Move to Cambodia is a new up-to-date guide-book that has a lot of useful and must-know information about Cambodia. It’s written specifically for people who want to visit, live and work in the country.
Written by Lina Goldberg, a freelance writer based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
I read the book during my Pchum Ben holidays. It was a good read.
The book has 5 essential parts:
1. Welcome to Cambodia – An Overview
Lina started by introducing a short history of Cambodia, its culture and courtesy. It is not long or boring like you read in other books. It is short and contains enough information to give you an idea how Cambodia was once an empire, then experienced a dark side of genocide and country itself as at present time.
The most interesting in this introduction is that it contains some specific actions that you must not do to Cambodian people.
I don’t think most of the foreigners are aware of what Lina called “Saving Face”. But as a local Cambodian myself, I can confirm that it is important.
If there’s any second edition of the book, I would suggest adding another must not do action “Tap the head”. Because it is also considered as a disrespect if you tap somebody’s head. I don’t know if you feel the same at your home.
I like the book because there’s a lot of insider information. I would give another example is that family is the first priority in Cambodia.
If you open a company in Cambodia, it’s important that you understand this behavior. There are many (insane) reasons you would find in “Move To Cambodia”, including corruption and bribes etc.
But if you move to Cambodia, you have to adapt to the country’s culture. You cannot run your business on your own way or the way you run your home country.
This is Cambodia. You have to live and work in Cambodia’s way.
I would suggest that once you read those reasons, keep them for yourself. One day you need them to calm you down. I am sure they will be very useful.
I don’t want to see you live like a mad expat in my country 🙂
2. Planning your move to Cambodia
You will find everything you need to know and what to do to prepare before you move to Cambodia. Starting from Visa, vaccinations and how much budget you would need according to the length of your stay.
It’s interesting to see how Lina came up with a clear budget matrix. Because it will have a quite different between the cost of living in Phnom Penh and provinces.
3. Living in Cambodia
There are details information on what you should do when you first arrive in Cambodia. Those are the practical living styles of expats who currently live in Cambodia.
Lina took a great time to go, meet and interview various expats in Cambodia. You will get a lot of real experiences and advises from them in the book.
All the necessary information such as transportation (with a good tip on how to take Tuk Tuk with a cheap price), home and apartments, hospital and clinics, safety and security etc.
4. Working in Cambodia
I totally agree that Cambodia is a country that you can find a job easily. Lina provided tips to all the level of working in Cambodia, starting from being an employee to employer.
You might disagree when Lina suggest to keep your business plan a part and start to networking with people, observe how they do business here in Cambodia.
I think it’s a good advice. Cambodia is a developing country. Your business plan might work or might not work better than practical tips.
There’s one thing I want to add if you open a business in Cambodia. At the beginning, the thing might not work as you expected but take your time and see what you need to understand and act according to the situation.
An adaptation would be required to sustain your business and move the thing forward.
It will work just fine after you find your Cambodian’s way.
5. Resources: For More Information
As I mentioned earlier, the best way to get to know more about Cambodia is to start networking. I found the last part of the book is useful to make friends with other expats who live in the country.
There are useful websites, Facebook groups and few good books to read.
At this point, I want to thank Lina for publishing this book. It is a very good book of Cambodia I’ve read.
To get the book, you can simply head to Move To Cambodia.
Have a good reading!