Siem Reap has a full range of prices of food, accommodation and services. People, whether they are Khmer (Cambodian) or an expat (foreigners who live in Cambodia), can live comfortably for $300.00 US to $500.00 a month. Unfortunately, most Khmer people’s salaries are nowhere near that.
Some of my friends work nine hours a day, six days a week to earn $60.00 to $90.00 a month. Some of their jobs include working guest relations at a hotel or a cleaner will earn just $40.00 to $60.00 a month. The lowest price for a room to a rent I have come across is $25.00 per month, so of course that doesn’t leave people much to save.
While it’s nice to have a treat to eat out once in awhile, I’ve enjoying buying at the market with my Cambodian friends and cooking at their house. Just last night we went to a friend’s place and it cost $1.50 to buy enough veggies, eggs and noodles to feed four of us. It is still often cheaper to cook than eat a $1.00 meal every time.
Least costly food (US dollars)
- Street sandwhich with a fresh baguette: $0.30 without meat, $0.50 with meat
- A meal of fried noodles off the street: $0.50 to $0.75
- A full meal of fried rice or fried noodles at a small restuarant: $1.00 to $1.50
- 1 kg of tomatoes: $1.25
- A bunch of green beans that can feed 4 people: $0.25
- A dozen eggs: $1.50
- A big pack of sliced bread: $1.25
- Fresh curry spices: $0.25
Eating and drinking out
- You can a range of sandwhiches, a curry dish that is good for a meal, tacos on deal nights: $1.50 to $3.00:
- Eating a lot of soup and noodles you cook yourself with three other friends: $2.00 per person
- All you can eat BBQ: $4.00
- There are places like Soria Moria and Ivy guesthouse that have $1.00 tapas and drinks every week
- Pizza is a little more expensive, ranging from $5.00 to $13.00
Accommodation and property
- Rent for a very small room (5 ft x 8 ft): $25.00 a month
- Rent for a basic bachelor suite just outside the city centre: $40.00 per month ($20.00 if you share with someone)
- Rent for a bigger suite or one-bedroom apartment: $100.00 to $300.00 per month for a bigger suite. It’s on the higher end if you’re closer to town
- Rent for a three story house: $600.00 to $800.00 depending house close you are from the centre. But you have a motto or bicycle, three-story houses that are just a 5-minute motto ride from the centre of town are about $400.00 per month. They have a lot of space
I’m very grateful to have the ability to try a full range of food and services. But what I’ve enjoyed the most in Siem Reap is spending time with my Khmer friends in their homes, local hangout places and meeting their families in their home town. That’s when I feel like I’m experiencing the “real Cambodia.”