Facilities – Philippines vs Thailand vs Cambodia

Third article comparing the Philippines, Cambodia and Thailand – let’s talk infrastucture.

philippines vs thailand infrastructure bts skytrain


Transportation is cheap in all three countries and they are pretty similar. Then again I try to live in the thick of the action and walk most places so I’m not the person to ask.

Thailand has better public transportation so it should probably get the nod…

Bangkok is great for cheap metered taxis, that are a bit less sketchy than Philippines taxis. The BTS and MRT (skytrain and underground subway) there are better than some first world cities.

The pic is from BTS Cute Girls on Facebook by the way.

  • Winner: Thailand


Thailand dominates this one, and Cambodia is the clear loser.  When I was living in Cambodia I was told that if I ever needed to have any major medical procedures done I should get to Thailand as fast as possible. I got sick a few times but luckily nothing life threatening.

This is not only because Thailand has very good medical (and dental) facilities but also because Cambodia has very bad ones.  When I lived in Sihanoukville there was not one doctor in the town I would have trusted.

If you get in some sort of life threatening emergency you would be so much better off in Thailand.  Thailand also has very good and cheap dentists and some people make sure to schedule any major dental work they will have done during their trip to the country.

When I was living in Sihanoukville the power went out (‘brownouts’) probably an average of once a week while I was there.  There were weeks where it would go out 5 or 6 days in a row.  The entire afternoon the whole city would be without power.

Lots of places had generators so it wasn’t terrible.  But it was still a major annoyance and not something anyone in 2015 (or 1960) wants to be dealing with.  I don’t think it is as big of an issue in Phnom Penh.

I have never heard of power outages being an issue in Thailand, and they are only a very minor issue in the Philippines.  Maybe once every 3 months it will go out for a couple of hours.  After my time in Sihanoukville that is very tolerable.

The Philippines is somewhere inbetween Thailand and Cambodia as far as medical care goes, but much closer to Thailand.  Still it’s definitely not as good, but in the nicer more expensive hospitals you should be alright.

  • Winner: Thailand


Thailand wins this one again.  You can fully rely on your mobile data (even 3g) for your internet needs and basically have no worries at all.  Get 4g or a landline and you will have very good internet.

In Cambodia I was able to use my 3g to work, there were a few days where it didn’t work, but a few days out of 7 months isn’t a big deal.  The WiFi at my place was not that good, but that’s because the owner signed up for a cheap package.

So Cambodia has good enough internet, but not as good as Thailand.  The internet in the Philippines ranges anywhere from OK in some spots to terrible in others.  You certainly can’t just get one 3g stick and count on it being all you need.

The mobile data may work well in one spot and then not work at all in another.  I have found the internet is better on Luzon (where Manila and Angeles City are) and worse on Cebu.  I have also heard it’s very bad on the beach destinations like Boracay and Palawan.

If you get your own landline put in you should be fine, but then you are having to sign a 1 year contract.  Overall the internet is definitely a clear loser for the Philippines, and its good in the other countries.

  • Winner: Thailand

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2 Responses

  1. jspill says:

    And Thais look 10 years younger than their age, as demonstrated.

  2. jpmur says:

    I’ve lived in Pattaya for 1 year and now Manila for 1 year. I found the facilities in Thailand much better than Philippines. Try the train systems in Bangkok and Manila. Bangkok vastly better.

    Walk down the footpath in Bangkok and Manila…..if it’s not blocked by 3 poles and a parked car in Manila or you don’t trip over bits of anything on the footpath in Manila. Often on the streets of Manila if the roadway is 2 lanes in one direction the slow lane is for pedestrians, tricycles etc. There is a lot of garbage on the streets of Manila compared to Bangkok. The shopping centers in Bangkok & Pattaya are better than Philippines if you’re looking for Western products.

    Philippines supposedly has the highest cost of electricity of any country in Asia.

    If you are looking to buy a condo compare what you’re money will buy in the best areas of Manila…say BGC compared to Pattaya.

    I’m a driver in both countries and have driven in many other countries. Driving on the roads in Manila is a nightmare & not only because of the sheer volume of cars on the roads but the road infrastructure is so poor but mostly the driving habits are so poor. Little policing of road laws seems to encourage people to do stupid things on the road. there seems to be a “me first” when they get on the road.

    If I were to retire to Thailand then it would be preferable to learn Thai but in Pattaya, as it was a tourist destination many of the Thais speak English……otherwise how could they get you’re money out of you:)

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