Cambodia Cost of Living
That is so true for expatriates that they absolutely would like to know the political and cultural situation of a country they are planning to visit or relocate; on the other hand, cost of living is an important part of your traveling to a new country. Regarding to Cambodia cost of living, it is different depends the area and provinces. In this article, we’ll focus on the cost of living in average in the city, Phnom Penh. The main cost of living in Cambodia consists of food, accommodation, language class (if you wish to) and additional expenses.
You can either cook by yourself by just go to fresh market or supermarket where is nearby. Recently, there are many popular organic shops to sell meat, fruit and vegetable, but more expensive comparing to vegetable in fresh market. Expatriates will find friendly sellers in the fresh market selling their stuffs, and you can get many types of vegetable by spending less than $2. It is cheap to cook by your own unless you have time.
Talking about going out for meal, expatriates are able to find various places with different food choices to eat range from 2$/ each meal to hundred from the simple cafeterias to restaurants. There are massive western restaurants and cafe available in Phnom Penh in particular in Toul Tompoung, Bang Keng Kang and riverside areas in case you miss your own food. For the western place, you might pay from 5$ up to get a meal.
Be prepared to pay one month’s rent plus one or two months’ deposit in advance. A 2-bedroom apartment with or without a pool ranges from $350 up to thousand dollars per month depending on the locations. Also, it is common to spend $250-$300 for a one-bedroom apartment and $400-$650 for one that has several bedrooms and lots of facilities. The highest cost of accommodation is in Beong Keng Kang I. Expatriates can contact their friends or agencies before moving since there are shared apartments available in the city. The popular place for expatriates are around Toul Tompoung, Toul Sreng and Beong Keng Kang where are easy for them access all amenities and food. The rental fee includes electricity, water and Internet at some places based on your negotiation with the landlord, but some apartments do not include those fee. Normally, cleaning and laundry service are not included in the rental fee.
Beside renting apartment, there are many guesthouses and hotels entire the city. For short vacation, visitors have choices to stay in either guesthouse or hotels. Some guesthouses are nice and the price is acceptable as well. On the other hand, hotels offer more services and choices for guests. The services include massage, spa, food, city tour and so on.
Most of expatriates are keen to learn Khmer (Cambodian language) if they plan to relocate in Cambodia for long period of time in order for the benefit of their work and communication with local people. There are two options for Khmer class: (1) individual/ private learning and (2) going to schools. There are some good intensive Khmer classes for expatriates to learn such as Gateway to Khmer and Khmer friends. The intensive course will be just for two weeks with two hours per day whereas regular class will be just one or two hours a week. For the regular class, it cost from 5$/ hour. For the private class, which is one-on-one learning, it costs around 8$/ hour based on teachers and negotiation. Teachers are available to deliver onsite teaching.
Additional expenses exclude the three main expenses above. It should be something related to daily cost or petty cash such as transportation, travelling around the country, entertainment, massage and spa in case you feel tired from work and so on. Many types of massage and spa are offering in Cambodia in participate the city like Phnom Penh as following, seeing massage (by blind people), Khmer massage, Thai massage, oil massage and spa with different price ranges, but it should be not more than 10$ for seeing massage for 60 minutes. It approximately costs 6$ per hour for foreigner. For the cost of other sorts of massage and spa, it depends on where you are going to because some place charge even more than 30$ per time (60 minutes).
Regarding to transportation for daily commute, individual can rent or buy bicycle or even motorbike. You can get a bike with 30$ or less than, and around 400$ to 500$ to get a secondhand but acceptable motorbike. On the other hand, if your prefer to take tuk tuk (three wheels vehicle), it will cost more depend on the distance between your apartment and workplace. Let say, it costs around 3$ per times by tuk tuk to reach a less than 10 kilometers place.
For travelling to province expend, there are also many bus companies for you to choose, and the cost again really depends on the companies, for example, Giant Ibis is the most expensive bus company in Cambodia, which cost 15$ for one way ticket to Siem Reap from Phnom Penh whereas most of other companies cost only 8-9$ for one way. However, the bus condition and service included are different. You can find 7$ per night accommodation at the provinces while your travelling.
To entertain yourself while your stay in Cambodia, there are plenty of bar (ground and rooftop), pub and others where you get a 3 to 4$ cocktail, 2.5$ for fresh juice and 1$ or less than for a draft of beer.
That is all how you survive and enjoy life in Phnom Penh and Cambodia. 1000$ per month is enough for you to comfortably live in Cambodia, Phnom Penh if you take turn between cooking by your own and going out for meals. And, at the same time, there might be more money needed to live in this city, approximately in between 1500 to 2000$, if you hang out plus travelling very often. Based on the above typical cost of living (cook by yourself and exclude language class), the monthly average cost should be 850$ per month for four times massage and two times travelling to provinces with food and accommodation included.