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Phnom Penh is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. The city is packed with historical architecture and attractions. With its glimmering Royal Palace, beautiful Silver Pagoda, interesting National Museum, as well as numerous hip cafés and vibrant bars, it is easy to see why the city welcomes millions of visitors annually. Aside from tourists, the city is also a popular destination for expats from all around the globe who wish to start a new life.
Phnom Penh is the capital as well as the center of economy, industry, and culture in Cambodia. With its double-digit economic growth rate, the city is one of the fastest-growing cities in Southeast Asia.
Due to its emerging economy, new hotels, restaurants, cafés, as well as commercial and residential buildings that are springing up rapidly in the city. This has led to more job opportunities for both locals and foreigners. The real estate market in the city is booming, especially since the city has an ever-growing population which has resulted in high demand for housing as well as a large number of tourists who want to experience the city’s historical attractions.
Find the latest rental rates on the Phnom Penh property market
There are various sizes, styles, and types of apartments for rent in Phnom Penh. Renters have the option to have traditional or modern apartments. Traditional apartments, or Khmer-style apartments, are usually smaller with fewer units and amenities. Since Khmer-style apartments are a lot smaller and only offer basic amenities such as parking areas, they tend to be more affordable than modern apartments. Renters can find this type of apartment for as low as $300/month, which makes it suitable for those who are looking for budget accommodation. Modern apartments are usually developed with Western-style and exclusive amenities, such as swimming pools, clubhouses, gyms, and larger parking areas. Some modern apartments are equipped with top-notch services, including 24-hour security and provide a resort-like lifestyle. Modern apartments are generally more expensive than traditional apartments.
Both Khmer-style and Western-style apartments are available in several different sizes. Studio apartments are plentiful in the city and suitable for single renters that do not need a lot of space. One-bedroom apartments can also be found and are frequented by singles or couples. For families, apartments with two, three, or more bedrooms are the best choice. For those who are looking for an apartment with a bigger space, more rooms, and more privacy, penthouses can be found in the city center and since they are situated at the top of apartment buildings, they also offer the best views.
One of the most important factors before renting an apartment is the location. Most people want to live near their workplace, but others prefer to live in a quiet area so they can rest without any city noise. Foreigners tend to go to Boeung Keng Kang or BKK1 because it is where embassies, UN, and NGO offices are located. Various cafés, spas, hotels, restaurants, and bars can be found in the area. However, its popularity has made monthly rent in this area higher than many other parts of the city.
Those who want to live surrounded with the best of Phnom Penh but do not want to pay the high rental prices that BKK1 offers usually choose the Riverfront Area (Sisowath Quay). Sisowath Quay is popular among tourists and expats because it is home to numerous historical attractions, such as the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda on the western side and the National Museum not too far from the center of the Riverfront area. For renters who love shopping or want to live closer to Phnom Penh’s commercial area, Tonle Bassac is the best area since it is surrounded by shops, boutique bars, restaurants, and a mall. Inexpensive apartments for rent are usually located in Doun Penh. Although the area houses various hotels and upmarket dining venues, the rental prices are not as high as the Riverfront Area and BKK1.
The cost of living in Phnom Penh is generally cheaper than most neighboring countries. Inexpensive accommodation is scattered around the city and there are various public transportation options. To travel around the city, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis are very affordable. A single journey across Phnom Penh with a tuk-tuk will only cost about $5. From fine dining to street food, Phnom Penh offers everything. Those who wish to save money can eat at the city’s delicious street food vendors or cook at home. The grocery stores are filled with local and international products at low prices. The official currency is Cambodian Riels (KHR) and 1 USD converts to 4,080 KHR. However, US dollars are widely accepted.
The city has two distinct seasons, rainy and hot. The tropical climate allows Phnom Penh to experience warm temperatures all year round. The rainy seasons starts in May and ends in November and expect to experience heavy rainfall during this season.
Cambodia is rich in culture, and so is Phnom Penh. Around 90% of the population are Cambodian (Khmers) and most of the population are Buddhists. Cambodian people are very friendly, which can make foreigners feel very welcome. Although the official language is Khmer, English, and French are also widely spoken.
Foreigners who want to live in Phnom Penh should obtain an E-class visa (not electronic visa), which is valid for 30 days but can be extended indefinitely. Foreigners can choose EG, EB, ER, or ES visa extension when extending the visa. The most common visa among expats is EB visa extension, which lasts for up to 12 months.
1. Cost of Living: The lifestyle you choose determines the cost of living. However, the cost of living in Phnom Penh is generally more affordable than other capital cities of Southeast Asia.
2. Maintenance is Not Your Responsibility: You can save money on maintenance because the apartment is not yours. The landlord usually deals with maintenance issues.
3. Rapid Economic Growth Rate: Cambodia is known to have the fastest-growing economy in Asia and the country sustained an average growth rate of 8% from 1998 to 2018.