Nomad Living in Sihanoukville
Living in Sihanoukville (aka Snooky) is a good ‘easy option’ introduction to Asia for anyone thinking of moving abroad.
It’s the first place I lived, for 7 months. Compare 170+ Snooky hotels on Booking.com.
Living in Sihanoukville – Pros
To me the main pro of Snooky is the laid back atmosphere of it. For digital nomads who just want to relax and get work done online then Snooky is the place for you. There’s very little traffic, the city is pretty small and things are just easy to do there. You can rent guesthouses there for $15/night or go month to month for ~$300 (that’s what I did) for an air con room, and half that for a fan room. Or apartments in Sihanoukville with a lease go for $100-$200.
Doing your visa extensions is easy too, there are places you can drop your passport off at that do it for you for a tiny fee.
Another big pro of Snooky is that there is lots of good western food in the tourist area. Good western food is not always easy to find in Asia but you have it in Snooky. In many tourist spots I’ve visited they really rip you off on the western food but it’s not bad in Snooky. I guess for a country where you can get an apartment for $150, $5 for a meal is still a bit overpriced….. but it’s not anything worth complaining about.
The other appeal of living in Sihanoukville is the beach. While the main tourist part of the beach is kind of dirty, overcrowded, and has some annoyances like people trying to sell you things and to much music it is still a good place to chill. There are also other less frequented beaches that are much cleaner and more peaceful. I took a lot of late night walks on the beach.
Drone video of Snooky beach and aerial view of the whole city
Cons of Living in Sihanoukville
Snooky does have some cons, and they are pretty major. The biggest would probably be the overall lack of quality health care. I was told if you ever needed serious medical facilities you should go to Thailand for it. Well Snooky is a long way from Thailand as you will have to take a 4 hour ride to Phnom Penh followed by a flight to Thailand.
Another big con about Snooky is that the power goes out quite often (‘brownouts’). There are weeks where it might go out three to five times. It usually goes out mid day which means no aircon when temps are at their hottest. If you are going to be living in Sihanoukville I suggest staying somewhere that has a generator, or knowing places that do that are nearby.
The last con for me is the lack of things to do in Snooky. It’s a very small city and outside of the beach and bars it didn’t seem to offer much. I lead a laid back (boring) life so that was fine for me, but I could see other people not really wanting to stay for to long. If you are just in Cambodia for tourism then it is certainly a place to check out, and the good thing is you can take a vacation there for really cheap while deciding where to live long term.
I’m happy to answer any questions on living in Sihanoukville in the comments.