My last week in Phnom Penh is here. Its been a great three weeks and I’ve seen a number of places, ate some good food, drank some beer, and fixed my camera for awhile hopefully. I’m glad to be staying away from the downtown or riverside areas. I like the restaurants and a few of the nice riverside bars but I don’t like the nightlife and bars too much. Being away from it is much more peaceful. I did the bar thing years ago in the military and I don’t think much has changed. I much prefer the non touristy areas with the camera.
Its pretty nice spending a longer time in places and getting settled. I’ve learned the local laundry place, money exchange, quick places to get some latte and food places. There are places to eat where the food is excellent and the prices are too. I don’t need the swanky places and normally only will eat once or twice a week at them.
Another thing which is good is finding this hotel. The place fits my lifestyle rather well and I will be staying here on my short trips back as I prepare for travel to other places. A week here in January when I finish my tours of Cambodia cities I want to see first off. Then a month here in June to get my Chinese tourist visa for two months. I’ll come back here in September and renew my retirement visa again. The hotel works well for me because they do room service, free breakfasts, and care about me.
Next Stop: Sihanoukville Otres Beach
This will be my next stop after a 4 hour bus ride there in a week and some days. I’ll spend a month walking the beach, walking to the nearby beaches and seeing the city and villages that make up the area. Its a more relaxed vibe so the photography will change a bit and the walking will not. I must walk each day that I can the steps I do. I don’t feel good if I cannot get the walk in.
After Cambodia: 5 months on the road
After I’m done this first time with Cambodia I’m on the road for 5 months going to Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This fills up my first 6 months or so in 2019 with slow travels through three places. I don’t know all the locales I will visit in Malaysia and Thailand. I will have 60 days after my initial stay in KL to see things so I may venture gradually north to Georgetown and prepare slowly for the border crossing to Thailand.
The Ex-Pat Life
Finally, some thoughts on the ex-pat life style. I’ve met more than a few European and American ex-pats and retirees living here in Phnom Penh. Last night over a few beers I met a English bar manager for hostess bars here who has been working here for some time tending the bars. Interesting life but not a thing I want. I don’t think that ex-pats want to travel and after meeting a few in Vung Tau I would venture to say the less traveling the better. I think they want stability in a place and to consider a place like Phnom Penh home. Maybe find some local friends, establish themselves, have a regular life. There is also the side here regarding qualifying to retire. Its simply easier here to get a retirement visa extension of stay. Nothing to really show if you are retired and over 55. You just find an agent that is reputable and let that person do the work.
The ex-pat I met last night had never really been to Vietnam. To me, its rather amazing since Vietnam is next door and less than an hour’s flight away. Its easy to get a tourist visa from here to go there and you can even ride the bus if you want cheaper. Maybe even a boat. Why don’t they travel? I did not ask but he mentioned more than a few times how he wanted to go but yet had not. I cannot see ever staying indefinitely in a place, setting up roots, not leaving. There is just too much to see next country over.
I’ve ruled out ever just finding an apartment here and settling down. What I do want is the visa with the multiple entry stamp in it. That lets me always come back here over the next year and not be concerned about not having a country to return to.
I’ll be publishing my second retirement article soon on that page on the blog. I will also publish my final photography album and share it soon.