Cost of Living
The cost of living in Siem Reap can be as cheap or expensive as anywhere in the world. That depends totally on your needs, expectations, budget and number of people. The cheapest apartments to live will cost around $200 a month. This is for a modest (1-2 pers) furnished one bedroom, a bathroom and kitchen apartment. That includes a fridge, a small kitchen and bedroom table, TV, wardrobe, double bed, air con & fan, geyser for hot shower and some kitchen stuff to cook and eat. A month water cost around $2. Electric can easily get around $70 monthly, but that depends totally on if people are at home most of the time with an air con on, or work outdoors in daytime. Wifi cost around $15 monthly and cooking is usually done on a small gas stove. The gas bottles cost under $0.30 to refill.
You can find apartments on several websites or by having connections. On the websites you’ll see that $200 is about the cheapest you can find for a place relatively new, safe and with some quality and service in case there are some issues on the house. For example a broken toilet seat or a ceiling fan that stops working. You can also see plenty of houses with a paper or sign about available rooms or apartment. The location can be related to the price too. A bit more on the edge of town you can find fully furnished apartments with a small pool, shared by 3 apartments, for about $400 a month.
Transportation / Visa
Although you can reach many places on foot in Siem Reap, you still need to consider your way of transportation too as cost of living. A simple bicycle can be bought for around $50 second hand or rent for $2 per day. A 100 cc or 125 cc motorbike rent cost around $10-$12 per day. You might opt to take the Grab or tuktuk in case you don’t need a daily transportation. Many depends on your preferences and circumstances. Newly bought or second hand or rent. How often you need it, how far the distances, etc.
In another post you can find some info about visa, another part of your cost of living. When your work pays for it, it will be different, but otherwise you can count on a price between $25 – $35 monthly. Of course, the long term visa’s need to be paid at once and not per month. Tourist visa and EI visa (Long holiday visa) are easy to get without any conditions. Retirement visa or business visa come with conditions that you need to check out before you decide. The business visa for example, can be easily obtained at the border, but it has only a one month validity at first and the conditions apply by extension of it after that. In case you can’t follow up on those conditions, you rather take another type visa at first.
Tuktuk’s in Siem Reap can be either a pain in your …. or of great help. Depends what you need them for. When you’re looking for a cheap ride home or to your hotel, you better download the Grab or PassApp (both are connected) app on your phone. They bring you for at least half the price, but you might need to wait 5 min. In any direction a normal Tuktuk shouldn’t cost you more than just $3 from Pubstreet to your destination on the edge of town.
In case you’re interested in weed or other drugs, the Tuktuk drivers are the ones to ask. Usually the ones (still) driving in the evenings, although there are to be found in daytime too. One might not sell it, but there is a big chance that he knows a friend of a friend. Of course, you can’t count on it that it’s a safe done deal. In case of police it might be relatively safe, but in case of quality, of getting something real, you might be in for an expensive cheat. Especially when we talk about stuff that you aren’t able to check by any means at the moment of buying. Just beware, there are cheats and trustworthy guys.
When you’re more into girls. Count on it that your evening Tuktuk driver waiting on the edge of Pubstreet will ask or offer you without you even asking about it. Especially when you’re a single guy taking a tuktuk in the evening or night. They will offer you even Grab tuktuk prices with the intention to get more profit out of you on the way, by getting you to a hooker or selling you weed. It’s not as open as in Thailand (where is?) regarding paid sex, so it still has some level of secrecy around it. To get yourself a joint is on the other hand way easier than in Thailand. Don’t get me wrong. We are not in favor nor against anything here. It’s all your personal choice. This website is only an information channel.
Cost of Living – Shopping
Daily expenses as cost of living are your shopping expenses. What do you eat and drink. This too is personal and depends on your budget and standards. You can do your shopping in one of the many big supermarkets / malls. Lucky Mall is a well-known one in Siem Reap, but there are several more. You can find all kinds of imported products and fresh products. In that way you don’t have to worry about Cambodia being not developed.
The locals are buying their fresh products usually at the old market. That market is located between Pubstreet and the river. You can’t see the food sales part from the outside. You need to take one of the small paths that are leading inside to the center of this market. There you’ll find the fresh veggies, fish, meat and other product sales. It’s a morning market. Try to go before 10 am to find the better quality products. When you do your shopping at this place, you’ll definitely be at the cheapest place. For about $6 you eat 5 days veggies plus pasta ingredients for one person. It can be crowded, smelly, noisy and humid to roam around but can be absolutely worth it.
Shopping regarding clothes can be done at the many mentioned malls too or at the many shops around town in case you have enough to spend. If not, then there are always the many markets where you can buy things to wear for a cheaper price. It’s not easy to give good price indications here. It’s all too much connected to personal standards and preferences and how many people you’re with.