One of the great places to live as an expat is Phnom Penh. Lately, there has been a lot of foreign investors putting money into the city. This includes adding things that will make life easier in the city and figuring out the overall costs of living in Phnom Penh. This does have both negative and positive impacts on the society; however, it does add a lot of easy of living as well. But don’t worry too much, as Phnom Penh still is very much a Cambodian city at heart and you don’t have to go far to feel that.
The new developments mean that there are both organic or local options. For example, if you only have to pay around $2 for a local meal; but you also have the option of getting meals from nice places for over $100. Furthermore, you can get a coffee at an international coffee chain for around $3 or just a local coffee for less than 75 cents.
These choices go to where you live as well for Phnom Penh cost of living. It is possible to get a modern luxury apartment with all the amenities for between $400 – $3000. However, you can also get a local styled apartment for less than $350 a month. Needless to say, the city offers many choices. You can have both the western style of living or the local experience. At the end of the day, you can get these things for much cheaper than other more developed nations. Below we’ll explain how much it cost to live in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Cost Of Living In Phnom Penh, Cambodia? 2018 Edition
Getting A Visa In Cambodia
The Cambodian visa rules are very lax. However, in 2018, some of those rules have changed. Today, if you want to get the E visa, all you have to do is just arrive in the country by plane or through a border crossing, check a box on a form, and pay. The price is just a little bit more expensive than the regular tourist visa. Remember, that you need to get the (E) visa when wanting to stay in the country for longer than 1 month.
In addition, you can prolong this one to a 3 month visa, a single time, and you don’t even have to leave Cambodia. If you are in the country for the 1st time, you can prolong this visa to a 6 month one. For any other case, now you need to work permit issued by the government to extend the visa between 6 months and 1 year. Currently, the law with regards to work permits isn’t very well controlled. However, the government is starting to go after expats who don’t follow it and fine them. Make sure to talk with the business you are working for in order to go through the process of getting a work permit.
Working In Cambodia
It depends on what type of work you are doing, but the average pay for an expat in the city is between $12000 – $60000 yearly. There are a lot of opportunities in the city including in education, tourism, NGOs, consulting, medicine, tech, and even business. In addition, some of the foreigners working in the city are given special expat packages, making working there even nicer.
The Local Currency
There are two main forms of currency in Cambodia, the American dollar and the Cambodian Riel. One USD is about 4000 Riel. Therefore, most things are done in USD while the small change is done in Riel. In fact, you will get USD at ATMs.
City Districts In Phnom Penh
The city is separated into areas. However, most foreigners live in just the in a few of them (Russian Market, BKK 1 – 3, or the Riverside). The most expensive areas are BKK 2 and BKK 1 as this area has a lot of amenities specifically for foreigners. If you are looking for a blend of foreign and local things, check out BKK 3 or Russian Market.
The Riverside is usually quite a crowded area with a lot of tourists. In addition, it can feel a bit shady as there are a lot of nightclubs and lady bars in that district. One other newly popular area for foreigners is called Tuol Kork, which is about 20 to 30 mins from the city center. Today, the city is continuing to expand. As such, the farther away from downtown you are, the less rent will cost.
Cost Of Transportation In Phnom Penh
Traveling around the city is actually quite easy and cheap. The most common method is the tuk-tuks. Taking a ride in one costs less than $5 but usually around $2 to $3. However, when traveling solo, the cheapest option is to take a motorbike. However, the drivers are not like in Bangkok. They do not wear bright vests. If you are looking for them, they usually are in large groups at the corner of streets. Also, they tend to be looking for you as well.
Alcohol In Cambodia
The price for spirits in the country is very cheap. For example, a 750 milliliter bottle of alcohol will usually cost anywhere between $10 to $20. In addition, there are some places where you can get wine and foreign beers. However, expect to pay around the same price for them as you would pay back home. If you want to drink at restaurants it is also cheap. For example, cocktails usually cost around $2 to $8 and can be half price at happy hour. Furthermore, a local beer usually costs around $0.75 to $1.50 in a restaurant. If you get a beer a local store, it can cost as little as 50 cents. In addition, if can go to local rum and beer breweries to have a tasting.