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Has anyone ever lived in Phnom Penh?

(21 Posts)
Cadmum Tue 13-Oct-09 21:14:11

Any advice or experiences welcome. Thanks!

seeyounexttuesday Tue 13-Oct-09 21:43:29

no sorry

unavailable Tue 13-Oct-09 21:55:53

Pno, me pneither (it sounds very exciting tho')

ZZZenAgain Tue 13-Oct-09 22:11:15

So you'll be moving to Phnom Penh Cadmum? Gosh that'll be a change from Switzerland and Austria. I hope you like it there. Dh has been there on business a couple oftimes but beyond describing the airport and a hotel, didn't have much to say about it.

Cadmum Wed 14-Oct-09 09:53:28

I am loving the new 'policy' of answering all messages.

I feel loved...

Yes, Cambodia will be a big change from Switzerland and Austria but we are up for the adventure!

strudelface Wed 14-Oct-09 10:59:25

No never lived there but lucky lucky you.

Maybe the strudel family will follow you there too!

SydneyScarborough Wed 14-Oct-09 11:07:49

Message withdrawn

Cadmum Wed 14-Oct-09 22:02:32

Strudelface: It would be very funny if your family followed us there. I might start to become slightly paranoid...

The upside is that dh is just on assignment so his job is here waiting for him. We may just be back in the land of Lindt before you leave.

SydneyS: We have heard that rental costs will seem high compared with living costs but so far the options seem fairly reasonable.

I expect to find the poverty incredibly difficult to see but I am very much looking forward to having our children see that it is not so difficult to live without a plasma screen TV and a hand-held video console. At this point, that seems like the greatest hardship they have witnessed (first hand).

I am growing weary of our consumerism so hopefully this will put things in perspective.

laundrylover Wed 14-Oct-09 22:20:13

Caddy - do you have my email address or facebook page? If so contact me and I could link you up with cousin who lived in Cambodia...she knew people with families out there too.

If not I'll give you my email on the other thread (you know, the quiet one!!).

Cadmum Wed 14-Oct-09 22:27:13

I don't have your email address or your FaKebook info either. (Loser emoticon)

It would be great to hear about your cousin's experiences. Thanks!

laundrylover Wed 14-Oct-09 22:52:29

on facebook - rachel summerscales (only one of me I think) are you on facebook too? Don't use it much but keep an eye on it. Friz and Astro on there too.

laundrylover Wed 14-Oct-09 22:54:37

What am I doing MNing at this time of night...returning to old habits!! Even posted on a bfing threadshock.

DP out at pub but must take myself off to bed...was meant to have lovely bath but the laptop interferedgrin.

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 15-Oct-09 09:53:58

Never lived there but have visited. The poverty is, as someone else posted, grinding. We lived in Thailand for four years so were used to seeing 'poor' people, Cambodia is far far far worse. Our dd even commented on it and for her to notice it must have been bad.
Your children will have lots and lots of attention, particularly if they are blonde of hair and pale of skin. Our girl was used to a high level of intrusion from strangers, but the Penh'rs took it to a new level. I must stress though, it seemed safe.

Cadmum Thu 15-Oct-09 10:17:44

Thanks LL. I will try to find you on FB.

Kreecher: Ds2 is very blonde and on the shy side so I will warn him. The others are less fair. I suppose that I will feel like a giant as I am 5'10" and fair myself.

I am dreading the poverty as we will clearly be on the wealthy end of the spectrum.

manyhands Thu 15-Oct-09 23:04:05

I lived there for 9 months and loved it. Great food, very interesting but heartrenderingly poor and a socity that has been very damaged by it's history. What do you want to know? If you have kids you will need to think carefully about the restrictions living in a city with really high crime might place on their lives, the children I taught had never been to a party. You would also need to think about health insurance, a friend's child broke her arm and had to be airliftd to bangkok. You might well find that you mix predominantly with expats and French Khymers, the lives that everyday Khymers live will be very different to your own. As others have said the poverty is shocking and the gap between rich and poor immense. I taught in the British Internation School which was not really like a UK school but had more of a mix of nationalities that some of the other schools and also some Khymer students, the area around the school Boeng Keng Kong is a really nice and safe part of the city. There is plenty of rented accomodation available often in fantastic French villas split into flats. Anyone any questions do ask, I'll try my best but as I lived there 8 years ago my knowledge isn't too current!

manyhands Thu 15-Oct-09 23:06:17

I don't think property is that expensive we paid about 500 us dollars a month, wich compared well to our salaries.

BeanMachine Fri 16-Oct-09 06:29:16

Not lived in Phnom Penh, but I live in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and have been to Phnom Penh several times and know a few people who live there.

It's an interesting place - yes, there is extreme poverty (worse than Vietnam) and crime and there will certainly be day-to-day frustrations if it's anything like Vietnam grin, but I think you could get a lot out of living there and it'd be a great experience for kids. You may well find you have the chance to give back too [see this for a wonderful initiative that a couple of my friends were involved in].

Your not far from Bangkok for top-notch healthcare, shopping malls and cinemas and the travel opportunities around the region are fantastic.

Go for it!

Cadmum Sat 17-Oct-09 12:58:02

Thank you manyhands! I will think of some specific questions. The answers seem to vary immensely from those we have asked so far--very confusing!

Beanmachine: We enjoy day to day frustrations. It keeps me sane! Thank you for your reply!

manyhands Sun 18-Oct-09 09:31:12

I did live there before I had children and eight years ago and things can change a great deal in 8 years. Have I put you of? It is a great place in many ways but it's worth finding out as much as you can beforehand.

Cadmum Sun 18-Oct-09 18:19:54

Manyhands, You have not put me off. I am just amazed by the conflicting information we have been offered. My dh's predecessor really enjoyed his time there so he highly recommended that my dh apply for the post.

I am looking forward to the adventure.

I cannot figure out if we would be better in a furnished rental and if it is really true that we would not be able to get by without a housekeeper. One couple we asked suggested that navigating the markets and the shops for food is better done by a local. Someone else (who is married to a local) said that we would be fine on our own.

Would it be worthwhile to take our car? Answers have varied from somewhat to not at all for this one. (Dh's company pay to transport it.)

manyhands Sun 18-Oct-09 18:31:49

You could do without a housekeeper, the markets are okay but they could really help with would be sorting out accomodation, bills etc. You may find the language hard and the script is especially hard so you will be intially illiterate. Wicker furniture is really cheap. I didn't have a car so don't know much about that but if you lov your car you may think twice about taking it to roads with potholes. We got around by motorbike taxi, you can also get bicycle taxis which hold more people but I was uncomfortable at being cycled around as the poor driver that to work so hard. Have you tried looking at Dave SL cafe they have a discussion forumn on Cambodia not just focussing on teaching but also lifestyle type uestions. Ohh electricity is expensive but the markets are full of Western clothes made in the factories there.

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