From the architectural and artistic triumph that is Angkor Wat to the unfathomable cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime, Cambodia’s history has always loomed large. But today, a new Cambodia is emerging and Phnom Penh—christened ‘The Pearl of Asia’ by the colonial French who laid its foundations— is the spearhead.
An inspiring cultural revival is underway as Cambodians rediscover their ancient culture; one which the Khmer Rouge sought to wipe out in a maniacal bid to drag the nation back to ‘year zero’. The country’s art, food, dance, religion, and music are again thriving—and the world is taking notice. Since 2004, visitor numbers are up 180%.
Phnom Penh, for its part, is being polished up—its revamped colonial buildings again vie for attention with breathtakingly ornate Khmer temples. The city’s ambitious, unceasingly optimistic people have injected a new vibrancy that in the dark days looked to have been lost for good. Throw in weather as warm as its locals, rapidly improving infrastructure, and an amazingly low cost of living and it’s easy to see why many visitors are now choosing to call this place home. The story of Phnom Penh is still being written.
In the first Overseas Retirement Letter of 2014, we’ll tell you why you should consider becoming part of it.