Live in Cambodia for $600 a Month
Sihanoukville was the cheapest place I’ve lived. Going by what I spent there, I’d say a westerner could live in Cambodia (Sihanoukville or elsewhere) comfortably on $600/month.
Entry to Angkor Wat in Siem Reap is around $30
My expenses were around $850 a month when I lived there for 7 months, but if I went back I think I could cut that down further.
Since Snooky was the first place I settled down in after the US I was in holiday mode and went a bit above and beyond on my ‘entertainment’ charges and would not spend near as much now.
I also have learned some new money saving tips over the years that would knock a bit more off the total. I was pretty good at saving money then, but I am better now.
How to Live in Cambodia – My Budget Breakdown
My living costs in Sihanoukville, could also apply to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh though:
Western food in Snooky was easy to find and it was quite cheap. Most meals were $5 or less except for at a few restaurants that I never ate at. A lot of meals in the $3 range as well that were good including fresh seafood on the beach.
I was spending about $200/month for 2 meals and a snack every day. If you wanted to cook yourself you could eat for $100 or less. There are also manyf local canteens around but they looked pretty dirty. The only Cambodian food I tried there was beef luk-lak, that was good.
The food at the markets is ridiculously cheap though if you want ingredients for western food it would get a bit more expensive. There was one main grocery store in town, then a few smaller convenience stores as well as a huge local market that had fresh meat and veggies.
The great thing about Snooky is there are so many open rooms and for the most part they are all cheap. I was staying on the most touristy street in the city near all the nicest western restaurants a 2 minute walk from the beach for $300ish a month, the price varied depending on hi or low tourist season. This was without a lease just month to month with no deposit.
You can get an apartment from anywhere between $100-$500. Depending on the location, if furnished, how long your lease is etc. I preferred to just stay in a hotel by the beach so I didn’t have to sign a lease and so that I could be right in the tourist area.
Cinderella beach lodges Sihanoukville, pretty cheap nightly rates on Agoda here.
I also saw a nice new apartment complex that had rooms for $125 a month. However it was in a shady location very far away from the main road down a lot of side streets and there was nothing around it. If anyone had the idea to rob a westerner that would be the spot.
You probably would be alright, but I wouldn’t even feel comfortable there 3 years after living in Asia, let alone right when I first got there. Plus the hassle of the location was not worth it, you would certainly need to rent a motorbike to live there, or have a driver on call.
I also saw a really nice house for $500 a month. It was huge and must have had at least 5 rooms. It was being rented by a westerner but his wife’s family was living there with them. I would guess there were 10-15 people living there.
Other costs are very cheap in Snooky. Visa costs average $25/month if you get a 3 month or longer extension. Load for phones or internet is cheap. Alcohol and cigarettes are very cheap, basically everything is.
The one thing that makes Snooky a bit more expensive is that normal Cambodian girls are very conservative so it’s not that easy to have any fun with girls unless you want to seriously date and court them for an extended period of time, which I don’t.
That leaves one other option… and when you’re paying for it the price (though cheap) adds up. My usual offer was $20 for 2 times which most girls were fine with. If you come off as a tourist girls may ask for up to $50.
If you’re on a tight budget and want to live as cheap as possible then Snooky is the place for you. You could exist there for around $350 a month after some small initial settling in costs.
Rent the $125 a month apartment, rent a motor bike for $60 a month, pay for a year extension on the visa to get the cheapest rate of around $25, and eat at the market for $100 a month.
That wouldn’t be fun, but its nice to know it’s possible. Drive your motorbike to the beach and think about better days to come once you’ve made some savings.
I really think like $600 is the sweet spot though that will allow you to live in Cambodia with a semi decent life rathern than just ‘existing’. Every dollar above that just makes it better.