With an endless sea of genuine and contagious smiles and an abundance of hospitality and generosity that warms the heart and soothes the soul, Cambodia ranked fourth among countries and territories with the friendliest attitudes towards foreign residents, according to a survey conducted by Expat Insider and published by InterNations.
This comes after a three-year hiatus, when the Kingdom of Wonder – alternatively dubbed the “Land of Smiles” – made a surprise appearance on the top ten list in 2017, also taking fourth place.
Virtually all correspondents (96 per cent) rated the levels of intimacy and friendly attitudes as “positive”, compared to the 70 per cent global average.
Correspondents generally recounted having minimal problems staying in the Kingdom. One Australian interviewed, for example, voiced satisfaction with the ease of “building relationships with locals”.
According to Expat Insider, 85 per cent of correspondents reported locals as “welcoming” and 83 per cent thought settling down in Cambodia was “easy”. Thirty-nine per cent said they felt like they were in their home country.
Portugal gained nine spots from the previous survey to top the list, and was followed by Taiwan and Mexico. In fifth to tenth place, after Cambodia, were Bahrain, Costa Rica, Oman, Colombia, Vietnam and Canada.
On June 24, US travel firm Tripadvisor Inc named a three-day discovery tour across northwestern Cambodia's Siem Reap province as the world's number one luxury tour in the 2021 Travellers' Choice “Best of the Best” Things to Do Awards.
The package includes a tour on the main circuit in Angkor Archaeological Park and beyond to Phnom Kulen National Park and its refreshing waterfalls, the famous floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake and the endearing Banteay Srei temple – or “citadel of the women”, according to the Tripadvisor website.
The global coronavirus epidemic has led to a sharp decline in the number of international tourists visiting Cambodia since the beginning of 2020.
According to official Ministry of Tourism statistics published on August 11, in the first half of 2021, Cambodia received 102,560 international tourists, down 91.3 per cent compared to the same period last year.