Costs – Philippines vs Thailand vs Cambodia
On top of that I have asked 5000 questions on forums about the three as research so I will try to compare some of the differences. Three of the essentials:
Cost of Living – Breakdown
If I was living long term in each of these three countries my cost of living would be around $800 in Cambodia, $900 in the Philippines, and ~$1k in Thailand.
Cambodia could definitely be done the cheapest on a vacation. Hotels are a lot cheaper in Cambodia than either Phils or Thailand. You can easily find a good enough hotel room for $10-15 a night in nice touristy areas and ask them for a long stay discount. Most will negotiate.
Hotels in Thailand are usually around $25-$30 a night for a decent one in a good location, then a little higher than that in the Philippines.
Check out some of the cheap places I stayed around Asia in the hotels section.
- Winner: Cambodia
Finding a nice modern apartment in Cambodia won’t be that easy. You can get a reasonable apartment in the $200-$300 range, and a pretty nice apartment in a good area of Phnom Penh in the $400 to $500 range.
However that nice apartment won’t be near as nice as what you can get in Thailand for cheaper. Apartment value might be Thailand’s #1 strength in my opinion.
If you’re just looking to quietly work online as a digital nomad and save money in nice surroundings Thailand is the best country in Asia to live.
You can get very nicely furnished modern apartments for $300 or less in most cities. Maybe $400 in Bangkok. Some places may make you sign a 6 month lease but month to month is also available at those prices.
Apartments in the Philippines are terrible value and it’s one of the worst things about the country. I don’t know of any expat that has ever told me they stayed in a Manila apartment for under $500 a month. Luckily for me I don’t care about having a ‘baller’ apartment.
If you want to be anywhere near the nicer areas of Cebu you will have to spend in the $400-$500 range also. In Angeles you can find some really cheap apartments but they are unfurnished, not in nice areas, and you have to sign a long lease.
For a good location and a furnished place month to month you will need to spend $350-$400.
- Winner: Thailand
Food is really cheap in all three but is cheapest in Cambodia. If you want to cook yourself you could budget less than $100 a month on food. The markets are ridiculously cheap. You can generally get most meals at restaurants for $5 or less as well.
I found western food to be way to expensive in Thailand but I am only going off of Pattaya. Maybe there are cheaper places around Bangkok or other cities.
Thai food wins taste wise and is cheap too. Still, for me I mostly want to eat western food so I thought Thailand was a bit expensive for food.
The Philippines is quite cheap as there are very few meals that cost you over $5, Filipino food kind of sucks though. You can get good cheap groceries and cook yourself though.
Overall it’s pretty close in all three, but if you want a western diet Thailand might be the priciest.
- Winner: Cambodia
I haven’t included visas or girls in the above, find those below. Living in the Philippines is much better for those.
Also compare Philippines vs Thailand vs Cambodia for: