My cost of living in Phnom Penh (for the past 3 months)

Hi all,

I've been in Cambodia for about 6 months and, as my own travels wind down, I just wanted to share my cost of living in Phnom Penh, since I myself wasn't able to find much data when I was looking a while back.

Just fyi, it is possible to go much lower than me in terms of spending, but I think I was about par (and likely a bit thriftier) in terms of western expat standards.

Housing: $270/month (serviced studio room in apartment with AC)
Utilities: ~$75/month (electricity only with AC on 24/7)
Groceries: ~350/month (shopping at the modern grocery store chains and picking up imported snacks now and then)
Transport: ~$40/month (usually stuck to moto-taxis for about $0.60 to $1.00 per ride)
Dining: ~$30-60/month (this varied a fair bit)
Mobile data: $6/month (for 6GB of data 4G)

I'll post my chart summaries/breakdown below:

Btw forgot to add the category breakdown for those who are interested:

(The app I used:

Thanks for posting! May I ask what neighborhood you are renting in? Cheers

Sure, I'm in the Tumnob Tuek district, which is basically west of BKK3. I'd say rents are comparable to BKK3 but it's a bit harder to find higher quality places since the area is less expat-dense.


How did you find your accommodations?

Thanks for sharing such a valuable information.

I just need to ask if you have and information about the schools fees?

Thanks in advance,

I realize this post is a little old now but I find the breakdown of costs to be unrealistic. 24/7 air conditioning for 75 bucks? Get real. Most people will run fans with a fridge, tv, computer and some a.c. and pay about 50 or so if they are living alone and out at work. You start leaving a.c. on all the time and have a girlfriend  or wife with possibly her family members staying and  your bill would be hundreds.

Dining out @ 30-60 per month? Where are you dining? How many times per month and for how many people? My bill in a pizzeria the other night for me and my kid was 25 + with just mains, couple drinks for me and some soft drinks for him. Do it only once per week and you are looking at 100+ per month for a modest evening out. Go down Bassac Lane for the evening with 3.50 beers and you could spend 30 bucks on a few rounds of beer and glasses of wine. If you are coming to "live" in Phnom Penh and not just slum it.  There are simply too many variables for this to have any real guidance. I know Khmer people who get by on 300 bucks a month whilst conversely some westerners struggle on 6k. It all depends on your expectations and lifestyle. If you add in insurance, annual visas, decent clothing, weekends away in Kep or Kampot every couple of months, a flight  somewhere in the region once in a while, an annual return flight to the west, a weekly  3 buck cappuccino at one of the chain coffee shops then you probably would be looking at 3k per month to live reasonably. It all adds up. Particularly if you are trying to raise a family when you can add school fees on top.

Of course you can get by on 1100 per month eating pork fried rice for breakfast and 50 cent beers in the evening at a minimart but with an occasional splurge here and there you will soon eat into your savings and have no safety net for emergencies.

I've lived here for over 11 years and whilst it's okay to live on the cheap for the first year or so it gets old pretty quick.


Why don't you leave it up to each individual how he spends his money?
Not everybody eats at Pizza Company for $25, I never do it, you drink beer for $3.50? Many beer drinkers will differ with you. It's up to you to go to fancy places and spend a lot of money, so let others do what they prefer to do.

E.g. I had dinner with two girls [my girlfriend and her sister] at a good restaurant in Daun Penh, total costs incl. two glasses of wine, fruit shakes for the girls, and three meals: $35.

Another night I was hungry and had an excellent pork/fried rice meal at a Khmer restaurant, $2.

alexparsons has given HIS costs of living, and it's very reasonable.
Your assumption of hundreds for electricity is incorrect. I live in an apartment with two AC's and although I don't use them 24/7 they work as a fan mainly but regularly as an AC. I also have electric cooking. Still my electricity is about $70 a month.

It's good to have comparisons, no need to criticize the one or other, just suck up the information.



Hi there

I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea on how much I would expect to pay for fresh produce from the markets....I mean khmer price. Interested in the following as a guide:

1kg shrimp
1kg squid
1kg clam
1kg chicken on the bone
1kg onion

Any ideas would be fab  :)


Just to give an idea:

Tiger shrimps - $10.00
Onion - $1.50
Chicken whole 2 kg - $15.00

Further I would say come over, go to the market and find out yourself. Prices vary according to availability and season sometimes.
I live near a market myself and it is great shopping.


Cambodia expert team

Hi Joe

Thanks for that. I'm actually here already and frequent the markets more than stores. Very adapt to finding out things for myself  ;)  I was just trying to get an idea on how much I should be paying and whether or not prices were bumped up for expats. I've read various other forums on the subject where people just tend to argue about whether there's a set price or if you should haggle....but yet to get an idea on how much locals pay. I'm already picking up the language so over time I can also discover this, just would save money in the interim if I knew now.



If you're not sure about whether you pay too much or not, either find stalls that put prices on their stand, or get a girl [friend] to do the shopping. Let her buy the same as you and see what she pays, without haggling.

I never haggle, I tell the [mostly] lady what I need, I always get some extra stuff like spring onions, lemon grass for free and I get a bag full of vegetables for 5 usd. Who is complaining?

The lady that sells eggs from her farm always gives me two eggs for free, not a big deal but as she has the price of the eggs at her stand I know I still pay the local price and get some extra [because I'm hansome man, I hear that regularly in another part of PP ;) ].

If someone asks too much I leave with a smile, I don't haggle. But on leaving I suddenly get a nice discount so that the end price is what I expected.

I told one lady that she has a very cute daughter, result was a bell pepper, two onions and a handful of bean sprouts for free. But I could not take the daughter, as she is married already :D

That's life on markets in PP, love it.



I need to go shopping with you Joe!!

shazann, let's go then  :D


$15 for a chicken???? Jeez! :( … 2=Thailand[/img]and[/img]

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