5 month count down to moving to Cambodia.....(15 Posts)
If anyone is living/has lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia I would love to chat through a few things.
We will be moving out in July. DH will arrive first to try and sort accommodation etc and me, DS (16) and DD4 (15) will arrive a few weeks later so that we have time to acclimatize before the school year starts at the beginning of August.
I am looking for basic answers at the moment really. Like, how furnished is a furnished flat? How much everyday stuff will I need to pack up, for cooking for example? Are there any areas of the city to avoid for accommodation?
Anyone? Giving a shameless bump for the evening crowd on that side of the world.
Oh well, I will be the only MN-er in the country!
Cant really help as I've spent exactly 3 days in PP but didn't want you to go unanswered. Have you been there before? Do you have a relocation agent helping you?
I had a google for you and found this forum which might be helpful.
From what I saw, the expat social hub in PP seems to the the Foreign Correspondents Club (FCC), which isn't really a club- just a nice bar and restaurant
Thanks for the reply RealLife - good to not be a social pariah!
We have never been anywhere like this before. Never moved abroad before! <<eeeek>
The team we will be with are going to help us with the accommodation and we wont be "going it alone" when we arrive, so that's good.
Thanks for the link, I will investigate. I have found another forum for expats there, but all they seem to do is moan about things and I found it all a bit depressing, so I am keeping clear!
Wow. What an adventure. Haven't lived in Cambodia but lived in Vietnam for 6 years and visited Cambodia a few times. DH went every month or so as he was responsible for office there.
Have you been for a look-see?
I would ask someone already there what is generally available and what you definitely need to take. Presumably you are shipping household stuff etc? When we moved to Vietnam we shipped things like tins of beans etc. Not huge amounts but some. I used to miss teabags so would add some boxes of my favorite.
(When we moved out to India I brought with me lots of antibacterial surface wipes. I did not regret that. I wished somebody had told me that it would be really difficult to find cinnamon. Although India was the homeland of cinnamon, it is is not widely used in Indian cooking, so was not sold locally. The same with herbs such as rosemary, sage, thyme, etc.)
<waves to PA> No help with the info - sorry.
Hope the plans are coming along, I'm back in the UK for a couple of weeks respite from the winter . Keep us up to date with your plans!
Hi, my step-mum's lived there since 2000 and now speaks fluent Khmer (very useful). Things are generally a lot easier to find than they were a few years ago. There are a couple of supermarkets in town (Lucky's is best) where western food eg goats cheese, pesto etc is often available (depends on shipments, I guess) but it is all very expensive compared with UK. Furnished flat means a variety of things from not much furniture to masses. Pots, pans etc all very easy to come by. Pepper mill not easy (despite pepper being grown in Kampot and fabulous and strong). Historically ovens were not available at the bottom end of the rental Market - really depends on yr budget what you end up with.
It's cheap and easy to fly to Bangkok at the weekend if you need to pick things up so you could just wait and see. Also, I'd suggest getting a housekeeper (no more than $100 per week and can be much less) as she'll clean, cook fab food, and do your washing (still mainly hand washing), shop for the food freshly everyday, speaking Khmer at the Market and therefore paying far less than you would end up doing!
PP is almost unrecognisable from 2000 - the last time we visited (2010/2011) people were so much happier and purposeful - it's a crazy, delightful city.
Which school are your children going to?
Oh wow some replies, Thank you all!!
Cider - Not been for a look-see at all! The first time I will have been outside Europe will be the day I leave here! We really cant afford to go before hand. I had not realised I would need to ship quite so much stuff. Oh dear I feel so dumb with all this lot! I really must get thinking about it!
QEH - Thanks for the tips!! Bit daft that you cant get the spices that we can get so readily here, when they originated there! Will definitely sort out lots of wipes!
Thanks <<waves>> I will PM you later in the week. Plans all going very well - hence this thread, I suppose!! Very excited. Just done our first block of preparation - it was really good. You are here for a winter respite! - that's worked well then!!
TRL - That's really interesting to read, thanks for the info. I am glad your step mum likes it! I am hoping our rental will at least run to an oven!
What part of the city does your SM live in? We are trying to learn Khmer - its hard!!! I know we will have 3 months intensive training when we arrive. I am going to need it!!!! We were hoping to get a Khmer speaker living here to help get us started, but no luck so far finding one.
Oh sorry TRL meant to say the Dcs will be going to Hope International School.
Just make sure you get a place with broadband PA we don't want to lose touch with you, after that everything else is secondary.
Oh Alicia thank you. You wont get rid of me that easily!!!
So, we also may be moving to Cambodia - does anyone have more experience and insight? Thank you!!
We lived there for 9 months but it was over 10 years ago. We found it facinating, a beautiful city combined with such dreadful poverty. Most flats are either unfurnished or pretty basically furnished. There isn't a wide range of furniture shop but there was one street full of rattan furniture shops.
There is a very vibrant expat scene and you will find the khmers friendly although never cross anyone because it is a very violent society with murders quite common and feuds not unknown.
The area around the lake might be best avioded- most of the sex industry is based there. Boeng keng kong is nice- lots of french colonial villas and central.
Hope this helps.
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