Expat Destinations: Bangkok vs. Phnom Penh [Season 3, Episode 72]

2019-08-12T21:36:31+07:00August 14th, 2019|Bangkok Podcast Season 3|0 Comments

First up – apologies for Greg’s bad audio on this episode! Small technical problem, and it sounds like he’s talking on a phone from Peru. Luckily, Ed does most of the talking!

Speaking of Ed, he recently returned from 4 days in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, his first-ever visit. The city’s going through somewhat of a renaissance of late, with plenty of discussion online about PP vs BKK. So what’s Ed’s verdict?

As a matter of course, Greg introduces the subject by urging listeners to learn about Cambodia’s tragic history and to take that into account when evaluating its level of development. With that in mind, Ed notes that in many ways, it’s not fair to compare Phnom Penh to Bangkok, and a fairer comparison would be to Chiang Mai. Still, many expats are considering is an alternative to Thailand for various reasons.

Next, Ed also points out that there are many factors at play and there’s no truly objective way to judge the cities. What works for one expat may not work for another, so this represents only Ed’s point of view, with Greg chiming about his trip many years ago.

On the plus side, Ed notes that Phnom Penh seems more chilled out, with less traffic and more open spaces than Bangkok. The result is a real ‘holiday vibe’ for seemingly everyone there. Further, there’s less of a police presence overall and alcohol is cheaper due to lower import taxes.

On the negative side, Phnom Penh has significantly fewer restaurant and nightlife options and the infrastructure, such as mobile internet, is not up to Bangkok standards. And certainly don’t expect subways and skytrains.

Greg and Ed run through all of these points, plus a few more, and ponder if – and in what circumstances – a move to Phnom Penh would be advised if you’re thinking about moving on from Bangkok.

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