A Practical Guide To SteemIt.City and Siem Reap, Cambodia

in steemitcity •  2 years ago

Arun Suesaday Bong! (Loosely translatable to good morning brothers and sisters)

@menta here. Today, I'm bringing you a small insight into how life works here in Cambodia. We've had many questions regarding SteemIt.City with many of them focusing on Cambodia. Not much is known about this place with the general public. So this post is an attempt to show how easy life is here, and that there are NO brain-eating zombies on the corner of every street, despite reports to the contrary.

Safety and Crime

While reports such as these paint a pretty bleak picture of the situation here, the reality is much different—especially in Siem Reap. The amount of tourists coming here every year is mind-boggling. And it's in the best interest of the government to keep this place as safe as possible for these tourists. So the police here, unlike other parts of Cambodia, do crack down on crime. Most of the crime here is opportunistic and with the purpose of financial gain. For example, children will approach tourists pretending to be hungry, take them to a nearby shop to get food, and then—once the tourist has left—return the items and split the money with the shop owner. If you take that into account and mind your belongings, you should be perfectly fine here in Siem Reap. Here are some other scams to be aware of. In any case, SteemIt.City will have a security guard at night.

The most dangerous part—as with other SE-Asian countries—is traffic. The roads in Cambodia claim an average of five deaths per day. To give you an idea, they only started enforcing the law on wearing helmets at the beginning of 2016. So, if you're planning on driving here, be very careful. Don't think you can rely on general traffic rules from the West, because they don't exist here. You will have trucks coming straight at you on your side of the road, there will be cows suddenly jumping in front of your bike or car, and you will encounter drunk drivers, especially at night. So, be cautious and wear a helmet.

You don't need a license to drive a motorbike, but you do to drive a car—although I would strongly suggest you don't. A motorbike is a lot faster and cheaper here. The government has a 100% import tax on cars, and the second-hand market is ridiculous. You'll be paying around $5000-$10000 for a 20-year old pickup. Pure insanity.


Food prices here vary wildly from season to season. Most of the food that is grown here can be found in the local markets. Going there can be an adventure itself. Strangely enough, vegetables and fruit can be relatively expensive here, but meat is plentiful and cheap—and rice, of course. The entire country is one big rice field and it is one of Cambodia's main export products. Food here corresponds to the seasons and how good harvests are. Some produce also comes in from Thailand and Vietnam, but these can be more expensive than the local stuff. Also, the farming methods here are simpler than those neighboring countries, which results in mostly organic, but less tasty-looking produce. We try to buy only locally produced food here. Recently the first food co-op opened up here. This might be an opportunity for SteemIt.City to engage with the local community.

To give you an idea of prices, home-cooked and vegetable rich meals can be made for anywhere between $0.5 and $5, depending on how exotic the ingredients are—and with exotic I mean things such as celery or leeks. There are a few supermarkets in town that stock every Western or Asian product you need. An extensive collection of cheeses, wines, and beers can be bought at average prices. Basically, you would be hard pressed note to find something in Siem Reap.

I love me some fried dwarf sperm for breakfast!

Restaurants are everywhere in Siem Reap, since it is a major tourist hot spot in SE-Asia. You can find literally everything you want. From simple local $2 street food to fancy Kobe steaks at $120. And everything in between of course. You can spend a lot of money here or you can live on a shoe-string. The idea for SteemIt.City will be to have affordable home-cooked food available at all times by an in-house cook.

General everyday items

If you'd ever drive out of the capital Phnom Penh towards the coast, you'll pass factory after factory. These are the infamous garment factories of Cambodia. Big brands such as Nike, H&M, Gap, Calvin Klein, Adidas, etc are manufactured here. A lot of these clothes end up in local Cambodian markets. You can buy the original brands here for less than ⅒ the US or European price. So, there's no need to bring a lot of clothes when you come to SteemIt.City. Just get some new things at the local market. That is, unless you have big feet like me. That's a real issue. Their sizes only go up to 10. You'll be looking for a long time to find a pair of size 12 flip-flops.

Pharmacies don't work on prescription so you can get anything you want there as well. Doctors and hospitals can seem a bit worrisome, but they are perfectly capable of handling most issues. There are several healthcare insurance providers here as well. I've never dealt with them, so it's hard to give an opinion about it. I've been without healthcare insurance for over 2 years since most procedures here are relatively cheap.

I hope this gave you a better insight into the practicalities of living in SteemIt.City in Cambodia. If you have any questions, feel free to join us in our steemit.chat channel. We are still accepting new members to, so get in contact if you're interested!

We have a 1-minute questionnaire we would love to get your input through. You can help us out tremendously by answering these 5 small questions: https://goo.gl/forms/s0wz2W7uKUpHkNV92

Images courtesy of myself and the Facebook group 'only in Cambodia'.

The Steemit.city Team
@faddat @menta @rubellitefae @rampant

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Camoon be truthful for the poor people.... You completely forgot about

  1. the eggs with a poor chicken fetus inside
  2. the wedding season
  3. the gorgeous looking girls who seem too good to be true (and trust me, they might have something extra between those legs!)
  4. Impossibility to purchase decent underwear, still not sure what Cambodians wear under those daytime pyjamas they wear (or maybe this explains the day time pyjama)....
  5. The Post Khmer Rouge Radical Buddhist Ecoterrorist movement focusing on bringing sharia law to Cambodia, liberate the birds from bird nest farms and get all the bargirls and freelance ladies STD tested and on a proper health insurance.

In all seriousness, how will Steemit City handle the modern cultural imperialism (i think they call themselves expats) going on in small developing countries like Cambodia?!


I am not @menta, but we are friends and I too live in Siem Reap. I think you were being straight forward so I will address your issues from my own personal experience...

  1. never had that problem.
  2. Khmer weddings are a blast. If you have ever been you will know what I'm talking about. yeah when music goes for 3 days, you don't know the family but you hear them going early to late, yeah it can suck. but ever lived with a shitty roommate, had THAT neighbor, or just been that guy having a weekend gathering, you just learn to deal with it. I would rather miss out on sleep for a few than worried about getting shot in a movie as you do in America. I know this has become and international platform, but so many americans have so little understanding of Cambodia.... so there's that...
  3. You ever hear that anything too good to be true probably is? Live by it? Same same, besides, I'm not a sex tourist so never been a problem and have had fun at bars with some ladyboys. they are just people trying to eat for the most part.
  4. True, underwear can be a bitch, especially for the ladies. Most women i know order online or if they live here and have a visitor coming, they ask for a few bras and panties. No big deal really.
  5. As far as your whole Sharia law thing, i call bullshit. There is a really great diversity here and the Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Animists, etc. get along just fine. Yeah their healthcare system needs improvement, no doubt, but again you bring up the sex thing. You can get laid without paying for it. There is tinder, bars full of drunk horny women, and if you have a fantasy girl in mind and that is YOUR thing, if you go to the right place, and thru the right channels, you can find that without it being a chick with a dick, so relax. There are clinics here, if a major incident occurs, you may have to go to Bangkok, but being a poor American, i haven't had health insurance since I was 18, so i'm used to that being a problem.

Not trying to sound rude, but just being honest from my experience. For the most part, this is a thriving, growing, community of all kinds and filled with possibility. As far as the expat thing, several friends have social enterprises, there are coworking spaces already and a growing young Cambodia population eager to learn, very industrious, and hoping for a bright future, and integrating with the locals, collaboration, cross-pollination of this kind may just be what is direly needed....

Just food for thought. Love and respect.


Menta here, Veerra is a master in the art of trolling and was being her usual sarcastic self :)


ok. cool.... i was kinda just trolling back, but thought i would go all the way. are you in temple town?


Yeah man, faddat just arrived here as well.


I foresee it being autarkic and self-sustaining. So, members can interact with the Cambodian community as much or as little as they like. Economically, we'll be fairly disconnected, though.
I'd like to use my personal earnings to make a difference, but this is something I'll have to put a lot of time and thought into. As an anthropologist I recognize that going in and giving people money to "fix" things how I think they should be fixed is cultural imperialism. So, I will have to live in the culture for some time before I can have a better idea of how I can best be of service.


Who needs underwear! Free your mind from the shackles of undergarments! What kind of squatter are you?
Anyway, we have found the expat community here to be slightly more diverse than in the smaller seaside towns.

ok fair enough underwear is kinda useless... And ladyboys are some of the coolest party company have to admit that as well.
After my year in Asia these social enterprises are sadly well meaning people having some kinda white hero complex, when you rather should focus on letting the local people building infrastructure suitable for their culture. I have agree @rubellitefae academically proven opinion about "natural" interaction, not a forced upon "lets save these poor buggers and teach them to be like us".
But personally I ended up feeling very disconnected from local culture and like a white lady (doesn't really suite my self image, even if kind of white skinned and kind of wannabe lady). It is easier to blend in modern cultural meltdown of Australia or digging trough peoples trashes in Spain.

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