Cambodia is amazing. It reminds me a lot of Bali really. Let me rephrase that. Siem Reap is amazing. Phomn Penh sucks. LINK TO ARTICLE ABOUT WHY SIEM REAP IS BETTER
Siem Reap is a tourist town, that reminds me a lot of Sanur in Bali. It’s divided into two sections, a Cambodian section and the English/Tourist section.
If you’re going to coming here, chances are you’ll live in the tourist section.
I can honestly tell you, I never once went to the Cambodian side.
Not because I didn’t want to, but more because I didn’t feel like I needed to.
My gym is $25 USD a month and it’s a 14 minute walk away from the hostel I’m staying at $180 USD a month
Here’s the cost of living in Siem Reap (All prices in USD because it’s the unofficial currency of Cambodia)
- Rent $180 private room/shared apartment
- Gym $25
- Breakfast $1 (like an omelette with a baguette)
- Breakfast $3 (American style, with eggs, bacon, ham, toast, coffee, juice and fresh fruit)
- Lunch $3 (medium pizza. Think Little Caesar Medium)
- Lunch $1 (fried rice)
- Lunch $2 (Khmer Curry beef)
- Dinner $1.50 (BBQ Chicken drumstick)
- Dinner $6 (Indian meal)
- Beer 50 cent for a pint of a draft
- Rum $3 a bottle (Cambodian)
- Imported booze $12 (26oz of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum)
- Cigarettes 50 cents a pack (Cambodian)
- Cigarettes $1.50 (Marlboro/Mevius)
- Massage $6 (1 hour)
- Tuk Tuks $1.25(30 minute trip)
- Movies $2.50 (cheap day Mon-Thurs)
- Movies $3.50 (weekends)
- Hard liquor at bars $2
Total Monthly Expenses
- Rent $180
- Cambodian Visa $56
- Beer/food/cigarettes $10 a day ($300)
- Entertainment $5 ($150)
- Gym $25
- Cell phone card $5
Total $716 USD = $1000 CDN
Besides the prices, how is living in Siem Reap? Well, like I said it is a tourist town.
What does that mean?
You’ll feel like you’re on a vacation all the time. It can get really easy to lose track of time. A month here just blew by. (I have found my favorite hammock and I live in it!)
The English is perfect. Even at the local mom and pop shops. I’d say 10/10. Better than anywhere else I’ve been to so far in South East Asia. It’s really nice, and definitely something I didn’t expect!
Healthcare? Pharmacies everywhere, and hospital care is cheap much like the rest of South East Asia
Transportation: Tuk Tuks and private cars. Use the Grab App or Passapp to book them. Incredibly fast. I waited 5 minutes maximum. Using Google Maps is still strange to some of the drivers, so be ready to show them how to read a map. They aren’t trying to cheat you, they just don’t understand how maps work.
Sidewalks and Traffic: After coming here from Vietnam, I was in love. Sure they don’t really use traffic lights but the traffic isn’t insane. They also have sidewalks. I know it seems crazy to say they have sidewalks, but after being in a lot of South East Asia, you quickly learn that in most countries, sidewalks are a luxury.
Gyms: One of the best in the world for value/price. The one I go to is a very serious one with tons of equipment
Wifi: Fast. But sometimes, the whole grid goes down because of shoddy electricity.
Food: Cambodian food, really seems to be a mix of foods from all over. I ate a lot of pizza, bbq chicken and fried rice. They have Amok, a type of protein dish that isn’t bad, but nothing I am dying for (unlike Hong Kong, which I have to go to for sweet and sour pork).
Sin: Beer is cheap cheap cheap. At 50 cents a pint, and smokes at 75 cents, you can literally pay for your whole vacation here if you compare the price to drinking/smoking/partying at home for a weekend.
Visa: As a Canadian, I got a visa on arrival for 30 days for free. I extended it for $50 for a month. (It’s possible to extend it for 3 months for $75.) That means you can stay here for 4 months before you have to do a border run
Crime: It felt relatively crime free, unlike Colombia, or Vietnam. Safe.
- Bugs: Those little ants you see in tropical climates
- Mosquitos that sting you
- Streets with potholes
- Hot! If you can’t stand the heat, do not come here. South America has a much better climate. It’s 30 degrees here everyday.
Siem Reap, Cambodia is definitely worth checking out and will make my top ten places to retire in 2018 LINK TO 2017 BEST COUNTRIES TO RETIRE
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