Salary & cost of living ....

Dear Indians,

Greetings of the day.

This is Vinayak Topgi, from Pune, Maharashtra, India.

I have a job opportunity, as a Deputy General Manager (Mineral / Ore Dressing), in a mining industry, at Phnum Syarung.

To submit the duly filled in application for appointment to employer, I am in need of the salary structure/slab, (in US Dollars per month) trending there at present, for above mentioned post.

Also, I wish to know, how much will be the monthly expense for a couple (purely vegetarian) to lead a medium class life. What are the Ayurvedic medical facilities available along with the monthly expenses per month or per visit / consultation? Also, let me know the availability of Ayurvedic doctor & medicine.

The employer is providing me family  accommodation & two times flight tickets in a year.

Now, I request you to kindly check-n-find out the salary structure & the expenses for above mentioned matters.

Your kind favour in the above said matter at the earliest is highly solicited.

Kindly send me your WhatsApp number, if any, for future corresponding. I furnishing my contact details for your needful in the matter.

Thanks & regards.

Vinayak Topgi.

Moderated by Christine 10 months ago
Reason : please do not post your contact details on the forum.

You can survive on $1,000 a month just, $ 2,000 it makes life easy, $3,000 your are enjoying, $4,000+ your loving it!

Dear Naimkhanturk,
Greetings of the day.
Thank you very much.

Should let you know as I work in Real Estate, if you are in Phnom Penh housing is varied, if you are single you can get a nice 1 bed apartment from $400 USD upwards, the apartment will be modernised but the entrance may not be to your liking or a bit like India, no offence meant. If you have a family and safety and security are important, then Serviced apartments are best for you, they can start from $800 to over $4,000 a month, depends on location or quality, you can also rent a villa and prices will start at over $2,000 a month.

Getting around, tuk tuk or rickshaws are widely available, best to opt for the metered ones as they are cheaper or negotiate the price before you set off, metered taxis are available also, for me the best mode of transport is a scooter or motorbike, no licence needed for a motorbike up to 175 cc.

Eating, there are numerous places and styles of cooking available, there are many Indian restaurants here offering northern and southern Indian food, you can eat out for as little as $5.00 a person or well over $100 per person, just depends where you go.

Beer is cheap, 50 cents to a $1,up market places beer will be $2.50 a glass upwards, wine is widely available as well as spirits.

Sorry I cannot help you on Ayurvedic doctor & medicine. Though, it is a good idea to have medical insurance as health care here is poor.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask

Dear Naimkhanturk,

Thank you very much for your valuable information.

Could you get me the recent salary range, US Dollars per month, for a Deputy General Manager (Mineral/Ore Dressing) in mining industry.

Secondly, can I get an Ayurvedic doctor?

Thanks in advance.


Not an area I am familiar with, why don't you try contact a recruitment company or two and ask their opinion.

Try this link for doctors … h/all-area

Housing , please check real estate sites, you can definitely get a serviced apartment for 200-400 one bedroom that is nice, not 800, god you might as well go to USA, 800-1000 are available, but this is a unreasonable price, I went to a 800$ a month condo when I first arrived m ended up getting that for 400 a month, I’m living in a really nice condo now by the royal palace , 5 minutes to the riverfront, 300, a maid included, this is Southeast Asia, westerners don’t come to pay 800+ a month, don’t be fooled! Walk around every street in Phnom penn has for rent signs , I’ve lived here three years , I know, 3-400$ max , you will find a really nice place, many good agents won’t even try to push the 800+ a month, they are trying to take you before you get familiar to the city, contact me I know many good areas and a few HONEST agents, good luck!

Hi twinsguy20
                           I will be moving to Phnom Penh end of April 2018, would it be possible for me to buss you then for some information nearer the time,Thank you.

Kind regards


hi twins guy 20   I am also coming to phnom penh late Feb.. I am staying 3 weeks but will be returning soon to stay.....that is when i will stay do long term..I agree one bedroom for $350 is about the going rate which is how much I want to apartment within 2km walking from 136 street is roughly area i want live..can I make contact with you and pick your brains..might buy you a drink..wait your reply...thank you

@ twinguy and @ yoekhmer

Can you tell me more about costs of living in f.e. SR? I have read guys who can live of 750$ a month and others who say live in Cambodia is not cheap. Spain and Greece should be cheaper. What i think is bull shit.
My Khmer Girlfriend is living nw in PP, earns 325 $ lives with her sister in a apartment. Pays 135 rent, pays for school (her own on saterday and nephew full week), her mother, drives to work every day with moto and goes 1 x a week out for dinner with friends. Has gsm and tablet and can pay this live (I pay 150 every month and for idiots, she has no extra income on the side).

So how much would we need to live?
House/apartment 350
Utilities 20$
Out for dinner 2 x a week locally 100
Tuk tuk 50$
Gazoline moto 30$
Health Insurance girlfriend and me 100$
Groceries 150$
Drinks out 2 x a week very moderate 50$
occational stuff to buy 100$
Total 950,00

Am I right? Thinks that would even be a little bit high.
This seems like a very nice and reasonable life.
I am not a bartype and don't drink much. Like cheap local restaurants and let my girlfriend do local shopping. My girlfriend wants to keep a job, and can use her money for her family.

Of course anytime , you and I like the same area , so you can contact me I would be happy to talk with you anytime, I am in California now but I will return to pp on January 11 m please contact me anytime, Im retired and rarely busy

James your about right although my favorite restaurant is only 1:50 per meal , your budget looks alittle high but very realistic, no your right you can’t live in Spain or Greece for this price,your 100% right cambodia is much cheaper, stay away from dairy products, eat like a khmer, drink angor beer which is usually 50-75 each, I really think your right on the money , maybe alittle to spare, Ive seen nice places in Siem Reap for 200-350 easy to find , and should be somewhat cheaper than pp, good luck , to me it seems your right on with these prices .

Tom contact me anytime , I really love. Phnom Penh and I do know the rental market well , anytime after January 11 I’m available

I like eating like Khmer, love their food. Only would like once in a while a bread, French Fries, pasta or pancakes, but these would not break my budget too much. Althougt I am Dutch, I dont like cooked patatoes'and typicly cooked vegatables european style. Love the Asian kitchen.
My girlfriend lives in PP now and will go there. Would love to meet with an Ankor beer! But it will probably only in sept 2018. Think we are much alike!

Mr . Naimkhanturk , the prices for one bedroom serviced apartments start at 150-400 for nice apartments in the Russian market 250 I’ve seen very nice places with nice entrances, 400 I’ve got a serviced maid washer, WiFi , next to the royal palace very very nice outside brand new inside , 800 is not a real price last 800 $ apartment I found I was negotiated at 400 exactly half price of asking , and my apartment is 300$ so much nicer and better area than the 800$ place , these prices you quote are not real , I suggest you go to that 1000$ a month place and you could probably get it for 500$ if you pay 6 months up front, I’ve been in the real estate business for 45 years , and I know the market well , very well in Phnom Penh , and sir your prices are way over inflated,

Dear Twinguy,

Although I am not in Cambodia at this moment, I think I must agree with you.
I have seen many many advertisements for houses and apartments, especially in Siem Reap (didn't look for PP).
I have seen so nice houses and apartments for 300-500 eu. Than I see apartments offered for 800-1000 and 1300$. Yes they are a little bigger and nicer, but that doesn;t justify a price 3x or 4 x. It is a petty that these prices are being advertised. Who is going to pay 1300 for an apartment of 1600 for a house, if there are beautifull houses with pool for 600-800$?

Hi Twinsguy20,
                            Thank you for your reply it is very generous of you to spare your time. It will be in early May before I get back to you and look forward to meet you.

Kind regards


James and Twinsguy.

ANY product on the market is a result of supply and demand. Also real estate. As you Twinsguy are very experienced you not only know that,but you also know the "system", that's why you are a valuable friend, I say friend because you are on the renter's side. You can estimate what an apartment or house is worth and you can negotiate.

I know you are retired and you love your relaxed life as much as I do (we should meet again in January) but I wish some of the dwelling newbies here would ask and follow your advice.

To end I can only say you are right re inflated prices, sometimes I think agents are insane, but on the other hand they can try, can't they? If they ask too much they won't be successful,  but sometimes they meet silly buggers that pay too much without knowing it.


Dear Twinsguy,

I agree you can get a apartment for the price you say in Russian Market, however, some expats have higher expectations, the three key things with any client is location, budget and expectations, for some a decent apartment for $400 in the riverside does not match there expectations, they desire more, hence they do go after the more expensive apartments because it matches their expectations. Is the newly opened Casa Meridian empty? One size does not fit all.

Secondly, as a person who works in real estate on a daily basis, I do not set the prices, the landlords do, all I can do is tell a landlord his rental expectations are flawed and I do this on a regular basis.

Finally, I do take offense to your comment of me not being "honest", you do not even know me and you make an assumption about me and denigrate me on this forum, I find this a cowardly act and a simple sorry would go a long way, that's if you are a person of honour?

Oh it’s nothing personal , it’s real estate, no emotion is the only way to approach it, but sir nothing personal , and to your response about riverside , there are many nice places for 350-450 even on riverside I’ve lived in two that are 300- 350 very nice , it’s my opinion that advertisers who list these expensive rentals are not being honest or do not know the market , as a representative of theses properties your job is to advice his or her clients on the market and to not list overpriced properties, nothing personal at all , please except my apologies, but if your listing unreasonable priced properties, and as you did quote way high prices , well you need to call it what it is lack of knowledge or the “ other “ but to say prices start at the prices you quoted , are to me very discouraging and not real, I’m no expert , but I know the market in pp , it starts at 175-400 for a one bedroom nice serviced apartment that you can expect, a good location, a nice entrance, WiFi, washing machine ,flat screen tv , if you need more than that I expect your Prices might be right. And I am truly sorry because the last thing I want to do is insult you , very sorry for my choice of words, I’ve been in real estate my whole life , my number one rule is do not get emotionally involved , it’s just property m so my deep apologies for the insult, I usually follow jo on this site as he is level headed and isn’t as quick to judgement as me , ha well no offense really , yes my wording could have been a lot more respectable ,

Tom anytime happy to help,I got so much information from jo khmer onthis site I would like to pass on the little information I have , I would welcome to meet you , I will be back January 11, I know several real estate people that would be able to find reasonable accommodations for you hope to see you in pp if not great luck to you

Dear Twinsguy,

Very much appreciated, please have a very merry Xmas and wonderful New Year

Can anyone confirm what the average salary is for a kmer in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh?

Can anyone give an idea of what kind of salary a foreigner can expect? Are native English speakers seen as an asset and therefore paid a bit more?

Jobs I’m particularly interested in knowing salary for is hotel receptionist, call centre operative and esl teacher.

It is reasonable for a foreigner to negotiate for a higher salary?

Also can anyone confirm how often employees tend to get paid in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap? Weekly? Fortnightly? Monthly?

I have seen jobs advertised with a salary of $200 for example but it doesn’t specify if this is weekly or monthly etc.

Does anyone know?

SatinStar, nearly all of your questions are impossible to answer. There is no average salary for Khmers or Foreigners. There is no standard salary for teachers, hotel employees or call center employees.

Go and find out, you know what you are looking for, we don't.

When are salaries paid? Depends on the job, if a job salary is based on commission it could be paid weekly, but I guess most jobs are paid monthly. Again, go and find out.

Sometimes white foreigners are better paid than Khmers, schools for instance like to have white foreign NES, so will pay them more. I'm not familiar with teaching qualifications, you talk esl but I read many times about TEFL, don't know the difference I must admit.

Anyway, start searching, find out what the salary is for each job (experience, qualifications, working hours can make a difference) and try to find the best job for you.

Good luck.

Cambodia expat-advisor Team

Satin star,
Salary in Cambodia is minimal, especially if your a “westerner” I too don’t know how much one is paid, but I can tell you most expats that I know teach English, it’s a living wage in Phnom Penh, as I know several teachers, as jo said, I’m aware of a TEFL which is available online, for around 250 for the long course, my friends  make anywhere from 8$ per hour to 12$ per hour, which in Phnom penn is great, but I do not know about the hospitality business , but suspect with good reason that the pay is minimal, as jo said it’s common to pay a  white foreigner more in some situations, such as teaching school, this all discouraged talk aside, personality plays a huge part in any country, my nephew could talk his way into the corporate office in a week, but considering your above average, I bet you could make your way here,  bring enough money to last a few months , and I bet you will find something that fits your needs , my “ old man advice “ just take the jump, don’t burn all your bridges at home , and see how you feel about it, I’ve learned different people get a totally different experience in the same spot, me I love it, but I’m retired not looking for a job, but i must tell you , the khmer people are extremely happy and I’ve learned more from them about life in the three years I’ve been here , then the previous 58 years, you will not be sorry you came!

Thanks you’ve been helpful. What I’m still confused about is understanding the advertised pay for jobs I’ve seen online. E.g. a job may advertise $200 but doesn’t say if that’s per week or month etc.

Google says The  average pay for a worker in the city is 60-100 $ per month, which sounds about right , so your answer is the job listed for 200$ is monthly most likely, and it’s a real good job!

SatinStar :

Thanks you’ve been helpful. What I’m still confused about is understanding the advertised pay for jobs I’ve seen online. E.g. a job may advertise $200 but doesn’t say if that’s per week or month etc.


As already said for pretty sure 200 $ is a monthly salary.


To make things clearer, the minimum wage for workers in the garment and shoe industry is $170 per month, just raised this year from $150.

But also a US friend of mine was offered $1200 per month for a teaching job.

As I said there is no average salary. experience, qualifications, working hours and shifts help to get salary-per-job and nobody knows until you apply.


I seen a previous post suggesting an average of some $2,000 to more than $3,000/month.
Somewhat ludicrous ! Who will swallow this ?
At $4,000/month, you have your own limo but no suitable road to ride it!
And occidental banks are a rarity over there because of obvious reasons.
If it's impossible to find a 2-room apartment at some $300/month over there, then, it ain't worth the move. I know, I once stumbled on Khmer website advertising house and room rental.
That price can be found in equivalent countries and ready to accommodate tourists.

So, I thank you for your post.

Hi, There are various types of living accommodation with a variety of pricing, it comes down to your budget, location and wht your expectations are, yes it is possible to find apartment from $300 USD upwards.

You are right maybe even alittle high , you can definitely live here on that , anyone wanting to contact me I’m more than happy to show them many nice apartments for 3-500 maybe even 2.50 , all furnished, with cable ac and internet, happy to help if I can , I even found jo khmer a spot , now that’s saying something because he knows a lot more about cambodia than me , but my expertise is the housing market in pp , anyone who ask for my help I’m happy to give you some ideas and time , I’m retired so all I have is time ha

You are right on 4000 a month your extremely rich ha I can live easily , and travel on 1000-1500 a month, although my retirement gives me more I do everything I want on this amount

Hi there
I'm definitely going to contact you before I move over that's if you don't mind
I'll be needing all the help I can get to find a good deal 😀

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