Cambodian children are often seen wandering the streets without adult supervision or perched helmetless on the front of passing motorbikes.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.There has been such an overwhelming interest in moving to Cambodia that two recent books have been published on the topic.

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Lately, there have been a lot of Westerners moving to Cambodia or making plans to move to Cambodia.

Cambodia has a lot of common diseases that you would never catch in your home country, like Typhoid, Dengue Fever, Hepatitis, and Malaria. The ambulances are unreliable; the doctors are unqualified; the hospitals are unsanitary.

Even easily treatable illnesses can quickly become life-threatening if Cambodian doctors get involved.

Only then will one of them spring into action and attempt to revive you by vigorously rubbing tiger balm on your forehead. World Health Organization statistics show that a child born in Cambodia is ten times more likely to die before the age of 5 than a child born in France.

All of the diseases that kill adults in Cambodia are even more dangerous to young children.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.This leads to weekly reports of expats in their forties and fifties being found dead on their bathroom floors from a “heart attack” or “fall.” Cambodia is full of dangers, and very few of the locals even know basic first aid.This can be rather dangerous in a country with reckless local drivers, no enforcement of traffic laws, and poor emergency medical care.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.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.