It’s the optimistic encouragement that I have a problem with. The average life expectancy for Westerners living in Western countries is about 75 to 80 years old, depending on the country.I personally believe that there are significant drawbacks to moving to Cambodia that could probably fill an entire book. Yetter, I don’t have the necessary work ethic or attention span to write a whole book about anything. Unofficially, the average life expectancy for Western expatriates living in Cambodia is 57.4 years old.Private ambulances in Cambodia will actually refuse to take patients who are seriously injured, because they don’t want to risk transporting a dying patient who won’t be able to pay the hospital bill.But perhaps the primary reason why expats tend to die young in Cambodia is that many of them “lose the plot” and develop unhealthy habits involving drugs, alcohol, and prostitution.Expats like to ride motorbikes, often helmetless, presumably because they think it makes them look cool.This can be rather dangerous in a country with reckless local drivers, no enforcement of traffic laws, and poor emergency medical care.Last year a “mystery illness” killed 60 children in Cambodia. Raising any child in Cambodia presents grave risks that you wouldn’t have in a Western country. Let’s assume that your children are lucky and that the Cambodian diseases, traffic accidents, and poor medical care don’t kill them. The educational system in Cambodia is absolutely dire, from the primary schools through the universities.If your daughter develops acute appendicitis in your home country, you can take her to the emergency room at a modern hospital. The only way to properly educate your child in Cambodia is to pay about ,000 per year to send her to a top international school.
This is partly due to the difficult job market in many Western countries, and it’s partly due to Cambodia becoming a more “mainstream” destination for tourists and expatriates.Even easily treatable illnesses can quickly become life-threatening if Cambodian doctors get involved.Sometimes expats in Cambodia succumb not to illness, but to traffic accidents or other hazards.Lina Goldberg published the excellent “Move to Cambodia: A Guide to Living and Working in the Kingdom of Wonder” in late 2012.Earlier this year, Khmer440 contributor Gabi Yetter released her own very well-received manual, “The Definitive Guide to Southeast Asia: Cambodia.” Both of these books provide helpful information and optimistic encouragement to readers who are considering relocating to Cambodia.