Cambodia is an astonishingly resilient country, and Siem Reap displays the marks of its long history. The temples of Angkor Wat, for example, have been a huge attraction to people from all over the world since their rediscovery in the early twentieth century and are only made more fascinating by their dereliction. English is widely spoken in Siem Reap, but often only at a very basic level, enough for the tourists and little more. As an expatriate in Siem Reap you may want to avoid coming across to the locals as one of the tourists. For this reason, learning some of the Khmer language is highly recommended and will help you to avoid the tourist prices and to be accepted by the locals. Expats living in Siem Reap should take a look at the InterNations platform, which lets you connect with fellow global minds from around the world. You may even find someone who lives in your area and who is able to give you hints and tips about the city, or with whom you can organize a local get together with.
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As an expat moving to Siem Reap, the crowds of tourists and Cambodian tuc-tuc drivers and sales people can be fairly overwhelming, but take it all in stride and learn to enjoy this town as the lively and diverting place that it is. Constantly changing waves of tourists are travelling through Cambodia, and nobody would miss an opportunity to see the great temples of Angkor, so while living in Siem Reap you are bound to constantly meet other internationals, even if they are just passing through. The ‘Great Gate to Angkor’, as Siem Reap is sometimes referred to, are a fascinating place for expatriates to move to, as even once the main temples have been examined and admired, there are hundreds of lesser known temples further out of the town center which can be explored on a tuc-tuc or by bike. InterNations lets you use the forums and discussion groups available on the platform to get advice from other seasoned expats, so if you are moving to Siem Reap this can really help you settle in.
Siem Reap is a town which has been built on the tourist industry, thanks to increasing popularity of Angkor Wat as an attraction which is only minutes away from the town. Consequently, most expatriates working in Siem Reap will be working as part of the tourist industry, whether it is doing tours, or managing the popular bars. These expat run bars can be a great venue for familiar surroundings, food and company when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of life in Siem Reap. There are plenty of opportunities in Siem Reap for expats to find work, and if you avoid the main tourist streets, it is easy to live on a low budget. When visiting the temples, don’t miss out on Wat Bo, the oldest among all the temples of Angkor, which can easily be reached by bike from the town center. If you're unsure about any aspect of working in Siem Reap, why not have a read of InterNations' Expat Magazine – it contains valuable advice and first hand articles on living and working abroad as an expatriate.