s the real Cambodian nature that one can see everywhere.

          Beautiful beach? Well, perhaps in Canada there are not many beaches – so your ignorance about a beautiful beach is forgivable. Only 4 hours from the city? Great for a day trip, 8 hours on the great Cambodian highway just to have a dip in the sea on a less than appealing beach.
          Try to travel in the region to have an experience about nature and beautiful landscapes.

          “he said one of the main reasons that people keep going/going-back to Cambodia is because there’s no tax and everything is considerably cheap” He said that from the perspective of a well paid professor in Canada who surely could afford the usual 3 day trip to Angkor and wont mind paying even 2$ for a can of beer.

          Has it ever occurred to you that your fellow (non-Canadian) Cambodians make 70-100$ a month? If anything is cheap in this country is because these underpaid people should survive. So what they eat is cheap by Western standards. But eating that is not always advisable for foreigners to follow unless they have good antibiotics at hand.

          It’s really amusing how you observed the obvious: “and tourists actually go to Siem Reap more than going to the city (Phnom Penh)” And do you know why? I tell you. They want to see Angkor Wat – for 2-3 days – then escape back to civilization. Google up the data, it’s there. 2-3 days, not more.
          And by the way there is tax – while not a very high one. Just enough to make a 9$ hourly pay 8$ net.

          So there is only your ultimate question in your post remain left to answer: “….why people are still going to Cambodia?”

          If you have read the original post carefully, there are answers to your question. And there is no single answer. People come here for a number of reasons. Some shift from Thailand due to the cleaning up operations of the Thai immigration. Not sure this does any good to your country.

          There is a simple general answer though. The immigration policy is pretty simple and straightforward (and quite Cambodian I would say): pay and stay. If you speak English, you can find a teaching job, regardless your thick accent that no student will understand just smile at you like idiots. And you can make 9$ with that per hour. If you have some teaching qualifications then you can earn more than that and you still won’t have to be a college graduate. How cool is that?
          Some other people come here to get volunteer experience and a paragraph in their CV-s that would look cool one day in a future job interview.

          • TOMZ DALTON

            Hahahaha,,, NO MONEY FOR TRAVELLING JUST STAY HOME GUYS,, so funny,, but honestly all our western people was not qualify for travelling coz they scared to spent money or no enough money for travelling ??? Mostly i see a lot they like to stay in backpacker, not only in cambodia, but happened in bali and thailand too, when drink 1 bottle beer it would take 2 hours, OMG…full of shit,,,hahaha, some of the western girls do prostitute part time for getting the air ticket back to country coz i slept with her, oh shit..

        • brian Reply

          I completely agree. My wife is Cambodian American who escaped the Khmer Rouge as a child and much of her family still lives there. They have thriving businesses, multiple houses and are not living impoverished lives. While the countries facilities, infrastructure, etc., may not be up to Western standards, they are holding their own. Korea is investing a lot of money into this country, who only recently started to impose some taxes. They are a war-torn country without an abundance of natural resources and tax revenue from citizens and businesses. Much of the Cambodians I know, family members included, are kind-hearted and caring. Every country and every culture has it’s good and bad points, so doing research before you move anywhere should automatically be part of the normal decision making process.

          Instead of pointing out only the negatives and contributing to the problem this country is facing, the author who I assume is speaking from His personal failures and lifestyle experiences, should have included some of the positive aspects of living in the country and be part of the solution to improve it and not simply focus on the problems. Much of what he said may be true, but the way in which he presented them were very demeaning and insulting.

          • anonymous

            Why should foreign tourists from non-asian countries being forced to pay so much just to visit their horrible asian country? I know they make people who have litte money to spend feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Everything is a rip off. They charged so exhorbitantly just to sit in their riketty tuk-tuk. Yes, they are a war torn asian country but still they should not behave that way.

    • gary Reply

      I agree with Alex, the seven reasons is a bunch of sensationalist garbage, that you can regurgitate because you are probably on some sort of payroll from a western government, to dribble this crap.

      • Saren Reply

        “A bunch of sensationalist garbage”! Love how you phrased this. You said all’s needed to be said. 🙂

    • Sebhai Reply

      Careful having a khmer girlfriend might led you having a ‘heart attack’ someday…

  13. Sweeney Todd Reply

    “Dying as an octogenarian wreck in a ‘care home’ back in Blighty?”

    Better to end it all by jumping the fence in a crocodile farm in Southeast Asia.

    Or a simple overdose.

  14. Sweeney Todd Reply

    Aleks obviously has a five-star British care home in mind.

    More likely to be heard is – Filipina-accented –

    “Has this one had his porridge yet?”

    • Chic-FIL-a Reply

      Excuse me? I’m a Filipino care giver and not all Filipinos have this what you call “Filipino Accent”? Without us Filipinos you probably are nothing.. We are everywhere coz’ we ain’t losers baby! There is at least 1 Filipino in every corner of the globe, guess why? Because we work it shawty!

    • Brad Reply

      You know why? Bcoz all the fat ass girls from UK prefer “volunteering” here instead of taking a honest job in an elderly home. 🙂 (replace volunteering with any 4 letter words of your liking)

  15. Gabiris Reply

    In the EU there r countries where u would be really content 2 make 9 USD per hour teaching English… present rates are 6-7-8 USD per hour in: Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia… 🙁
    A great cartoon of a sort, more than slight exaggeration skills though!

  16. LTO Reply

    A sound warning to potless, under-skilled, uninsurable drunks with young kids, no impulse control, Thai girl friends and a penchant for local transportation, don’t move to Cambodia. It is not the land of milk and honey portrayed in the guide books.

  17. derek Reply

    Lived in the outbacks near to the border for 20 years and it is kmen speaking . been a few time to Cambodia and it seems to be OK

  18. Pinnochio Reply

    You say bad thing about Cambodia. You bad person. I no like you.

    • robert Reply

      I like the way you said YOU BAD PERSON you say bad things about Cambodia. I really had to laugh. But I have to admit, I wouldn’t like to live there permanently. I have been to Phenom Phen 3 times, I find it very dusty and really the only time one can go out, is at night due to the excessive heat.

    • Bobby Borisov Reply

      Yes, this person its a bad shit. Cambodia is a easy going country, the people are smiling there are friendly as well. You can easy stay in Cambodia, sure for backpackers is different . I like Cambodia and have been 20 Years . And who dont like Cambodia invite him to kiss my ass and straight to the airport !

  19. graceMOMof4 Reply

    Hi, it is obvious you hold bitterness and resentment with Cambodia. Maybe a few bad experiences along the way that pierced your heart and scarred you for life? However, I have to disagree in areas that stood out to me. First of all your article really shouts out to “lets go to Cambodia for booze, drugs and women/men” for a good time type of people. I am a mom of 4,have lived here for 10 years. Yes,some of the things about the medical issues are true,but they are improving in areas that you probably haven’t cared to check into, coz you have already made up your mind on how you view this country. The education here in international schools are actually more advanced in their curriculum, but u probably don’t know that coz u probably have no kids? I would raise my kids here again if I had to do over. You have enough nerve calling parents who sacrifice the comfortable living and amenities of the western world to come to this lost country,TERRIBLE and SELFISH. Yes Cambodia has a tremendous amount of years to recover and rebuild on what they once had, but my family and I are here because we believe this country has hope and we are just one of the many here who want to help the people help themselves.

    • JimInCambodia Reply

      You (and all the rest who take offense to this article) truly are idiots who are unable to distinguish an encyclopedia entry from a witty poke-fun-at-stuff article. And your poor grammar, punctuation and spelling skills do not help you convey your point at all.

      • llyallanshaw Reply

        what a westernised prick you are! go back to the usa with your mc’d and kfc! and leave the natural preserved country that has not been deformed by dick’s like you ALONE! the Western world is full of rules and leaves people without choice…my biggest hate is how control is used…and to live a life of freedom and choice is happiness…. money is just a shitty piece of paper! oh and FYI….Depression is more likely to strike in high-income countries than in poor ones! FACT! Negative wankers! why are all people from the USA pricks! and i have been exploring the world for many years, i have lived in Cambodia and many other places in asia!

        • Jocentaur Reply

          I am an American who loves Cambodia. You are correct, most Americans are xenophobes (a.k.a. pricks) and would do well by experiencing life in a less isolated country. Perhaps many Americans would learn something about the world at large and most importantly, about themselves and gain a degree of humility. My partner (a Cambodian and naturalized American citizen) and I have a small home in Phnom Penh. Presently, we live in one of America’s most corrupt states, Florida. Believe me, Cambodia has a brighter future than Florida or the rest of the United States! My son attends The University of Cambodia. Cambodia IS having growing pains, but I am optimistic about the future of this nation. I HAVE traveled, unlike most ignorant Americans (who actually BELIEVE what they hear on cable news channels.) Materialistic, shallow and ignorant Americans… pity them for they know few facts!

          • Jan G

            Thanks for pointing this out. I am D
            Dutch, lived in the US for thirty years and am now volunteering as an English teacher, moving to Cambodia next month and looking very much forward to it!

      • Saren Reply

        Maybe it’s not that easy to distinguish between the two, especially when your right brain works faster than the left one. And if you were a Cambodian who has heard a lot about all kinds of shitty descriptions about the country and its people, you might just as well internalize it that maybe it’s true that we’re nothing, but pathetic survivors of the bloody Khmer Rouge who are not capable in making any progress at all.

        Maybe people who write “poke-fun-at-stuff article” should do more research on their topic beforehand in order to make sure they are not making fun of something/somebody who is made fun of so many times already.

        • sreyneang Reply

          i am a cambodian girl, i am not a rich girl that can get high education as you guy but i have reason and understand about the fact in the daily life. you guy live in good life have not met anything as khmer people like about the poverty, education and war. we knew all these, how about you? you were born in good society have good leader with high education bot our country is completely different. think if you are educated or knowledgeable.
          this khmer girl idea
          for anonymous especially please think of our difficulty by helping us if not do not deceive other

      • Andy Higgins Reply

        Very funny artical, I have lived in Phnom Penh for almost 1 year, the people are great, the weather is so much better than in England and you can have a very good life for less money. Yes there are parts of Phnom Penh that smells, yes you can get ripped off but you can haggle or walk away, many expats seem to leave their brains at home and do things here they would never do, then look for sympathy when things go wrong, yes some expats spend most of the time dringing but the majority are hard working, not all expats are teachers, yes there is problems with the local medical profession but there are some very good hospitals and the dental care is very cheap. My only gripe are the Khmer road users, they have no road awarness whatsoever, never look, ignore red lights and they all want to turn down the same street from different directions at the same time and then wounder why nothing is moving.

    • getagrip Reply

      ” The education here in international schools are actually more advanced in their curriculum”

      Yes….at $15k a year…..your reading comprehension sucks as much as your sense of humor……

      • sreyneang Reply

        yes,because in public school we don’t have good teacher yet coz during pol pot time educated people were killed so now we have to start again from zero level

  20. xenon Reply

    Grace… Gavinmac exaggerates. Probably for effect. Probably to elicit a response.

    Pardon me but you, however, are something else entirely. Nobody asked you to “sacrifice the comfortable living and amenities of the western world”. You call Cambodia a “lost country”. Are you some kind of messiah? “…help the people help themselves”? Get off your patronizing high horse. Cambodia does not need help from people like you – people who take more than they give.

    My apologies. I am sure you would find my comment unpleasant. If its any consolation, our kids are probably in the same school. ISPP? They probably also have the same doctors at Royal Rattanak. I have to thank people like you from NGOs, missionary groups, embassies and international organizations who enroll their kids at ISPP and have them treated at Rattanak. Otherwise, these facilities would not survive long and I would have had to leave my boy behind.

    Gavinmac is presenting one part of a colorful and much larger narrative. Yes. He paints a bleak picture (that of Sisowath Quay, Street 51 and Wat Phnom).

    That said, there is an even bleaker picture – that of the greed, selfishness and corruption in the NGOs and international organizations and their abject failure to help Cambodians.

    Myself, I am probably part of a much darker picture. That of foreigners who have come to Cambodia to take without giving anything back. The job pays well though, I get a subsidy for my son’s education and we have an international health plan that includes med-evac and, most importantly, I get along with my boss, who is also a foreigner.

    You, Gavinmac, myself and a lot of the readers here are part of this larger narrative. You do what you do. Let Gavinmac do what he does. I will keep on doing what I do. No need to be bitter about it.

    Why don’t you write an article about BKK1, St. 240, your hairdresser, your favorite spas, and boutique shops? Contribute to the discussion. Why not list 7 reasons why you should move to Cambodia or that sort of thing.

    I can only thank the Almighty Lord that there was no UN, UNHRC, Oxfam, Amnesty International, etc. during our westward expansion (killing Indian wholesale and pushing the survivors into reservations) in the 18th and 19th centuries otherwise the United States would not be as large as it is now or as powerful.

    Yes. Why don’t you bring your good work to Pine Ridge in South Dakota?

  21. Daniel de Gruiter Reply

    Although i can found myself in a few things, 10 years of living here as brought me much more than the 7 reasons above… I have 2 kids here, one of them emergency hospitalized when he was 9 months old. Doctors did a great job, and yes, they were all local. All of the above you can waive. It all depends on your attitude. School will be expensive but isn’t it in the west also? So i raise my kids here, who are Cambodian/Dutch. So it means I am selfish. Perhaps i considered the choice but my government wouldn’t allow my wife to enter the country so taking them out of Cambodia would mean they see their mom only 6 months a year. Perhaps i analyzed my kids’happiness and found they are way more free, less restricted and happier in Cambodia then they would be in a country where camera’s catch your every move, where it rains 300 out of 365 days and where people rape children in day care all the time. Sorry dude, you’re full of shit on that one. Has nothing to do with bad parenting, all to do with choices we make that would make a family happier. And that choice of being happier for us is in Cambodia and you have not a single right to judge that. You found yourself 7 great reasons, so i suggest you follow them and stay away.

    My parents couldn’t be prouder of what we do here. Maybe your mother is just disappointed in you… I agree with point 6 and 7 though. We lost quite a few people to that kind of behavior, a lot actually. but that was their choice. They chose to get bored, get drunk and get laid with the wrong people. They died because of it. Country had nothing to do with that. Their own stupid perception of how beautiful life would be in paradise doing nothing killed them. I know, cause i knew all of them…

    • Jan G Reply

      Nice Daniel, and thanks from a fellow Dutchman..moving to Cambodia next month to help the poor with free food, medicine and education, and not through some self serving NGO, mind you.

  22. Malcolm Reply

    If you want an exciting and interesting life, you have to take risks. Otherwise you are doomed to a boring life.

    It strikes me that the post is mainly about life in Phnom Penh. PP isn’t Cambodia. I live in Siem Reap and I love it. I just hope that too many westerners don’t come and spoil it with burger bars, fish and chip shops and Irish theme pubs.

      • Gavinmac Reply

        Right, it would a real shame if Siem Reap got a crappy non-Irish owned Irish theme pub.

        • Panha Reply

          Base on your article, I think you are a very negative and uneducated person. You cannot generalize Cambodia based on your bad experience in this country. There also are many foreigners out there who come to Cambodia and they love it. If you want to compare Cambodia and Thailand. I think you forgot the fact that Cambodian people are much friendlier than those in Thailand who see all of you as walking dollar. If you go to the countryside in Cambodia, people will welcome you and even invite you to have meal with them too while in Thailand people just see you as idiot walking dollars. One more thing, if you compare Pattaya and Phnom Penh, I think Pattaya is much worse than Phnom Penh. There are a lot of drug dealers, gangs, prostitutes, alcohols and more importantly Pattaya is known as the prostitute city. I think you should do more research if you want to compare Cambodia with Thailand.

          • John Finnigan

            I agree… I’ve only been to Cambodia a few times, but on my visit to Siem Reap a few years ago I hired a Cambodian lad about 20 or so who was not jaded.

            I paid him $75 for three days Angkor tour… his english very good. On my final night he said he and his friends wanted to treat me to dinner. I was perplexed at the offer, but he insisted.

            He and his friends took me out to the outskirts of Siem Reap on a Friday where they go for a canal side meal. There was a simple ride park nearby with ferris wheel and other rides… sitting on a blanket they ordered me beer and food, and paid every dime.

            IN the darkening eve, we traded childhood stories.. mine about reading about Pol Pot as a teenager and being abhorred. They added their parents stories about the evils of Pol Pot and the genocide.

            In the end, their aim was so simple it made me tear up. The boys all had a chance to practice their English on a nice native speaker… I treasure their ambition and simple need to educate themselves.

            Where, I ask, can you get such a simple blessing as that? That opportunity to share?

            One of the best nights of my life.

  23. mr.norway Reply

    God stuff. A lot of he same reasons I use for moving to norway. God schools, god healthcare, money and so on.

  24. Roger Reply

    I almost drifted away from K4… then GavMac woke up! and it all got entertaining again. Your a funny guy “smiles”

  25. father Reply

    Gav, you are too much! Much of what you say is true, but a lot is totally over the top and serious crap!

    Go home please and leave us dying in peace!

  26. UKKY Reply

    Good read, love the adverse comments, you can almost see their hair moving as it goes over their heads.
    The item that does ring too true is the mum bit, I would be back in Cambodia now except its not fair to leave an 86 year old mum behind with no one. Tricky situation, but family first.

  27. sidneywho Reply

    You hit the nail on the head. You forgot to mention the weather is freaking hot. I was born in Cambodia and have been living in California for 25 years, but I would not move back due to what you’ve mentioned above. I visited Cambodia in 2009 and I was shocked to see the price tag of a broom at the supermarket for $7, when I could buy it here in California for $2. I make $6000 per month here as a computer programmer and the programmer in Cambodia makes $300. How could they afford to buy a $7 broom? No, I did not buy the broom. I gave money to those starving kids instead. I could not swallow the food there. They’re unhygienic there. It is funny to read your article and other people’s comments. You make me laugh. Keep telling more joke about Cambodia.

    • sreyneang Reply

      i can’t believe that you are a cambodian,it is my first time to see a person like you. don’t ever think you still cambodian, but i am a cambodian. i live here i have to protect my homeland, i really don’t want to say something with you coz i felt useless with person like you don’t event have the feeling as a human.

      • Thomas Reply

        sreyneang is defending the practice of charging US$7 for a broom? I don’t get him, he is just babbling incoherently or is just a troll. sidneywho makes a point – Cambodia is nice for a visit, but living there would be a big pain. But of course you can always eat western and other foreign food to avoid getting a stomachache. I’ve almost never touched Cambodian food – it just doesn’t do justice to what you’ll find in Thailand or Vietnam. In any case the only Khmer food that I can think of is fish amok, which is pretty good. For everything else, you have so much variety in Phnom Penh, such as pizza, pasta, Indian, Chinese, SwissfoodCam, Tou Le Jours for bread and Joma for sandwiches etc. all of which is pretty good why bother with Khmer food?

        • John Finnigan Reply

          I think Sidney… is the troll here… no one but an idiot pays $7 for a broom anywhere, least of which would be Cambodian or Thai.

          Did you shop at Gucci?

  28. dotty Reply

    maybe for some, living abroad is not about “improving” lifestyle, but to *change* it…

    its easy to go to cambodia (visa) and has plenty of opportunities for people, that want to open some guesthouse, bar or whatever…

  29. Gavinmac Reply

    I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to the following people whom I may have offended with this article:

    Cambodian doctors
    Shifty-eyed sexpats from Thailand
    E-book authors
    St. 136 bar owners
    Stupid accident prone children
    The Ku Klux Klan
    NoseHair Bob
    The Walkabout Bar and Hotel
    Opportunistic Isaan girlfriends
    Alcoholic expats
    Cambodia Parent Network
    Those losers from Detroit
    People who live near Russian Market
    The makers of tiger balm
    Pattaya balcony jumpers
    and The Chernobyl Gardening Club

    • Dirty Expat (Dirty for short) Reply

      Guys… Why all the negativity? Amid all of this tension and ATTENTION I have to make just one plug for one of my favorite places in all of Phnom Penh. Rory’s Irish Pub, Guesthouse and Tattoo Parlor (St 178 near National Museum) is one of the most authentically shitty places I have ever been too but you have to respect the glum atmosphere. A guy named Rory from Ireland but don’t worry because he is long gone. Now it is run by two creepy Americans who collectively have the personality somewhere between sandpaper and serial killer. I recommend you don’t make it a regular spot but it definitely isn’t bad for one drink and a sick laugh. It is a truly fucked up place, especially for the unsuspecting backpackers that end up staying there.

    • Sattrey Khmer Reply

      You cannot just leave an apology. Your article has already defamed Cambodia. You’d better remove your article.

    • David P Reply

      Cambodia seems a breeze compared +o Mongolia, a fun place four years ago,now i+ is s+arving alive.

  30. Happiness Here Reply

    Scant mention of Cambodia’s true treasure: the people. For years, I have been integrated with a Khmer family and gradually have become to know larger and larger numbers, now close to 100. I help them financially when problems occur, often too often I know, but the government is impervious to their grief, they say.

    The people are warm, funny, courageous, intelligent, resourceful, and respectful. They are all doing what they can to survive, but find they live with a lot of malignant forces operating to keep them subdued. They learn nothing about the outside world and are fed the party line as to what is happening to their own country.

    Certainly, there are times when I have been exploited, lied to, etc, but that has also happened to me travelling throughout Europe. This country is a three-legged elephant struggling to stand again and not being helped so much, despite all the press about aid. The stories of the poor people are horrifying and reveal the powerlessness they feel.

    As I write this, I am regaled for ten hours a day at ear-blasting political music and speeches smothering my neighborhood. Banks of loud speakers have decided what I shall listen to all day long, starting at 6.30am. As with so many aspects, others decide, and not often in the best interests of the Khmers being affected.

    But despite the problems, the resilience of the people is outstanding, as is their display of their nature. They are warm people but cautious, for they have little and are always fearful they will lose it all at the whim of an official. How can they endure yet remain happy and smiling? They learn to let things slide.

    • Soi Dog Reply

      quote ” For years, I have been integrated with a Khmer family and …. I help them financially when problems occur, often too often I know”.

      Help me out financially “too often” and I will pretend to like you, too.

      • John Finnigan Reply

        You, sir, are an a–hole that misses the man’s simple message.

    • Peter Hogan Reply

      “I help them financially when problems occur, often too often I know….”

      So…Mr Money Tree, do you honestly, for a fleeting second, think that this gang of spongers would give a rat’s ass about your welfare if you were potless?

      • anonymous Reply

        That is the problem with most selfish Asian societies. It is usually very unstable and very hostile to people who need help. Most Asians only like to help those well-off tourists. That gives a false impressions about their often cruel Asian culture. It is very difficult to get help even from well-off Asians when you are in need or in distress even though you were generous with those Asians in the past.

        • Thomas Reply

          You have a point but it’s very general. What you say is fairly true about developing societies like Cambodia, but in Singapore or Malaysia, Hong Kong and other fairly developed places you will be helped.

          Even in Thailand depending on the circumstances. Actually my friend was helped in Cambodia too, but then again it’s not as if he couldn’t have helped himself in that instance (after a minor motorcycle accident).

      • John Finnigan Reply

        Why do assholes like anonymous ignore anyone who shows a little bit of WWJD spirit and immediately impugn their intent much less their outcome.

        I say that YES, they would care, and they would reciprocate with eventing within their means to do so.

        What I would further say is, you, SIR, should honestly just go back to whatever horrid country you come from and sleep in your own bed and not begrudge true good spirited people from doing good works.

  31. Rob Reply

    I’ve lived here for 7 years. I work online and make $2,000-$4,000 a month. It’s enough to take care of a large family, send the children to school and pay medical expenses. I don’t have many Western friends because getting blind drunk and/or stoned every day isn’t my idea of a good time. It’s made up for, though, by my lovely family and the few friends I do have. Even with all my responsibilities, I have a better lifestyle than I’d have in Australia on my own, where rent, taxes, food, transportation, etc. would eat up my income.

    That said, I agree that moving to Cambodia is a bad idea for most. You have to be able to adapt if you want to stay happy.

    • Soi Dog Reply

      Apparently “adapting” on this forum means giving lots of money to locals.

      • sreyneang Reply

        it’s not true, i have many friends who worked in Cambodia they are enjoyed with their life in Cambodia. you guy just stay outside are you sure that you can see it is the real or fake. do not say something that you are not clear enough with it and try to tell someone that is true, but you not sure either.

  32. Kim Reply

    Best article I have ever read in a long long time on any topic….Your writing skills are exceptional….

    • Brad Morton Reply

      Kim, let me guess. You have imbibed so much cheap vodka that your powers of reasoning have become numb and pickled.

      Best article…??? That is gut-busting laughable.

  33. Free_Willy Reply

    And the alternative is to stay in this war-mongering police state? No thanks, bring on the Dengue.

    • Marco Reply

      I so agree with you. Came here to escape becoming a robot in the West. I’m so sick of Western culture and the fact that basically all Western countries are adapting U.S. culture blindly. Here I can actually write whatever I want on the Internet and not be scared of having 100 secret agents watching what I’m doing. There’s freedom here, a lot of shit here, but it’s all worth the freedom. If you want to be a nice little robot the West is great, just follow the rules and you’ll have a great life. I personally would rather be poor than have my life pass as a wretched robot.

        • John Finnigan Reply

          I do as well… stated very adroitly.

          If you want to do drugs, be a drunk and whore yourself to death move to Cambodia like the idiot OP and die at 57.

          Or live out your life as a robot in Western culture.

          But, dear god… pick dude.. and get on with it and leave those that know how to adapt and appreciate different cultures to enjoy what you will never have.

  34. Jamie Reply

    Seriously… this article had me pissing my pants. The best line was, ‘jump off your Pattaya condo.”

    What a fuckin’ way to sum it all up.

  35. Dean Reply

    Hilarious article ! Had me giggling for its entire length
    I do wonder why so many people have taken your words so literally rather than reading it as I have done.
    Well done,thanks for the laugh !

  36. Friend of Crazy Jimmy Reply

    Anyone know of Crazy Jimmy (American)of KO KONG town ? He’s been living their since Pol Pot made his last stand. Just wondering if he’s OK. Last I saw he was working for food and tips at a restaurant on the outskirts of town to keep busy/sane. If your ever in Ko Kong ask any taxi driver or COP were Crazy Jimmy is. For the price of a meal you will get some unbelievable stories and quite the local travel guide. Don’t go to the Chicken ranch without him. He will save you $$ and possibly your life.

    • Peter Hogan Reply

      That’s utter rubbish. I spent some time in Koh Kong thirteen years ago and there were precisely three expats at that time and none of them were Americans called Jimmy.

      There was a stoned and very smelly Dane called ‘Bo’, a bearded young Englishman called ‘Cactus Jack’ and that intense German guy who owns a restaurant and has been there forever.

  37. CHAN HORM Reply

    Dear all,
    Thanks for your visit to my country.Cambodians are friendly,honest and they love all visitors. Best wishes,

    • nobodyatall Reply

      We appear to be friendly. In fact, we’re not.. that friendly. Honest, nah.. not really. And we love visitors because they’re helping us, economically. BTW, don’t be TOO proud of yourself.

      • Darya Reply

        Thank you for your nice comment, Mr. nobodyatall. 🙂 This is a very unhealthy thought.

  38. Dave Perkes Reply

    Where did Gavin get the idea that life expectancy is 57.4 years.Ive been living here for 10 years.
    I must be in heaven for the last 1.5 years; or I’ve been in paradise for 10 years.
    If I’d still been in UK; I might been a suicide case or had a heart attack due to stress!

      • Annonymous Reply

        What is the point of arguing about it?
        Those Cambodians, like other Asians, tend to treat their elderly people like garbage, just like they treat poor people.
        I am very sure I don’t like to grow old, even if one life expentancy grows abit higher, in cruel Cambodia or any cruel Asian countries.
        As it is us poor young foreigners and not so young foreigners are being treated shabbily at every turn by those exploitive Asians/Cambodians.
        Cambodia, like other Asian countries tend to treat young and old people shabbily. As such, given a choice, there is no point wasting time or money or growing old in Cambodia and only to end up being treated shabbily by mostly inhumane Cambodians.

        • Soi Dog Reply

          I’ve see a million times more respect shown to elderly people in Asia than I see in the West.

          • Annonymous

            The Asian never give real respect. Everything about Asians is fake. Those Asians have very low standard of care, tend to make fun of elderly people, those Asians commonly abuse or mistreat elderly, they provide very poor facilities and very poor care in elderly home(that turn out more like an abusive slum), compared to the mostly high standard of elderly care in the West.

            Furthermore those Asians only show some respect to elderly people who are quite well-off or rich. Otherwise, they kept their elderly people imprisoned, looking at walls in their home day and night like they do to any disadvantaged people. That is another horrifying aspects of Asian shabby societies.
            I definitely don’t like to grow old in Asia after suffering so much in Asia.

          • steve

            i have read through lots of comments but this one made me respond. If you have spend time in south east asia then you will know the family bond is 100 times more than (i will say western countries but really uk because thats where i am from)
            What do most prostitutes do with a good portion of their money? They are meant to be the low of society.
            I agree with lots of things about western people moving to south east asia but i will defend the family bond of most south east asians.
            I accept that there are financial pressures that make people do stupid things like selling their kids etc, however i would like to point out we in western society do lots of stupid things with really no financial pressure. Everything is relative, in every society there are good and bad and i guess the only difference is the culture and tolerance of the society.
            Fix you’re own society before criticising others.
            If you are a cambodian I will listen otherwise i dont think you have the right to comment on there society. You have the right however to express you’re experience as an expat of course.
            Sorry for the rambling but back to my point don’t criticize the cambodian family bond unless you are cambodian.

          • James

            I think most people just don’t get it. The truth is somewhere between the two extremes expressed by screaming, perpetually offended locals like A Kid and the likes of Annonymous.

            Traditionally, westerners also held the family very dear, but decades of Marxist family destroying indoctrination including promotion of radical feminism, incest, degeneracy, sex, homosexuality, transgenderism, materialism and other things have effectively destroyed the family. The few western communities that still hold family above all else, such as the Amish, Mormons in Utah, Baptists and other traditional Christian families with large numbers of children (often at least 5) living in rural areas of the US, Canada and Europe are mostly ridiculed and mocked.

            Asia is not immune either, because the same forces that have succeeded in destroying the family in the west, are arriving in both developed and developing Asia too with the same intentions. We are already seeing their effects – below replacement level birth rates (even in Cambodia birth rates, though still above replacement level will soon drop to below 2 in the next few years) and in general the same agendas being promoted in the education system and media.

            Rich Asians are sending their parents to nursing homes, middle and upper class parents are choosing not to have more than one child because it’s “too tiring” and women are willing to destroy their future fertility and risk cancer by taking dangerous contraceptives just so their partner doesn’t end up making a “mistake”. Parents are sending their 2 year olds to day care even though at least one parent is always at home, or if not, another suitable family member could be called to assist (or failing that, a nanny could be hired) but no, they would rather have the government raise their children in some sort of stupid “day care”, thinking that their kids will actually benefit from this nonsense – when there is no evidence that shows that early childhood learning in government day care centres does anything for children’s ability to get ahead of their peers. It’s just passing the buck on parental responsibility. Of course, this trend has long since also been going on in the west too, but it’s happening way too fast amongst the middle and upper class communities in Asia and it’s disturbing.

            Kids should really be raised exclusively by their parents until they are 6 or 7, not by the state.

  39. Annonymous Reply

    Thank you for the very informative and realistic account of another manipulative Asian country who are mostly only interested in gullible foreigners who can afford to waste money on them on their substandard goods and atrocious services. I agree Cambodia(like other asian countries) is not a humane place to live in and I certainly will not recommend any foreigner to move there on a permanent basis. I have visited Cambodia a few times out of a sense of being adventurous and I have to say that I certainly don’t like their typical exploitive Asian attitude or the way they treat poor tourists.

    Anyway, how they live is their problem. I still don’t envy them, even though many of them in the city live in sumptious villas because most of their Asian attitude stinks.

    I noted that they like most rude asians are extremely obsessive about making more money, to the point of being creepily aggressive, and that is why those tourists on tight budget should be extra cautious when dealing with them.

    I know they will never treat poor foreigners any better even when so many
    poor foreigners have contributed a lot and have helped them improve their life in one way or another. Those rich foreigners who have extra cash to waste on them may find their stay more pleasant.

    I am just so worried about my husband(a foreigner in that strange land) who may still be there and he is definitely not getting any younger.

    • Soi Dog Reply

      Quote = “I am just so worried about my husband(a foreigner in that strange land) who may still be there and he is definitely not getting any younger.”

      No, your absent husband is not getting any younger….but the bar girls he is shagging while away probably are.

      • Annonymous Reply

        My husband is a very decent guy. He don’t go for those immoral bar girls.

        • Seriously Reply

          I am sure said husband whose whereabouts are unknown.. is having a blast of a time! LOL

  40. Pinnochio Reply

    Dear Chan Horm. Why do you stereotype “all cambodians” together as they are the same people ? Each person is unique and different. I have many Cambodian frinds who like gangster lifestyle, drugs, stealing, violence and they and I find your oversimplified, broadly classified comments to be egregious and upsetting. In the future, please have more consideration for the diversity and individualism that we all possess as human beings coexisting on this planet.

  41. Rainman Reply

    Another reality check and well done Gavinmac.
    It won’t be long, with condo’s getting higher, they’ll have their own Flying Club.

  42. Benda Reply

    > Only then will one of them spring into action and attempt to revive you by vigorously rubbing tiger balm on your forehead.

    I prefer coining – its way more effective than the Heimlich Maneuver

  43. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to such a shit hole tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have make, have little choice than to make the “best” of it. Good luck … you’ll need it.

  44. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to such a shit hole tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of Westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have make, have little choice than to make the “best” of it. But as the authors suggests, we have to feel for the children, both native and foreigners.

  45. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to such a shit hole tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of Westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have make, have little choice than to make the “best” of it. But as the authors suggests, we have to feel for the children, both native and foreign.

  46. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to such a shit hole tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of Westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have made once there and have little choice than to make the “best” of it. But as the authors suggests, we have to feel for the children, both native and foreign.

  47. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to cheap but deplorable living conditions tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of Westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have made once there and have little choice than to make the “best” of it. But as the authors suggests, we have to feel for the children, both native and foreign.

  48. Che Guevara Reply

    Brilliant piece! Too true and too funny. Thanks.

    Btw, I find that many of those who are attracted to countries which are cheap but offer deplorable living conditions tend to be a disenfranchised and disgruntled lot of Westerners who realize to themselves what a mistake they have made once there and have little choice than to make the “best” of it. But as the authors suggests, we have to feel for the children, both native and foreign.

  49. Gordon Sharpless Reply

    Thanks, very enjoyable read. Just returned from my first visit back to Cambodia in nearly two years. As much as I enjoyed my ten years living in Siem Reap I do not regret the move back to the US and the visit back there was a gentle reminder that my decision was the right one. As stupid as America has become I still find it far preferable for raising my two children (now 8 and 3).

    Gordon S (Siem Reap 2001-2011, ex-talesofasia, ex-Two Dragons, now residing just outside San Francisco, CA)

    • scoffer Reply

      G’day Gordon.
      Good to hear that things are OK for you.

    • gavinmac Reply

      Thanks GorShar. Good to hear from you. Your website was one of the first I ever read about Cambodia.

    • kalakala Reply

      Gordon! So THAT’s where you went! Good to hear you’re still kickin’ around. I take it that the Tales of Asia website is as dead as Deadfish, though. Too bad. A great source of info and the chat boards were quite good. All the best to you!

  50. Crash Reply

    What a great article dud – and in addition – get out your wallet as the cost of living is through the roof these days in Phnom Penh. Try $7,400 per year for your kids to learn “Old MacDonald had a farm….” Plus $4,000 p.a. for basic medical insurance for your family, plus all the losers who borrow money from you and then welsh on the deal…Cambodia is 85% full of expat scumbags – the other 15% of us who have real jobs and are actually here acting in the role of “international public servants” aim to provide a degree of international solidarity and capacity building through working with our Cambodian counterparts. My advice is that if you come to live in Cambodia – make sure you are well heeled, insured to the hilt, NEVER loan money to anyone, have return ticket home and pay a monthly retainer to a high ranking General or Ok Nyark to cover your arse when shit hits the fan….Next time I hear some Australian winging about how much tax they pay in Australia to cover social services I am going to BBQ then in the jugular with my taser torch.

    • Annonymous Reply

      At the end of the day, it is just not worth it, considering the risk of being stuck there(for how long?) and having to face and suffer all the ugliness of Asia.

      If one have a choice, get out as soon as possible and move back to a more saner and more civilised Western societies.

    • James Reply

      Why does anyone need to pay good money to send their kids somewhere they will learn some nonsense like “Old McDonald had a farm eieio” when parents could teach their kids that themselves and save $7400 a year? If both parents are working and no other relatives are living nearby, how about the next best thing, paying $300 a month for a nanny?

      This passing the buck onto the state, which ultimately wants to control all citizens by first destroying the family, needs to stop. It’s so sad to see countries like Cambodia and Thailand, who just a few decades ago found nothing more important than family are now prostituting themselves to the government like this. Already Thais are having fewer children than most European countries are, and Cambodians are not far behind, especially in urban areas where the 1-2 child family is the norm amongst middle class Cambodians these days where only one generation ago the norm might have been 4-6 children.

  51. Bobby Borisov Reply

    Cambodia is a open and easy going country. I have been 20 years already.
    The shit guy who wrote this above is PISS OF SHIT. He is welcome to kiss my ass and staght to the airport if is still in Phnom Penh. Friendly people, smile all the time….Many foregners get drunk and drive cars, bikes, and not a problem at all!!! Do that in Europe?! USA? Australia? And so on…..Honestly if I see the mother fucker righter will kick his fucking ass, NOT WELCOME AT ALL!

    • Leap Reply

      I second that Boby, I lived in the US and France and I can afford to live anywhere in the world but i am very happy in Cambodia.
      1)My cholesterol dropped when i moved to Cambodia and I am happy Mc Donald has not made it here yet.
      2)I don’t have kids so I can’t comment but I’m not impressed by the US school system.
      3)I’m back in LA on business and the 6 lanes of traffic freeway / parking lot are not much better that PP traffic. Yes they should do something about the garbage collection but it is not citywide and there are as many rats if not more in Bangkok or Saigon
      4)I have open a support operation for my company in Cambodia and I am able to save with a competitive labor who needs opportunities.
      5)My mother knows I live in Cambodia and is not disappointed. I guess i am not one of these under-educated loser you may be addressing. I would agree that if you are a drunk looser that cannot make it in your own country then don’t try to make it in Cambodia or Thailand.
      6)I have a few alcoholic friends most of them are in the US. You don’t become an alcoholic in Cambodia. Alcohol is cheap in Cambodia so it attracts alcoholics.
      7)Guess what my Cambodian girlfriend does not really like Thailand.

      I appreciate that life is cheap in Cambodia and it is my responsibility to share the benefits and improve the life of a few Cambodians. Mr. Gavinmac what are you doing to improve the life of these “Cambodian looser”? Are to busy complaining about how little is provided to you in exchange for the cheap price you pay?
      Yet Cambodia and the world does not need alcoholics and pedophiles so please take them back home with you.

  52. jerry76 Reply


    an other reason why ambulances or any taxi or even a motorbike do not want. to take dieing people is that it is bad luck for them. if someone dies while in transport the vehicule becomes not usable any more and nobody will ever buy it later on.

    i lived in cambodia for 2 years but there are far more negative points than positive ones. i have moved back to the west after the birth of our son because og security and health reasons.

    and i dont like the corrupt government gangsters, they will do with yiu whatever they want, its like total anarchy.


  53. The new and improved superman Reply

    Don’t bother coming to the best place in Asia Gavimac…we’re full.

  54. Annonymous Reply

    I mean a cruel country such as Cambodia that is filled with mostly cruel Asian culture don’t deserved to be admired at all.

  55. soyita Reply

    A person who wrote this topic must be a crasy man, all his words like shit. If he is a person who is high educated he cannot spell out all that fucking words.If i were his mother i would kill him since he was born. He is a poor man.

    • Toma Reply

      Dear Soyita – I don’t think you should angrily reacted to such a pessimistic person. Just let him/her say! Please calm down – our culture of speaking is not like that!

    • Bird245 Reply

      If you burst out for someone’s right of speech, specially if you are a Cambodian yourself – others would agree to author that we Cambodian are truly ignorant scums.. PS. I am Cambodian.

      (Thanks dear Toma “below” for his/her wise manner)

  56. Sam Reply

    A lot things in this article are trues and some are not. Cambodia is a poor country, and everything are different from the norm of western standard. Something that is good for the goose may not be good for the gander. Anyone consider moving to Cambodia, should go to visit first, absorb information from many different sources, visit many different places not just expat bar or Angkor Vat. And you must hold on tight to your passport, return ticket and your sanity. You might heard some groaning from disgruntle expat who have been living in Cambodia or SE Asia for years, and that make one wonder why that person still here, or still possess the passport, can afford a return ticket ( a discount 3rd. class ). I guess for those who discourage others Westerners from moving to Cambodia because they might want to keep the stay pristine for themselves and all the bar girls stay cheap and less VD.

  57. Annonymous Reply

    I think Cambodians is not a poor country. It is just that Cambodians like many other Asian countries tend to exploit foreigners for money. Even those living in countryside have land. It has alot of land to grow food and other natural resources. I think Cambodia like many other Asian countries have very rich and socalled poor living in a terribly polluted, degenerate and immoral environment. I think one should not pity those bar girls who fished for pity and who greedily exploited those foreigners gullibility. I think Cambodian problem is not poverty. It is more to do with Cambodian sickening immorality, that is perpetuated by Cambodian society but often those Cambodian find it convenient to blame those well-intentioned Westerners.

    • CG Reply

      You hit well! Taxi drivers,guides and other hospitality workers normally teach a newcomers:”You must be very sweet, you must cheat very sweet to tourists, talk to them very sweet words to get more money.”
      One simpleminded example: Lonely female tourist had dinner in one Cambodian restaurant. It was lovely night – warm, full of soft music and lights, good food and coffee…. Beetween courses she was chatting with the waitress. And then in one moment this girl asked: how old the tourist is? – She was in her 50thies – Waitress said that lady looks fabulously young, despite the fact that she is so very old!
      This waitress was clean, friendly, smart, had quite good skills, and got good tips after dinner.
      Next evening all waitresses on this restaurants street where lined up on the doors,and from everywhere sounds: ” Good evening, lady! You look soooo beautiful and good, even if you are soooo old Would you like to have dinner? Please come have a look! “

  58. Miroslav Reply

    The article is true. And it doesn’t mention you’re used to be treat as a human in your country in past. Now you’re degraded to being ATM only.

    Cambodians are not poor, it is total bullshit. Truth is they are lazy and they always spend everything. Price is no object for Cambodians. They want to spend, spend, spend. They’ll stare to someone who is saving, they consider someone who is saving to be a fool and they want to spend his savings also.

    You CAN’T make a friend in Cambodia. All they want from you is currency only. Some step away bored soon, as they see you are not willing to pay for their drinking parties and karaoke.

    Others build your trust long time. For example, only to borrow with no intention of paying back, to start any kind of project together, BUT ALWAYS REMEMBER: ALL THEY WANT IS CURRENCY ONLY! They’ve no mercy with foreigners nor signs of being guilty for any of your losses ever.

    Very big difference between Cambodia and Western. Big difference, which foreigner may not be able to comprehend or even imagine, therefore is usually vulnerable to exploitable practices of Khmers.

    • Annoymous Reply

      I agree with you. They treat people like money machine and tend to exploit us poor human travellers, who are looking for a temporary or permanent home. I just wish I never went there, even though my (another) Asian country of origin is as bad. Cambodia or any other Asian countries is not a place for any foreigners who are homeless, have little money in the pocket or destitute because Cambodia will do all sorts just to make you feel even more homeless, unwelcome and more vulnerable. I don’t expect them to provide a palatial accommodation for the amount that I paid for, but I do expect a certain basic reasonable standard or basic habitable, decent standard. I am not being unreasonable, but I noted that most of their guesthouses are shabbily run and that they have no consideration for us guests or travellers who have to cope and put up with their mostly shabby attitudes. So, therefore, I don’t look forward to going there again for whatever reason.

      Cambodia is a place like other greedy, manipulative, cruel Asian countries, will suck you dry, and let you rot there, if you are not careful.
      They like other Asians will have no qualms lying to you, just in order to avoid helping you. Those Khmers and other Asians have so much and yet they are not satisfied.
      Many Westerners are in fact poorer and yet those Asians(who are surrounded with all sorts of luxuries imaginable) think they are entitled to harrass you and to have more aids or extra dollars for giving nothing decent in return.

      Asia have too many shabby characters(leaders or otherwise) and therefore, don’t be surprise that Cambodia are also full of shabby, abusive, intolerant characters, that prey on any unfortunate foreigners.

      • gavinmac Reply

        Annoymous- I advise you to stop whinging, and cheer the fuck up.

        • Annonymous Reply

          Thank You for the advice. I just wish I am back in UK. I just can’t stop myself from moaning about all those brown people that made our life even more miserable.

      • Srey Nec Reply

        OK, OK, OK, Annoymous, we get it! Cambodia is such a shitty place! You poor poor thing! Thanks for letting us know. Now let somebody else talk!!!

        • Annonymous Reply

          You don’t have to be so rude, even if you don’t like me talking about some of the worst aspects of Cambodia.
          Am I not allowed to talk? I guess you all Cambodians/Asians only allowed rich people to talk. Honestly, you all Asians/Cambodians are so inhumane.

          • Srey Nec

            I didn’t dislike anybody. I enjoy reading Gavinmac’s articles and especially comments that are coming from all sort of people. After awhile, i just get tired of seeing the same comment from the same person over and over again.

            You can talk all you want, dear, but moaning about the situation is not gonna help you much.

          • paul

            That’s a very bad comment about all cambodians, annonymous-
            1- i do understand ur frustration of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and i do feel sad for u 2have met all of those bad cambodians, but u shouldn’t bunch goods n bads as one..
            2- Majority of cambodians are polite,respectful, truthful, kind n helpful peoples.
            3- i’m a cambodian/australian, having living here in australia 4over 30yrs now. I do go over2 cambodia 4holiday annually. I do meet good n bad cambodians thru out my holidays,but i must clarify, there’re alot more good than bad cambodians.
            4- police data= 85% of foreigners goes 2cambodia 4 under age sex (boy or girl), drugs, alcohols n people smuggling. While the 15% are volunteer workers, workers, genuine holidayers, etc,etc.
            5- i’ve seen n heard of many bad foreigners, who r disrespectful of the local laws,eg. Bad motor riders,causing alot of accidents. When they caused a bad one or death, they pay little compensation, because they they think they’re foreigners n cambodi ans cannot do anything about it.
            5- u must understand, everybody need2 earn a living,whether thru decent job or robbing n stealing.
            Sadly services r 2b fee.
            6- there’re 2 many reasons 2 list here, so i stop4 now n again pale i do truly feel sad 4u n hopefully ur next destination would b a good n enjoyable one.

        • Annonymous Reply

          Srey Ney, perhaps. you may learn better manners in the near future. But right now, your tone of reply was extremely rude. I suppose you all cambodians think you all are entitled to be rude and abusive all the time while foreigners are not allowed to talk about how bad Cambodia is to foreigners?

          • Srey Nec

            “you all cambodians think you all are entitled to be rude and abusive all the time while foreigners are not allowed to talk about how bad Cambodia is to foreigners?”.

            If you pay just a little more attention, you’ll realize that most of Gavinmac’s articles is never about how wonderful cambodia is or cambodians are. The fact that i still enjoy reading his articles, it means i can handle the truth.

            So was my tone of reply rude or i just didn’t validate you emotion enough?

          • gavinmac

            Thank you Srey Nec. I didn’t think I had any Cambodian fans!

    • Claptrap Reply

      I agree with you Miroslav. I have witnessed all of those aspects you mention myself. For example, if you save by fixing something yourself, it’s because you’re stingy. If you can pay for someone else to do it you don’t do it yourself. And oh yes, they even enjoy trying to coerce you to spend something you don’t need or what you buy at a cheaper price… As long as money is spent, they are happy, but even happier if they can spend it on themselves.

      Everywhere people like money, but in Cambodia it is the only thing that has meaning. People that can control their feelings marry partners they don’t really like if that partner can provide financial benefits, it is only the super rich that can afford to follow their heart – as long as the spouse comes from a suitable background.

      As for nature loving Cambodians or beautiful, untouched nature – what rubbish! And I mean it. The The whole Cambodia is just a huge rubbish bin, I admit I haven’t traveled that much, only some 13 countries, but I have never seen people treating their own land and homes with such a filthy and disrespectful manner, both in cities and in countryside (to my experience, people have marginally cleaner habits in towns): Cambodians must hate their country to treat it like that. None of the people in neighboring countries have half as much rubbish all over the place as in Cambodia. And I’m not talking about the rubbish that lays on the street side, which ensures a good home for pestilence.

      Also, not all the begging elderly are without sons and daughters or the ones at home treated with respect, but some are beaten or they have to linger in they urine soaked pants or sarongs for hours, ignored by their offspring who are too busy to notice.

      Cambodia has its charms but it also has its (very) dark side and Gavinmac is right to point them out, all true more or less except perhaps the age (but then how many long-term ex-pats have died here at a ripe old age?) even if peppered with a bit of humor: anyone considering about moving here should be aware and consider all the facts behind the scenes. It’s a different thing to live here than have a great time in a short period. As someone said, this is an article about why NOT TO MOVE TO CAMBODIA, i.e. the negative points and not those that entice people to stay (the reasons being more than cheap women, beer and drugs)

      • Anonymous Reply

        Cambodians like most Asians are very harsh people and they are especially harsh towards foreigners who can’t afford to give them more.
        Their Asian societies revolved mostly around money and exploitation of foreigners. I am sure their so called family bond will just soon disintegrate or deteriorate as soon as money from foreign sources dried up.There are so many rich Asians around. Why can’t those rich Asians help their own? Those Asians are never going to improve if they can’t even accept criticisms or facts or humor based on facts.

    • Toma Reply

      Do you refer to ALL Cambodian people? Think TWICE please! Western and Cambodian people are human-beings. Sorry I didn’t attend any primary school as you all did.

  59. the new and improved superman Reply

    If you are considering coming to Cambodia ignore 90% of this bullshit article. Come and see for yourself and you’ll agree with what I’m saying. Only the healthcare and Ambulance service is correct but Raimsy will fix that won’t he.

  60. KKY Reply

    Thanks for the warning. I was about to sell my worldly possessions and move to Cambodia. Whew – dodged that bullet.

    BTW: Sincerely, hilarious article.

  61. sweenie Reply

    Lol! i agree with the writer very much! the standard of living is very low there. Medication in vietnam is not so good, but i find many cambodian come to vietnamese clinics for treatment. Noise pollution is one of horrible things living in asia. Drugs, drinks, prostitution happen more often due to living so far away from family, people dont care about their own reputation. Once we are stuck in such evil temptations, we ruin our life for certain.

  62. the new and improved superman Reply

    @KKY Good. Cambodia is only for people who want to live on the edge, take a risk and live a fascinating life as a result. It’s definitely not for people who believe everything they read before actually experience a place.Have you been out of your suburb yet?

  63. erhed Reply

    Some places are good to visit, and some are good to reside. I have always liked my visits to Cambodia, but I don’t think it is a good place to live. Reason #8…too many guns.

  64. Nameless observer Reply

    This article is hilarious, and some of the (dead serious) responses here even more so. Well done, Gavinmac!

    • Marco Reply

      It’s hard to tell whether gavinmac really thinks this, or is this a joke ? Probably the former, exaggerated a bit to make it funny. However this is only one perspective coming from a guy relating everything to his material Western ideas about life. Other people have different stories and different perspectives. For example, I would much rather have my kids grow up in the friendly culture of Cambodia than in the bullying, impersonal, unfriendly culture of U.S. schools. I’ve been through it, I hated every moment of it. It all depends where you’re coming from.

      • Nameless observer Reply

        It’s probably somewhere in between, but regardless of gavinmac’s true feelings I thought it was a hilarious read!

  65. James Reply

    Brilliant piece of writing Gavin. A wonderful combination of wit, irony, truth and sarcasm. It speaks a truth of many expats worldwide who gravitate towards underdeveloped countries for selfish reasons as predators rather than for altruistic motives. The only reason they are not alcoholics at home is they cannot afford to be. If they mouthed off in their home countries, in the same way they do in the bars and streets of Cambodia, they would quickly find themselves toothless.

    This type of expat sets a horrible example for the simple, uneducated natives. This degenerate expat species is generally of inferior social and intellectual status and feels the false euphoria because they think they are a giant in a land of dwarfs.

    I also believe that westerners who bring western born children to live in such countries (long term) are guilty of willful neglect and are irresponsible parents. A short term experience for children could be good but definitely not long term.

  66. Des Reply

    He forgot to mention the annoying tuk tuk drivers & moto drivers. Those scum take years of a persons life due to their persistent, annoying conduct. They need to be curtailed!

    I agree with much of this but it does seem like an attempt to keep people away from moving to Cambodia. It is possible to make $15 or even $18 an hour teaching & theres other opportunities too.

    I lived there for years & left, mainly due to the tuk tuk drivers & general existence there. Many do fine & do not suffer health issues etc as stated. A lot is down to the individual.

    • Dermot Sheehan Reply

      I moved to Cambodia because the taxi-drivers back home kept trying to talk about football to me. It was unbearable.

      • David P Reply

        I +oo ha+e foo+ball, now a sad old far+ living alone in Mongolia, sorry abou using a +, bu+ +his fool sloshed Bacardi and Coke on his keyboard

  67. Idan Kapon Reply

    Sorry to say that was one of a hell great piece of writing!!!!! you’re a genious

    I’m Living in Siem Reap… running a NGO

  68. Mike Reply

    It all comes down to what you want in life, if you want to be a robot and do the same shit day after day while paying ridiculous tax and be part of the huge consumer base, I’d say stay in US/Canada or Europe. If you are not falling for all that marketed BS and want to have and easy going life, Cambodia is a great place to live. People are friendly unlike those in Vietnam or back home, cost of living is low – unless you are one of the idiots who has to live in a crazy mansion to feel good about their life…

    As far as healthcare goes, you can easily jump over to BKK and get professional help. Not living in a place just because of the possibility of needing a medical attention is just crazy… You can get hit by a bus and die on spot when your number comes up in any country…

    Is the western government sponsoring your article trying to keep people from leaving their ‘Paradise’??? lol

  69. Chenda Angey Reply

    You came to Cambodia, and you were expecting Cambodia to be like a country in the west? Even French people are different from English people. and arent the expat ESL teachers supposed to help improving our kids’ education? if you are seeking for pleasures exactly like in the west, stay there…dont come and criticize.

  70. Bastiaan Reply

    I disagree with 95% of the article (or actually you can’t even take 95% seriously), as the perspective doesn’t make any sense. I think Cambodia is a wonderful country with the most lovely people. For a much younger expat as myself, its a great place to gain experience and see life from another perspective.
    But I still LOVE this post, as I don’t read it as a message to bring down Cambodia and their people, but as a message to all of the way to many, disgusting,pathetic old man who come here to abuse the socio-economic status of a lot of Cambodian people. GO HOME AND PLAY BRIDGE or something! All of you guys KNOW its just inappropriate what your doing, so stop it!
    Hope there will be more messages like this to tell those pedo’s to leave and never come back

  71. sam Reply

    I agreed and disagreed some reasons this article states. Cambodian people have lived here for their entire lives. They face many more serious issues that you might not think of. You can’t point one finger to us “Cambodia and our people” This is a very selfish-oriented article. What about your life arrangement, preparation and management on daily basis. Living in a new place does requires a lot of personal leadership and initiatives to deal with diverse culture shocks and many other issues. Last question: who invites you to come and live here.

  72. Tithsathea Reply

    Ive bet your 7 reasons judged by ur emotion!
    Cos most of them r really nonsense!

    M glad that u r not really into my country or else she will be polluted by ur negative energy !

    PS: I like criticisms on my country, but not this unreasonable moody 7 SILLY reasons! Thanks

  73. Nou Reply

    I can see that the person who writes this has a very bad impression about Cambodia. I personally believe that the writer shouldn’t be this bias; both good and bad sides should be mentioned. Cambodia also has its good side, in fact it’s a very promising country to live in.

  74. Bousong Reply

    Cambodia is not bad like what it is saying! This is a trick that bad guy say to force Cambodia down. Try to believe this one is causing bad to your mind. Please, try to find another news and other resource, and keep this one away from you.

    • Brad Reply

      @Bousong – is this a trick? Tell me one reason why somebody wants to “force Cambodia down” with a “trick” like this article. Or tell me which part is not true. The smell? The quality of health care or education? Or what?

      He must be a Vietnamese agent, right? 🙂

      The real question is which is better: to put your head in the sand and never listen to anything “bad” about your country – or listen and think, then try to make it better?

      You do the first and you are not alone. Most Cambodians do nothing to make the place better. Then blame the “recent” past as a reason for everything.
      A few weeks ago a large number of foreigners cleaned up the surroundings of the Siem Reap river as it looked like a waste dump. And you bet, it was not the foreigners who threw the garbage all over the place.

      • Panha Reply

        Hey Brad, you might be one of good influence on Cambodians about keeping clean. On behalf of those who trashed in the river and carelessness of government, I feel ashamed. I think somehow we like good expats. I have tried hard for better from keeping country clean to politics.

        Back to the article: I wanna say we live by love and inspiration. The article is more intended to insulting than information. Imagine if you are insulted : Why are these foreigners in Cambodia? Is it a nice country to stay? Of course, they don’t think so. But why? They came here for a job as they couldn’t find a job in their country or their boss sent them. Why not other country or capital like NY, London or Paris…but Cambodia? They are the least qualified…. damned cheap guy.

        SORRY it’s just an example of imaginary insulting. I bet you are descent guy, Brad. 😉

  75. Ren Reply

    I have never known such a serious things like this in Cambodia…It is only a small part in countryside… 🙁

  76. Dada Reply

    http://www.khmer440.com is warning and informing all those foreigners who are willing to come to Cambodia, which i think is right. U found a place full of shits, u tell your family and friends not to go there. seems legit! but i just want say if there’re any cambodian reading this, this is what WE deserved (the world is looking down at us), from all the chaos and atrocities which had given by our ancestors. im not blaming them though, it’s not important who fucked up this country. i dont care. All i care is how can we do to resurrect this country. Everyday people discussing problems here and there, but have we forgotten about the solution??. what im trying to say here is accept what we are and start helping ourselves.

    • [email protected] Reply

      > “but i just want to say if there’re any cambodian reading this, this is what WE deserved[…]”. danggggg girl, are you for real? so you’re saying, an innocent baby deserves to contract AIDS because its dad had a little sum-sum with a harlot? or that a baby deserves to have birth defects because its mother was an alcoholic and/or a drug addict even during pregnancy? better yet, do you think you deserve to be ugly just because your parents are? [lol] what a silly acclamation. no hard feelings (except the ones down there), couldn’t help myself. XD

      > pertaining to the article, the sense of burlesque is what captures my attention. thought it was quite witty.

      *i’d like to thank:
      justin beiber
      nicki minaj
      obama bin ladin
      the internet
      and most importantly, my love for rice.
      without ya’ll, i wouldn’t have been able to post this.*

  77. Luke Reply

    I cant stop reading all your articles, such a great writer, I’m going to look for some published work. Excellent Stuff.

  78. JMT Reply

    I must say that I’m a little bit confused. Smelly city? Drunk sexpats everywhere? …
    I’m a German national and I’ve been living and working (NGO) in Phnom Penh for quite some time and I strongly disagree with most points mentioned in the article.
    I never hang out in bars to get superwasted because there are a lot of other things to do and to see (cupcake and coffee shops, pool bars, rooftop restaurants, fitness classes, day- and weekend tours by ship, cycling through the town…). I am totally enjoying my life here and I had the great opportunity to meet a lot of good, decent expats/tourists/nationals.
    Also, making any judgment on parents who decide to raise their children in a developing country like Cambodia is really none of your business. In fact, I am planning to do the same. I was born in the Brazilian favelas, came to Germany when I was only a few months old. Since then, I made a lot of experiences in developing and emerging countries. And trust me: you and your children will understand the REAL sense of life once they stay away from the quantity of life (cars, flat screens, expensive clothes, etc) and start to understand the quality of life. Speaking about the quality of life: I don’t know which hospitals the author visited, but Phnom Penh offers a wide range of good hospitals which are led by mostly French, Dutch, Aussi, Kiwi or Scandinavian doctors. So what’s your problem?
    To sum up, this article is very rude, disrespectful and upsetting (and I’m sure you would make your mother wayyy sadder with this piece of crap than going to another country) and, if I may make a guess, maybe the author made some bad experiences here. I mean, maybe none of the Khmer girls wanted to go with such a dumbfuck.

    • Brad Reply


      While you are a “German national” you are not German, are you? Btw, loved the way how you described the way you became a German national. “…came to Germany when I was only a few months old.”
      Obviously you didn’t come to Germany a few months old, someone took you there from the favelas – this sounds like an exciting story itself.

      Also this explains why you don’t drink beer and don’t visit bars – so its obvious why you don’t see the drunk sexpats -perhaps they are not into enjoying cupcakes.

      It is not difficult to assume that you see this country through the pinky window of a well-paid expat (German national on NGO salary could not be worth 300$ a month) and have enough to avoid reality by spending time on activities, such as “pool bars, rooftop restaurants, fitness classes, day- and weekend tours by ship”

      To sum up, it is understandable why you find this article very rude, disrespectful and upsetting.

      Get a cupcake and don’t read stuff here. Or hike the next rooftop restaurant, you will be better off. 🙂

  79. [email protected] Reply

    I just read this blog and I honestly have to say that I really have to wonder about the blogwriters oppinion. I am not an expat but stayed a bit in Cambodia and know some expats and NGO workers. I dont know what you are talking about. All healthy, smart, hard working non alcoholics.

    Furthermore I think you are very unfair. Cambodia has a difficult/horrible past and still has a long way to got, that is true. But I LOVE to spend every Dollar here because every Dollar counts to built up this country. People are amazing friendly, I enjoyed busrides, I am going to fix a teeth (what they have dentists??) on western standard.

    I got dengue fever, but guess what, not in Cambodia but in developed Thailand. And I am sorry that I have to tell you, that you can get dengue already in europe, as well as typhus, hepatitis, parasits …

    I just have been on PP – did not recognize any bad smell … I could go on and on …

    I get you point what you wanted to say but please do it next time a bit more fair in respect of the country and khmer people!

    • Brad Reply

      The problem with dengue is not where you get it, the problem is where will you get treatment. Therefore you can consider yourself as lucky if you had it in Thailand and even more if you get in Singapore where it is endemic at times and the government posts maps and data about the affected areas / communities.

      Parasites and hepatitis are a whole different league as they are closely related to the overall hygiene of a country (and with certain types of hepatitis the presence or lack of prostitution).

      Dengue in Europe? Well, since Madeira is geographically part of Europe – you are right. On the other hand the mosquitoes that spread the disease will never survive in colder climates, so most of Europeans will still have to visit SE Asia if they want to get dengue.

    • Arnaud Reply

      U are totally right> i live in Paris and i went to Cambodia in 2011 for a holiday and i did really enjoy the country . Talking about the teeth, In Paris, i have to wait 6 months after making an appointment to get treatment and i have to pay a fortune to get the treatment. But in Cambodia , it just took me 2 hours of appointment for the very reasonable price . the clinic is very modern, hygienic and the doctor is very professional. What else we ask more????? I paid like 10 TIME LESS expensive than In paris for the same quality. Nobody is perfect and I think Cambodia has a long way to go but his country is in the good way.

    • Sokheng Reply

      “But I LOVE to spend every Dollar here because every Dollar counts to built up this country.” You have a humanitarian heart. Thanks for supporting this poor country.

  80. abby normal Reply

    The Khmer comments to this masterpiece illustrates why it is difficult for me to live in asia. the concept of humour is completely lost on these people. they universally (they= se asians) laugh non stop at predictable ‘funny’ costume and face paint type low brow humour- the kind of humour that you’d think perhaps an infant, ground squirrel or mollusk might get a chuckle out of. 5th grade slapstick 90% watered down 3 stooges stuff. Anything that requires no thought= funny…. really funny- and apparantly NEVER gets old. Recycle the same bit for the 2,000th time… STILL funny. wtf.

    whereas sarcasm and wit are not only misunderstood, they are met with the types of reactions in this comments section. you can actually take the time to explain that this is observational humour and equate it to similar comedy about a western nation- they’ll never get it. exceptions to the rule? sure, but very few and very far between.

    • Simon Sykes Reply

      To be fair, sarcasm and parody are very hard for a non-native speaker/reader to understand. I thought the article was brilliant, but I also understand from being fluent in English (well, American) that the author is taking the piss. If I’m using that phrase correctly.

  81. abby normal Reply

    oh, and after reading the comment above mine, the same seems to hold true for some German’s too! lol. Granted, German’s are know for their keen sense of humour about as much as…. ummm…. the Swiss. Still, this guy’s complete miss that this was written with tongue in cheek deserves a Darwin award. Lighten up Francis.

  82. Regin Reply

    Living in Cambodia for quit some time is great to experience the beauty, nature, and culture of the country.

    • Brad Reply

      Where is your NGO located? Isn’t it difficult to get there even with your 4WD truck?

  83. jonno Reply

    Germans may not have much sense of humour but their logic can be incisive:
    “if I may make a guess, maybe the author made some bad experiences here. I mean, maybe none of the Khmer girls wanted to go with such a dumbfuck.”


  84. paul scott Reply

    Outrageously funny, I was just doing some research on the Mekong River, and I fell in here. 7 reasons
    “Moving a Thai woman to Cambodia does not improve her standard of living. It’s a shocking downgrade. It will seem to her like a cruel joke, not unlike bailing a black friend out of jail and then driving him straight to a Ku Klux Klan rally.”
    “It’s a lot like your village in Isaan, except the people are poorer, everyone’s skin is darker, no one speaks Thai, and the food sucks.”

    OK it is facetious story but this story has real kick, and very funny

  85. travelblogger Reply

    so, i am not asian, not defending anyone. But even if this was written in a sarcastic, tounge in cheek sorta thing, it’s still incerdibly racist, and rude! Third world countries are always gonna have their fair share of problems, from uganda to egypt, to chile, to cambodia, i don’t know why the author has a problem with skin colour, but he has pointed that out more than a few times, and considring you’re a travel blogger,writting for a cambodian website, may be you shouldn’t let out your inner KKK untill your down in the pub with your fellow pale beer drinking pals. Second, half if not more of these diseases listed can be contracted in europe, third. Garbage is everywhere, get used to it. And also, if you don’t like cambodia so much, why would you even go there? Also, if you go/live/work in a thirdworld country, get used to shit being fucked up all the time, its how it is. Also, i think you(the author) don’t really have the right to judge anyone raising there kids in cambodia or anywhere else, you don’t know why they made that choice, why are you being so judgemental? It saddned me to read this article, ay first it was funny, then bam it took a racist typical white man nagging turn real quick. Grow up.

    • M Reply

      If someone writes Japanese are known as hard workers, it is justified. But if I write I’ve never seen so many lazy people like in Cambodia, it is racism.

      If someone writes that Germans are precise, so their cars are known to be of superior quality, no problem. If I write that Khmer have no idea what is responsibility so they do not manufacture whatever, just another reporting, I’ll be hated, I’ll become a racist.

      If someone writes that prevalence of HIV in Europe is lower, he is only stating the facts. But if I write Cambodia has highest prevalence in region, because you can find prostitutes everywhere and married Cambodian men sleeping with a karaoke girl is a nature, I’ll be marked as racist.

      So reporting is politically incorrect, because some people are sensitive to the truth. Writing about rubbish and stench: incorrect, censored. Writing about stealers and cheaters: incorrect, consored…

      “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”

  86. Borosit Reply

    Haha so funny, so dont move to this kingdom and you will lost your halflife. I”m Khmer living in Mekong delta, old land of Khmer but Vienam invased it. I dont feel comfortable with vietnam people; government, they so negative like this author.

    I”m now happy to live in Cambodia, KINGDOM OF WONDER, DEVELOPING EVERY CORNER!

  87. RLong Reply

    I can see some of the validity on some of the statements made in this article. However, while reading the article I was a bit confused at times as to what the author is trying to portray. The intent of the article is supposed to advise why foreigners should not move to Cambodia. However, the tone of article moves it away from its purpose because it is rude and offensive. It almost felt like a personal attack towards Cambodia, its people, and the foreigners who are living there rather than an informational advisory. That being said, Cambodia does possess some of the problems and risks as stated in the article. However some of the statements are subjective and very opinionated. If a foreigner is to decide whether or not to move to Cambodia it should be based on facts and not personal opinions of the author.

  88. Doc Mark Reply

    Well that was interesting reading. And yes many of the things you wrote are some what true. Unfortunately u are talking about the expat bums of PP. I have lived in PP cambodia for over 14 yrs. And yes i like to have a hi-ball or two, go out and meet people, go dancing, etc. But besides the night life in PP there are alot of things to do. And yes the infrastructure sucks, but its getting better. and yes the traffic cops are dickheads, and yes the hospitals suck, but u are so close to thailand for hospitals its not a big deal. what u really dont know is other places thru out cambodia, the west, the north, the east, the south. those regions are great for doing motocycle riding, hiking, waterfalls, fishing, etc. The old ruins are all around cambodia, and seeing them is a great way to relax and get out and about. Cambodia is similar to thailand but poorer. Thailand , Cambodia, Laos , Viet Nam all have their positive things as well as negative things. U probably have not spent much time in those countries like i have and u will never really understand them, the culture, the history, the people. Basicly u are an idiot, and your reading is a laugher.
    I totally disagree about most of your stuff u wrote so negative about cambodia, but glad u did. I would enjoy seeing less expats enter cambodia and less tourists as well. Back in the old days cambodia the 1990s and beginning of 2000s it was considered the real wild west.

  89. Kennzo Reply

    Another classic article from the master of ‘7 reasons’ – looking forward to what I hope will be the follow-up, balancing article on 7 reasons why you SHOULD.

    Keep at it GM.

    • gavinmac Reply

      Thanks Ken. Lina covered the seven reasons why you should on her Move To Cambodia website, you should check that out.

  90. Nara Reply

    Hey you ! if you don’t like what we have as Cambodian then don’t ever come to our country. This is what we have and how we are like it or not it your choice but no mocking about my country. I don’t know what you want exactly writing this horrible and over-true article. We admit our country is suck , under developing and security is bad . So what ? you are just clueless what we had been through in the past . not an excuse but rather you take your small pity brain to think and respect other nation like us. take it or leave it you idiot!!!!!

    • Rasy Reply

      Hey Nara. Calm down won’t you?

      The author did write “7 reasons NOT to move to Cambodia” no? So do you expect him to write about possitive things?

      As a Cambodian myself, I find that some issues he mentioned are, to most degree, quite true and I could probably list several more. It is up to people’s choice to make up their minds whether to move here or not. Either way, I have been in Cambodia all my life and living here has its pros and cons.

      I think his article is funny and way less offensive than the movie “Borat” or some racist and highly stupid posts on Facebook by the so called “I love Cambodia” page.

  91. wtf Reply

    The food sucks?! Fuck off. The food is FANTASTIC and CHEAP in PP.

    ‘Nose hairs’? How about the hair growing inside your grandchild’s mouth and his shriveled testicles after 3 generations of eating unlabeled GMO food in that corporate-bankster dictatorship called Amerika. Also, the Cambodians aren’t stupid enough to allow fascist Coca Cola to put diabetes type II inducing high fructose corn syrup in their Coke. They use real cane sugar.

    Bad health care? You’ve obviously been living in Cambodia and out of the loop for way too long to keep up with that steaming turd Obamacare.

    >>Internet connections are relatively slow<>The job market is extremely competitive these days in most Western countries.<>leap to your death from the balcony of your Pattaya condo.<< You're an US embassy Jew in your mid thirties, aren't you? Instead of 'Gavin', you ought to call yourself GAVNO-big-Mac. That's Russian for shit.

  92. wtf Reply

    ‘The food sucks’?! Fuck off. The food is FANTASTIC and CHEAP in PP.

    ‘Nose hairs’? How about the hair growing inside your grandchild’s mouth and his shriveled testicles after 3 generations of eating unlabeled GMO food in that corporate/bankster dictatorship known as Amerika.

    Atleast the Cambodians aren’t stupid enough to allow transnational fascist Coca Cola to put diabetes type II inducing high fructose corn syrup in their Coke. They use real cane sugar.

    Bad health care? You’ve obviously been living in Cambodia and out of the loop for way too long to keep up with that steaming turd Obamacare.

    ‘Internet connections are relatively slow’ – Not as slow as in Mandalay.

    ‘The job market is extremely competitive these days in most Western countries.’ What job market? You mean tocking shelves at Walmart and living on food stamps?

    ‘leap to your death from the balcony of your Pattaya condo’?! I’d prefer to watch you swan dive from you PP guesthouse window and splatter on the pavement. We could adjust the expat mortality rate down from age 57.

  93. Paiman Reply

    You sound like a troubled soul. There are many good things to be found in Cambodia. I am saying this after having been robbed a few times in the nearly 6month i have been here.. People here are much more friendly and welcoming than in Thailand. People in europe make me sick they are angry and negative. I want my children to know the quality of a positive life.. I dont creep around bars like you to pick up depesing storys and i will never buy a condo in the worlds asshole Pattaya.. As for being a rasist calling out bad names for mixed races i can only feel sorry for you. If you like a long waiting list in the hospitals or old age homes that feed you crab and when you get sick it kill you without informing any relatives be my guest and be a westerner.. I have permanently moved away from one of the best economys in the world and i love it here in Cambodia.. I could never have a Thai girlfriend becouse i am not stupid. The way you let out your negativity is perfect for the westetn world.. Please stay there and tell your storys to your mother…

    • M Reply

      When I was in Cambodia short time like you, I had the same impression. I thought they were friendly. I thought they were not angry.

      Until I understood it was all fake. Although not a rule, in general it is not friendship, but love for your money only. They are indeed angry each other for no reason. Even if you know the reason, you won’t understand why they are angry.

      According to my observation, most dominant attribute of Khmer is selfishness.

      But as you say, the first half year is really wonderful; I talked with 2 other foreigners whom I met, and they told me roughly the same. I don’t expect you to agree, but half year is very short time to make a conclusion.

      • D Reply

        You’re a negative thinker,dude! Use your Western lens and view them and that’s what you see!

      • anonymous Reply

        It is true Cambodians or Asians are generally horrible, angry, selfish people. They will find a reason to be angry with you if you can’t afford to continue to spend so much on them. In fact the dollars don’t stretch much because things are generally so expensive and so shabby.

  94. Johnny Reply

    Well, some don’t get the “tongue in cheek” humour of the author, others do …. There is some truth in what he says about Cambodia. The losers that get lost in PP get significantly more lost and fall through every crack. At least they die faster than at home and may enjoy the experience!! Others who have a Khmer wife (or husband) and half-half kids can live in PP well on a more modest salary than at home. However the moment things go wrong and you can’t afford the International School it is back home to Australia or wherever …. keep an exit fund from Cambodia in a separate account. Not a bad place if you have your head screwed on (and avoid pitfalls like screwing too many young girls and serial drinking/drugtaking). And avoid the people who have come to Cambodia to die in this way! Point number 9: Cambodian in-law families to be kept out of the front door of the house and always ignore their financial needs …. hard for the Khmer spouse to abide by though … just don’t ask how much money disappears this way, you don’t need to know …. she (he) should do this in private on their own “Khmer-family” budget.

  95. D Reply

    Just browse the Internet and stumble upon sth absolutely ridiculous. It is such resistible admiration for the writer who came up with this. You can be a comic writer. Seriously, I appreciate your time and effort in writing this stuff. But, sometimes things seem to be exaggerated and stray onto the bad part of Cambodia apparently due to the writer’s own pessimism and experience (May be from his friends and surrounding). I saw the problems of those Westerners who came to Cambodia. They are alcoholic and arrogant. Moreover, their carefree attitude blinds them to good life people enjoy here. I am a Cambodian and most of my friends who study with me think like I do that most of those alcoholic or sex driven Westerners are not good people. From our perspective, they are gangsters. However, I have many friends from the West, but they are good and they enjoy the life in Cambodia. You have to think again before you write. Let’s think that way. Tell me the name of your country, and I’ll go there and write 8 Reasons Why We Should Not Live in That Country.

  96. Moods Reply

    Yay! Someone can write – thanks. Perhaps the place is conducive to writing as well. We all have different muses – even if for some of us they are more like gargoyles

  97. Western Shit Reply

    Gavin is working for Thailand and being paid for being a shit head. Thailand wanting to have amazing monuments from Cambodia such as Preah Vihear and Angkor Wat. Cambodia is building their infrastructure, health system, and other necessity for the Cambodian. Cambodia was resurrected from the dead (Khmer Rouge Regime) and doing a great job.

    Fact about Westerners:
    1) They like to live lavish life style on borrowed money. Look at the U.S.A is $16 TRILLION in the hole.
    2) By 18 years old they left home and their parents/children cohesion.
    3) Consumed more Cocaine and drugs then other countries. (Columbia, Mexico, and other Latin Countries the beneficiary).
    4) They have welfare system for the Red-neck due to their drugs, alcohol, and smoking habits.
    5) The wealthy 3% controlled the 97% (the poor) of their society.
    6) 97% of the westerners don’t owned anything but living from pay-check to pay-check. Everything in their lives are financed: i.e cars, homes, clothes, even toilet papers are purchased with their credit cards.
    7) Health systems in the U.S. are crap. The poor submitted to hospital are going to get treated by interns.
    8) So many to list here and can take days.


    • ES Reply

      I was trying to find the way to post a direct reply to the article but instead found it much more convenient to “reply” to the somewhat skewed tabulations of “western shit” (apropos).

      first i’ll start by commending Gav for writing this great little article and tid bits that had me enjoying every word 🙂 you’ve got balls brother and frankly that’s all you need sometimes to climb up on a soapbox, but there is true insight here as well.
      this article is not called “why we love cambodia” and is clearly aimed at the traveler and/or expat. No offense was meant to Khmer people or their culture or whatever version you’d like to deem it, instead I believe the communication gap has become even more apparent in their very defensive responses on here.
      yes we all have the “good list” and the “bad list” for each of our countries problems, but don’t distract us with comments about some other country (ahem western shit) and think that that will obscure the very real references that Gav has made about living here and his insight into his intended audience.
      I would love to be able to post a big sign at the borders of Cambodia saying “no assholes allowed”, but unfortunately (and as has been so vividly displayed on this never ending thread) just who is an “asshole” is pretty darn relative. Some of you need to seriously re-assess the meaning behind words like “progress” and “civility” before shoving it down other people’s throat with your pretensious assumptions choking their way around the abnormally large foot in your mouth.
      Meanwhile, I can only say that there is no reason to play “kill the messenger” and blame Gav for saying what most of us only mumble to each other behind closed doors and after a few enlightening drinks. So without making this some big personal diatribe, like most here have done, where I prove how western or smart or cultured i am or how many Khmer friends i have or who i fuck or whatever b.s. faceshmook info you people need me to say to qualify to have an opinion…i will instead say to Gav that I think you could have come up with 8 or 9 instead 😛
      My biggest complaint is the weather! now how in humid hell could you have forgotten to mention the weather in this article/ list!? you should be ashamed of yourself lol

    • James Reply

      Western Shit. The same things are happening in Asia now – Thailand went from everyone buying their own cars with cash to everyone being indebted with car loans they can never pay off, all within the space of 10-15 years. Laos is currently undergoing the same transition (within the past 5 years) and Cambodia will probably be next. Cambodia is a little different to it’s neighbors in that most of the cars on it’s roads are actually used and imported from America (a small number are also re-registered vehicles imported legally or illegally from Thailand) but eventually car loans will too become the norm for purchasing vehicles if that hasn’t already happened. Credit card usage is expanding fast amongst the middle and upper classes.

      The rich control the poor. No surprises there.

      Most of the infrastructure is being built with the help of western, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and other foreign donors/development assistance. All those skyscrapers going up in Phnom Penh? That’s Chinese/Hong Kong money. The Neak Leuong bridge? Japanese assistance. Royal Phnom Penh hospital, probably the best hospital in the country? Part of Thai based Bangkok Hospitals group. Without this assistance, Cambodia wouldn’t have been able to come even a fraction this far.

      Already now most Cambodian women who choose to birth their children at hospitals will be receiving infant formula and choosing to forgo breastfeeding, when 15-20 years ago nearly all of them were probably breastfeeding.

      Everything you say is just a few years (or decades) behind in Cambodia.

      All of what you say is predictable – as Cambodia transitions towards becoming more developed it too will experience the same things the west has.

      Let’s revisit this conversation in 10 years time and I’m sure we’ll be seeing major changes even compared to now.

  98. Johanna Reply

    I’m in Phnom Penh at this moment. I have to say I’m not loving it! As a decent looking blonde female I get stared at by men and women all the time. And yes, despite the hot weather I wear long skirts and shirts with long sleeves. However I haven’t felt that uncomfortable. I think it is more curiosity than being simply creepy. I walk 500 meters and I get asked if I need a ride by 15 different tuktuk drivers. And some of them find it really hard to believe that I would prefer to walk to the grocery store just across the road. Right now I don’t even want to leave my guesthouse. I’m a patient and friendly person, but even I have my limits. I also hate it when you walk into the store just to check out shoes the staff follows you everywhere not respecting your personal space. However I guess they think that it is a sign of good service. I haven’t met that many people that are genuinely nice to you and not wanting something in return. Phnom Penh is very hectic, dusty and dirty. The traffic is quite horrible and I feel like everyone is just after your money. I ended up on this site just check out if there were others who don’t like Phnom Penh.

    I enjoyed my time in Siem Reap and I think this country has a lot of history and interesting places to visit. Tomorrow I’m going the coast and I looking forward to see the nature part of Cambodia. I hope to meet real Cambodian people, I feel like getting to know the real person is almost impossible. Tourists are only seen as walking wallets. In Thailand and Laos I met a lot of locals who did favours for me without expecting anything in return. For example I got lost in Surat Thani and these friendly locals took me to the pier and even paid for the tuk tuk and refused to accept my money when I tried to pay them back. In Laos I was playing pool in the bar and these local players (men and women) were impressed that a western girl can play so they bought me a drink. I also felt much less uncomfortable walking the road as a solo traveling female.

    Anyways I haven’t given up….. yet!

    • Bird245 Reply

      Johanna! From what you wrote, I do understand and can put myself in your shoe. I am holding many of the facts why some Cambodian are exposing them-self very negatively in Cambodia. I wish I can be a Cambodian who can explain you the reasons why are you developing such horrible experiences from my country. Hope spend time together if you are in Cambodia again, and I am sure to open you to a new perspective over my country which could halt you from being scare of getting out of your apartment.

  99. Ed Muffin Reply

    Thanks for the dose of REALITY. I found your post as I was contemplating leaving my life in the USA and moving to Cambodia. I won’t do that, however I have friends that have. They have a good retirement fund and the funds to live there comfortably.

  100. WM Reply

    I agree with most of your points. I am living in Cambodia myself and am horrified by what I see and experience. I can understand there are those who are living here and are not in it for the drugs, alcohol or sex tourism. I myself am not privy to this lifestyle at all. What I would however like to point out is that it comes across as slightly racist to suggest it would not be nice for a grandmother to have a “half-brown grand child”. I find this offensive and sincerely . But for the hope this was just a typo. For the rest, thank you for bringing the harsh realities of Cambodia to public attention. I personally feel it is both heaven and hell on earth.

  101. Economic Person Reply

    Non country in the world has not disadvantages, hasn’t it? Cambodia is one of the country in the world , so there is one in this country as well. Please have a look at your home country, does it satisfy for all. You can simply answer this question by yourself. You said the hell of Cambodia, which encourage people not to come to this country and develop this small country, and now you are part of the person who destroy the world development. You create inequality in Cambodia, are you happy to do that? If someone insult your family, will you be happy with that? But, thank for giving criticism for politicians in Cambodia to rethink about these harmful viruses to Cambodian economy hellishly.

  102. Kiwi06 Reply

    OMG I laughed so hard while reading this I almost needed a change of clothes! Love your zany sense of humour, and if po-faced people want to take this seriously and be offended, let them. I’ve visited Cambodia, loved the place but wouldn’t live there long term for all the reasons you point out. Westerners need to take off our rose coloured specs and get a reality check when it comes to relocating to a developing Asian country (especially with a family). I completely agree with your view that it’s irresponsible to take a young family there unless you’re very well off and can educate them at an international school and pay for 24 hr medical evacuation. Keep writing!

  103. Claudia Reply

    This is a terribly cruel and ignorant article. To claim that the only reason people come to Cambodia is to drink and find prostitutes clearly indicates that you haven’t gotten out of the worst social circles. I’m here with my boyfriend as a couple and we’re enjoying the country very much. We love going to the small villages and exploring Phnom Penh on foot to see how Cambodians live today. If you get past the worst tourists and meet some real travelers, you will find there is a lot more to see in this country.

    I’d also like to point out that in terms of finances, there are many options other than teaching English or opening a bar for $8/hour. I work from my computer as a software engineer with a company in San Francisco. I can live much better in Southeast Asia and still make the same exact salary that I do back home.

    • M Reply

      So you can not do in Cambodia any decent job as well. You depend on the job from USA. That means you only confirm what has been written above.

      Then you pay taxes in USA to buy all those facilities for USA citizens around there while you live in Cambodia having no roads, no hospitals, outages, very poor educational system and dust-stench-rubbish everywhere.

      Seems to me you are very smart indeed!

      • davy Reply

        yeah but the money she has left over after paying all those taxes back home goes ten times further in Cambodia

      • anonymous Reply

        In other words, you are bringing money from the West to live in a horrible Asian environment.

        • anonymous Reply

          It is extremely difficult for a foreigner in Asia, with little money to settle in horrible and cruel Asia. Still, I think it is a terrible life and uncomfortable to live in an unstable Asian society that eg, withhold foreigners money or expect or demand foreigners to pay more for almost everything.

  104. Leang Reply

    Don’t judge people at outside look! You must never learn this that’s why you wrote such discriminated and insulted article. Who you are to judge something? No one or place is perfect, there’s always pro and con, and if you only raise the negative side, it’s not only unfair for the one you judged but you yourself live in the pessimistic world. Finally, you’ve never got the real happiness, harmony and peace. Be fair on everything, we all want peace, so don’t benefit yourself and harm others if you have sense of human!

  105. DEVIL MAY CRY Reply

    1. If you are planning to come to Cambodia and agree with this article. Stay where you are now. Don’t come. We don’t want people like you anyway.

    2. Author, next time, be more professional.

    3. http://www.khmer440.com, I can’t believe you use the domain name like that and you allow such article featured on your site.


  106. anonymous Reply

    I am sure once more and more people have more choice, they would stop coming to Cambodia or other Asian countries.
    It is good to highlight all the real and true bad points of a country such as Cambodia.

  107. Don Kong Reply

    I never read something more stupid about Cambodia than this. Yes, it is true that over here are a lot of western loser around but everybody creates his life alone, this is not the fault of the country. I am German and I live since 6 years, with my Thai wife and our son, in Cambodia. We are not sick, we don’t drink alcohol, I have a good job, our son goes to a good private school and we are happy, “including my Thai wife”!

  108. anonymous Reply

    I think there is nothing stupid about Asians or Cambodians. I just think they are extremely arrogant and extremely exploitive. Without the Westerners aid, the life of most Cambodians would be even bleaker. I just observed from my numerous trips there that they behaved as if they are the greatest people on the planet even though in reality they are not. In the end, it is the Cambodians or Asians that are the loser for treating people and their environment so shabbily.

  109. anonymous Reply

    With all respect to Cambodians and other Asians, I just think Asians or Cambodians should not be too proud of their run-down Angkor Wat or their shabby Asian country or their shaby attitude towards poor foreigners and should instead learn to give a bit of respect to hygiene and to poor foreigners. Do not take offense of what is being said about those haughty Cambodians or Asians. It is true there is too much evil in Asia and it would take centuries and a lot of hard working Asians to clean it up.

    • Kakada Khath Reply

      Anonymous – go get a life. You are so racist and bigoted against Asians. Why do you bother going to Asia or read anything about Asia if you feel it’s such an awful place.

      Please don’t bother answering this, because I don’t really care for your useless drivel.

      • anonymous Reply

        In fact I am one of the very few non-racist asian who is unfortunate to experience the too many horrible asian hospitality and should be free to say what I experienced and and saw. I am just fed-up with being treated shabbily by mostly fellow asians.
        It is true Asia is an extremely awful place, especially when one happen to fall into an unfortunate circumstances or when one happen to know it better and not many people are aware of that. That is why one need to read to share experience and opinions about Asia in order to prevent others from attack by people like yourself who have no regards for others and prevent others from falling into those extremely disgustingly racist awful and dangerous asian trap. By the way, this a reply to all nasty and intolerant racist asians. The fact that you can’t accept crticism of asians just proved that you are somewhat racist.

      • anonymous Reply

        Of course you all Asians think that you all are so great and anyone else who criticised Asian bad points are useless. Of course your asian mentality deemed everything or anyone that you don’t like or any comment that you don’t like are useless. The fact is you all Asians are even more useless in running your own country.

        • Pet.th Reply

          anonymous, can you tell me or criticize the goods and the bads of your country, please I like to observe the way you make some critics over your own country, Not sure whether your country is somewhere by Mordor / the black volcanic plain, sorry if I am wrong.
          As one of Asians people, I do appreciate any critics to our bad points because with that will help us to develop and improve our country to be at the same level of yours sometimes somehow.
          But with my respect, your critics to me is like something so insulting and contemptuous to all the Asians. Please go back and try to read it again and again

        • San Reply

          God I hope you die alone due to fall or heart attack,you racist cockhead.

  110. Yooda Reply


    Mark I think you are upset or angry about something? You need a hug and relax 🙂
    I agree at some points and I would newer, newer fucking ever raise my child there… It is po or, but you have been there fora long time? NOT a surprise!? What changed your mind? I still Love the place!!! but only been there twice on vacancy

    If you don´t like it you can always go home? To hot beaches, warm weather and you can do what you want to do…

    I hope you get a grip… Travel around a bit, do something different think about it… What made it so bad? Cheer up!

    Cheer up!!!!
    Find a Solution You Will

  111. Julia Colterjohn Reply

    The original article is true in places and very funny also. People should settle down and realize that it was written with tongue in cheek. I hope most of the westerners who might take it seriously DO take it seriously, because if everybody comes here and it gets too civilized, the rest of us will have to move. There are already too many expensive coffee shops.

    • anonymous Reply

      Once those Asiatics get richer, those mostly uncivilised Asians would not want civilised Westerners around. Those mostly uncivilised Asiatics prefer slaves.
      I doubt anyone would want to settle in a place that is so fake, inhumane, ugly, dangerous, filthy, nasty and chaotic.

      • Victor yen Reply

        Fuck u anonymous ! U are the most retarded racist mother fucking Asian hating son of the bitche I’ve ever seen … u should go fuck yourselves… Western and Asian are no difference there are bad people and good people the only thing that are different is colors and cultures… And lot if my friends are american Philippine Afric American and British even my teacher’s an Australian !!!

    • Panha Reply

      We do love seeing you westerners to come here. Experience the good, not just coming to spoil! We do smile, no price tag. You drink your coffee and we have no tradition of tippppppppp… and don’t bring it with you!

  112. Lucy Reply

    Where’s 7 reasons you really should move to Cambodia? Don’t leave me hanging !

    • gavinmac Reply

      Lina Goldberg covered those on her Move to Cambodia website, you should check it out. My next article will be a little different, I hope you like it.

  113. Colsie Reply

    Positive. If you are a young person, with aging parents, ambitions of having girl friend and a family, prefer new cars, modern infrastructure and have a drink problem, Cambodia is probably a place you shouldn’t move to.
    Negatives. 1.Die younger, no factual evidence. 2.Raise a child, I hate kids. 3.infrastructure, adapt or go live in a sterile environment. 4. Financial future, I have more money than I can spend in my lifetime. 5.Mother disappointed, parents been dead 10 years 6 . alcoholic, I don’t like beer or alcohol 7. Thai GF, don’t have…
    So Cambodia with its low cost of living, friendly people, excellent nightlife has 7 reasons why I SHOULD MOVE THERE

    • anonymous Reply

      I think you are mistaken. Most Asians are not NOT friendly and not genuine, that is not in the real sense, as Westerners communicate in the real world. Their asiatic friendliness is so fake, that is when they are not being openly horrible or outwardly hostile. Most Asians are very good in pretending to be friendly, for no good reasons. One have to be on your guard all the time. Those Asians are only trying to trick you or mislead you or pressure you to part with your money or recommend one of their asiatic sluts. I think Asia with its mostly filthy environment and high cost of living together with their extremely low standard of living, have too many extremely scary people. I guess one have to be very brave to live among those scary asians, if one is stuck there temporarily and hopefully not permanently in their asiatic hell. It would be even much more scary if there are no other Westerner foreigners around. I think one should not move there blindly, even if one have no other choice.

    • JC Reply

      Excellent nightlife? What are you talking about? Unless it’s a western style pub, which you could probably find anywhere else in the world, like an Irish pub with a name like Molly Malone’s or an American style bar/restaurant like Freebird, nightlife in Cambodia is limited to western frequented girlie bars full of unattractive local women and old farts (yuk!), boring karaoke joints with people singing old tunes with shrilled voices or the types of places where you will meet Hun Sen’s son and if you dare step on his shoes by accident or look at his girlfriends in the wrong way, watch out, because he’ll stick a gun in your face!

      That doesn’t sound like “good” nightlife to me. Nightlife in Bangkok and even Ho Chi Minh City is way better. There’s a reason why people talk about Thailand’s nightlife, you can find a lot of cool bars/clubs there. But Cambodia? Come on!

  114. SeaMonkey Reply

    “You say bad thing about Cambodia. You bad person. I no like you.”

    Now GM, aren’t you ashamed of yourself? You really offended this person.

    Now, say you’re sorry, OK?

  115. Vichny Reply

    really some ideas are true, example, health care, infrastructure. but end us as achoholistic person is your choice. and one more thing, there is one european guy say that Cambodian teen can be consider the nicest teen in the world for they didn’t gone crazy like western teen.

  116. fghgfgfghhg Reply

    As an Asian American Cambodian guy there is one thing I really have to say:
    I FEEL SO UNCOMFORTABLE IN CAMBODIA… I said it, second generation Cambodian American, and I am not very prideful to be one by saying that.

    Judging a whole country in general just because of the people is pretty stupid. Why? Most people say this:

    Americans are stupid and bad.
    Cambodians are poor.
    Or western men have wrinkly soggy penises lol.
    Stereotypes make complete sense. Yeah. Let’s eat hamburgers for saying that.

    I don’t really make myself the smartest or wisest person in the comments but opinions are opinions people.

    That’s all I have to say because I am no where near proud of being a certain race, I am prideful of being someone who is different than others and enjoys being himself. And thanks and good luck to all good of mankind, spirits, and animals.

  117. Nose hair Bob Reply

    I resent the Nose hair Bob moniker and much prefer wrinkled penis Bob instead.

  118. Nose hair Bob Reply

    I am neither a Bob or have an excessive amount of nose hair. However, I have at times hung out with bloated drug addled alcoholic sexpats ( usually from the UK) in Sihanoukville and I must say that they are not all bad before 10:00 pm. A lot of what Gmac says rings true when
    broken down and simplified. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while some of his observations made me openly laugh I know they are made tongue in cheek because he’s obviously spent a lot of time in the kingdom to come to his conclusions. Bottom line is that’s some funny shit so keep it up I love a good laugh especially at someone else’s expense.

  119. The Sun Shines Out My Ass Reply

    Your view of success is flawed. First off, let us look at who is happiest in this world. I have lived in Cambodia for a while and never have I seen so many happy people living so simply. I have yet to meet a rich person who is truly this happy. Possessions are just things. If they create emotions of happiness or elation it means you are addicted to money and addicted to things. Also, that blonde bombshell of a wife is going to get old and saggy just like the rest of us. Finding realness in your life- real relationships real conversations real love. That is success.

  120. Daniel Reply

    Im an aussie 24yo

    worked in an ngo , had girlfriends, never paid.

    Saw currupted aid, left,

    got a khmer wife, older than me, only speak khmer with her,

    im typing this on my big tv remote so sorry for the grammar but got 3 cars work sixty hrs a week put the kids in childcare all the rellys in a paid of villa, paid shit tonnes for visas etc… since importing the missus, and havin two kids its been bad

    getting messy but basically, single full time worker supporting a cambodian family beats the shit out of raising a 4 person family in australia. single i would have estimated disposable income of around 30 000 / annum. dual income plus weekend business id estimate disposable income at 10000

    my suggestion is to get your dick snipped find your soulmate in a cambodian wife. and i tell you that khmer partner is the best. go work your arse off and live in paradise half the year whilst travelling with a1 travel insurance

    50000 is enough money in the bank to generate enough for living expenses if you own your own house. 8% at acleda. then you can concentrate on working hard to buy a newer lexus and more gold every time you return.

    prejeea jun khmai art roua baan srewl bersen yeurng twer bpon, geroup krooasa yeurng gom twer gum baok gay baok barang, gom puk, gom layng lbang, barang klah gay keurng yeurng la or, gay jooey yeurng hi. gom taa gay art yooul yerng baan, doit knyom mon nung jeh peesa nyom jeh merl jet gay baan. gom merl ngeea baik.

    (Just a reminder that you dont need language to see a fuckhead)

  121. Daniel Reply

    correction gom taa barang min art keurng jet yeurng baan, gay merl baan doit kneea, samaki twer jomnueung kneea meeun baan jeeung baok gay.

  122. Daniel Reply

    and screw all you oldies whom fork out cash, cambo is the bomb because my house in siem reap costs 30000 to buy whereas in australia the worst houses are 300 000. take the good of whateva you can get, i say. western insurance and wages, cambodian culture and family, cheapest beer and property is also a plus.

    just dont dilude yourself into a quick marriage because someone like me will be sticking my young shaft into your missuses orafices whilst she brags about it to family and friends laughing behind your back.

    be warned just like anywhere else choose carefully and things will go right. even on the farm my missus has earnt 30 times what her visas and other incidentals cost, and she cant speak a bar of english. imagine how good it would be if you could get a lawyer or doctor to love you, set for life…

    alright spoke enough,
    to someone elses experience.

    ohh sorry, P.S ive not got much love for phnom penh. siem reap is where its at

  123. ForeverTraveling Reply

    This article is exquisite, and the comments the like. I stumbled upon this little gem whilst searching for my next travel destination, and possibly a retirement spot near the beach, and it’s very clear that this article is in fact written with an ingenious combination of truthfulness, exaggeration, and relentless comedy value. With that being said, I’d like to thank the author who is truly skilled in the art of communication. I do believe that I will make a small incursion into Cambodia to take a gander the next time that I find myself in that region. Thanks again, good Sir.

    • phil Reply

      the man is an idiot uneducated,and has been hurt in life to write such sick comments,come and enjoy yourself in the lovey place of siem reap

  124. Sean You Reply

    The person that wrote this is such an idiot. Comparing third world countries
    to Western is one thing. But trashing the Kingdom of Cambodia in his manner is ridiculous. Just by reading his blog (which is not even a creditable source) shows this is guy is uneducated and probably has never even left America.

    • M Reply

      And have you ever thought why Cambodia is 3rd world country?

      Selfishness, stealing, cheating, greediness, adultery, laziness, never ending parties, drinking, wasting, …

      Why foreigners leave their good jobs, come to here to volunteer? Cambodians don’t need to travel 10000 km and pay for their staying. They can do the same just instead of doing nothing. But they will not do it. Because no profit! Party and sleeping is of much more priority than teaching their children.

      Do not exchange consequences for causes, do not excuse yourself. The ugliness is not the consequence of Cambodia being 3rd world country. It is the cause.

  125. William Reply

    I like this article and I can see the fun and truth in it, what would be classy, is: if gavinmac did not attack people who write their views on this page, I do find khmer440 admins and contributors do like their power on khmer440. There is no real need to swear at people who find the time to participate on khmer440.

  126. pooh Reply

    I didn’t bother to read all the comments here,but clearly this is sensationalist trash journalism. And many of the

    Cambodia is less developed than western countries and this entails certain problems. True. But many westerners are degenerate gamblers, alcoholics, and whoremongers back home who waste their lives away. Is it fair to blame Cambodia for people engaging in that kind of lifestyle?

    Then, Charles Dickens himself goes on to proclaim with his exquisite writing that there’s “nothing to do” in Cambodia except get drunk with assholes. Can you read books in Cambodia? Can you take a walk in nature? Can you have a normal family life in Cambodia?

    The author takes every negative stereotype of Cambodia (and maybe some true stuff) and every stereotype of the worst expat living in Cambodia and combines it, presumably to get more “hits” on his site.

    And other imbeciles on the thread chime in and blame Cambodians or “brown people” in their own country for ruining their lives. Of course YOU have nothing to do with how good or bad your life is or how miserable you are. It’s the shitty infrastructure that’s to blame.

    Some of what say has some truth to it, but you’ve clearly painted the worst case scenario in an effort to make your points.

  127. RS Reply

    Just moved to Cambodia four days ago. So far it seems fine. The way to come is to be sent here by a company, government or NGO. Or, if you’re young with no kids you could do the volunteer English teacher thing for a while until you move back and get a real job. No harm in globtrotting for a while before the kids come.

    • prince Reply

      RS, can you tell me more about cambodia, because i wish to come there any moment from now.

  128. Annonymous Reply

    Racist, I sense only racism here. If every of you foreign has this mind set, why in the world can we move forward ? Something has to be done, this particular author is gonna pay.

  129. Ray Reply

    I spent two weeks in PP with friends who live here now. I met some really nice people who were not on the make but who were very helpful and fun to be with .

    Just avoid extwat loser bars filled with arseholes , Oh I did meet a really sweet lady who I shall be seeing soon .

    • Toma Reply

      Hi Ray – I wish you spend more time in Cambodia. But be careful when you stay with girls, especially in the clubs or other entertainment places – Most of these girls are NOT Khmer girls – Mind your pocket ($) and camera while traveling along the streets.
      Good luck

  130. Andy Reply

    Is Gavinmac right or wrong? Well, i will find out on my first Trip to Cambodia in March 2014 and will let You all know! I have been living
    in Thailand for the last 17 Years…..and, believe it or not, Pattaya
    is fucked up and quite expensive, but still the best Place with an
    extraordinary Infrastructure if You are looking for exciting Nightlife,
    no doubt about it, absolutely not comparable to any other Place in the World!

    • Toma Reply

      Andy – I am so happy to hear you are coming to Cambodia. Don’t be so pessimistic about Cambodia. I am not arguing with this blog author as it seems to be that s/he is too pessimistic about our country.
      If you have any difficulties in travelling outside / sight seeing, please feel free to call me at 088 998 2005 / 070 98 2005 or email me: [email protected]. Skype: toma.math
      It’s my pleasure to invite you to have lunch and dinner at my small home if you feel fine.
      Best Regards,

  131. anonymous Reply

    Those Khmers do try to be difficult according to their whims and fancies, ie those haughty Khmers are known to make it problematic for anyone, who appear to be vulnerable and happen to have crumpled or even slightly old US dollar notes, while us poor tourists are forced to accept change in filthy riels or crumpled old US dollars from those Khmers.
    Those Khmers want us poor tourists to accept all their asian failings at a high price. That is very unfair.

  132. vual grimoire Reply

    Nice tongue in cheek space filler. I guess you had nothing else to do. Next time come up with 7 reasons why you ought to stick your head back up your ass.

  133. billy Reply

    i think the article was originally titled 7 reasons why I’m a prick. I’m an american trying to learn Khmer and I think the author should too.

    • RobertDeMist Reply

      and I’m a Cambodian who’s been trying to improve my pronunciation, interested in mutual benefit?

  134. RobertDeMist Reply

    Hahahah I’m Cambodian but I find this article hilarious (not offensive).

  135. kezley Reply

    Im really disappointed in this article and a lot of these comments. I have close friends that live there and I visit. Cambodia is where my heart is and its not ok to make a joke out of it. I plan to move there someday

  136. sokunthea Reply

    who are you?It’s true that Cambodia such a poor country but you’re not a Cambodian why you so clear about Cambodia.Do you know how old is Cambodia starts? I warn you if you write stupid writing more about Cambodia you’ll regret for it.

  137. Kosol Reply

    Dear all,

    you all are trying to make a war. It is a matter of an integration of one culture to another and where you live. This article is just an opinion of an individual trying to share their experience from their holidays.

    Of course, Cambodia is a developing country. People work so hard day by day to fill up their stomach. Comparing to those who have born and lived in Europe or the US…etc. Westerners might feel it’s sorry about how we are. With their few days traveling in Cambodia, they observe and record what shock them such poverty and the dark sides, which are fun for them. They go to any bar and find their greedy baby girls, of which these girls’ job is to get rid of their money. Then, they sit down and complain about bad Cambodians. We most of Cambodians are kind, smiling, and caring…. those who observe would recognise (my friends and my coworkers).

    I’m a Cambodian who have moved to Europe for 2 years (it’s just an example of me for you to read and think…) When I mean people it doesn’t mean everyone (Of course, I also make friends with a lot of nice europeans).

    Two years living in Europe, I have been a victim of all kinds: racist, employment…etc. Here people are cold like the weather and individual. They scare that we might come and take their bread. They never smile at people as they never know how. They never take care of their parents but I do for them (i am a red-cross volunteer). If I am nice and try to be gentle with them, they take advantages of me and put me down. Is it the same in the US?

    $20 for foreigners and free for Cambodians for entrance of one day pass – temples? Yes, who has money to pay. it’s the same ideas here for students (half price or non) and adults who works (full price) for museum… ect.

    The 7 reasons that the guys wrote this blog don’t exist here but their unwelcoming system and people might kill you with depressions (but I never take alcohol till 3 AM to relief the depression like the way the guy who wrote this blog usually does, my mum is proof of it). I have thought about moving away. However, with some support of good european friends and the result from my integration and understanding… it keeps me alive and still be me. I’m not going back home to Cambodia now but surely I will return.

    I do apologise that I brought an example about Europe. Honestly, there are good and bad Europeans / good and bad Cambodians/ good and bad people everywhere in developed and developing countries.

    To Cambodia: “Years ago, Cambodians have valued the guys with the length of the nose. But we recently got to know them and found that they are humans as we are. Their salary might be higher and they speak a bit louder but it’s doesn’t mean they are smarter to write a blog or speak many languages…etc. We should not fight to make them live in Cambodia, we should create our country a better place to live… it is where Cambodians live… soon nobody would like to live in a cold country.

    Last but not least to the bloggers, it’s a choice to choose where to live – Cambodia or anywhere in the world, please think before you write. insulting or information?

    • M Reply

      You made some interesting observations. How many times were you cheated in two years in Europe?

      Cambodians say they love you but they hate you for irrational reasons. Cambodians say they love you only with prospect to cheat you at the first opportunity. Yes, they speak nice but their souls are so evil. They promise whatever, but never have intention to fulfill.

      Well, I agree, in Cambodia they are warm. But it is fake as everything in Cambodia, they don’t mean it at all.

      • al Reply

        I live in the uk for the last 10 years,and i have never seen such double faced fuckers like this people in here…dont get me wrong i am here only cos i work here.I do understand Cambodians they have to live too.

  138. Atithrasmey Reply

    it seems like, i have read a bitch’s article that keeping himself know more than Cambodian people. Foreigner is just a foreigner. I agree that there’re many problems in Cambodia but there’re not as worse as you wrote in the article.

  139. Jenny Reply

    I think the author should put 7 reasons why he can’t stay in Cambodia and any other place except his home town.
    His view is so pessimistic and thought he has been from the perfect heaven country and know every aspect, i wish. So, he should back to his perfect thing.
    What did you expect from a developing country? hey man check it out, how long cambodia has gone thru her ways up to today. You should not compare it to EU or US, unjust comparison.
    Anyway, you can’t in Cambodia, go to live where you can live. Don’t think every one think like you

    • Tim Reply

      I agree 100%! We do not need him here in Cambodia. I take that back…we don;t need him here on this EARTH!

  140. Tim Reply

    It’s pretty simple to understand…you get in this life what you accept. If you accept a shit job, you get it. If you accept surrounding yourself with drunks and losers you get it. If you come to Cambodia and are not switched on enough to afford a fantastic life style in a beautiful country spilling over with opportunity for those who are not pissy wankers named Ian or Nigel, then ya, you are gonna have a shitty life. But you are going to have a shitty life anywhere because you are just a douchebag with proper King’s english and bad teeth. Stay home, we don’t want you or need you here.

  141. phil Reply

    well i have heard some shit in my life and this so called blog,,is just pure shit from an uneducated idiot,i lived in siem reap an Englishman and well traveled,he says all Thai women are whores, maybe this is why he is angry about life,, he must have been raped by men as well, this why he is so,so, sick,, his mother and sisters must be whores, where is he coming from siem reap has the most friendly people anywhere,clean streets,if you are sick you can have blood tests get any medication over the counter you want,if health is bad, go to Thailand, whats the problem sick mother fuker,,i wonder where the sick fuker lives who wrote this very sick blog,he has no idea about life at all,there are countries like Somalia where they have nothing,go write a blog there you fuking idiot..you are so sick,with no education at all,what everybodys alcoholics in asia,they cant have a nice wife because he says all whore like his mother,the man should be shot

  142. kim Reply

    excuse me for being rude “M” or whatever. you ever lived in cambodia? if not, stop saying trash and shut your damn mouth. what are you talking about saying that people died young? then how come my greatgrandmother died at age 95. are you people stupid or something? I’m not denying that my home country is dirty but you should give us our pride too. You guys are just so conceited thinking that everything about you guys so perfect. I wish you guys would be worst than us and BAM!! you know how it feels to be criticized as a citizen of your own country!!!!

  143. GER Reply

    Re the original posting, Yes things can be difficult in Cambodia but only if you make them so. If you drink to oblivion everyday life can be difficult regardless of where you live. There are prostitutes in every country. Alcoholics are everywhere, by the way there is not a drink culture in SE Asia, Cambodia is no exception, it is the western expats who ran away from there own countries with a headful of issues, bring these problems with them and then continue to drink to blot them out. Cambodia is a beautiful country and her people are very hospitable. If you can’t or won’t adapt them go home. It is mainly expats from from the USA who mess things up here. They expect to find a little America here at a cheaper cost. Get stuffed Mr Alcoholic American we don’t want you here. I am proud to live and work in Cambodia and I love her people.

  144. LuckyLuke Reply

    @Gavinmac: Interesting article and more interesting comments. However, It is one-sided, like a divorce lawsuit, nothing pleasant only sadly pungent.

    Not everyone has the same goals or wants to an accountant, lawyer or scientist want to have an iPOD or wants to be successful in the capitalistic sense of the word. When my friends looks down at other cultures or nationalities I ask them whether they would they think the same if they were born there – unfortunately few human can think that far and are hard coded by their narrow education and parenting – this nor different in the developed world the shear arrogance has made many blind to reality.

    In fact, some of us actually like extreme vices and danger (I have lived all over but found West Africa the happiest part of my life (UK the unhappiest)), some like to be different and have a new experience not play it safe and always listen to mummy. It is not for joke the Chinese have given each of us an animal trait, or like a particular color.

    In my opinion civilizations and countries in general have a pace and cycle of development. With war, malnutrition, poor education, and lack of democracy people find it more difficult to focus on long term goals. Cambodia nor better nor worse. Unfortunately some in the West have not read history or have “forgotten” how their grandparents raped third world nations and exported slave labor or how they “developed” so fast.

    The west has developed tremendously and hats off for that. However said that they are also greedy, selfish and self centered: why did one million Iraqis (and 3000 marines) have to die – oil, arms sales, politics or 9/11?

    There article would have been balanced and meaningful if you had used less racist slur, gently warned readers about ground reality, and give more practical advice if one had had to go there. I think you have instead offended a lot of good principled people not necessarily your type or liking. It is like kicking a beggar in the face instead of genuinely helping out – cowardly and counter productive. In analogy, etiquette has taught us to use the word washroom but you have chosen the word shit-hole instead – your choice.

    Also, to keep a balance I encourage you to write a similar article on YOUR country (USA) or state and why not to move there. It would do justice especially to those many already educated and well-to-do Europeans, Asians (including Cambodians and Thai) Africans, hoping to move there.

    Ohh, also please stay from Cambodia, and stay as long as you can in your cheap, clean and safe country so that you can save a few bucks on the burgers, cinemas and stuff like brooms (most imported from cheap exploited labor in china?) and listen to mummy (Uncle Sam)

  145. what Reply


    the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

    That’s exactly what this article is, stop taking it so seriously lol

  146. Anon Reply

    These comments are bias, and un-true. No real research has been done. Images provided show the development, but not how it is now.

  147. Marcus Reply

    Just another journalist who knows nothing at all except to make up shit to make him self look good…………….ALL JOURNALIST ARE LIARS….he should go work for CNN (communist news network) or ABC ( ALL bulshit channel)

  148. SingaporeCowboy Reply

    What a Hoot!

    It’s all so subjective……

    It is like ‘Buyers Beware’ Right?

    Been here close to two weeks from N. Thailand.

    Much of what is written is so true, but then it is a very prejudiced and narrow observation….PP/Siem Reap do not = All Cambodia guys!

    I have encountered cranky tourism business operators same same as in Thailand and also find others friendly and generous….50/50.

    Why are you here for, go ask yourself?….It is not where you live , it is ‘How you live where you live’ someone just said to me a week ago today!……

    Have a good long and healthy life…Happy Khmer New Year to all…my first here!


  149. jamie44 Reply

    What do you expect- the author is a yank casino lawyer from Las Vegas.

    And they rouse on junkies who stole the odd moto/ bottle of whisky while they themselves are the epitome of moral rectitude.

    Blame it on the parents.

  150. Bird245 Reply

    I can differentiate four certain types of People for a valuable information to all readers of this article.

    In Cambodia, I have seen :

    1, Expats (refer to all races) are making themselves less-respected by their own manners for : looking for drugs, passing it on to their fellows. Looking at poor Cambodian women as sex objects. Looking down at Cambodian for seeing Cambodian as cash suckers and illiteracy.

    2, Locals (Cambodian) are not earning enough to put foods on tables and to seek for education, therefore they choose to look for job out of their physical-capabilities. Like: sucking money out of foreigners from the jobs to which they prefer(since they were born and taught that foreigners are from a moderner and richer countries, therefore they are holding more $$$ and knowledge).

    I believe that there are others like:

    3, Expats (all races) who are looking to deliver Cambodia their knowledge or sympathy in order to help this poor country developed.
    4, cambodian(the good medium+high class) are seeking to improve standard of our country with the help for improvement of knowledges, infrastructure…etc.. *therefore, they do not value or respect foreigners who arrive Cambodia to do drugs, Sex or spreading culture of enjoying their owndepressed-life.
    5, Cambodian(evil & corrupted: they just don’t care what or who the hell is messing or bringing the mess in Cambodia, all they do is to structure bigger system of corruption , sucking $$$ from their own poor people and taking bribes from foreigners for whatever reasons which even pushing Cambodian to an even more messed up situation.

    I am Cambodian myself, and trying put facts for readers in non-offensive manner to all readers or commenter. You read what I wrote, and consider yourself who is the good or the bad, what makes the country look bad when the country itself has nothing to do with it, but evil-minded people who turn it into one.

  151. Marcus Reply

    Dont believe shit this guy says he is just another asshole the US Government pays to say nothing but lies and BUllshit….. Be ware of these types of trolls most of the time they dont know shit just like all the news TV CNN( communist news network) ABC ( all bullshit channel) NBC ( Nazi BUllshit ChanneL ) CBS ( communist bull shit)

  152. Tommy Reply

    Quote – Cambodia still has a notorious reputation, and it’s hard to get a good job when the hiring manager who reviews your application says, “This candidate has a fascinating resumé. I wonder if he’s a pedophile.” – End Quote.

    Paranoia. I’m guessing the writer of this article has romanced the idea of relocating to Cambodia himself but lacks spine. I mean, you’re either a pedophile or you’re not and if you’re not, why should you live in fear of being stigmatised as one? Oh yea that’s right. I forgot. Defamation; slander; character assassination. It’s what, power tripping, smug, self-righteous, status quo mongering evil-arse-holes in Western countries who are well practiced at clambering up the food chain, like to do. Just another good reason for wanting leave such places.

    So, see it for what it is and take courage. Why wouldn’t any self-respecting person who can’t find the work/interests/lifestyle they’re seeking or isn’t promoted or compensated according to their worth or similar in their home country’s expensive economy want to leave it? The above quote is more an indictment of a smug and pervasive Western mentality rather than people who are attempting to better their lives (for one reason or another) by relocating to Cambodia.

  153. Lyhor Mom Reply

    no way! i agree with you for some reasons, but are you coming for your job, daily living, having fun and said nth to do? Then you shouldn’t come! In this country, people respect their family so much, like me 18 years old never have girl friend because they said i don’t get girl friend. I’m happy to helping the other kid who really want to study, collecting fund raising, and other more. You’re born in a situation you don’t know the world of fighting for their life in this country. We are staying together and helping each other for every situation. If we are able to raise the whole family, we raise. Maybe you don’t believe, you can check the previous history of Cambodia in 1950s. We are the top in ASIA at that time

  154. RDS Reply

    I really hope you don’t consider yourself as an author of some kind because to write this stupid article you really can’t be one …

  155. Cecco Reply

    Well, regarding the societies. One youngster, with bad language, is correct. Asians care for their parents (the young man didn’t say “mothers”). I noted the author writing a bigoted morality regarding “mothers.” What about fathers? Do men become any less needy as we age?

    Secondly, the author addressed bringing our “Thai girlfriends and wives.” Quality Thai women would not be interested in leaving Thailand. Men asking those questions are very unlikely to be with quality Thai women, and since 80% of the Thai’s of today have college degrees, we are talking about expats who are the bottom of the barrel. Most expats are living on very very little in Thailand.

    Thirdly, when the wife of Cambodia’s leader gave the Sampeah to Obama, my respect for Cambodia and the courage the Cambodian leadership showed in putting America’s Kenyan fraudster in his place rose a great deal.

  156. Nit Ron Reply

    7 Reasons You Should Never Listen To This Negative, Gavinmac.
    1. This person is a scary cat.
    2. This person never experience life to the fullest.
    3. This person afraid to explore the new world.
    4. This person promote negativity.
    5. This person is very negative.
    6. This person is afraid to die.
    7. This person is the one who will die early.

    You are only live ones, so enjoy life where ever it maybe. Everything has it +/- side. It maybe seem worst to ones but not to others. Experience life you want to be and like to be. Live life to the fullest doesn’t mean you have to stay in one place in order to be save. You can die at young age with full of happiness. Live your life, enjoy it and die happy.

    Nit Ron

  157. Gunluvr Reply

    Reads like a snooty civilian review. Have you ever been a soldier or a Marine who lived in the field under tough conditions? If not, save your condescending remarks for high living aristocrats. This country is for those of us who want to rough it. In general, we’re going to live there for the lust, the girls and for the rustic, uncivilized conditions that prevail. I’ve had a lifetime of “civilization” and I don’t like where the US is headed as a country. It took Rome 1000 years to fall and the United States will disintegrate within 200. Countries like these are pure and basic.

  158. zombie Reply

    I understand it is meant to be satirical,
    my friends dad fell off his moto while drunk, and i tried to see if he had injuries, they put tigerbalm on the edges of his open wounds
    but what i dont understand is you did not know about legend cinema movie business at city mall?
    its biggest problem is it has those stupid 3D movies,
    curses and a pox on 3D cinema!

  159. Fisto Reply

    I’ve been here in PP for about 10 days. Everything he mentioned is present, and also totally avoidable.

    While I’ve only been here a short time, I’ve been to a lot of “shit holes” and just like all shitholes there is opportunity.

    He goes off on the English Teacher pursuit quite a bit, well right now, the Khmer people are still genuinely interested in Barang. The upper class as well. Do you know who pays good money to learn English? The upper class Khmer.

    If you have your shit half way together you can make connections in a place like this and improve your station.

    If you’re a tattooed, drunken fuckup, you will be that in any place, and since whatever you’re looking for is cheap, Cambodia is a good place for that too.

    It always get’s on my nerves when someone like this speaks in absolutes, especially when it appears that it’s all based on research and not on the ground knowledge.

    The guy strikes me as the type of person that can spend months here and never learn to even say “thank you aunt” in Khmer.

    • gavinmac Reply

      Ten days and you already have a Khmer aunt? That’s moving fast.

    • Falcon Randwick Reply

      I think you’d be wrong there. While I’m not exactly sure how proficient he is at the language, I know gavinmac has been studying Khmer for around ten years now, so I suspect he can say a little more than “thank you, aunt”.

      • gavinmac Reply

        I actually never learned the word for aunt. Why would I want to talk to an old woman?

  160. Khmerican Reply

    Negative points are placed by its own people everywhere in the world including developed countries, do you think so? If you don’t use your brain to think or to balance the bad and good points, you are still not being aware of what is going on. You will be like “a poor frog in the well”.

    I believe everybody has its own bad and good attitudes, so if you are educated (no need to be well-educated), you know how to use your brain to judge.

  161. Alfons Van Hoof Reply

    1. You will live longer in Cambodia
    According to Gavinmac’ article, I am statistically deceased (i.e. older than 54.7). However, since I moved to the tropics nearly twenty years ago, I’m feeling a lot better and younger than when I was living in cold, wet Europe. And probably have a better chance of surviving here longer. The climate is beneficial most of the year. I have a lot less problems with arthritis and colds. I haven’t felt a single problem with lower back pain, which bothered me most o the time living in Europe. Psychologically it’s also a better environment: instead of being regarded as old, useless, and better dead, you’re approached here with respect for your white hair and older age.
    When holding up hygiene standards a bit, and living in a city, you’re not so disease-prone as you would think. Gently taking in some of the more dangerous microbes is probably adding value to your immune system as well. Beyond a few cases of flu and a broken collarbone, I’ve been pretty healthy, despite some 400,000 km of traveling on a motorbike in S and SE Asia during the last twenty years.
    Traffic is quite slow and spread out in Cambodia, compared with e.g. India and even Thailand. Having a small population and bad roads probably helps too.

    2. Cambodia is a fine place to raise a child
    Good, English spoken education doesn’t have to break the bank. While the fees of some International Schools are exorbitant, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are quite decent schools around for a affordable fee, at least for a foreigner. Yes, local schools are abominable, but what loyalty and interest can you expect from a teacher earning $100-125 per month. Even to local standards, that’s not enough to survive with a family, much less living up to the expectations of your surroundings.

    3. The infrastructure is fast improving
    While it will take a few more years to fix the big national roads (currently very bad at places due to massive road works), quite a few of the B-roads are pretty good. Even a lot of ‘dirt roads’ are in not too bad a shape, certainly on a two-wheeler.
    Power outages are still frequent – and will increase in certain urban parts because of the fast growing consumption – but it’s rare that a power outage takes more than 10-30 minutes to fix. While living ‘off the internet’, with the battery power of my laptop + a mobile internet connection as back-up for my fixed line, I can almost always bridge the power outage gap. Keeping a few battery-powered tube lights charged, we even have little problems with outages in the evening or night.
    The riverside in Siem Reap provides for some nice shaded and pleasant walks, and is being expanded to the south side. Decent shops, little malls and good bookshops are available, as well as an excellent choice of restaurants and bars, all within about 300 m from Pub Street. Quite comfortable, particularly if one chooses to have one’s living quarters just outside that zone. I rarely have to bear any form of noise pollution. Even if there’s a lot of construction going on, most of it is done by hand, not machines. OK, people start working early, but so am I, so it really doesn’t bother me.

    4. Living in Cambodia is good for your finances
    Teaching as a foreigner isn’t that bad either. Even at $9 per hour. If you teach 6 hours per day and 5 days a week, you still make about $1000 a month, a princely sum in this country, on which you can certainly live decently. While not teaching, I’m living quite decently on about the same budget. I pay $100 rent for a small but very comfortable apartment. Add another $60 for power and other facilities (which includes modest A/C and nearly continuous fan use), $500 on groceries and $250 on restaurant costs, and I’m good for the month. With a local wife and 1 kid, that doesn’t sound too bad to me.
    Going out to a (Western type of) restaurant with the three of us rarely sets me back more than $25, which we do two or three times a week. Can you afford that in Europe on a medium salary?
    Just bought a new scooter ($1700), a new big fridge (|$250), a simple combi-microwave ($100) and a huge 40” flat-screen TV ($350). Try shopping for that price in Europe.
    By the end of the year we plan to have a holiday abroad. $500 for return flight tickets to Manila, $200 for a two-day ferry trip to the south of the Philippines (including a stateroom and meals on board) for the three of us, Add another $300 for working ourselves up the slow way to Manila again and max $1000 on living expenses, it all will probably boil down to less than $2000 for a four-week holiday with a family of three. Again, try that in Europe!
    Have some money on a savings account? Up to 6.5 % interest rates (36 months fixed deposit) doesn’t sound too bad either for an account in USD.. If you’re savvy, and you like to play the stock markets, there’s a lot more to earn. Most Asian stock markets are doing pretty well. And a lot of listings of stable companies have a yearly swing of 50 to 100%. If you play it handy, it’s quite easy to make a yearly 50% profit on your investments.
    All this is quite OK, on the condition that you don’t plan on saving enough to return to a Western country. Consider yourself an immigrant, not a long-term holiday maker. So yes, you’re stuck in the region. But wasn’t that the big idea in the first place?

    5. Your mother will be happy for you too
    Your mother will congratulate you for making a wise choice, living in a good and friendly country (after all there’s little violent crime here compared to many other countries), the people are super-friendly and still surprisingly screwed up by westerners, even if in certain spots they’re not seeing the best of breed of them. Invite her over for a holiday, so see can see how happy you are with a great wife and a super kid.
    Of course, you have to live sensible, and make wise choices. If you’re 50+, an 18 y.o. bargirl who’s on alcohol and drugs isn’t a wise choice. But a decent out-of-town girl of 40, whose husband has abandoned here, or drunk himself to death, can be an excellent choice, even if she has two or three (lovely) kids. There’s nothing wrong with having your own little orphanage, and (within reason) taking care of some extended family. They’ll take care of you. While it will not pay for any hospital costs, but will certainly pay back in nursing care.

    6. You’ll become a social anchor
    There’s a lot of bad and bad-ass expats hanging around. Avoid them. There’s plenty of nice chaps around too. Ever since I settled down here, I have gathered a good circle of close friends around me from different countries (Belgium, Netherlands, France, Austria, Australia, USA, India, Brazil) that are all hard working for a company or owning their own little business, often but not all married locally, without any alcohol, drugs or violence related problems. Contacts are much more regular compared with my experience in Europe, and often also deeper. Yes, there’s even some kind of common feeling and culture, integrated in, yet distinctive from the local way of life.
    And, while being extremely selective, I have a few solid Khmer friends too.
    It’s all about your own choice and your own level of decency.

    7. Your Khmer girlfriend/wife will absolutely love it
    While having a foreign husband/friend seems to be less elevating for her social status than in some surrounding countries, she’ll feel moving up the ladder by a few steps. OK, you’ll pay for it: she likes to go to the manicure and hairdresser, and will spend more money than before on clothing and cosmetics. But all for a good purpose: looking good for you. But in return, she’ll pamper you beyond belief. If you’re half a decent fellow in loving and caring for her (and her off-spring), and accept your social duties to her family – which shouldn’t be very expensive after all – like it is built-in in the tradition of most of Asia (actually not much different from our own Western countries 100 years ago), you’ll earn a lot of honour and gratitude for the rest of your life.
    Living in one of the poorer countries in the region, any trip abroad is going to be like a honeymoon vacation for her. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines,… it’s all pretty close, flights are cheap, and are going to be a revelation for most Khmer, who before have never seen much more than the next village.

    Whether poor (in Western terms) or not isn’t all that important. What counts is your decency. If you behave like a gentleman, keep your manners, dress appropriately and know how to behave in an Asian context, living in Asia is very much like living in paradise. Become a bad-ass and your life can turn into hell. It’s all up to you.
    I know what I have chosen for, and am more than happy to live here happily ever after.

    • Borito Reply

      Your numbers don’t add up. You will never get 6 hours per day teaching every day as no school has such a schedule.
      You may get close to that if you teach in 3 schools and lucky with the timing but usually all of them empty in the morning and full in the evening when you might have 1 or 2 classes only.

      Or if you teach that much at one place they will give you a full time job for much less. And you don’t live in a one room studio with a wife and a kid or if you do, good luck with your soon to be busy shrink.

      You don’t buy all the stuff you listed even from a $1000 wage, let alone going out 3 times a week and pay $25 at a time which would set you back $75 a week or $300 a month.
      You pay zero for your wife, ha? I can’t see that in your books.
      Cheap one for sure.

      Cheap flights anywhere in the region?
      Cambodia bullshit air flies Saigon for $350, Cebupacific $400-500 to Manila and AirAsia sometimes makes you lucky with cheaper KL or BKK flights at times.

      You draw some handsome pension money or social welfare from your government which allows you all what you say.
      That way it’s easy to enjoy this “cheap” country. So shut the fuck up.

    • M Reply

      Well, let us sum it up. You can not have a car and own home like everyone in Western has, but you still can afford a scooter and renting a rat hole for $100. And you have a TV and fridge. You claim that saving at 6.5 % (36 months fixed deposit) is a big deal when every year almost everything gets 10 to 25 % more expensive.

      Btw., scooter is quite convenient during rain and when travelling in provinces, isn’t it?

  162. sreyneang Reply

    felt that it is a place for some uneducated guy complain about cambodia because if they are educated they have understood Cambodia situation and they will pity and want to help Cambodian avoid from bad situation.

  163. Will Reply

    At the end of the day, no body has to anywhere they don not want to. If you dont like how a country is, you have the God given right to get on a plane, train, bus and get out. I have heard a lot of complaining about this or that, but nobody asked to to go there or live there.
    The guy who wrote this, I would like to ask where have you been and lived for any amount of time? Apart from Cambodia? I have spent thirty years travelling. Cambodia might have its problems, but so does every country.
    If we all came from somewhere that a lot better, why do we not want to live there?

  164. JR Reply

    “Thanks for raising me and all that, sorry I haven’t seen you in a few years, it just turns out that I enjoy drugs, alcohol and hookers much more than spending time with you.” CHEERS!! 🙂

  165. Grim Reply

    I don’t know…part of the article are true and some are not. They’re mostly facts. I’m a local. The last part of the first fact is true. They’re all mostly just gonna stand their looking at you dying. The ambulance, doctor and medicine can’t really be trusted. If you’re lucky you might live. Second, The attitude of the locals are even worst. You could just walk out there and die from thugs. If you’re moving there and don’t have a relative, I suggest you get the shit out of there

  166. John green Reply

    Cambodia, land of the poor & land of the free. (if you have some spare cash of course) It attracts the outside world(only a selected species from worlds of many other cultures, that Cambodians in general will never see or understand).
    I enjoyed the harsh ride this piece points to and it’s opinion of many who have come to rid themselves of rights and wrongs from a clean cut culture of the west. The choices people make to live in a free(er) country when choices are your own not that of a society who behind closed doors are no better than a drug addict, sex addict or alcoholic.
    Living in the UK everything goes on behind closed doors, the stigma culture of the uk where you receive a name it’s usually sticks for life unless your a celebrity of course and go for the help and pay your nice Dr the huge sum to cure your acute alcoholism or your sex addiction with models while using a pound of cocaine to ease the pain your suffering from stardom.
    This article is about why you shouldn’t move to Cambodia, for health and care reasons not disregarding local cultures or beliefs. We are all humans and we all have our different needs apart from the obvious food and water we choose different foods and beverages and we choose to use many different drugs from thyroid replacement drugs to cannabis for health reasons(anxiety, adhd)to alcohol to Valium for the buzz?
    If Cambodia like Thailand closed it’s doors to the many who choose to live as free spirits of their choice? What’s left, where is our freedoms? UK.. No! USA.. No? Europe..(maybe Amsterdam?) No? Thailand.. No? Where is there left to feel you have the choice to live as you please, for better for worse?
    We are living in a plastic world of fast cash on credit cards, buying what we don’t really need, giving only when it’s a moral statement of our wealth to unfortunate countries run by past dictators to be ruled by future dictators?
    History always seems to repeat itself, The Vietnam war….Middle East war? Counties invading other countries over centuries, Do we really all want to be the same color one day? A beige or a grey or just a milky brown? Who breeds racism and it’s fear, everything has the power of money behind it, everything from international sports to what your child wants for their birthday or Xmas. So when a man or woman walks into Cambodia it’s the last shop on the old road that sells everything, at a price of course. Not the squeaky clean west that sells everything perfect in perfect presentation wrapped to make you believe it’s good for you. While behind closed doors is the (Wild) West where all your dreams and nightmares are being made, is it any better than Cambodia who leaves it’s saloon doors swinging for the lost souls on their dusty trek seeking a new dreams and beginning.
    I won’t touch on child trafficking or child prostitution as we all know that’s someone else’s job/problem to erase??

    • M Reply

      I think you are pretty mistaken if you compare freedom of Western countries with Cambodia. You have to spent year or two to understand.

      Yes, if you think that if you are rich you are free to kill anyone, that if you are rich the court will rule the verdict in your favor regardless the law, then welcome to the country of freedom.

      You can even loose land, there is no law anywhere. There is some law on the paper but the law serves to whom can afford it.

      You can not do business (I do not mean a shop) in Cambodia unless you sleep with government in one bed. It is all about bribing. They live for corruption. The corruption in Cambodia is not in billions like in Western but it is much more spread and killing progress. Try to follow the law with your business and you will loose everything.

      • Joey Arnold Reply

        Can you compare the political, governmental corruption, decay, the bribes, of Cambodia, with that of Vietnam or other countries?

        I currently live and teach English in Vietnam since 2012 (3 years & counting) & was born in America in 1985. I see corruption in Vietnam but I also see a lot of development as well. The potential of Vietnam is seen each day. I was in Cambodia once in 2013 & I am thinking about living in Cambodia someday. I want to start businesses if I can all around the world.

        I like comparing things, people, & even countries. I do a lot of thinking, speculating & debating.

        Thanks for your comments here.

    • Joey Arnold Reply

      thanks for your comments…. I am still thinking about what you wrote… are we losing freedoms in the western world?

  167. Thomas Janek Reply

    You are so right. This country absolutely sucks. I’ve been living in Sihanoukville for a year now – time to go now. Cambodia is shit. That’s it.

    1) No way to find a quiet house. I checked a hundred. Everywhere (!) there’s loud music or noise.
    2) The food is really, really bad. It will kill you. Full of bacteria or forbidden medicine. I get sick every month on a regular basis.
    3) If the food won’t kill you, traffic accidents will. Khmers drive crazy. Absolutely crazy. They have no respect for the street traffic and funnily don’t even care for their own well-being. Traffic is really scaring here.
    4) Everything is undeveloped – it’s like Africa. No good medical facilities, no high speed internet, broken streets are garbarge everywhere. The air is polluted by garbage.
    5) Cambodian girls suck. Don’t know what’s wrong with them, but many are simply crazy. Thai girls are great, on the other hand.

    And many more things, like paying 3 USD for a small bag of biscuits in the supermarket.

    Thailand is sooo much better.

    • DK Reply

      I’ve been planning to move to Sihanoukville for at least 6 months. I have a ticket to Bangkok for next month. I was in both places in 2012. Do you have any advice for me? Seems like you hate it now, but what about the past year? How was it? My requirements are very low, just to live cheaply and not get killed basically.

    • Sokheng Reply

      Very funny, indeed. Which street do you live? The streets surrounding by bars and night clubs? I would say i had live in the Western countries for a few years, but i could not find quiet places for the fact that the areas i found was near bars and night club. Traffic and food, yes agreed! A stupid person may reject every comment, but i am not that kind of person. The traffic and food were not up to the standard and we have to accept it. If you are looking for good food, you should go to Western restaurants.

      • James Reply

        Agree with your comment Sokheng. Plenty of excellent western food in Cambodia. They really know how to cook some good authentic western food in Cambodia by and large.

        Traffic? Meh, it takes getting used to. One thing I’ve noticed driving in the countryside of Cambodia is how slow most drivers are. Whereas one would drive at 100km/h or more on a Thai highway, most Cambodian drivers turtle along at like 40 or something when this isn’t necessary. The main highways are good enough to do 80 or even 100 in some places.

        Quiet. Yeah I think I understand what is meant here. If you live anywhere near a main road, the constant hum of motorcycles, cars, buses and trucks can get to you. Not to mention occasional parties held by neighbors playing loud music. This is not a problem if you live one a high floor of a new residential condo on a quiet suburban street or in one of the few gated communities.

  168. Sophalin Reply

    Gavinmac,I hope I spelled your name correctly. Well, as I don’t have much different from the other comments, I just want to tell that It’s been 25 years now since I was born and raised here in Cambodia, and this is the first time I see someone so vividly describe his personality. You are what you repeatedly do. Tell you the truth, I’ve never been to those bars and nightclubs. And, I’ve never talked to those foreigners who seem to enjoy themselves so much, the alcohol, the drugs and the hookers. I believe those things exist, and I believe they are especially made for the kind like you.

    I’ve gone through the education system provided by my government from the 1st grade through to the university. I have graduated with double major degrees, and I had an opportunity to teach English in an international school (well that was what they said) in 2010. I quit teaching in 2012 as I was offered an ACCA scholarship award. I then became an Auditor. I met with westerners, who most of them were just like what you have described, teaching at daytime and wandering around for girls, sex, drink and drugs at night. They were enjoying the earning from $10 or $15 rate teaching hour, which is 5 times higher than that of the local English teachers’, and they say they are not saving anything. You have perfectly elaborated in your article the reason that they don’t save a penny.

    It is no difference by any Southeast Asia Countries you go to if you are looking for the same things. Most of you guys look for girls, sex, drinks, drugs and troubles. No doubt, you’ve got troubles. We are poor and we admit that. Our government is corrupt. And our country is polluted by carbohydrate, noise, waste, and foreign culture.

    We are trying to be attracted to through you, Westerners. We are welcome people to help us from being deprived and poverty. Many Westerners have good intentions, while others are not. Bad things and bad name travel fast, you should know that, and thanks for sharing your experience.

  169. DJE Reply

    I have visited Kampuchea six times in the last 12 months.
    The people and culture I find,are both fascinating and addicting which explains why I go back.I now have a flat in Phnom Penh which I call home of my second family who I assist both financially and pay for their English lessons one hour a day, five days a week.The Kymer people are “richer” than most people in the US that have money.They have a contentedness about them that radiates and their spirit is amazing.
    I agree in part to many who have contributed on this article,but on the contrary to the author,I feel if your considering living in Cambodia,try it!If you don’t like it;leave!

    See you again November, 2014!


    • prahocalypse now Reply

      You’ve visited Kampuchea six times in the last twelve months!

      Do you have a time machine?

  170. Jim Reply

    I found the article poorly written, but find it hard to take any of it to heart. I think that the author was attempting to be humorous. Obviously, you get what you pay for. What did you expect for free, Mike Meyers?

  171. lester Reply

    I have lived here 11 years and I absolutely agree with the original writer. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THE TRUTH AND POSTING IT.
    What was written was not exaggerated or untrue.
    I object to the glossy write-ups about Cambodia that promote books or hotel etc warn potential retirees and tourist of the dangers.
    So many tourists come here get their GH rooms broken into, bags stolen both from their moto basket or on the beach, drinks spiked in the bars, women raped and on and on and on. Try and find “official stats” about crime here, there are none. Tell me how many crimes are ever solved including rape and murder, I know of not one. The police are in the pocket of the criminals.
    Khmers themselves do not report crime because they know the police are corrupt and worthless.
    Its understandable that Khmers will defend their own country but unfortunately its through ignorance. Please educate yourself, if you afford it then travel or at the very least go to Poipet and walk across the border and notice at the fence line the dirt and filth stops immediately. Westerners are no insulting you we are expressing frustration, we would love to help you help yourself but you must first recognize the desperate need for change.
    Go Home??? Yes that is exactly what I am going to do when my daughter finishes her final year of private schooling this year. The country will not change until the government is thrown out and the last corrupt election proved that is not possible.

    • Borito Reply

      I agree with you mate – except for the last part about the government.
      Do you seriously think any of the issues mentioned in the article would be solved by changing the government?
      No f..ing way. It’s the cambos who should be changed or something in their minds.
      To any other poster. Call me racist – it’s so simple. Wiping off any arguments and just saying “racist” is the easiest thing for someone incapable of listening, observing and forming opinion could do.
      And please no KR to blame for everything – rather think why one of the biggest genocide of the modern history just happened here and not somewhere else. Because of those few leaders? Seriously?

  172. Soumy Reply

    Being a Cambodian , i felt really offended after read this senesless articel. Who do you think you are to say such things. We cambodian don’t care if you are going to move to cambodia or not. We still can live our live happily without you guys. i admit that cambodia is not a nice country according to what you have metioned, but it is not that really bad. i have few foreigner friends who have been settling down here years, they all love cambodia, and enjoy their life here. You are the only foreigner that have such a stupid comment about cambodia, beside that you are absolutely a racist.

  173. O Reply

    Totaly true. Cambodia is a bad place.

    If you do not have many choices and you choose bad ones, that is bad. Just bad. But if you are using your talent for humiliating people, that is shit. Just shit.

    • sreyneang Reply

      a bad people? wow sound like you have met one person in cambodia and disappointed you. i agree with that.but where you from O? do all people in your country are good and kind? you should notice that when you go to others places you will meet new people and they might or might not honest with you. i really sorry if during you were staying in cambodia you meet bad person, but if you met a good person will you say this shit.

  174. skoki w Tandemie Reply

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  175. Trebor brown Reply

    I am one of those “old” 71 guys that married a 34 year woman with two boys. A nine year old and a 12 year old. You might not be aware of the fact that a number of young women marry much older men from their own country and culture as well. Not just white guys. They only ask for a couple of things: do not leave me, treat me well and respectful, in return they will take care of all your needs. You provide a roof over their head, they have food to eat, decent clothes to wear. You treat them with respect and love them. Everybody wins. We older farts are more mature, treat the girls better, are more patient, have a lot more experience in bed, , and have a lot more money then you. Simply put we are a better deal. And the girl know it. Are you a little jealous? My heart bleeds. And yes they are awesome in bed.

    • prahocalypse now Reply

      Yes, you oldies have a lot more experience in bed. Hospital beds.

  176. Richard Reply

    I have lived in Thailand for a long time and also Cambodia I am a Australian it’s simple Cambodian people are not so bad they are more loveable but the country is shit ,Thailand the country is better but the people are shit. the women are so very sick with greed no money no honey so true,all trying to make them look white stupid people ,why don’t you come down to earth,sitting outside a bar showing a leg that’s the only way they know they can make money because their dumb.and yet they also spend a lot of time for making themselves look beautiful but come the age of 35 their ugly as sin.yes the Thais hate everybody except for themselves could be a great country as they still have great culture as Cambodia have none.If Thailand wants to move forward they must change this stupid attitude .

    • James Reply

      Nonsense. Cambodia and Thailand are not that vastly different from each other (hell, they even write their numbers the same way and around 10% of their vocabulary is identical and borrowed from Sanskrit/Pali) and most people in Thailand are perfectly fine people. If you can speak their language, you will understand them better.

      You need to start moving away from the bar areas, your judgement is becoming seriously clouded. Fact is the vast majority of women in Thailand are NOT bar girls.

  177. sreyneang Reply

    i started to know that the well educated people can think only cambodia bad like this and that, but most of you never think about the causes and who make it. you guys might have good leader who want your country develop and really work for people, how about us? you lived in good condition three meals a day but most of us not.please before say something put yourself in our situation and if it still make you think that Cambodians or Cambodia is worst, let’s say it. and if it any solution to so the Cambodia problems please send me. [email protected]

  178. pep Reply

    “Let us agree that the hallmark of a successful life is living as long as possible while simultaneously acquiring as many material possessions as you can.”

    This just about sums it up. This guy is just so full of shit.

  179. Nita Reply

    I think that this phara graph is looking down Cambodia ! Cambodia also has many good points! I really really disagree with ur point that living in Cambodia will make u die younger! Life is life! We cannot know first how long can we live!!! There are so many factors !!!

  180. a1 auto transport Reply

    Lots of accurate information in this article, but I don’t think all these reasons qualify as to why you shouldn’t move to Cambodia. I live in Cambodia and it’s great 🙂

  181. Tom Reply

    First of all thank you for writing this post, it shows to everyone how messed up the people of this world are, and by this i mean you.
    Many of the things that you have said havent got all the information. Before critizising a country please inform yourself. Cambodia has had a terrible past. before the khemer rouge, cambodia was asia’s pearl. When the khemer rouge rose to power, 1/3 of their population was killed. The population they killed were people That were considered intelligent(doctors,teachers, engineers,etc). The remaining population was forced to work on the countryside in appauling conditions. The children from the regime were forced to kill their families and they lived in terrible conditions(drugs,alcohol,rape…). Some of those kids turn out to be the parents That are living now in cambodia.
    An important fact to take into consideration is that the man who is in power now in cambodia, was a khemer rouge. This man rules the government by his own benefit. The government expropiates many families land in order to sell it to the highest bider. Moving the families to another poorer zone. Do you know how much does a policeman in cambodia earn? (70$)
    A part from all this, cambodia has become an attraction for many stupid asshole foreigners who go to cambodia to buy drugs alcohol and have sex with girls. When i say girls i mean girls who are 15,16,17 years old. Many of this girls are forced to become prostitutes by their parents. And when a stupid asshole foreigner goes to cambodia to look for prostitutes, he promotes this things to happen. And this is only a little from the big problems That exist.
    Now, having all of this information, i will express my opinion.
    Cambodia is a beautiful country. Not only it is beautiful because of it’s landscapes, its temples and many other things, it is beautiful because of its people. Cambodia it is known to be the kingdom of wonder, but i would call it the kingdom of happiness,the kingdom of smiles, the kingdom of hospitality…
    Cambodia’s people are the best kind of people that i have ever met. Not only they are kind,respectful,smiling, but also they are really sharing. Even if they are really poor, if you have been kind with them in some way, they will share what they have with you no matter what.
    One part of me has stayed in cambodia because of this. I really don’t know in what part of cambodia you have lived or with what kind of people you have hang out, but your article doesnt show what cambodia really is. I really thank all cambodian people for being what you are. It is people like this(the author of this article) that really wants you to lose faith in humanity.

    • Soumy Phan Reply

      Thanks Tom for educating this author. On behalf of other 14 millions Cambodian I do appreciate what you had written here. i gueess, you must have been visiting and living around in Camboida for years. You do know about our history, culture and people. i hope that a lot more people will see cambodia as you are. 🙂

  182. gavinmac Reply

    It sounds like you are saying that Cambodia is a corrupt, impoverished country full of murderers and stupid asshole foreigners, but it’s a great place to live because people will smile at you and share rice.

    • Davy Reply

      You’re negative against Cambodia and I do wonder what part of the country you were settled down?

  183. kaz Reply

    I am a 30 year old expat living in Cambodia. Don’t drink. Don’t party. Married a local girl.
    Opened a successful business and I am making an absolute killing.
    Probably about 4 or 5 times what you would make in Australia working as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company. .
    I travel 3 times a year with my wife and don’t get sick because I choose to look after myself.
    Who ever wrote this article is a very negative person with a very simple way of reading life.
    Start finding the positives my friend and you might actually achieve something in your life.

  184. Serious Man Reply

    Hi folks, I’m so happy Gavinmac disgusted you all from going to Cambodia. I don’t want to see your white badass fat bellies and your satanic behaviour in my country.
    I also like his article about “Foreign Dude Problem”, very informative.
    Of course, not all expats are like this… lolx10
    Best regards,
    Serious Man

  185. P Reply

    Gavinmac, you heartless asshole why don’t you wake up and smell the roses Cambodia has to offer and I hope you choke

    Fair enough, we all know that Cambodia has it’s problems but I believe it’s a beautiful country althrough I haven’t been their but I don’t go around judging people or their countries, you need to really check out your own country before you slander another country I am sure you have lots of sex workers (young & older), drugs, violence and drunks and so on this happens throughout every country in the entire world so your country isn’t innocent just like mine in Australia but I still love my country as I was born here and it’s still a beautiful country to me

    How do you think the Cambodian people feel when they are reading this? They love their country and it’s not up to you or anyone else to judge them for it’s problems regardless I would love to live in Cambodia or any Asian country as I love their history, culture and the Asian people are really great people to really get to know

    Get a life you heartless asshole and stop judging other peoples countries and start judging your own

  186. mathew jin Reply

    i think the ones who wrote this 7 reasons is completely stupid. he/she does not know about how wonderful Cambodia is . he/she might be crazy.

    • WA Reply

      Asia is full of crazy, inhumane people, whether they are educated or not. Perhaps, if more people knew about how horrible Cambodia really is, less people would want to risk their life savings there.

      • N Reply

        You monster. Where ever you are from, i think you are rude and more inhumane than some bad guys here. You, mother fucker. Bending your tongue hundreds times before making any suggestion. I think You have lobster brain. so i don’t need to explain anything to you.

        • WA Reply

          Indeed you did not need to explain or ask anything. Your foul mouthed Asiatic assault was enough to turn any visitors off. This just reinforced that Cambodia is indeed a horrible inhumane place that is full of extremely monstrous, horrible, nasty, pretentious, noisy, intolerant Asiatic people. Honestly, your swearing is so uncivlised. No wonder Cambodia is cursed from people like yourself who cursed irrationally, nonstop.

          • San

            A racist cockhead who needs to come to Asia with his trash behavior

          • San

            This country is polluted from the lots of you creatures

        • KKnight Reply

          This guy talks down to Asia and acts like he so superior but the only thing he proved is his ignorance… LOL

  187. s Reply

    Yo you fuck up piece of shit
    here’s 7 reasons why you should suck your own dick
    1. You will die younger
    Mainly because you’ve sinned so bad and become consumed by the internet, thinking it’s okay to post about my country. Okay, maybe being biased towards religion won’t do the trick but I hope to the very least, you’ll get ebola. Or just disappear from this earth, because we don’t need fags like you around.
    2. You are going to be a horrible husband anyways
    Fuck you. I feel bad for the mother who has to carry your child. Fuck wherever you move, you’ll be a scumbag towards your kid anyway. Ah yes the educational system oh my… although I partially agree that we have bad educational systems, doesn’t fucking mean we’re not caring about it. Yes, i’m cambodian and you didn’t think i’d find my way through this. Well I did, you spawn of satan. You’re probably way too busy ranting about Cambodia to care about your child anyways.
    3. The infrastructure sucks
    Yeah because we’re a developing country asshole. Bitch have you heard about the Pol Pot regime? That impacts us Cambodians and we’re just slowly recovering from the dark past. Shit man, I can’t even explain how stupid you are. All our knowledge was lost yet our cries weren’t as valued to the world. So fuck you and live with it. I hope you get polluted by the infrastructure in developed country and get lung cancer you twat.
    4. Your financial future is corrupted
    Dear god, I wish you’d all of a sudden be stripped poor and live the life of Cambodians. We work through our tears and sweat to be paid with decent amounts of money yet we’re still happy. Unlike your greedy little ass. Why don’t you go tell that to your rich western friends who own a fucking porn video? Yeah go spend it on your little whores.
    5. Your mother is disappointed
    This article is evident. I hope someday you’ll show this to your mother. As a kind woman, she supports you but deep down inside, i guarantee she wish you were an abortion
    6. Seems like someone’s described their friends
    On what note would you know this? Suspicious how you are able to write about these cheap westerners in so much detail. Listen buddy, if you go to a bar anywhere and you meet with a stranger, chances are something dangerous is going to happen. So stop narrowing it down to just Cambodia. I can’t believe how bias you are it makes me want to kill myself just to forget your stupidity. I hope your friends will be there when you’ve finally stripped poor and rotting in the streets.Maybe someday, you’ll actually learn not to go to places like that and go visit the cultural places available in Cambodia because someone is just a little know it all.
    7. Go fuck your thai girlfriend
    We don’t want you to bring your thai girlfriend anyways. Go to paris and fucking jump off the eiffel tower yourself.
    Goodbye you son of a bitch.
    On another note, I’m sorry to those of you who are reading this. I’m just irritated about this fucking little rascal and if this offends anyone, I apologise in advance. But fuck your opinions Gavinmac. I hope you’ll be filed to the police anytime soon.

  188. KKnight Reply

    Gavinmac, I respect your views of Cambodia BUT you have only mention the worst about Cambodia. The life I’m living is no where near the level how you are stating it to be… YES you get Cambodians who can be rude and illogical about things but overall, Cambodians are generally nice people. This is how we are looked upon by a lot of Koreans, Vietnamese, Japanese, European people… I was born in Cambodia but I was brought up in America. I love it in Cambodia especially with all these new developments going on. Brand new apartments are way cheap compare to America. Food here is awesome. The brand new mall “Aeon” is better than most other malls I’ve been to around the world.. You got two other BIG high end malls opening up. You have a new building similar to Marina Bay in Singapore being built here by Thai. You get a lot Japanese and Koreans investors here. Phnom Penh is one of the safest city compare to cities in America. There’s gonna be lots of foreigners moving here and yes, you do get a lot of the trashy westerners who come to Cambodia BUT are they really bad people? No worst than hitting up bars in America. I’ve met a lot of great European people here. If you see a foreigner who is in need of help (getting robbed, mugged, etc), the local will do what they can to jump in to help them. All I can say is either your article is very biased or you are a really negative person… BUT I’ll respect that.

    • WA Reply

      This article is not biased at all. In fact it is very true.

      While I see nothing wrong in praisng your fellow Asians, I do think it is wrong to give a misleading picture of Asia or Cambodia to any first time traveller.

      The traffic in Phnom Penh is horrendous(if one is not extra careful, one can get easily knocked down by extremely chaotic traffic or haphazardly parked cars at every corner) and there are no proper public transportations. And almost everyone tried to take advantage of visitors in this grasping, oppressive Asiatic environment.

      The Asian traits and culture are horrendous though some part appear to be superficially Westernised but nonetheless still unpleasant to those without deep pockets.

      And the fact that Cambodians Asians are generally extremely rude and can’t take criticsm in the right way made it even more an unpleasant and ugly destination to be avoided.

      Furthermore, the quality of life in Cambodia(even though it may be cheaper) is almost non-existent.

      • KKnight Reply

        “This article is not biased at all. In fact it is very true.”

        Oh really. Tell me your experience in Cambodia.

        “And the fact that Cambodians Asians are generally extremely rude and can’t take criticsm in the right way made it even more an unpleasant and ugly destination to be avoided.”

        Care to give me an example?

        “The traffic in Phnom Penh is horrendous”
        Agreed but amazing that accidents are RARE in Phnom Penh compare to that in SoCal.

        “Furthermore, the quality of life in Cambodia(even though it may be cheaper) is almost non-existent.”

        Not the life I’m living. Hell, lots of my friend would love my lifestyle right now who I might add, live in poor/rich places in SoCal.

        • Thomas Reply

          Traffic accidents or at least near misses are extremely common in Cambodia. Just because you don’t see any at every single intersection doesn’t mean driving in Cambodia is safe. Forget about comparing it to SoCal. There are probably at least 20 times as many cars in LA alone compared to the whole of Phnom Penh and with 1500 miles (2500km) of freeway and tens of thousands of miles/km of other roads the road infrastructure in SoCal is a million years ahead of the dirt roads and potholed streets of Phnom Penh, so there’s no comparison really. But I can guarantee you accidents are common and probably far more so than in SoCal – I’ve seen many in Cambodia, despite only being a visitor and not a resident. There could be a major accident 2km away but without any traffic news radio in Cambodia there wouldn’t be any way of knowing where accidents occur and even if there was, most accidents are probably not reported anyway.

          Malls are getting better yes. Aeon is not bad but not incredible either – it’s simply the first acceptable shopping mall in all of Cambodia but it’s neither big nor amazing. It simply offers a supermarket and the same chain restaurants/coffee shops as out on the streets all in one place. It’s much smaller and less significant than any Central department store in upcountry Thai cities such as Ubon Ratchatani or Udon Thani or Vincom in Ho Chi Minh, but OK it’s heading in the right direction.

      • Srey Nec Reply

        I agree with you that the article is very true. However, Gavinmac’s articles often stay on the extreme side. I think it is intended for amusement (I think).

        In stead of complaining about it, I highly suggest you running a blog informing foreigners to avoid Cambodia.

        Regarding the traffic issues, I just Googled the pictures of “traffic in Phnom Penh”, plenty of results are found on the page. In short, if the traveler doesn’t do his/her own research before spending over $1000 for plane ticket, it’s not really Cambodia’s fault.

        I don’t even speak English as a first language; I can figure it out. It shouldn’t too difficult for traveler to seek out info.

  189. Jim Reply

    How can Cambodians say they are a good people and then write these comments? Not an ounce of humour or decency amongst the whole lot of them. The comments section here is #8 on this list.

  190. Daniel Reply

    Gavinmac, you are an ignorant racist dick who doesn’t know shit about Cambodia. All you say is biased nonsense.

  191. William Reply

    It is high time Gavinmac is shown the door on khmer440, the site is better off without him, why does the new owner not rid this site of the fool who alienates so many people?

  192. Neil Reply

    I have to laugh when i read this post and information. You clearly have no idea of the things that can be done in this country and have obviously only spent your own time in bars here on 136 with the types of people that you are referring to. To say that as a westerner you will not make money in Cambodia? Really? As a 36 year old English man living here owning my own business i can assure you that you could not be more wrong. I know a lot of expats here that have very successful companies and live a very nice lifestyle. I also know some bar owners that would be very happy to meet with you face to face to discuss your description of them.
    You are clearly one of the few idiots that has spent some time here and achieved nothing and now blame the country itself for your downfalls.
    I just hope that not too many people with any common sense will listen to any of your stupidity.

  193. Dave Reply

    Just want to explain in few lines about this article,,,
    Really its 99% stupid thinking, and i have been there and stayed for 9 months, NOTHING WRONG, because some people go there for under age/sex and looking around, pay ur big $$$ making them lazy too…
    cambodia people are warm ofcourse some rude but majority people try to come up themselves…JUST WHAT U CAN HELP OR NOT ,,, BUT DONT SPOIL THEM… u mentioned some western go there, open bar and blah blah, why they opened bar? Instead they can give job for locals in nice manner except bar girls..coz they wanna enjoy the girls and make money at the same time..sucks….
    nearby cambodia 1 small country with infrastructure and hospitality have but STILL IF YOU CHOCK ON THE ROAD SIDE, THEY WILL WALK ON THE OTHERSIDE OF THE ROAD . Cambodia is still improving..

  194. Dave Reply

    you really stupid,, do you know Cambodia is how rich in OLDEN DAYS,, GO BACK TO HISTORY TURN UR MIND,,,,Its still Developing, the rice won the Worlds best rice award during 2012, and 2013…They also feeding so many people in this planet,,,, U GO AND DIE , I THINK U LIKE ONLY BAR AND BAR GIRLS, U MUST BE BEATEN BY SOMEONE IN CAMBODIA HAHAH

  195. AmericanWomanGetAwayFroMeeee Reply

    Yup, this article was most definitely written by a college educated American woman who just lost her boyfriend to a sweet Cambodian girl (you know the one that feeds you with her own hands).

    She is clearly bitter because her man forgot to do the dishes after baby sitting her children all day while she was busy with her career. On this one day that she screamed her head off at her man one too many times, this was the day that he left her.

    And so she had to reach out to us to provide us with her two cents.

    Yes Cambodia has its issues, but it surely beats being Mr. Mom in a feminist ruled country where we men have the value of a used pair of sneakers from PayLess shoes to the local women.

  196. Nivorth Reply

    You are shit guy to say that. You are not Cambodian. Cambodia not bad as like that it’s so beautiful country Bullshit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  197. Chea hy Reply

    Who the fuck post this!!! Fucking bitch please care about your country!!!
    Mother fucker!!!!

  198. Duda Reply

    Reasons to Live in Cambodia:

    #1. The western world is going to collapse financially and everyone there with their money, pensions, and jobs will have absolutely nothing.

    #2. Western people are ignorant, lazy, and worthless.

    #3. The western civilizations have laws upon laws dictating your way of life. Live free or die.

    Real Reason not to live in Cambodia:

    #1. China is likely to take over and rape Cambodia once the western civilizations collapse.

    • Joey Arnold Reply

      Thanks for your comment. I’m American & moved to Vietnam in 2012 to teach English & I see the collapse that you are talking about.

  199. Jeff Reply

    The education section on the article is nonsense. Many kids here at more affordable private schools receive a better education than in the government schools of the west.

  200. Robert Reply

    The guy that wrote this is a total idiot and every single one of you that replied to his diatribe have done nothing but feed his ego. Only one solution for things like this is IGNORE.

  201. Chakraval Reply

    Hei Hei Everyone,
    I am very appreciated for your visiting at Cambodia. This country is the same as all countries around the world. We don’t want to have any problem, but it is a nature. No any country in this world is perfect even USA.
    We are vulnerable under long period of civil war, therefore we need more times to make changes.
    I accept that not all people in any country or even the world are good. If all people are good, then there will no war, hatred and discrimination.
    We, Cambodians, are warm and kind-hearted persons. We welcome all foreigners who visit Cambodia regardless sex, skin or race. But we do not welcome foreign visitors who are gangsters, drug addicted persons and or foreigners who come for sexual purposes.

    • Joey Arnold Reply

      I’m American. I live in Vietnam now. Thanks for your comment. I was in Cambodia in 2013. Many elephant statues. I like elephants.

  202. Aimee Reply

    I find this article so wrong in many ways.
    1. Die younger because of diseases? I live in Phnom Penh and so far, I haven’t heard of typhoid, dengue, hepatitis, or malaria cases here. If you go to other provinces, your statement would probably be true. But then again, I’ve been to communities in other provinces because of field work and the people I have met are quite healthy. A lot of them were already in their 70’s.

    Cambodians love to have fruits as snacks. Not the garbage you find in fastfood restaurants.

    2. I find Khmers really friendly and hospitable. I hope they won’t change that attitude of theirs. True, they have difficulty in speaking English but that doesn’t stop them from tending to people’s needs.

    3. Khmers are striving to get good education and learn ENglish. I work and study here and I for one can attest to that. Unlike in some countries, education is taken for granted.

    4. I know a lot of Khmer who drinks so much. But being an alcoholic is a matter of choice. If they offer you a drink, you can either accept or reject it. Duh? I go out with my colleagues and classmates and they respect my decision not to drink.

    If you have the skills in research in development, Cambodia is the best country for you since it’s still a developing country.

    To the writer, I guess you came here with no skills whatsoever. There are a lot of opportunities for foreigners here especially if you are affiliated with an NGO.

    Cambodia has a country with flaws. But the reason why I’m staying here are because of the people, the working environment, the food, and the way of living.

    • Joey Arnold Reply

      I’m from the USA & have been in Vietnam since 2012. I was in Cambodia in 2013 & it was ok. I agree with what you are saying. thanks for your comment.

    • Falcon Randwick Reply

      You know fuck all…

      “Major infectious diseases: degree of risk: very high
      food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever… vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria”

      “An outbreak of a severe form of hand, foot, and mouth disease was reported from Cambodia in July 2012, causing a total 78 cases, of which 54 were fatal… There is no vaccine.”

      “Outbreaks of dengue fever occur annually in Cambodia, usually during the rainy season. In the first nine months of 2011, there were a total of 12,392 cases nationwide, including 54 deaths… A major dengue outbreak was reported in the summer of 2007, resulting in almost 40,000 cases and 407 deaths, mostly in children, by the end of the year. Kampong Cham province was particularly affected. In the year 2008, the number of cases fell to 9456 and the number of deaths fell to 65, thanks to an aggressive dengue control program, followed by 11,652 cases and 37 deaths in 2009, chiefly in the capital…”

      “Two cholera outbreaks were reported from Cambodia in January 2010: one from Takeo and Kandal provinces and another from Phnom Penh.”

  203. Joey Arnold Reply

    I was in Cambodia in 2013. It looked ok. I’m American. I was born 1985 in the USA. I moved to Vietnam to teach English in 2012. Now, it is 2015. There are some good & bad similarities between Vietnam & Cambodia.
    Cambodia can’t get better if we don’t go there to help. If we all run away, it will only get worse. Some of the problems in Cambodia happens in Vietnam. Visas inflated (cost more money), as of 2015, partly because the economics are improving. Cambodia can improve as well.
    Expats are not automatically perverts. Most of them have problems to some extent. Nobody is perfect, but please don’t make too many stereotypes about people. I have been living in vietnam for the past few years. I do not want to live in Cambodia because it is poorer. I want to help people get better in this world. Michael Jackson has that song all about that. We Are The World. I have more to say but this is enough for now.
    Cambodia is not Heaven but missionaries can go there to help.

  204. DG Reply

    I’m sure your mother would love a read at this piece of absolute shit.

  205. anonymous Reply

    “Thais rather be educated by teachers with white skin…”

    Thais WOULD RATHER BE educated by…

    “I have met less than 10 Black Americans out of a population of 8 million.”

    I have met FEWER than 10…

    Perhaps it is your lack of proper English that is deterring prospective employers?
    I would think that knowing English would be kind of important if you wanted to
    teach, but I could be wrong.

    • Mav Reply

      It’s ridiculous to think that how someone speaks in type or text, which uses slang and colloquialisms, would be how that person would teach. You are just quick to write him off because you don’t agree with him. Shut your mouth and open your mind next time.

  206. Suos saneth Reply

    Yes I am agree some of your Comment. but in Cambodia is not completely bad.
    Such as in phone penh city. some place is bad smile but some of place is attractive too. Our countryside is good with fresh air. Our education some of students are poor but also some of student they are strong they try to study get to study abroad to develop themselves and their country.
    I don’t blame my country because now we try hard to be better like western country.

  207. motos69 Reply

    May the piss of a thousand junkies rain down on you and your family…..

    Isn’t this clown dead yet?

    • Jonathon Reply

      You sound like an escaped convict from usa wanting to kill someone. Dont bring that evil american shit to cambodia. The article was written in 2013. Was accurate pon penh has changed 3 times since then .its now 2020. And khmers are richer than there ever been now.It seems like a first world country in some areas. Saw many expensive 4wds and Lexus.Saw increasing number of mansions with rich khmers that look bigger than many western ones. Cambodians in many parts of pon penh live in fortress like 3 story flathouses with steel gates . They do not trust each other.Recently noticed some nasty bikies from criminal outlaw bikie gang have moved in from a western country. Id say your one of them with your want to kill comment . So while cambodians are getting richer everywhere with many driving new cars they still havent stopped some of the bad barangs and the young radical barangs moving here who make the more civilized older and majority retirees barangs uncomfortable and disgusted at there presence here. The young barang radicals who are abandoning there own race and there countries traditions of marrying there own girls and raising a family. NO instead they act like traitors to there own race. The normal retirees 55+ here, all had wifes n raised families in there own countries in there youth like most normals do.

  208. Thavy English Reply

    Just can’t wait for your sequel – 10 Good Reasons why you shouldn’t marry an ignorant black person who holds an American passport. #Cammbodia

    This country has more family strength than your country could develop in another 200 years. (Double your history + more you ignorant Bro!). People like you really let your country down.

  209. Daniella Reply

    I’m from Russia and last few years I’m living in Cambodia. I’ve never been in Europe or U.S.A. so I can compare Cambodia only with my country. I was shoked reading this article. At first it seemed funny but than I understood – the author is alcoholic and has drug-addiction. There are so many interesting places in Cambodia, so many things to do – but author saw only pubs and drunk expats. I moved in Cambodia specially to raise my child here. The conditions for children in Cambodia are much better than in Russia. My son goes to international school and has a lot of friends from Europe and Unated States. His teachers are foreighners too. The prices in Cambodia are much cheaper than in another countries but the service is very good. You can find international school for your child 2000-4000 dollars in a year! In Russia – 25000-50000 dollars. Feel the difference. For me and for many other parents it was the most important reason to move to Cambodia. We want good education for our children! But there are a lot of other reasons – so nice kind people live here, so beautiful nature and summer hole the year! For me it’s a country of a dream, almost like paradise! Traffic problem?! Author never been in big cities?! And never seen REAL traffic problems?! Bars on the windows? – it helps not to be victim of thieves. Tilled walls – your housekeeper can easily clean it! Noisy neighbors – they won’t be upset if you make noise by yourself. All this – it’s not a problem at all!!!

  210. roman Reply

    I am Australian asian been here for 30 years .I have been toThailand now 28 times in the last 7 years and visited the asian country’s in question. I must say that Asians have a different mind set and values to westerners.
    They live very close family networks and community . They dont get caught up in the illusion of meterial as being the measure of life . Its not the fault of the westerner but thats how they have been brain washed to think and live . However Westerners are very good at using & exploiting this kind hospitality. These poor asian souls think that White means they have lots of money and have previledged lifes however they little know that most of them expats are paupers, peodafiles, drunkeds , or druggies in most cases . Starting from the Western Corporations to its indiviguals throughout history they only exploited , looted and prostituted asian countries and its people .Cambodians never encourage these expats drive them out when u can .

    • Jonathon Reply

      You barely hid your racism to barangs. Yet you used a rich barang country to gain more wealth for your self then since you leave it you rubbish it. Most the worlds pedophiles are asian its a known fact. Islam promotes pedophilia as normal. The difference in most asian countries is that the media is heavily edited and censored . With India propably having the freest media. As for your attacks on colonialism thats your racism again showing as barangs built railways for the use of all the people and fine buildings, many which still stand today. The railway from ponpenh to thai border was built by the french barangs and is still in working condition. The railways throughout India were built by british barangs and are an indispensable service to Indians still used till this day. The railways in Indonesia were first built by the dutch barangs and is also still in operation and usually full. The railway in vietnam from hochiminh to hanoi was built by the french barangs also. The colonial era barangs also built large governor mansions or presidential palaces that still stand today in phillipines and jakarta. The grand post office in pon penh was also built by french barangs. They also brought the peaceful pigeons and the dogs. They improved the country immensely. Also it was the French who got northwest cambodia back from the Thais who had taken it in a previous war. So your comments about barangs was false full of racism and your own ignorance

  211. Lura martin Reply

    Cambodia runs on bribery. This is a corrupt place. Westerners take your money away, spend it in places that appreciate your business. My son was killed by Cambodia.

  212. Marwood II Reply

    If Roman is really an Australian-Asian (or Asian-Australian) his/her education was woefully neglected.

    Reading, and rereading, Roman’s letter is a painful experience.

  213. Bun Ang Reply

    i wanna ask the author of this article “how many years have u been to Cambodia?”
    Poverty, Crimes, or Alcohol exists everywhere. Your judgement sounds like a blind person who touches the trunk of the elephant and conclude that the elephant looks like a big python.

    delay judgement till you full aspects.

  214. Jennifer Wayler Reply

    I have socialized with many Cambodians, especially Cambodian women or Cambodian American women. They said clearly that their parents or grand parents used falsified documents and lied to USA government for Asylum green cards in America. These women tried to make them look good with nice clothe and makeup. but Their body smells so bad with disgusting fish source. Even these women were born in US, they smell disgusting by eating these fish source. They seldom shower but putting some perfume to cover filthy smells in public. They tried to sleep with any wealthy man the can access to. If you are dating a woman with cambodian background, your life is over. Her family, and all of relatives are making any reason to take money out of your pocket. I thinks Cambodians american women are most evil human being, We should send them back to their internal civil wars.

    • Corwain Deborde Reply

      In the smell fish course is and Western there many people and bad. Like Lossangels. When cover up butt smell only course finsh. Alway in Cambodia are people many source fish , good health food. And America people are so smell bad and cover up with people only money. But women you dont know is cover up fish or maybe cat! Cover cat for America man. So you totally wrong and know what you talk about.

  215. ga Reply

    Stupid Article. Only goes over the bad things which are in every country and as an individual you make the decisions what the heck does a westerner being an alcohoic have to do with Cambodia being a terrible place. This guy has simply been ripped off because he himself made stupid decisions in Cambodia now blames the country. Or his never been there 😉

  216. Kim Reply

    After some time you will hate all of Asia,
    unless your Deaf Numb and Blind….

  217. J Reply

    Wow. that is what I have to say.

    I really feel that If anyone is moving to a foreign country to only reap benefits then they are doing the wrong thing. There are benefits to be gained but you must also put back into society. Taking a job in South East Asia, to get a young girl friend and live on the cheap is unethical and Immoral. If you pay back the local kindness by teaching, or helping out with the environment, then you will be treated with respect. This translates into being part of the society and contributing. Oh and then you will find a beautiful spouse and live very comfortably. I guess that the expectation of walking down a street and finding gold is as unreasonable, as expecting not to find refuse. In all places humans discard refuse and horde gold. If you share your gifts others that are seeking good people will share theirs.

  218. Davy Reply

    First @Gavinmac, try the 70 Reasons Why You should Move to Cambodia 😉

    I’m Cambodian and I find your article very offensive. I accept the fact that we have poor hospital service and infrastructure, yet we are working on it. However, other points of yours are just nonsense and has nothing to do with the country, but individuals. You can’t just insult a country by your bad experiences. What you wrote reflects a person you are, and I don’t need to say harsh words. It’s sad to see people who come to my country just for sex, drugs and alcohol. We love our country and we want to see development. If you don’t come for any good, please don’t, because we have already suffered enough.

    P.S. Again, I wait for the 70 Reasons You Should Move to Cambodia 😉

  219. John Reply

    The hallmark of a successful life is living as long as you can while obtaining as many material possessions as possible?

    This is the recipe for misery.

  220. You're an asshole Reply

    …basically you’re an asshole…your rant speaks more to what you are then what Cambodia is…

  221. Ian Reply

    Yeah, still lots of expats jumping from condos in Pattaya…… and gf’s enjoying the rewards.

    Cambodia sounds like a shit hole. But I have been living in a shit hole in Thailand for a year, so I might dive over the border and give it a try.

    Whoremonger – nice term. I’ll ask my mates if I qualify for this term.

    Keep writing – like the style.

  222. BENNY Reply


  223. Plutus Reply

    Firstly, It must be make known and I hv to says you are one of the most degrading, ignorant,jackass and a cockhead person whom I hv know or dont even know existed.
    I am NOT a Cambodian, but What are you to talk about a country and make such u jackass comments about the country, what are you really? some asshead with no brains cells or are they cross brain cells. Or hv you been into cambodia and got yourself like what you hv said “all fuck up yourself inside out”…where do you come from? I would think another shit place…be a Fuck yourself gentlemen.
    I know Cambodia more than anyone in this forum…why? 1994 good enough????? You are totally nuts with your Balls over inside your ass. WAKE UP ASS [email protected]#$%

  224. Andrew Reply

    Sensational article, thank you Mr Gavinmac. I read this while listening to Randy Newman’s song “Short People” and I understood everything. I encourage everyone to open their minds, seek knowledge from this post and realize the truth for what it is.
    Both Gavinmac and Randy Newman are the same person. No, only joking, though if you need to look further into this writing style you could try Dire Straits’ 1985 hit single, “Money for Nothing”.
    Thankfully, irony exists. some people shamelessly don’t comprehend what they read. Wise up people or we’re all doomed.

  225. paddy Reply

    This is a very judgemental article on a country and people you know very little of. Yes Cambodia has its problems but so does much of the Western World too. In Western Countries children are raised with a very selfish way of living. They demand the latest toys, phones, etc. Whereas Children in Cambodia value everything given to them. I have lived in Cambodia and seen how children value what is given to them. They may not have much but they have heart. They will help you and care for you given the chance.

    In Cambodia people will talk to you if they can. The only thing is that because of the language barrier people will find it difficult to communicate.

    Obviously you hate Cambodia and you find it upon yourself to write a blog about it and share it to the rest of the world. That is your right to do that. But please don’t look down on Cambodia without really knowing its potential. If you look at your own country closely you will see its flaws too. But obviously you are so out of tune of your own country you find it easy to pick on countries like Cambodia.

  226. Vivi Reply

    This article probably was made on purpose to scare people off if I told you how people here in Ireland die in corridors or one polish guy was left in a toilet rooting for one week they only found him because of the smell and there is hundreds of stories like that here…

    and by the way don’t be so naive that medicine does something medicine aim is to suck your potential not cure you lol

  227. Rachel lin Reply

    hello 🙂 , I’m not say your should more or should not….. for foreigner that want to visit my country ,
    but my friends every country have advantage and disadvantage , not Cambodia only , cambodia now not like before . lots of foreigner come here to do the business , and work as a teacher in here . most khmer people is friendly . if you scare to come to visit her you should ask the embassy in our country , in your country you should come or not . thats my comment . im a christian so i meet lots of foreigner friends and i know they scare to come her ,now they are not scare , and they enjoy to travel in here , and some they do a missionary at rural area . I’m not lie . you should come to visit angkor wat before its gone . cuz its a very old temple in south east asia .

  228. Serene Reply

    I had lived and worked in Cambodia , Phnom Penh for 4.5 years. My observations of the capital of country are as follows

    a) It is normal during the hot session for the authority to ratio electricity supply. In fact the hotel and business need to have their own generator to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity should the city electricity failed.
    Do not have ice cream during the hot session, business regularly re-chilled the melted ice cream and sell to the customers. Unless you have a iron stomach you will have days of stomach cramp after eating the ice cream

    b) Medical care is totally alien in this country. Local “doctor” declined to treated injuried patient as he may be sue if the patient die. Also ambulance will not response to a emergency call unless you paid under the table money to the driver and the crew. For medical supplies, do bear in mind that there are lot of fake medicine in the market. That why expat working in Cambodia bring their own medicines from back home and if they needed medical attention they would fly home or to Singapore/Malaysia or Thailand.

    c) Traffic jam is terrible and there is no such thing traffic rule. If you have no driving licence in Cambodia, no problem just drive and give US$5 to the traffic police if you are stopped.

    d) Rubbish piled up along the road side is a common sights. Indeed during the many public holiday in Cambodia , rubbish collection is non existent. Imagine a Nov water festival 3 days holiday and the street of Cambodia road side is piled with rubbish by the road side with rodents among them.

    e) Money will buy many things in Cambodia, you can hired a killer for a mere $2K. The shopping mall had a sign that said No pet and gun allowed. If you are at a Casino and is on winning streak , remember not to cash out your winning and drive home that day. Chances are some one with follow you in a motor bike and kill you once you are outside the Casino for the winning.

    f) To make a police report, you need to bribe the police officer to accept your report.

    • James Reply

      Another few things I’ve found, though they’re only minor nuisances but it’s typical of what one can expect in Cambodia:

      1) expect overcharging for visas at border crossings. This applies to ALL – including Cambodians. Expect belligerence, rudeness, arrogance and even hostility directed towards you for NOT wanting to pay these extra fees. This applies EVEN if like most people, you do NOT raise your voice but simply politely point out that you want to pay the official fee. Cambodians can expect to pay 100 Baht at the Thai borders to have their passports stamped, as can Thais. It’s usually around 50,000 Vietnamese Dong at the Vietnamese borders. Foreigners needing a Cambodian visa may get overcharged by up to US$10 on their entry visas, particularly if seeking an “ordinary” visa.

      2) Traffic cops pulling over foreigners driving in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, even when no traffic offense has been committed. They often deliberately stop Thai and Vietnamese registrations (though these aren’t common, there are usually a few driving around these cities on an average day) and a fine of a couple of US$ is usually needed to shake off these guys.

  229. Sarah Reply

    When I first read this article before I went I thought, every person has a choice to partake in alcohol etc. I consider myself to be a strong willed person but since going there and being completed isolated working in a school for to months I have to say the amount of negativity you are surrounded by is disgusting and enough to drive anyone in sain. It seems the Cambodian people stick together, but as a foreigner I certainly did not feel it. I was there to teach English, I knew nothing of the country and went innocently to do something good. All I got asked was what am I doing there and had people at the school telling me I could get kidnapped and held for ransom and the going rate is 180,000$. I went with love tefl and found myself isolated left alone and abused by the people in the school with whom I had gone to volunteer my time. I was not appreciated, welcomed or to be honest wanted there. I was used and abused, being locked out of the kitchen when I had bought food,cake left in my toilet which attracked cockroaches and lizards and when I screamed. I was laughed at. I witnessed old men exploiting girls in pubs openly, I was constantly ripped off by tuk tuk drivers, agreeing one price and thwn changing there minds when I got to the destination. I wouldn’t mind my policy is to tip well if they are fair but then when one told another I tipped well as he treated me well everyone expected it. Everywhere I went my tuk tuk ride was for an hour. I got used to it after a while. I forgot my phone after letting the tuk tuk driver speak to someone in khmer, luckily it was a cheap one and was charged a $ for him looking after it for me.I am truly traumatised by my experience and though I stayed away from the pubs and clubs, I ended up being isolated in the school on my own, being left scared by the staff there. I am so sad about it because there is so much going for the country in many respects but education is needed greatly and I cannot forsake my own mental health to go to a place and live like that. Cambodia has suffered a real tragedy, and still in my view has a long way to go. Economic advances are really fantastic and the country is developing well in this respect however socially it still has a long way to go. I went to dine In the dark, a place recommended to stay away from such exploitation I had seen down at the paddy’s Irish bar, I went alone as I had travelled alone and was joined by a staff member who started offering me extras. I was so tearful I left my meal and ran out. I was talked about criticised and was stolen from, my memory stick with all my work on and money,what I don’t understand is, why wasnt I appreciated and welcomed. Unless you are rough and tough it seems you will not fit in. I don’t think I was hard enough for it and as a first country travelling as a female and then living and working in compete isolation alone, I was not appreciated nor wanted there with constant questions. Why am I there. The simple answer was to try and do something positive and learn more about the world out there. There was no alteria motive alike some people seem to think but then I agree there are so many people that go there with bad intentions, khmer people have developed a hatred for many foreigners, this is how I feel. I would never recommend taking children here, all I did was cry. At the disabled children walking the streets for money, the elderly and disabled in wheelchairs, the sad sad history. I will never forget and hope one day this country and it’s people will be saved.

  230. Eva Newman Reply

    LOL…loved the article (as a tongue in cheek article its spot on) and enjoyed reading the variety of comments…(well, most of them)…Just arrived in Australia for Christmas, back to Cambodia mid Jan where I spend about 8 months of the year. Cheers 2016

  231. Francisco V Reply

    Totally bullshit!!

    People like you only cares about the western Countries.
    Just like the shitty media!
    Like they are so great…
    I’m western myself and I visit third countries so many times.
    Africa is beautiful and so is the eastern as south america.

    I’ve been to Cambodia 7 times now as a blogger for a TV show.
    Beautiful country and lots of fun things to do.
    Great people and lots of freedom.
    Did you know that their fresh food is far more healthier than most western countries?
    Their rainwater is far more healtier as well.

    Ps. I’ve never saw a muscular 80 years old man work so hard for 12 hours a day on a field.
    Most western already gone crippled at the age of 70.

  232. eric Reply

    Not sure this article will scare off expats with experiencing living in Thailand. The title of the article could be 7 reasons not to move to Thailand. Sounds nearly identical to Thailand, though I realize some things are a bit better in Thailand. I’ve been living in Thailand for about 4 years and visited Cambodia a few times. The 2 countries have a lot in common. Both good things and bad thing…like everywhere else in the world.

  233. tobias Reply

    You left out the mob bashings,there abandonment of some of there elderly to beggings where stingy cambodians usually offer 500 riel,the homeless kids,the quick handed pickpockets.Then theres the sadistic habit on khmer tv of showing dead bodies on tv.Then there this very rich group of khmers who do nothing to help
    There poor.ngos and western governments give money to the khmer gov whk then embezzle.people are afraid to speak truth as khmers are violent people and especiLly critics of gov have been bashed or murdered by khmer killers.When your away from this oppressive place you can say the truth.Theres more ugly facts about cambodia that otbers have said.

  234. Paddy Noble Reply

    I’ve lived in Cambodia for 20 years. I am Maori and I come from New Zealand. One of the first things I told myself when I first came here was to remind myself that I am not in New Zealand anymore. Anyway over the years I learnt a lot about myself more than anything else. I learn how angry and frustrated I can become. I learnt about my own insecurities and the prejudices I had deep down. From what I see from the author of this blog is that he writes from a perspective that measured the standard of Cambodia to that of his own country. Cleanliness, people helping each other, air pollution etc etc. He has that right to make those observations measuring it to his own context wherever that might be.

    What saddens me is he has let it over shadow the good that comes through in Cambodia. Unless one understands the language, culture and psychological aspects of the Cambodian society then you’ll only get a very small view of the country. In any case one also has to remember that much of what you find in Cambodia is not so different to other countries. If you walk down the street you will also most find that many people want to talk to you but they most can’t speak English. In many western countries you can’t do that. No one will talk with you.

    There are pros and cons about living in any country. You may have had some bad experiences of living in Cambodia but then you have to ask yourself why? Khmer people I have found don’t not have the western perspective that you do. They’re responses to crisis is not the same as your response would be because you are in a totally different culture and context.

    What saddens me is that many foreigners come to Cambodia without making any attempt to talk and connect with local people. They only come to view Cambodia as if it was an animal in a cage. Just look, poke and prod and make complaints about it without really getting to know the country in itself. Then it is no different to the Western Colonial times in the early 1900s.

    • Fine Reply

      Good to here your story I love it ! I gotta put it in my school project:)

    • Ian Martinez Reply

      Didn’t Maoris slaughter every other tribe in their own empire, with stone hammers because they never got to bow and arrow advancement? They used to eat, kill or enslave other tribes.

  235. Barmey Keo Reply

    Oh, Please! If you decide to get drunks and gossip its your choice no one forces you to do so! there are many places you can hangout in Cambodia and many temples too look at! and the point were you bring up that Cambodia is a bad place to raise children your darn wrong! bruh i learn in an international school and I’m happy with my english right now! and plus our parents do raise us right different from some western kids disobeying their parents, shouting back, getting pregnant at a very young age, binge drinking at a very young age and doing illegal things.

  236. Roth Reply

    I’m Cambodian and I lived here for 20 years already. I admitted that our country have some problems but which country doesn’t? My country isn’t as bad as what’s this page written. We are living in a peaceful country with lots of love. Our country’s been struggle and we are trying to develop step by step. I’m so pity the one who wrote this article because they just got bad luck. You never live here. You will never know. Not all the things above are true. Come on guys your country isn’t perfect. And no one is perfect.

    • General Crew Reply

      you sounds like governement spokeman, just open your window and take a deep breath it smells shits, you said “peacefull country”… nah!!! your people are violently protesting evryday in the street, i won’t be surprise if shits happened again in your so called peacefull country

  237. Jean Reply

    Cambodians–don’t take this personal.
    One can write an article about 7 reasons why not to move to any country. And the article will always be author’s personal viewpoint, from his/her personal experience. The same author can/probably, or will or did already, write 7 reasons why one should move to Cambo.

    Trolls–this is a lovely one for you bored types to starts fights and insult people who cannot slap you. Enjoy.

  238. YOEUN SINA Reply

    Cambodia is a beautiful one of Asia do not look down like that . about people are very friendly but if you said that it too much with accident crime noise have not the easy way for your lifestyle i will confuse with it . If you never visit to Cambodia PLEASE do not said the word like that..

  239. Funny Reply

    This is some funny stuff. Sure its a poor country compared to America it cant be that bad Ive met people from their and they never spoke ill of there country.

  240. John Reply

    I agree this article has some very good points, but the hatreds in the comments, the racism to Cambodians fucking disgust me and saddens me! And for anyone complaining about the 20$ charge at Angkor Wat: you people complaining why don’t cambodian ourselves pay when we visit our OWN heritage? FYI, when you enter Cambodia no one wrote on your visa saying YOU MUST FUCKING VISIT ANGKOR WAT AND PAY 20$, so if you can’t let go of your PRECIOUS 20$ dont fucking go there… So sick of you FIRST-WORLD people.

  241. Ben Reply

    This post is pathetic, and it was only when I was reading the comments did I appreciate that it’s written by an American. Now it makes sense. Whilst not tarring all USA with the same brush, it’s painfully obvious that many are totally unworldly, and think the sun revolved around America.
    As many have stated, if you don’t like it, don’t go. Yes we all have bad experiences in life, but a lot of that is down to ignorance on the part of the traveller.
    I’m sure you are festering back in your great country where the streets are paved with gold, everyone has a job, no one lives below the poverty line, gun crime is non existent, and you are not a concern to the rest of humanity.

  242. Stephanie Reply

    Before I left England I assumed that Bangkok would be a 3rd world dump full of Thai’s out for your money and Cambodia was poor but beautiful with lovely people. Yeah no wonder they say that travel broadens your mind!

    Bangkok is a 1st world city in terms of transport, infrastructure, cleanliness and mindblowing for food. The people were friendly in my quiet residential area, even after I’d paid them for the goods or services I was purchasing. It was totally safe and I never got charged anything but local prices. I was so blown away I’m already booking to go back later this year.

    Cambodia meanwhile is a total dump; literally and metaphorically. I’m living in a residential area of Siem Reap made up of small houses/shacks and I cannot understand how little pride people have here. There is rubbish everywhere. I’ve read on this post people saying that this is not the fault of the Cambodian people. Actually yes it is. There is a twice weekly rubbish collection. How hard is it for them to clean up their road? After all they live in the filth!

    Worse still it’s everywhere. On the journey to Phnom Penh I was astonished at how many fields were full of rubbish. I am told that it’s even worse going from Phnom Penh to Sihanouville. Why is this? How can people care so little about the place they live in? But there again they care so little that they wear their pyjamas the entire day, and many of the poor are content to sleep on the floor of their shop but have the latest iPad mini (with data connection!).

    The food is awful, and I don’t mean khmer cuisine (which just seems to consist of Amok and Lok Lak). The raw ingredients are disgusting. The rancid or underripe taste of fresh fruit needs to be disguised with this chilli, salt, sugar mix. I saw the fruit shake stalls putting in large quantities of sugar syrup and condensed milk in order to make them palatable, and everything else just tastes of nothing. Obviously this is due to the lack of refrigeration but it says so much that Cambodians are happy to put up with this state of affairs. Expats too, but there again did I mention how cheap alcohol is here?

    Oh yes and food here is either fried, or in a soup. Don’t eat from any streetfood vendor as the food has been sitting out the entire day and will give you Delhi Belly. And Phnom Penh is even filthier and unhygienic!

    But surely Cambodian people are lovely I hear you say? Yeah no they’re not. They’re rude, they spit all the time, and they are always trying to screw you for more money. They will be lovely until they have your money, and then they show their true colours. On top of which it’s clear that the place is dangerous. In Bangkok many people have dogs as pets. Here each house seems to have 3-4 dogs; but they’re guard dogs because burglary is endemic. At the place I’m staying there are padlocks everywhere. I get this feeling if it’s not locked down, it’s gone, and Phnom Penh is even worse!

    Quite frankly Cambodia isn’t poor. Phnom Penh is full of expensive 4×4’s; there are numerous 5 star luxury gated cities being built and you can see the money is flooding in. But I’m sad the say, Cambodians have no charm, no manners and no work ethic. My advice, either come here on a huge NGO salary, or visit Siem Reap for 3 days and get the hell out to Thailand because sadly the future for Cambodia isn’t bright at all. They should just be glad they have Angkor Wat and try not to sell it off as they have done with the Killing Fields otherwise they will be totally finished.

    • Gerry Reply

      Good analysis. I agree with you on nearly all points and I too have spent a lot of time in Cambodia, though much more in Thailand where I have worked and lived.

      The difference between Thailand and Cambodia is almost like night and day. First impressions if you travel overland: Thailand has professional immigration and customs agents. Though not all of them are friendly, they are certainly not hostile just doing their jobs properly and professionally. There are never any extra charges whether you are walking or driving across the border. The only charges are official charges for customs paperwork and insurance if you’re in a Cambodian car. Thai cars get charged nothing.

      On the Cambodian side, all sorts of touts come up to you and try to fill in your immigration form for you, demanding a fee of 20-100 Baht. Trying to get rid of them isn’t difficult, but it requires a fair bit of assertiveness. But your problems aren’t over after getting rid of the touts. You then have scams like the quarantine station and your temperature taken and you are charged $1-5 (but Cambodians are never subject to this) – what you do is avoid going past the health quarantine desk in the first place. Then comes your visa. If you’re Thai or even Cambodian, you’ll get hit up for 100 Baht to have your passport stamped in, even though it’s supposed to be free. If you need a visa, like most nationalities do, except an extra US$5-10 to be charged, though if you wait and bargain hard, you might just get the correct price.

      Come by car and they’ll hit you up for more money, yet they don’t offer any insurance or paperwork of their own, just hand you a plastic card.

      Once inside Cambodia, broken roads, potholes and narrow two-lane roads are the norm throughout the country, compared to fantastic 4-6 lane highways in Thailand, not to mention 6-8 lane expressways closer to Bangkok.

      7-11 and other modern conveniences are everywhere in Thailand but basically only available in Phnom Penh, Siam Reap and Sihanoukville in the case of Cambodia. Of course 7-11 doesn’t have a single outlet in Cambodia, I’m referring to pharmacies, convenience stores and supermarkets. However, before Aeon arrived on the scene in Phnom Penh, the only half-decent supermarkets were Sorya and Paragon Cambodia. Actually, the latter was probably the only real supermarket, as Sorya is just a glorified minimart.

      Garbage is absolutely everywhere in Cambodia, whether near the riverside area in PP, dumped along the roadside and next to rice fields next to the highway or in town near markets. It’s absolutely horrifying. Thailand has it’s waste problems but it’s a LOT better.

      Too many other things to list here.

    • hinduMensch Reply

      I agree with a lot of this, but Cambodians are genuinely nice people (aside from the idiots that squeeze you at the border). I’ve never been to Siem Reap or Angkor, but I know that scams exist in the tourist areas. A lot of the doe-eyed Buddhist converts hating on “Western” materialism with New Age ideals and blooming fisherman pants are suckers for scams. If they travel no farther, they have no idea how burned they’ve been.

      But Thai are for the most part absolute phonies who smile when they’re not happy (and after a while look really idiotic doing it) and love you on a strictly commercial basis. They can’t talk about anything that even tangentially touches on something controversial because they are thin skinned and conditioned by their government to avoid questions regarding religion or the monarchy.

      Yes, Cambodia is a dump, but the people are nice. Thailand is a cheap, tinsley “fantasyland” filled with phonies, but they are cleaner, the food is better (if you know where to go; otherwise, is a bunch of oily, deep fried crap).

      One thing for certain: It ain’t the west, and if you’ve been here any length of time (unless you’re a heroin addict, a whoremonger, or an alcoholic), you’ll most likely really miss the west.

      • Danny van Niekerk Reply

        So true – well said. Thai’s also huge scam artists!

  243. david Reply

    hi give Cambodia a break after what thy have been throw Cambodia is going to get stronger and stronger and it is not the only place all the dick heads go thy are all around south east asia I own a business in chiang mai and there is a lot of western dick heads up there and if you notice the Cambodian people like westerners not like Thailand the looks I get because I run a business here is like I am from another world all I can say is go Cambodia all the way,

  244. General Crew Reply

    The author of this article is a GENIUS, all his arguments are so true!!!
    i used 7 passport living in S.E asia and i finally succeed to escape from this shithole part of the world.

    Don’t argue with this article coz you wrong, you are most likely an ignorant or a scum bag NGO, Governement, UN worker, or whatever fucker who don’t know shit about casual people life struggling.

  245. Athan Cruz Reply

    lol Is this article for real?? I know this world takes all sorts, but surely this article was written by a complete idiot. #Living&lovingLifeInCambodia

  246. uchsarath Reply

    This is completely wrong. Cambodia is just a developing countries but its economic and human resource are growing rapidly fast. More and more young innovators are doing epic in this kingdom, like this one, http://www.pengpos.com it’s an online grocery delivery service in Cambodia by freelance shoppers & deliverymen they deliver products to your office or home. It will be a great help for cambodian’s economic and also help to inspire more and more young people to do startup in this countrye.

    • Sokheng Reply

      Thanks for your article. It seemed that your posting was since 2013. I accepted that more things needed to be developed in this country, but somehow Cambodia is not that bad as described by you. Being a professional writer, you should have provided more accurate sources to support your claim. I am not saying Cambodian is best, but it did not that bad. How long have you been living in here? Or you just apparently visited some bad places and rated the whole thing? I used to visit Thailand and Vietnam before and found some bad places, but I could not assume that these countries are super bad. The fact that they are nice though NOT perfect. How can you compare Western countries to a country like Cambodia? Cambodian is just a small and developing country, but of course, it has been progressed many areas, you should read the current World Bank report. I noticed that many Western people come to live and work here because they want to help Cambodian people. They love humanitarian and charity. They work from their heart and not even thinking about your horrible description. I went thoroughly through your article, and felt very shocked when you mentioned the life expectancy of Cambodia was 57.4 years old. Did you check that? According to the latest WHO data published in 2013 life expectancy in Cambodia is: Male 69.8, female 75.2 and total life expectancy is 72.6 which gives Cambodia a World Life Expectancy ranking of 98. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cambodia-life-expectancy I agreed you about medical care and doctors. This is of course, Cambodian hospitals are far beyond its quality. As the results, the rich people often go to neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand for receiving treatment. if even affordable, they go to Singapore.

  247. Girl Expat Fleeing Reply

    I am leaving Cambodia, and this man’s words are among the truest about this sad failed state nation I have ever read. I came here believing the NGO fairy tale a lot of the dreamy (or belligerent, as yet uninformed) comments here believe.

    I leave agreeing with the author.

    • xavier Reply

      See the truce. Read the article again…
      Who long in Cambo? Me 7 month. We quite. Going to Spain.
      To many tramps here. Low budget scums. Drunks. Uneducated people (Khmer and the rest…), food not even half as good as any on offer in the whole world, drugs (temptation) at every corner, corruption everywhere……

  248. Adam p Reply

    agree with the the story, been living here as expaxt for five years here. the food is bad compare to thailand and vietnam, malaysia. the hospital dirty, doctor not professional, road is bad, small, the people are lack intelligence. the girls are ugly compare to neighboring country. thats only my opinion and my experience living in phnom phen. quality of live on here overall in below compare neighbors country, the rich family in cambodia also shoping and enjoying life in singapore, bangkok. if you notice, there is nothing good things like brand stuff in here, lv, gucci and on and on..

    • Boris Reply

      You can’t even spell Phnom Penh properly and you live there?! “The people are lack intelligence”? Adam, I believe you are the textbook ‘expat’ (not expaxt as you put it). Your grasp of English is atrocious; I only hope for the Kingdom of Cambodia that you are 57.39 years old.

  249. Fine Reply

    This made me sad but you know what ! I don’t find it that way ! Cambodia is a nice country. We need to except the fact that every country always face the problem,so if you couldn’t help something to move forward then stop. Don’t just sit there and screw the whole thing up ! It is so dejected. Thx 🙂

  250. xavier Reply

    Very true. I hope this will help people to make the right decision NOT to move definitely to Cambodia.
    I live here for 7 month now and it’s ALL TRUE.
    By the way, I am here with my wife, no kids.

  251. Sokheng Reply

    Thanks for your article. It seemed that your posting was since 2013. I accepted that more things needed to be developed in this country, but somehow Cambodia is not that bad as described by you. Being a professional writer, you should have provided more accurate sources to support your claim. I am not saying Cambodian is best, but it did not that bad. How long have you been living in here? Or you just apparently visited some bad places and rated the whole thing? I used to visit Thailand and Vietnam before and found some bad places, but I could not assume that these countries are super bad. The fact that they are nice though NOT perfect. How can you compare Western countries to a country like Cambodia? Cambodian is just a small and developing country, but of course, it has been progressed many areas, you should read the current World Bank report. I noticed that many Western people come to live and work here because they want to help Cambodian people. They love humanitarian and charity. They work from their heart and not even thinking about your horrible description. I went thoroughly through your article, and felt very shocked when you mentioned the life expectancy of Cambodia was 57.4 years old. Did you check that? According to the latest WHO data published in 2013 life expectancy in Cambodia is: Male 69.8, female 75.2 and total life expectancy is 72.6 which gives Cambodia a World Life Expectancy ranking of 98. http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cambodia-life-expectancy I agreed you about medical care and doctors. This is of course, Cambodian hospitals are far beyond its quality. As the results, the rich people often go to neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand for receiving treatment. if even affordable, they go to Singapore.

  252. prahocalypse now Reply

    Hi Sokheng, I think the writer meant that the life expectancy of 57.4 years is for a 57 year old white man who has just moved to Sihanoukville.

  253. NonInstigator Reply

    This article, more than most, seems to hit nerves in every way possible, and then some. Steriotypes exist because humans need them to sort through the infinite information surrounding us – we need this filter or we will be overwhelmed. The problem with steriotypes is, as we see across many of these comments, is complexity – If we jump to the easy answer, we tend to go off the cliff. Life anywhere, is a jumble of perceptions we may call “good” or “bad” but in the end, it is a perception, not what’s really going on. This article, in my opinion, stimulated a lot of perceptions people have about Cambodia, but more importantly about racism, nationalism, ignorance, hope, poor judgement, denial, betterment, pride, shame, and understanding, and more. Maybe this was the Author’s intent, rather than being “informative”. I don’t know, but certainly all these perceptions are much more enightening than his article.

  254. Dee Reply

    I had bad experiences and nightmare in Phnom phen.
    Since my husband move to Phnom phen he changed became an evil.to be honest the people are friendly as people in other south east asia country. I saw an old white guy in a restauran with a young teeneger little girl friend what a surprised me.
    An tuk tuk driver also offered her little daughter to my husband for some money. What a shame.
    This is my experience

  255. Mike Reply

    Must agree. Lived in Southern China for ten years teaching at international schools, and G’dong was London compared to Cambodia when I was last there. The clichés are not clichés, but fact. The suicidal drunks, the fifty-something burnouts on the road to hell, the squalor, the sheer end-of-the-line nature of the entire setup….all true. What I agree with most (and I agree with all of it) are those selfish, appalling bastards who choose to raise kids there. These fuckers really should be taken out and shot.

  256. Katie Price Reply

    I am shocked this blog post is still up. If the author still lives in South East Asia, then this post is dam will stupid, but hey there are a lot of expat (immigrants as I like to call them) morons out there. To the people who read this post and feel deeply saddened, please be reminded that many immigrants are nice people, some adore living in new places, and other do it for their family/economic reasons, but you will always have some fuck wits that should piss off to their own country, like the author of this post.

  257. Ian Martinez Reply

    Was this article written by a hairy, jealous, manhating feminist by any chance? Jeez, disgraceful

  258. Ian Fleming Reply

    Not sure if you noticed, but HOMELESSNESS is at an all-time-high in the U.S.A. and it is overwhelmingly working people out-of-doors today… Your statistics for healthcare, longevity, education, salary, etc fall in line with a very idealized view of the average adult’s life in the ‘West’ which simply has zero resemblance to many, many Americans’ reality in 2016… Not to mention the total breakdown of the family in these horribly expensive countries… The ‘3rd-world’ is the future.

  259. J Reply

    I had lived in Phnom Pehn for 1 1/2 years and have to agree with how much trash is along the roads and how it makes standing water and the area around it smell awful and there is the smell of pee in some areas especially on a warm day. As you leave the city, seeing cows eating from the side of the road that has trash or drinking from water that has trash in it makes me glad I am a vegetarian. I have never seen cows so sickly where you see their ribs. Walking is a hazard because there isn’t a sidewalk to walk most of the time and when there is, vehicles park on them, has trash or vehicles drive on it to pass traffic and pay you no mind. When eating at a street vender remember they pee behind their cart and have no place to wash their hands as well as no hot water out of sinks to wash and most don’t own refrigerators for food and condiments. Their is a foreign price for hired transportation and most stalls at the outdoor markets so, recommend ask around 1st how much something costs to a local. Found the people in Thailand and Malaysia nicer and better company than most of the Cambodians I met. Jow (like how but with a j instead of a h) is a must know word, it means thief and will get a locals attention after a snatching, when someone is trying to or about to rip you off. But can find a nice furnished modern apartment starting for $350 and most foreign teachers can make $900 – $1400 pm so, living is manageable with savings.

  260. sant Reply

    Somebody paid these guy for an article due it is in top of google!
    Advise you to use such words as: I think, and i’ve heard or they told me to right this article

  261. Jhansen Reply

    Wow, I read through 3 years worth of comments and only once did I see the word “satire”. ONCE! If I had to guess, the comments are about 80% ad Hominem and aggressive and disgusting and surprisingly ignorant themselves.

    I find it funnier to read ‘Muricans take on this article and shouting RACISM!!! Fuck off! You aren’t allowed to speak until you have fixed home, first!

    People are so sensitive and on the defensive about satire. Don’t watch The Boondocks then, you’ll flip your shit and throw your TV/laptop out the window.

    To the author, I can only hope to write as controversial and witty as you to draw this much organic attention to my work.

  262. Rico Reply

    There is nothing to say against Khmer people.
    You will meet estranged or hard stares in the street that will illuminate within an instant you smile or make a facetious face to them.

    Cambodia is nevertheless the sad tale of a country betrayed and looted by its ruling class which does not bother to cover the most basic needs of its population, beginning with sanitation, education and health.

    The trash everywhere in Phnom Penh, crazy inflation of the last years, the total absence of any regulation even for the most basic stuff like noxious chemicals in any product you buy, trash burning, total absence of police for everyday work, luxury cars owned by government officials etc. All these are symbols of a failed country ruled by a greedy mafia with no empathy for their countrymen and no other interest but their own enrichment.

    Too much of the population is sadly under educated and left to fend for itself with dramatic conditions in urban centers where traditional mechanisms of communal solidarity slowly dissolve.
    Considering this is normal for any place is justifying the status quo ; as if the cultural relativity can excuse any obvious failure of local governments.
    Respecting the fact we are guests in a foreign country does not mean one has to shut down all critical thinking on a dreadful situation ignored and unaddressed by the local government.

    People everywhere are pretty much the same. Money is usually what makes them worse in term of their friendliness to one another and most people in Cambodia do not have this defect, which I wish they could have really.

  263. Rico Reply

    As for the article it obviously feels like the jest of an expat wanting to keep other guests out of “his” country as expats always feel themselves superiors to newcomers far too often encountered human ego reasons.

  264. Micki Reply


    I couldn’t resist commenting, repetative as it may be.

    The negativity in the initial post, and many of the following comments, is quite intense.

    Cambodia has many problems, as do so many other places, but it is also a beautiful place too, with warm welcoming people, rich history, and it doesn’t deserve “slagging down” like this. What benefit will it bring to the country and its people, including the ex-pats?

    If certain ex-pats end up drinking/drugging themselves to death, moving their Thai gfriends to a miserable life, dying 20 years younger etc etc? So be it. Such assumptions to what everyone will do. I dont even go to bars, have a Thai gfriend…. Others will not have these issues either, and Cambodia can do with the support of non-sex-drug-drink-tourists/expats, they’re a problem in many places, when out of control.

    Take it all with a pinch of salt, and if you’re a racist nasty person, you must be so miserbale inside, needing to vent some hatred here.

    Move to Cambodia, and try to help the country and its people flourish, like they deserve to. Nothing happens over night, and Cambodia has had enough to deal with in my life time. Give it a break!

    That’s my rant over :p

  265. Lia Reply

    I’ve never been to Cambodia but hope to one day. There are so many places around the world I have been persuaded not to visit because I am told they are too dangerous or whatever. But rather than have an article instructing us to stay completely away from a vast area, why not focus on what we can do to make it a positive experience? The whole of Cambodia cannot be summed up with rubbish bins, drugs and drink problems. Like Sorya who commented – what about all the nature, the temples, the history? Buddhism? SO much culture and learning experiences we are closing ourselves off to because we are too privileged to know if we can handle it? I’m not going to pretend I am not one of these people who does not have worries about stepping into lands I know nothing about, but I think we should question whether we are right to think this way…

    • Michael Stewart Reply

      Lia I think what you is say is a great idea. DO not ever let anyone talk you out of going anywhere. I have been to Brazil 5 times and I think it is funny when people tell me they would never go to Brazil as it is so dangerous. I Love Brazil. The people are friendly, they tell you exactly what they think, the food is delicious, music is intoxicating, the women there are gorgeous, and there is something for everyone there. I have never been a victim of crime and most of it is street smarts. I do not go in favelas because I would not go into slums in US cities. Even if I did unless I am getting involved with drugs or arms the criminal groups could care less about me. I feel safer walking down the streets of Sao Paulo then I do walking down the streets in Houston TX.

  266. Simon Sykes Reply

    Very funny, obviously intended as satire. It’s equivalent to an article “7 reasons not to visit the USA” based solely on the author’s experience hanging out at a nasty smoky locals casino on Boulder Highway in Las Vegas, occupied by geriatric chain smokers wheeling oxygen tanks behind them. That account would be factually true, but would not inform the reader what the USA was like.

  267. Cathy Troupp Reply

    I have just read this article and the comments. The article may make some serious points but they are lost beneath the offensive language.

    As for the comments, they take my breath away. In the West we have moderators on websites whose job it is to remove offensive comments and gratuitous name calling and abuse. Too bad that there is no equivalent in Cambodia as yet. What a lot of nasty comments collected on one trail – this article seems to have acted like fly paper for them.

    I had a wonderful time visiting Cambodia recently, would like to visit again, but have no intention of living there and even less so if you guys would be my ‘expat’ neighbours.

    Incidentally, only Westerners moving to developing countries are called ‘expats’. Residents of developing countries trying to move to the West are called ‘immigrants’. You are immigrants too and you should treat your host country with the respect and appreciation you would expect from any Cambodian moving to the West. I lived as an expat in Africa when I was younger and became familiar with the way an insular, bitter and carping mentality easily develops in a small isolated community of ‘expats’. Perhaps ‘expats’ fear that they are not skilled and strong enough to manage the challenges of living in the West. It’s hard work managing family life and earning enough to live pleasantly in London and New York as you know all too well.

  268. Samuel L. Chuckson Reply

    Hello, everyone, I believe that each country in this world has its own culture and way of living. Every country contains disadvantages and advantages for tourism. but what I can see on this website, it only talks about disadvantages of this country (Cambodia).

    however, tourism is increasing every year in Cambodia! why? Because the advantages of this country that gives to the tourist were outweighed all the disadvantages they have seen.

  269. Josephat Reply

    I am a Tanzanian (East Africa) young man…. I visited Cambodia’s Capital in 2015. My heart still wants to return there. I learned that many Cambodians are easy to get along with, considerate, and kind. I just was astonished by the level of poverty, prostitution, and drug trading. I will always like to come back to Cambodia should time allow…although I know the security there is very capitalistic and sometimes ‘brutal’ to black people.

  270. Bryon Reply

    You left out reason number 8. Loud, blaring noise at 5am to perhaps 10pm due to weddings and funerals. So if you like to sleep in on the weekends, don’t count on it. The Khmer people DO NOT care if their noise disturbs you. THEY DO NOT! They woke me up at 4:30am and when I when to the source of the noise to complain, they beat me! while the local policeman watched! After they beat me once and then again when I tried to run away, the tourist police finally came and saved me from the Khmer ‘wedding’ mob.
    THEY BEAT ME!!! and the police did nothing!! That’s the Khmer people.

  271. Jay Reply

    I used to think all these points about Thailand until I went to Cambodia. Cambo makes Thailand look positively “first world”.
    Also, make note of the terrible treatment of animals in both countries, a real shock if you’re a dog lover.
    And like Bryon mentioned above, good luck sleeping in or trying to relax. SE Asia is just about the noisiest place I’ve ever been and the locals don’t care.
    The only positive thing I’ve noticed is that Cambodians don’t seem quite so nationalistic and pig-ignorant as Thais are, have better English and they don’t seem to hate farangs as much, possibly because they realised it’s not wise to bite the hand that feeds.

  272. lolol Reply

    This article forgot the most important part, the government screws you over in payments! When they’re supposed to give you your salary that you worked hard for, excuses will come up for needing to use the money before you even get to lay your hands on your precious money

  273. kent Smith Reply

    After 8 years in Thailand I finally gave up from the corruption and rip-off visa ghouls. Now I’m almost into my 2nd year in Cambodia. Nothing in this article seems to have anything to do with the country I’ve moved to.

    I mean, for heaven’s sake, when you move to a new country you set up your medical connections immediately! I did in Belgium, in Napoli, in Genova, in Hua Hin, and in now in Sihanoukville. You get a doctor. You get to know your doctor. You stop by his clinic frequently to chat (in Cambodia they’re almost always connected to a pharmacy, so that’s easy).

    There are innumerably more things to talk about, but 3rd World life isn’t just handed to you as a gift. You MAKE it work. It will make a better person with an infinitely better daily life. You have friends to talk over your issues with. You walk and talk, you laugh with people, people see you every day at the cafes, you INTRODUCE yourself (hard to do in Thailand, but a breeze in Cambodia where English buzzes around your head all day).

    Yammering on about how horrible 3rd world countries are is pathetic. There are terrific people everywhere, and there’s hardly a country where the system’s truly out to screw you.

    Breathe deeply and get a life, please.


    • michoacan Reply

      It might make you a better person… you also have a good chance of ending up strung-out, an alkie, a wastrel, and eventually sick or dead.

    • kent Reply

      Just for the record, after being robbed at gunpoint in Phnom Penh in front of my little rented house, I’ve moved back to Thailand (Hua Hin). There’s something to be said for simple civilization.

  274. Asphaltso Reply

    Kent Smith: Very good tutorial on how to make life work in a 3rd world country. You mentioned that English is spoken more widely in Cambodia that Thailand(probably cause its easier for the khmer). But what other social factors make Cambodia easier to strike up conversations and meet people than Thailand? In my experience the Khmer or more friendly and open to foreigners. Would you share my opinion, or do you have more that you can add as to why Khmer people and Cambodia maybe more friendly to foreigners?

  275. Frances Reply

    This article is 10000% true. The only thing missing is how the hospitals are criminal enterprises especially the Royal PhnomPehn hospital. AND HOW RACIST CAMBODIANS ARE ABOUT 96% OF THE Cambodian population

  276. Luis Reply

    Yes, Scambodia was very dirty and disappointing. Would NEVER consider living there, it’s pretty awful.

  277. Del Reply

    Written by yet another clueless yank twat who thinks he and his shit country are better than everyone else, two bad you got anihlated by the Vietnamese next door, yank moron

    In your country they all kill each other with guns they are that think
    Since you started so many illegal wars around here Cambodians hate you anyway and so do most of the world

  278. Michael Stewart Reply

    I have lived in Cambodia for a year and though it is not my top choice of nations to live in(Russia, China, Belarus, Iran, Brazil and Peru are) it is still a great place to live. I came to Cambodia to meet my beautiful girlfriend. I think cambodian food is quite tasty. I like their soups. Khmer soups are delicious when you add milk. As for accidents, those happen everywhere. I am not a drinker, I do not use drugs and I do not involve myself with prostitutes( I figure my girlfriend would be a little upset) It is true that working as an English teacher in Cambodia is not going to make you rich but it does pay bills. One can always work in nearby nations like Viet Nam, China, Japan, Or Korea. I do not know anything about Thai women but I would have to agree with her asking you questions why you want to live in Cambodia. Unless you have a high paying job there why would you expect her to want to live in Cambodia? When I marry my girlfriend I plan to work in China until she can get her business started and we can build two houses. One in Cambodia the other in Brazil. As for beggars No one is forcing you to give them money. I do not give to beggars as I know they are in syndicates who exploit them. As for higher price fairs. I do not go to Angkor Wat or other buildings all the time and if it helps them with upkeep the little they charge is not a problem. When Khmers go to the USA most of the places they would go would cost them much more then they charge here.

  279. Joshua Reply

    First and foremost….. Thank You! This article was a great laugh.

    (Pure Gold) Hahahahaha
    It will seem to her like a cruel joke, not unlike bailing a black friend out of jail and then driving him straight to a Ku Klux Klan rally.

    I am sitting up at 3am deciding if I will go to Cambodia or Thailand. I am a black retired US Army Veteran. I just want to leave the US and live overseas again for a change.

    I have not had any serious problems in the past when living overseas. I was stationed in South Korea for 2 years and I loved it. Everyone ended up being very friendly. I also spent some time in the Philippines. Again everyone was very friendly. Although non-black friends of mine told me they would hate me in South Korea and the Philippines.

    I hope that I receive the same reception in Thailand and or Cambodia.

    • gavinmac Reply

      Thanks. Good luck with the move. In Korea, people who you were black assumed you were American. In Thailand and Cambodia, it may be assumed by locals and other expats that you are Nigerian until you establish otherwise. And that’s bad because Nigerian dudes who travel to Southeast Asia are very often lowlife scammers and pimps and drug dealers.

      If I were you I’d wear a U.S. Military type baseball cap or shirts and be outgoing in your American accent to other expats and just mention to locals that you’re American at every opportunity.

      Don’t look and act Nigerian. Good luck.

  280. j Reply

    most of the negatives found in Cambodia are also found everywhere else in South East Asia. People who want to relocate there know this. Like everywhere in the world there are trade offs. This guy who wrote this has no idea of what truly motivates someone to move somewhere else. In the west you will die of cancer or diabetes, in many ways Cambodia is a better and healthier alternative if one takes a few simple precautions. I would take everything he says with a good dose of scepticism, people are people, not statistics.

  281. j Reply

    It depends on what you are used to. He is pretty much describing the suburb where I live in Sydney. The same can be said of Campsie. wherever you live in the world, money will innoculate you against most of life’s dangers and annoyances. And that is true anywhere. Life anywhere, is really only meant for the rich after all.

  282. j Reply

    Actually after reading to the end, on balance the author has it about right. But compared to Indonesia or the Philipines , Malaysia or any of the polynesia/micronesian countries, would it be all that bad?

  283. C Reply

    This article should be called ” 7 reasons not to move to Cambodia if you are expecting to live a peaceful life at a lowest price, filled with drugs, alcohol, women and not have all the flaws that comes with it”.
    Because it is what it’s all about. Cambodia IS a poor country. There is nothing such as heaven on earth. There only are countries that suits best to your lifestyle and state of mind.
    Some people think that they can move to a foreign country, take advantage of all the “good parts” and still refuse to embrace the flaws. If you have that kind of state of mind, moving anywhere on the globe will be a problem. It takes wisdom to learn acceptance.
    Good luck with your life mate.

  284. kh Reply

    Nonsense! your ideas are shits. Have u ever lived in Cambodia? I think maybe u have a thai girlfriend. That’s why your last reason is the hatre of thai girlfrind. #032

  285. Mharvz Reply

    Here are some of the good things I LOVE about Cambodia:
    1. Warm People
    2. Simplicity of Life
    3. Low Cost of Living (rentals, utilities, etc)
    4. Circulating Currencies: Dollar, Thai Baht, Chinese Yen, and Khmer Riel
    5. Fast Internet Services
    6. Culture & Traditions
    etc ……………………………………………………………….

  286. Jimmy malty Reply

    Thailand is the biggest mist filthiest corrupt shithole going if you like manky hookers old sex pest and police brutality and extortionate then go to shithole Thailand

  287. Robert Reply

    You pointed out some real issues in Cambodia.I am a Cambodian and feel so frustrated because of our corrupt government.They don’t care about their citizens .

  288. Phillip Reply

    I do appreciate your article. On behalf of Cambodian, I’m so sorry for all Cambodian especially new generation. I’m so ashamed of people in other countries. But you have to try to yourself in somebody else’s shoes. What would you do if you were in this situation? Will you just run away to deleloped country to get the better life, and let people in your country face difficulties and die? You only write and post to show the people around the world that Cambodia is such a terrible to live, but you have to know that Cambodian couldn’t chose where they were born, that’s very sad tor them. They were born here, so they have to struggle thief whole lifetime with kingdom of wonder Cambodia. No one wants to live in an unsafe country which lead by the leader who has no ability to role the whole country and has no dignity. Life is like animal.

  289. Larry Reply

    Cambodia is a good place to live in because of its tropical weather, natural resources, rich culture, etc. Cambodia offers a big platform for businesses. Khmer people know how to stand against injustices and come up with solutions to solve any national issues. Cambodia is a growing nation in Southeast!

  290. Ernest Evans Reply

    All Americans should be banned from visiting or staying in Cambodia for recompense in bombing the country and leaving the landscape full of ordnance, yanks are arrogant and thick at best no one wants them anywhere they have made ear everywhere and ate still trying to now they are the worst cunts on the planet.

  291. Great L. A. Reply

    I have visited about 9 different countries in the past 15 years, Thailand 4 times with one of them being 1 year long. In all of the countries, I found the people to be much more friendly and helpful than in the United States. One thing is that I go open minded and respect their cultures, history and way of life. I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia and was thanked for coming to the hotel that I stayed in by one of the Tuk Tuk drivers that worked for the hotel because he said that he had worked for the hotel for 10 years and I was the first normal person that he knew of that stayed there. I think that is because I do not look down a people and they pick up on that. Also there is a lot to learn from people that have had it hard all their lives We are lucky to have been born in Western countries and it is not the person’s fault that they have been born in a poor country. Even in your own country a person much richer than you might tolerate being around you but they are also probably looking down their noses at you so I don’t see why people travel to other countries to think that they are any better than the people of that country. We are, mostly, all trying to do the best for ourselves and our families that we can. I am divorce and have twins 9 years old and no, I would not up-root them to move to a 3rd world country, but as far as myself, if I did not have the 2 children, I would easily move to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, or Vietnam just because I do not like a lot shit that is changing in America especially the divorce shit. I was pretty well off but after the judge gave my ex-wife that she lived in for 8 years and I lived in for 38 years and 95% of my pension so I live on SS only I would gladly live in another country and yes I am retired, over 65 with 9 year old twins that are mine so apparently my ex-wife is a little younger than me. All the, so called, slutty whores in Asia, or any country, usually do not like what they are doing even though they have to pretend they do just as many people in other jobs hate their jobs but have to provide for their families and not being well educated have to do what they have to do, this does not mean that they do not have feelings or that they are bad people.

  292. James Daniel Reply

    All Americans are not responsible for the government’s actions…this is true for all citizens of all governments. Some citizens even disagree with their government verbally and are allowed to keep living…Don’t hate people,…dislike or hate governments only.

  293. anonymous Reply

    I am not against rich or poor Asians. I am just against the often poor attitudes that are displayed against us.

  294. Barry Reply

    I have never seen such a concentration of perverse white trash anywhere. Perhaps “off season” provides an unholy distillation of this type of ex-pat. Cambodian people must think all western males are thugs or sex fiends, hippie wankers or drunks.
    I saw one yesterday with it’s hair dyed darker than it’s child bride. And the women are no better. Hookers or emaciated tattooed sluts they appear to be. All very pleased with themselves to boot.
    I wish there was a virus for this.

  295. Axel H Reply

    Interesting article that had me thinking, since I’m about to leave the western civilization once again and probably end up in Cambodia for a long, long time.

    So it did have me thinking, yeah… Some damn good reasons right there. So why am I still going? Because there might be 7 reasons not to move to Cambodia, there are still dozens of reasons why I don’t want to live in a western country anymore.

    As simple as that.

  296. JayP Reply

    I have lived in Cambodia for about 2 years. I have lived in China, America, Korea, japan, and have frequently visited thailand and Vietnam. I have experienced some good things but more negative things. First and foremost, these are MY OPINIONS and experience. Besides some of the tourist attractions and the counrtyside, I really did not like cambodia much. There is a reason that western people and cambos do not live long here. Pollution is terrible here. Trash everywhere. Cars with no emissions inspections spitting out white smog. Dust in the streets. Open sewers. Polluted mekong river.(top 10 plastic pollution source of the worlds ocean. Terrible medical care. Food sanitation. Dogs with rabies. The list goes on and on.

    The food (local and foreign) is limited here in phnom penh. The food is not very fresh and is handled extremely poorly compared with other countries.

    As with any other country there are many good people but also bad. In this country, the corruption is rampant. I have never had to bribe so many police and government officials in my life. In fact I never had to in other countries. I would otherwise be subjected to jailtime or harrassment for conducting legitimate and legal business here in Cambodia. I was ripped off and scammed many times here. Police pull me over and ask for $5-$50 here all the time. For no reason. Why the fuck are police officers and government officials living in Mansions and driving rolls royces and mercedes benz. (I saw a marked police car that was a s63 amg…. yeah.
    Taxi drivers asked for $10 for a 10 minute ride before passapp, grab/Uber came along. Bunch of con artists if u ask me. Some lunatic tried to stab me for $1.

    The beaches are nice and some tourist locations are okay. But compared to other countries…. it is limited.

    People are what makes or breaks the place. I had several hundreds of employees in cambodia itself. I paid them much higher than the average salary and some were very nice. That does not mean that they were efficient. There is a reason why these guys are getting paid low salaries. Low quality work = low pay. You can pay more. But not much difference in terms of work quality. When i started paying them more, they became entitled. Stole. And slacked off. I have had potential business associates in Cambodia try to “scam/steal” money. You can see many people on the streets. Laying around or just on their motorbikes doing nothing. Lazy habits are hard to break and entitlement combined creates some terrible habits. I was starting up a non-profit in cambodia to help give to the community and help those in need. I have stopped due to scammers.
    I do not care if you are poor… but do not fucking steal or scam those that are trying to help you. I really do think that i have faced much racism and prejudice here. I am also asian but have never faced so much prejudice for being a “different” asian that spoke english. You may say that i am “racist” as well and that i am a hipocrite. I am aware of it and am trying to be more understanding and open minded. But i am simply stating my opinions and experiences honestly.
    This place is a pretty bad place to live compared to the standards of different countries. Standards based on actual statistics that you can google. If you can live elsewhere…. Shenzhen china was very modern and had higher salary and pay. Also they are very welcoming of foreigners and have lower costs of living then phnom penh….suprisingly. I am not chinese btw.
    Thailand was also cheaper (food),modern, cleaner, and more fun to visit. If you can visit for only a short while in Cambodia. I plan to leave soon and i will try to live in vietnam. I hear its a lot better.

    • bruce Reply

      I know that you wrote this a while back but really get what you say. Especially about treating people better thinking that they will be more engaged and proactive. It’s like it’s the opposite in Cambodia. I lived in Cambo for 3 years. I had job as an engineer employed by a company in Singapore. Our contractors in Cambodia had hilarious stories about theft & laziness. They all had tried the same thing, try to get the best possible people and incentivize them. It always turned out the same – more money meant more scamming and stealing. I had the luxury of having a very light schedule. I enjoyed the quiet aspect of life in Phnom Penh and found the expat community to be both enjoyable and entertaining. But in the end the place is it’s own parody. The only reason to go there is to party and hang out. I think living in Cambodia would be a trap for someone who has potential in life because you could just fall into an eternal pit of unproductive life style. But some may want that.
      Hope things turned out well for you in Vietnam. Vietnam has many advantages over Cambodia, not the least of which is that they use soap! lol…

  297. M4A1 Reply

    First time I read this article was in October of 2017. I told myself “Damn, this guy seriously hates Cambodia.” We are now in July of 2018, and I hate to admit it, but whoever wrote this article got everything right. Cambodia is a boring shit hole. Not boring like Bakersfield, CA. No no. More like Buttfuck nowhere, SD. If binge drinking, smoking meth, and fucking underage girls is your thing, then Cambodia is the place to be.
    I have never been so physically ill in my life before. People here are always sick. You got a flu? Better put a menstrual pad on your forehead! I asked my 33 year old Cambodian girlfriend (not a bar whore. Yes, this is a crucial detail here smh) if she’s ever seen a obgyn. She didn’t even know what it was. So now I have to teach her everything about medical check-ups, health insurance, co-pays, and premiums. I also had to hide that tiger balm bullshit because she wanted to rub my broken elbow with this crap.
    You also have to keep in mind that because of a poor educational system and a lack of exposure to the rest of the world, Cambodians tend to be extremely limited. Yes, you read that right. Limited. That also explains why expats with good intentions end up hanging out in bars with complete losers. You just can’t have a fruitful conversation with 98% of the locals (and that’s not because of the language barrier).
    As for Angkor Wat, that place is overrated (it does look good on Google images though. I also fell for it). It shouldn’t cost more than $5 to see these ruins. If you’ve traveled around the world and you’ve seen some cathedrals and castles in Europe, the Mayans or the Giza pyramids, then you’re very likely to be disappointed by Angkor Wat. You have to be Cambodian (or one of those expats that refuses to accept the truth about the poor choice they made when they decided to move to Cambodia) to enjoy and be proud of Angkor Wat. It’s just not that crazy. The best part is buying an overpriced coconut and watching the monkeys go through the piles of trash near the temples… Arguing Chinese tourists are also quite entertaining.
    Last but not least, Cambodians are very nationalistic. Not patriotic, nationalistic. They are very proud of their shit hole. Look up “protests against thai superstar over negative comments about Cambodia.” Can’t say anything bad about Cambodia or you might end up getting jumped by 20 courageous cambodian people (Cambodians are cowards. If one person has a problem with you, most people nearby will try to hit you just because). However, they will gladly share with you that your country (in my case, US) is backwards and dangerous.
    Anyways, I’ll take school shootings and an opioid crisis over this dump of a country. Can’t wait for my contract to be up. F**k Cambodia.

  298. L.Power Reply

    All “good comments”. You have all spoken about “the problems”; but no one has tabled / spoken about the solution(s)”


    because you are all “frarangs” or “barangs” or “round eyes” and will only see and experience this country with your own mindset.

    The DNA of a Khmer is well and truly different from their neighbours and accordingly their mainstream is the same.

    Well and truly evident “Khmerland” is influenced and controlled by various neighbours.

    > currently 30% MC population
    > +/- 50 casinos controlled by MCEES
    >+/- 500% increase in real estate
    > controlling 20% of the coastline

    > on the way

    > no comment

    The road system is constructed by MC and in part of the “belt and chain” colonialist strategy

    +/- 10,000 french//francophones still in “Khmerland”

    So, moving and living there…

  299. Dick smith Reply

    Beautifully written and blatantly true. These are facts, not some foreigners bad experience and should be issued with every foreigners visa. I live in the Philippines as an expat for 10 years and its the same here. All third world countries are like this, total shit holes. All you people here who making excuses that its not like this are wearing rose colored glasses. Just live here for 5 years and you will sing a different tune.

  300. Hey it's life Reply

    Wow so many responses got bored reading them all by choice,my choice.Lots of hate on and offline no secret.I’ve traveled around the world not once but instead three times for extended periods at each location.I’ve literally see it all backpackers and foreigners from every region.Its been entertaining to watch foreigners get shot or beat up for disrespecting locals while sipping my morning coffee or afternoon beer.Yes I’ve lived in the U S all of my life, however I’ve never disrespected locals in their countries, not once.Many foreigners act like they’re better than the locals and think women can be had for a few U S dollars, what a shame.The majority of the loud mouths online have rarely left their home countries let alone travel extensively as I’ve done and still do.Never think locals are stupid, they’re far from it.The majority of you with your hateful rherotic would slow your rolling mouths and refrain from expressing yourselves in Cambodia, truth be known.The whole concept of visiting other countries is to experience different things,ie people’s way of living not criticize them.But it’s quite obvious the majority of foreigners cannot even respect themselves let alone others.Best advice STAY AT HOME and don’t visit any countries.

  301. Chuck Reply

    Well I’m from the USA we have all kinds of crazy people everywhere I don’t know where you went and what you saw been over here for four years I like it I’m almost 70 and it’s not quite as bad as you think it’s about 50-50 from the rest of the world I’m not going to badmouth you I don’t have time you have malls places to go they have a movie theaters it’s called Aeon mall in Phnom Penh they actually Three modern malls very nice anyway thank you God bless you God bless Cambodia God bless the world you all need it ha ha

  302. Ly Reply

    This article writer is just an asshole who can live nowhere on earth except under his grave. His mind is too weak and narrow. I met one of the white people in Phnom Penh and he is a teacher but he was fired all the schools he used to work for because he can’t integrate with all different nations plus he can’t move his ass back to his grave. However, there are a lot of expats live in Cambodia peacefully and physically.

    When you in Room, you have to do as a Roman do.

  303. Birdman Reply

    Hello everyone I just thought why American men go to Cambodia , it’s because the women back there are Extreemely Obese … Ugly …Demanding … & Dont love you .. just care about themselves … Sorry guys . Deep Deep down you know it to be true . Please don’t let my comments upset you Americans .. It must hurt when you know , Yes you know it to be so true … Have a nice day ..

    • bruce Reply

      Haha, pretty much all western women you’ve nailed it! But westerners are happy because there’s always Cambodian women because they want something much better.

  304. Blake Reply

    Gavin’s very witty article – and some of the insane responses, told me all I need to know about Cambodia and whether I really want to visit long term. Thank you for some honesty Gavin, to the people who have no grasp of humour, who should be able to detect something funny, but somehow can’t – you make the world a worse place – especially that German-Brazilian NGO wanker and his cup cakes. Is a dietary issue? Genetic? Jeez.

  305. Gary Reply

    One thing is for sure. This guy is a fucken moron.
    He has no idea what he’s writing about.
    I am more inclined to think he’s been hanging around the sleazy side of the towns and the city’s.
    19 years I’ve been living in Cambodia mostly in Sihanoukville and now Kampot because of the Chinese take over. A little Bit of what he is saying has a little truth in it but mostly it’s all be stretch well out of proportion.
    I guess he just hates Cambodia and Cambodians.
    But being a rude, arrogant and a scare munger is not call for or warranted.

  306. bruce Reply

    Are all these illiterate snowflakes as stupid as they seem?
    It’s not an article; it’s a satire piece. It’s supposed to be humorous and frankly this guy is hilarious.
    He also pokes fun at himself but apparently many just don’t get it!
    Wish he was still writing for khmer440!
    Please for Christ’s sake! look up the words satire and sarcasm before you waste your time and get emotionally overwhelmed.

  307. Vanessa Reply

    Look I am khmer, but I’ve never been to Cambodia and I hope someday I will. BUT whoever wrote this I am deeply dissapointed Cambodia is a poor country what did you expect from it. People there are trying their best after everything that has happened to them you should cut them some slack for still going strong. Maybe if Vietnam didn’t invade Cambodia and maybe if khmer rouge never happened you wouldn’t be saying these things about Cambodia. Omg don’t even get me started with Thailand like what more do y’all want from us? You claimed our dancing as thai dancing which doesn’t make sense when Cambodia existed before Thailand, but go off and you steal our tattoo like damn y’all can’t make up your own shit? As a matter of a fact my uncles and aunts and grandparents were all there during khmer rouge and were lucky enough to fucking survive! Ok Vietnamese people were harsh to khmer people they did not play nice. They were ruthless. Should I also say that my grandmother’s husband was executed in front of her, her second husband was killed in khmer rouge and her third husband died from natural cause which is good (my grandpa/the third husband was actually a well known guy, he started the first temple in Stockton, CA it was a small trailer and turned into this amazing temple years later. My grandma is still alive to this day which I am so grateful for. So please be nice, they went through so much and you’re just going to write an article about 7 reasons why to not move to Cambodia. You do you, but first educate yourself!

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