International Living, a magazine that focuses on the best places to live and invest, named Cambodia the cheapest place to retire in 2019.
The Kingdom came first this year in the cost of living category in the publication’s Annual Global Retirement Index.
Earning full marks in the category, the ranking highlights the Kingdom’s attractiveness for retirees and expatriates in general.
This is the fourth year in a row that Cambodia has topped the list in the cost of living category. It was followed by neighbours Vietnam and Thailand, who came in second and third, respectively.
“Centrally located in the beating heart of Southeast Asia it is a country undergoing a renaissance thanks to 15 years boom in economic growth and tourism centred on the world-renowned temples of Angkor Wat,” International Living said.
“When folks dream of visiting Cambodia they are initially more likely influenced by the exotic draw of these ancient temples, royal palaces, and saffron-robed monks or the beautiful beaches and undeveloped islands on the southern coast than anything else.
“But the cost of living leaves them astonished. Known as the ‘Kingdom of Wonder’, Cambodia is a place where retirees can upgrade their lifestyle to one of luxury on a modest budget,” it added.
The low cost of living lets expats in Cambodia live richly on a poor man’s budget, International Living said, highlighting the possibility of buying a bottle of Champagne for just $25 or playing golf with caddie for $65 a day at a country club.
Cambodia also scored high in the overall ranking for best places to retire in the world. It landed on the 12th position, one spot above Italy and one below France. It scored 80 out of 100 points in the ‘visa and residence’ and ‘healthcare’ categories, and 73 in ‘climate’.
Thoun Sinan, chairman of the Cambodia chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said International Living’s ranking will help promote the Kingdom abroad and lure more retirees and investors.
“This is great news. It won’t just attract more tourists but it will also bring more investment into the construction sector to build more facilities for these tourists,” he said.
According to Mr Sinan, most retired tourist that choose to visit the Kingdom are European.
In 2016, the government released a three-year multiple-entry visa targeting retirees and other long-stay travellers and investors.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia welcomed 6.2 million international visitors last year, up 11 percent from 5.6 million in 2017.