Boasting cheap living costs, a thriving expat scene, an increasing number of trendy co-working spaces, innumerable coffee shops to work from and ease with getting visas – for now – Cambodia is fast becoming one of Southeast Asia’s top destinations for digital nomads.
Cambodia has well and truly shaken off its shackles as a stop off solely for wearied backpackers on the Southeast Asia circuit. Instead, it’s forming a steadfast reputation as the region’s go-to destination for digital nomads.
The country’s rapidly developing capital, constantly improving amenities and infrastructure, coupled with low rent and cost of living, make it a prime place for remote workers to strike the perfect work-life balance.
In fact, the country is home to a growing community of digital entrepreneurs and innovative expats, who are making the most of Cambodia’s increasing opportunities and accessibility.
Anyone who has recently visited the Cambodian capital will know all too well how development is overtaking Phnom Penh. The sound of construction rings loud throughout the city, with modern condos, hotels and office blocks shooting into the sky. This has paved the way for a swathe of new modern, Westernised apartments that are furnished, and remain relatively cheap.
According to Expatistan, the average rent for a furnished studio apartment is $392, with utilities sitting at an average of $61 a month. However, you’d be hard-pushed to find a newly built flat in a prime location for that and may have to live a little further out of town.
Alternatively, there’s an abundance of people looking for flatmates, with the Facebook group Phnom Penh Housing listing every type of accommodation on the market.
This may be surprising to some, but internet rocks in Cambodia, with almost all outlets offering free wifi to customers. This means Phnom Penh’s insane number of coffee shops are another working alternative for freelancers and digital nomads living in the city.
Internet speeds average out at 6.6 Mbps, with mobile internet also quick for those wanting to tether. Of course, if you’re heading into the middle of the jungle, then expect phone coverage to weaken – and not work if you’re really remote.
Co-working spaces are a relatively new addition to the city. However, they are mushrooming with the capital now home to 17 options. Many can be rented by the day, week or month.
Impact Hub is one of the most popular, and serves as a co-working space, business incubator and social enterprise builder. coLAB Cambodia was the country’s first co-working venture and is another inspiring space.
Throw into the mix the ease of getting into, and staying in, the country is – visitors can currently acquire a business visa without having to provide any proof of work, although this could be set to change with the mandatory introduction of work permits – and Cambodia really is a digital nomad’s paradise.