It’s Khmer New Year B.E. 2561 and we should choose a better topic to celebrate here. But I refuse to go to the Kep Beach to see the many visitors from Phnom Penh for a reason: garbage. At this very moment, while all Cambodians celebrate the new year with all happiness and cheh, cheh, cheh… all Cambodian beautiful spots are target of thousands of plastic, empty bottles, polystyrene utensils, all, spread everywhere by the happy Cambodian families celebrating with joy and love the Khmer New Year. Garbage on the pagodas, garbage along the roads, garbage on beaches and garbage on the national parks… practically every single corner of the country where a good road can reach for their vehicles.
If you want to work in Cambodia, be aware of the following facts:
- Cambodia is a country of low income. It means that the minimum wage is $150 per month. Foreigners with a professional background could get between $500 and $1,000.
- You must get the Business Visa – now you can apply for it online or upon arrival… a visa for 6 to 12 months. Some westerners look down on Cambodian authorities and stay in the country without a legal permit, thinking that they are smarter… most of these smart guys have been deported as fast as they think. Get your proper permissions on time.
- Cambodia needs a lot of skilfull personnel for its development. There is a big young population but the skill formation remains low. It gives a lot of opportunities for professional foreigners – for now…. until the Cambodian youth get the point and take those places.
If you intend to drive a car, a motorbike, a bicycle or just take walks on Cambodian roads or streets, please take in account the following practices. Yes, officially, the international traffic law is in force in Cambodia and there are campaigns to educate people in how to follow the traffic rules, but… one thing is on paper, another is on the streets… so for your safety and the one of others, follow this recommendations:
- Cambodian drivers do not use driving license. It means that anybody with the possibility to move a vehicle, can drive, no matter if that person is 10 years old, has vision problems or never have been in a driving school. Technically there are several driving schools in each Cambodian province, but it does not mean that 100% of Cambodian drivers attend them. In theory yes, but few follow the driving lessons and the final exam is arranged by a dollar note. Police enforcement never requests driving license – at least it is about a foreigner to whom they would like to get some extra incomes. In particular, there is not driving license condition for motorbike drivers, so you can see children of 8 to 15 driving motorbikes on the roads, without any care for traffic rules – just because they never have been in a driving school.
I stayed in Thanh Nam 2 Mini Hotel, at central Chau Doc. It has a very well organized tourist agency that could connect you wherever in Vietnam or bring you to Cambodia. There is a visible sign as “Mekong Tours”. Full address: 41 Quang Trung Street, Chau Phu B Ward, City Center / Riverside, Chau Doc (An Giang). In this website you can find their contact information: http://www.hotels-chaudoc.com/Thanh_Nam_2/accm_location