Value for money pp vs siem reap

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Value for money pp vs siem reap

Post by Joshcanggu » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:27 pm

Long time reader first time poster, been coming to Cambodia for 13 years am making move with wife and newborn next month. We have lived in Asia and central america last 9 years would love to hear your thoughts on quality of life and price comparison between the 2 cities, 13 years ago I would have moved to sihanoukville.. its painful just to look at pics of it now! So sad..
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Re: Value for money pp vs siem reap

Post by Mr.November » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:08 pm

Short answer: Siem Reap is likely a better choice, but try staying in both cities for a few weeks or so before deciding.

Long answer: Phnom Penh is the capital city with the most companies and job opportunities. Nightlife is better, more people, crazy traffic, most people here are not tourists but live here and many are Khmers who moved from the countryside. Crazy rich/poor diversity seen every day - barefoot child beggars vs Rolls Royces (I have never seen more RRs than in PP). It’s crowded and smelly and it’s impossible to walk the streets due to the lack of space. Supermarkets are expensive and the markets are filthy, and they (market grandmas) try to cheat you all the time. Salaries for expats are high - $2000 - $3000 is possible with little effort in many industries, but of course it all depends on your qualifications. Very easy to find a job. Lots of housing stock available, from $200 a month for simple flats to $1000 a month for luxury 3-bed apartments with pools. Personally I found a place for $300, serviced apartment on the northern quiet outskirts which is perfect for a family. Apartments often have generators here that provide electricity when it’s cut elsewhere. Electricity $100 a month if you like cool inside. Plenty of “international” schools which are affordable, some expensive ones too. Easy to find a maid and cleaner/helper, more expats and Filipinos doing great job. Generally lots of choices, but transport, food and entertainment are expensive, many Chinese people pushing up the prices of everything. Not much to do apart from work, not many interesting places to go for a weekend day trip outside the city. Doing a business is more expensive if you need to pay commercial rent. Good for business that sells to locals though as easier to find clients.

Siem Reap: Definitely more beautiful as a “city” (it’s more a small town), many tourists - so if your profession is tourist-related there is little difference between PP and SR in terms of job opportunities and salaries - in fact SR may work better. Salaries a bit lower generally but again, depending on your profession. Only a few streets, but more quiet and better regulated, with pedestrian only zones and space to walk. Some good shops and places to go for some party fun but the entertainment gets boring after a while, just one small bar street and one cool Khmer Karaoke street, plus a few low priced restaurants (which are great, some with dances!). More quiet, can cycle, walk and scoot everywhere within minutes. Generally better service quality. Supermarkets more limited in number but grocery prices lower (imported) and choices as good as in PP. Apartments and quality housing are few, but if you want a traditional house with all the “adventures”, it can be had for less than in PP. Rent is generally low too, but for lower quality housing. Higher quality not much choice (yet). SR = Less choice, less luxury options, and prices same as PP for comparable quality but better feeling and more beautiful. Lower end cheaper than PP. Generally much more aesthetic place than PP and more enjoyable to go outside. Less money spent on transport (don’t use TukTuks), car taxis cheaper due to less distance. A few international schools, so not much competition = questionable quality. Not many Filipinos but some better quality expats. Beautiful jungle just next door for weekend outings and plenty of places to go, plus the mystery ghost sounds from 6pm... Beer $0.50 everywhere while in PP $1, can walk to shop rather than taking tuktuk, smaller community so more trust. Can rent shops and commercial premises for less - but not much choice and clients are mostly tourists.

If I was with a family I would definitely choose SR for better quality of life and look for job there. Maybe there aren’t so many opportunities, but if you are white foreigner with some skills - you will have no problems with working your way up slowly.

Sihanoukville: NO!

Good luck!
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