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Incredibly Low Cost Of Living In Cambodia


Renoir
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Hi,

I am looking at a website on the cost of living around the world and according to this site Cambodia is incredibly low cost much more than Thailand. This is the link to the website http://www.xpatulator.com/cost-of-living-article/Cost-of-Living-July-2012_350.cfm

I don't understand as I have read previously that it costed less in Thailand. The difference is huge. Out of 780 places, "all areas of Thailand" ranks 468 while "all areas of Cambodia" ranks 779. The less expensive area is number 780. Bangkok ranks 396 while Phnom Penh ranks 769. Is there something wrong with those incredible numbers?

Renoir

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i find the food in the supermarkets very expensive...

this study is imo only the tip of the iceberg...

if it had taken into account the QUALITY of products (what do you get for your money), then thailand would have shown really bad in the list...

Edited by ddpffft
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I had three friends who lived in Cambodia. Living there is indeed much less expensive than here in Thailand. There are other considerations to think about. Medical care is very poor and you would be advised to return to Thailand for anything that could be serious. Infrastructure is also very weak. I don't know how it is possible, but supposedly corruption is worse than here.

Of my three friends, one came back and is now living here in Thailand and the other two are dead.

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... Of my three friends, one came back and is now living here in Thailand and the other two are dead.

The Cambodian Quality of Life Index takes another major hit.

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I have a good friend who does business in PP basically Monday to Friday, then returns here to Pattaya or Bangkok for the weekends. His comments are that Cambo is just not a good place to live. Now this guy has money, so his standards might be different. But it boils down to infrastructure, shopping, medical, road safety and corruption. He buys a lot of the stuff he needs here and brings it with him on his trips. If it wasn't for his business, he'd live here.

I don't agree with that survey, the best one I've seen is Mercer's:

http://latam.mercer.com/press-releases/1420615

Cost of living is one thing, quality of life is another. A majority of these places that are cheap are just not an option. They list the cheapest as Karachi. Right....

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Noticed this at the bottom of the Cambodia breakdown:

"In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, All Areas in Cambodia is ranked as extreme hardship with a hardship index of 40%."

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Noticed this at the bottom of the Cambodia breakdown:

"In terms of the hardship people are likely to experience, assessed in global terms, All Areas in Cambodia is ranked as extreme hardship with a hardship index of 40%."

Interesting. Thailand is better in this area but not that much as it is written at the bottom of Thailand breakdown that Thailand is ranked as high degree of hardship with a hardship index of 30%. I guess this degree of hardship only apply to the average people born there, not foreigners with some money.

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I have a good friend who does business in PP basically Monday to Friday, then returns here to Pattaya or Bangkok for the weekends. His comments are that Cambo is just not a good place to live. Now this guy has money, so his standards might be different. But it boils down to infrastructure, shopping, medical, road safety and corruption. He buys a lot of the stuff he needs here and brings it with him on his trips. If it wasn't for his business, he'd live here.

I don't agree with that survey, the best one I've seen is Mercer's:

http://latam.mercer....eleases/1420615

Cost of living is one thing, quality of life is another. A majority of these places that are cheap are just not an option. They list the cheapest as Karachi. Right....

According to Mercer, Cambodia is also a lot cheaper than Thailand.

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It's always interesting how different cost of living surveys show major differences. Probably it depends on who does the surveys. Some prefer five star places and others are happy with normal run of the mill places. What is average for one person is NOT average for another.

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One overlooked factor is that if you already have US$, there is no exchange rate risk and that alone would make Cambodia plenty cheaper. In addition, there is no need to exchange and keep 800K THB in a bank account for the 50+ crowd. Now, that's a big saving...

Your actual cost of living will depend very much where you live and what kind of lifestyle you lead. It is impossible to make a general comment.

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If you're using dollars in Cambodia (like nearly everybody), you're already getting hosed on the exchange rate, which is unofficially/practically 4000 riel/dollar. The REAL exchange rate is always upward of 4080 riel/dollar. And prices in riel are the norm at major retail outlets...

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If you're using dollars in Cambodia (like nearly everybody), you're already getting hosed on the exchange rate, which is unofficially/practically 4000 riel/dollar. The REAL exchange rate is always upward of 4080 riel/dollar. And prices in riel are the norm at major retail outlets...

And if you are going to the bank and exchanging your currency for Riel, you are not (getting hosed)?

The difference you mention is 2%, while for many currency transactions it is 5% at least when using your bank card and you will probably get a rate worse than this (depending where you exchange, if they charge a commission, etc). At least the difference is not widening as it has been for many Western currencies as the baht kept strengthening.

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I've lived in Cambodia for 10 years and been to Thailand many times. The bottom line is that these indexes hold very little meaning for expats as we tend to lead different lives to locals, especially when it comes to our spending habits.

It also depends on the individual, someone who doesn't mind living in pretty standard accommodation but likes eating out for three meals a day, plus wining and dining would probably find Phnom Penh cheaper. Whilst someone who requires a home with Western style amenities, spends a lot of time at home and requires very fast broadband internet will likely find Phnom Penh more expensive.

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having lived in both countries and traveling now in Cambodia i find "on the average Cambodia" more expensive

BUT if u travel by bus, drink and smoke cigs you will find Cambodia cheaper.

also the quality you get here vs what you get for the same $$ is better in Thailand

The figures comparing SHV with Pattaya are WAY OFF

phuket comes out much cheaper than those for Pattaya and pattaya is cheaper than phuket

ie rent; you can easily find a two bedroom furnished house in Phuket for $400-600

rooms in Phuket $200 all inclusive, rooms in SHV you pay for everything above rental fee

Room in SHV $125 ( for shit room) up but than add on eletrci and tv cable/internet etc

Movie theaters just went to cinema yesterday $4.00 for one seat ( saw Batman) in Phnom Penh ( shv does not have a cinema)

Phuket 80-100 baht

Electric is almost double in SHV than Phuket

Coke can in 7/11 Phuket 12 baht $.37

SHV $.65

and on and on

Edited by phuketrichard
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having lived in both countries and traveling now in Cambodia i find "on the average Cambodia" more expensive

BUT if u travel by bus, drink and smoke cigs you will find Cambodia cheaper.

also the quality you get here vs what you get for the same $$ is better in Thailand

The figures comparing SHV with Pattaya are WAY OFF

phuket comes out much cheaper than those for Pattaya and pattaya is cheaper than phuket

ie rent; you can easily find a two bedroom furnished house in Phuket for $400-600

rooms in Phuket $200 all inclusive, rooms in SHV you pay for everything above rental fee

Room in SHV $125 ( for shit room) up but than add on eletrci and tv cable/internet etc

Movie theaters just went to cinema yesterday $4.00 for one seat ( saw Batman) in Phnom Penh ( shv does not have a cinema)

Phuket 80-100 baht

Electric is almost double in SHV than Phuket

Coke can in 7/11 Phuket 12 baht $.37

SHV $.65

and on and on

Did you not find the Galaxy Cinema and the Top Cat Entertainment Centre and Cinema in Sihanoukville Richard ?

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having lived in both countries and traveling now in Cambodia i find "on the average Cambodia" more expensive

BUT if u travel by bus, drink and smoke cigs you will find Cambodia cheaper.

also the quality you get here vs what you get for the same $$ is better in Thailand

The figures comparing SHV with Pattaya are WAY OFF

phuket comes out much cheaper than those for Pattaya and pattaya is cheaper than phuket

ie rent; you can easily find a two bedroom furnished house in Phuket for $400-600

rooms in Phuket $200 all inclusive, rooms in SHV you pay for everything above rental fee

Room in SHV $125 ( for shit room) up but than add on eletrci and tv cable/internet etc

Movie theaters just went to cinema yesterday $4.00 for one seat ( saw Batman) in Phnom Penh ( shv does not have a cinema)

Phuket 80-100 baht

Electric is almost double in SHV than Phuket

Coke can in 7/11 Phuket 12 baht $.37

SHV $.65

and on and on

Did you not find the Galaxy Cinema and the Top Cat Entertainment Centre and Cinema in Sihanoukville Richard ?

I don't call them cinemas :-) at least not on par with the ones in Thailand or even PP.

Movie house maybe but......

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I'm currently working in Phnom Penh, been here almost a year now.

Yes...definatlly a lot cheaper than Thailand if you know where to shop. even Thai made goods are cheaper here because of the low tax.

Beer is about half Thai Price....cigarrettes half, even Aussie wine is cheaper here than Australia...a LOT cheaper!

Only street food is a little more expensive but supermarket prices are certainly cheaper.

I can go out to a bar here, buy drinks all night for me and 4 girls and never more than $100.

We often hire a 5 year old 4x4 landrover for $30 a day.

The only things that are more expensive here are;

Rent- about 25% more expensive.

Western style restaurants - about 20% more

Electronic goods seem to be quite expensive.

I've saved a lot of money whilst living here and plan to be back in Thailand mid Sep.

From my experience

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I've tried to find decent accomodation at the $200 a month level and can't find it there. But it is easy to find good quality accomodation at that price range in Thailand. The locals are also more likely to rip you off than in Thailand($2 haircut instead of $1). And the hospitals are of very low standards.

I thought about living there for a time but given the reasons above I decided Thailand was right for me.

The only reason I would live in Cambodia is if I was a nightlife addict. It's far cheaper for that sort of thing.

Edited by meatballs
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  • 2 weeks later...

The nightly entertainment is by Far better in Pattaya and the Ladys far more abundant~~~

That's the real problem, if Sihanoukville had chosen to become a "Pattaya with ganja" it would have made sense to move there, but since they closed most of the brothels it doesn't make sense to face all that discomfort for ganja only.
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I've tried to find decent accomodation at the $200 a month level and can't find it there. But it is easy to find good quality accomodation at that price range in Thailand. The locals are also more likely to rip you off than in Thailand($2 haircut instead of $1). And the hospitals are of very low standards.

I thought about living there for a time but given the reasons above I decided Thailand was right for me.

The only reason I would live in Cambodia is if I was a nightlife addict. It's far cheaper for that sort of thing.

I'm a little confused. I was only there once in 2007 but I seem to remember only one small street on a hill(victory beach?)

that was kind of like a mini pattaya bar scene.

Is that gone too?

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Livingexile— despite you in country I wouldtotally disagree. Restys in Cambodialways lesser value as rentals, electricity, everything save for booze and cancer sticks.Supermarkets?! Motodop is alsomore andyou tend to take them farther.

Much less likely to get a flat with a fridge as well.

Oh, cable is great like the Phils if you are into that. Cheap.

Hookers with zero access to health care...lovely.

Edited by bangkokburning
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  • 1 year later...

Beer, cigarettes, girls ..... if these costs are the priority in a living .... Cambodia may be cheaper than Thailand.

For others:

Living outside of the cities ... nearly impossible, if you don't want to hear the generator 24/7.

In the city ... living is expensive, locals are not as nice as upcountry.

And then that dirt.

IMO the "quality" is so much better in Thailand (remote areas included).

And with quality comes a price.

Edited by Ricci
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Having lived in Cambodia and traveling there for a year and returning often, i would say it is NOT less expensive on the average.

most everything in the country for sale or used to Manufacture goods is imported except Rice

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I have a good friend who does business in PP basically Monday to Friday, then returns here to Pattaya or Bangkok for the weekends. His comments are that Cambo is just not a good place to live. Now this guy has money, so his standards might be different. But it boils down to infrastructure, shopping, medical, road safety and corruption. He buys a lot of the stuff he needs here and brings it with him on his trips. If it wasn't for his business, he'd live here.

I don't agree with that survey, the best one I've seen is Mercer's:

http://latam.mercer.com/press-releases/1420615

Cost of living is one thing, quality of life is another. A majority of these places that are cheap are just not an option. They list the cheapest as Karachi. Right....

They list the cheapest as Karachi...

...because they have not checked living cost and quality of life at the foothills of Koh-e-Sufaid in Northern Waziristan. beats Karachi hands down and offers entertainment by drones launching hellfire rockets.

expenses for bar fines, single malt, nudie-bars are ridiculously low and Kalashnikovs are sold at bargain prices. the biggest advantage (for residents with wives) are low prices for the latest burqa fashion and virtually zero expenses for make-up, beauty saloons, handbags, shoes and belts.

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with the new policy that just started expect massive increases of everything which in turn accomplished 2 things

making Camboida more expensive than Thailand

making Cambodians poorer than they already are.

As of last week the government/customs dept has stopped ALL cross border import operations nationally. For those unaware this is how most goods enter the country unofficially.
There was no warning and many companies have containers and truck loads of goods backed up not allowed into the country as per previously allowed.
Now the only way to import goods is by paying the actual % tax which can be as high as 50 - 60% . Previously you could use various companies and negotiate with about 30 - 50% reduction from the actual real taxes applicable. This saving was passed onto customers and was the reason why most if not all goods are / were cheaper here.
I have heard computer and IT shops have already started increasing their prices by up to 50% overnight.... They usually air freight their goods so will be the first affected.
Many business have been caught unaware as there was no warning whatsoever and there is no clear direction from the gov/customs as to why or how long this will last.
Expect prices on any imported goods to rise incredibly sharply over the next few weeks as this progresses or unless things change. You might want to go out and buy that wide screen LCD now.

From k440

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