Cambodian dating, culture & foreigners
As stated above, Cambodian dating culture is similar to that of traditional Thailand with Theravada Buddhism very influential in both countries, but Cambodian women and their families are even more traditional in their outlook.
The majority, not all, of marriages are ‘arranged marriages’ and the bride is often a virgin until her wedding night. It is very unusual for a girl to live with her intended husband before tying the knot, and marriage will be expected very early on in a relationship – the girls’ parents will be asking her about it as early as the second date!
You should also understand that the level of poverty in Cambodia is way higher than it is in Thailand, and it is not unusual for the rich westerner to be expected to provide support for the extended family.
Education costs for the son of some distant relative might not be high on your list of necessary expenses, but regular Cambodian girls and their families might have other ideas. Another possible cause of friction is your intended permanent country of residence; your lady will likely be a little less eager to move to your country than you might expect.
If all this isn’t enough to deter you in your quest, consider also that the Cambodian government has actually passed laws to stop you from marrying local ladies. You’ll need to be under 50 years of age, and you’ll need to prove that you have a huge income by Cambodian standards (somewhere in the region of $2,500 per month or more) before you’ll be allowed to marry!
For these reasons, the serious relationship scene is somewhat less popular amongst western men who date Cambodian women when compared to similar relationships around the region, but that is nothing to do with the ladies themselves. Most of them would be very happy to get serious with a ‘Barang’ (Cambodian word for foreigner – similar to the Thai word ‘Farang’).
Unfortunately, Cambodia has tended to attract the worst travellers from western society and it has become a favoured destination for Paedophiles. I hadn’t realised until recently just how big a problem it had become.
For example, if you are staying in Thailand on a long-term visa then, depending on what sort of visa it is, you may need to exit the country on a fairly frequent basis after which you can immediately re-enter for another 60 or 90 days. This is the famous visa-run that many visitors go through, and it caused me some issues with UK immigration when I returned home.
The mere presence of a Cambodia visa stamp in my passport (a necessary part of the ‘visa run’) raised eyebrows and resulted in me being carted off for a customs search.
Apparently, whilst Thailand has done well to curb the underage sex scene, much of it has been diverted to Cambodia, and UK immigration officers are keeping an eye open for single men travelling there…