Relocating to Cambodia from Vietnam

by Steven
(Binh Duong, Vietnam)


I live in Vietnam now for 7 years and teaching English for 5 years. All around Saigon area (Binh Duong). I was advised to go to Cambodia for better circumstances.

Can someone give me an advise? Work permit, hours, how easy to get a job as soon as possible.

In Vietnam I worked without Work permit, seems to be most employers favor that option. How about in Cambodia?

I hope I find someone to help me out.



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia

Steven. Your name is Western, but your choice of vocabulary makes me think you are Vietnamese? Please correct me if I am wrong. I would offer very different advice to a Native speaker than I would to a Vietnamese person, even if their English was flawless.

For the sake of argument, I will assume that you are a native speaker and look of European descent. I don't make the rules, but that is what they are usually looking for in Cambodia.

Cambodian people are very visual and use their eyes to judge the world around them. Assuming your background pre-requisites have been met (whatever documentation they require), Then your appearance becomes a major factor whether you get the job or not.

A Better work environment in Cambodia?

I guess it could be, depending on how you would describe a good working environment.

I used to think that everyone equated a good working environment with the sum of money they took home each month. But, after spending 4 long years working in Vietnam, I have strongly changed my views.

It's important to know if this is an emotional reaction or an honest, conscious, and considered decision.

A friend of mine came here to Phnom Penh after 4 years in Hanoi and Saigon. He got into the best, high wage school in the city, but he never settled. He was back in Vietnam 4 months later.

Emotions come and go. Good jobs are hard to find. In Vietnam you are probably earning between $1,500 USD - $2,000 USD per month on average for a 25 hour work week.

In Phnom Penh, you will (On average) earn between $800 USD - $1,200USD for the same hours. And most places do not pay a standard wage, so no pay on holidays, of which there are many.

If you have a University degree, a CELTA and some experience, then you could land a top job at $2,000 USD a month. But that is very rare.

If you're looking for hard cash, then Vietnam offers the highest average rate of pay in South-East Asia. Your higher-paying options are few but would include South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab States, Japan, and ...?

But, you will run into cost of living expenses that will nearly negate the extra pay, the exception being South Korea.

It is much easier to stay in Cambodia, because of the relaxed visa restrictions. That will not last forever. The people in Cambodia are softer spoken and more polite in general, but there are few other advantages over Vietnam.

If you are moving just for the sake of it, then pack your crap and get to Cambodia. 7 years is a long time to live in Vietnam. I nearly died after 4.

I'm just saying that there are not many options in Cambodia for people who live careful lives and only make measured decisions. But, if you are looking for change, then just do it.

There is work here for anyone that can stay sober for more than a few days.


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Feb 05, 2017
Moving or NOT moving?
by: Steven

Thanks for your comments and suggestions. regarding my background, I was born in Hungary and moved to the USA after 11 years old. I still think it has an impact on my accent? I speak however Hungarian, English and German (based on my mother side).

Regarding your posting, I have a family here in VN and I got bored time-to-time so I was looking for to do something to kill the time and same old routine day by day.

It looks like Cambodia worth a short visit (try me, said the pudding) and still I decided to stay in Nam even after 7 years (8 almost).

So thanks for your comments I keep posted.



Reply from

I appreciate the update. You are welcome for the help and I hope you can find something to do if you decide to stay.


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