Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month

Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month
Siem Reap Cambodia Cost of Living
Best Cheap Food, Accommodations, Flights
Angkor Wat Itineraries: 1 Day, 2 Days, or 3 Days?
Siem Reap Cambodia Walking Tour
Siem Reap Nightlife Tour
Best Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World

Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month

This post describes how Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month may be possible for some people.

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for Vagabond Buddha. My goal was to retire early and travel the world. I wanted to spend many months each year internationally in the most beautiful places.

So I saved and invested aggressively in real estate. By 2007, all I needed was moderate growth for 10 more years to support my early retirement. Instead, the economy crashed in 2008 and my real estate dropped by 40%. Suddenly, early retirement looked hopeless. I knew if I didn’t figure something out fast, I would have to delay retirement until my 70s.

Luckily, my job allowed me to travel around the world, 65 countries so far. As I traveled, I learned about retire cheap in paradise locations all over the world. Within a few years, I had identified several paradise locations where I could retire immediately on the present value of my investments.

But instead of retiring completely, I decided to follow my passion. You see, I love learning all about the world as I travel and sharing what I learn in Videos and Photographs.

So, in 2016, I started Vagabond Buddha to share what I learned as I travel around the world. So, even though I have the resources to retire already, I am not sure I ever will. I am having too much fun learning about the world and sharing it with you.

Just click the “More Information” link below this video, for all my information about Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month and 50 other of the best retire cheap destinations Worldwide.

Siem Reap Cambodia Cost of Living

Like the rest of the world, there is often a large difference between what locals expect in their accommodations and what an expat might expect. If you are like me, each passing year that you live offshore the easier and more enjoyable it will be to live like a local. After you make that adjustment, if you ever do make that adjustment, you living costs might actually go down in the first few years.

You may not want to eat in tourist restaurants anymore. They are often trying, poorly, to recreate your home food. Instead, you may find yourself learning all about the fascinating new world around you. What do they cook and eat? How do they live? What are their customs and traditions? You may even try to cook some of your favorite local dishes at home.

Thus, despite some reasonable inflation, you may notice that you are able to reduce your expenses as time passes during the first 5 years living offshore. But that is not guaranteed. Some people just have a hard time adjusting and they just keep trying to recreate the country they left. They keep buying expensive imported foods, living in western style apartments, and hanging out with expats.

I am not judging anyone. This world is big enough for all of us. I am just talking about the ways different people react when they leave home. If you keep trying to recreate home, buying expat groceries in expat grocery stores, eating in expat restaurants, and paying expat rents, your expenses will stay the same or moderately increase with inflation during the first few years.

Expats: Meals in Expat (tourist) Restaurants are $4 to $12 dollars here. Wines from the USA and Europe range $10 to $20 per bottle. Rents are $300 to $600 per month. Expat groceries are $60 to $80 per week depending on how much meat you buy.

Locals: Local meals are $1.50 to $3.00 per entree. Draft beer is $0.50 in a frozen mug. Rents are $100 to $350 once you know how to find local landlords (not online). Fresh fruits, vegetables, and rice groceries bought in open air markets are $15 to $30 per week. I am a vegetarian and I love to cook. But sprinkle some meat in your asian rice dishes for another $5 to $10 per week if you must.

Your spending goals are budget dependent.

Apartment Rental Agent: This rental agent is the one shown in the Siem Reap Best Cheap Food and Life Video. I just met him walking by so don’t assume I know who he. Make sure to get references. These are expat prices of $300 to $600 month range. Is Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month possible?

Estimated Cost of Living Table

















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This estimated cost of living for one month, for one person as a temporary visitor. It only includes rent, 2 meals per day, and local transportation. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast in my room, so I don’t count that. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Siem Reap and add any items you spend money on.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on lifestyle and the time since this post.

The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. Here is a free report explaining, “How The Cost of Living Table Works.”

If you buy anything using our links such as flights, tours, or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. Your kindness will encourage us to keep making these travel guides and videos.

Here are the livability factors I would use to determine whether or not a Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month would be feasible.

Siem Reap Livability Factors

Here are my livability factors.

Walkability: High. I rate Siem Reap as highly walkable. I would live in the old town area within 5 or 10 blocks of the old market. There are grocery stores, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and specialty stores all within a 10 block radius. I wouldn’t need a car at all. When friends visited and wanted to see the Angkor Wat Temples, I would join them on their park exploration the traditional way, on a Cambodiam style Tuk-Tuk. My Siem Reap Walking Tour Video and Map will show you the area where I would live and why it would be walkable. If you enjoy more privacy and space, you could live outside the city in the country. That would not be walkable but you could get a cheap car or scooter to go back and forth to town for supplies.

Internet: Medium. This data is very similar all over Cambodia. I recommend that you buy a 4G CellCard for $1 and add 20GB of data for $2 USD to your Android. Look for the CellCard sign in the main market. My Android worked great as a hotspot for us when too many people jumped on the router or we were too far from the router. This was the key to staying connected all over Cambodia. Presumably you would have your own router in your apartment if you retired here so you would have no issues.

Food: High. Even though Siem Reap is not as large as Phnom Penh, it seemed to have more overall foreign food choices. Plus they are concentrated in the old town area within a few blocks of Pub Street. Many were much more expensive than you would find by going just a few blocks in any direction from the Pub Street. They seem to be taking advantage of the fact that tourists are unaware what restaurants should cost in Cambodia. Isn’t that true in most of the world though? We tried a few restaurants in the central area and paid tourist prices. The sad thing was that our best meals came from Khmer restaurants with low or moderate pricing just a few blocks away. So make sure to try our favorites below before you conclude anything about Khmer food. Plus, if you have any really nice foreign meals at fair prices, please share it below. I am sure others would love to learn from your experience. I am rating Food high because of just a few restaurants we really loved with fair prices.

Weather: High. Average highs (days) range seasonally from a low of 87F/31C in December to a high of 94F/35C in April. Average lows (nights) range seasonally from a low of 70F/21C in January to a high of 78F/26C in April. The rainy season is May through October when at least some rain falls in 18 or more days of the month.

Things to Do: Medium. To be honest, we were sort of overwhelmed with all of the Temples of Angkor Wat and we didn’t get much time to explore Siem Reap and other aspects of the surrounding area. But I am going to say medium with respect to things to do. There are malls, restaurant exploration, the beautiful walkway on the riverfront, all of the arts and crafts, the nearby lake and its cultural aspects, a fairly diverse nightlife for a town this size, and so many locals that have learned English to serve the foreign public is likely to keep this town fairly interesting for a cultural explorer like me.

Expats: Medium. There are English speaking expats and locals offering information about things to do, restaurants, apartments, things for sale, etc. Also, you can go on these web pages and ask people where to buy unusual things that expats miss from home. Facebook 1. Facebook 2. Facebook 3.

Medical: I have not been to the clinic or hospital in Siem Reap. But research indicates that there is a clinic that might be able to help you in non-Emergency situations. In an Emergency, visit the Royal Angkor International Hospital. As usual, a town this size may not have the advanced care you could expect in Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh, or Bangkok. In that case, they may just stabilize you for transfer to the appropriate facility.

Visa Requirements: High. For your exploratory visit to Cambodia, you can obtain a visa upon arrival at the international airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. If you use the eVisa program, it can only be used for entry through these two airports. If you intend to arrive through one of the land border crossings (like we did from Vietnam), the eVisa will not be accepted. At the land border crossings, you will need to fill out the forms again. In either case, bring the passport photo with you to immigration. There are 10 countries that must get a Visa in advance. The tourist Visa is $30 and the 30 day period can be extended for an additional 30 days for $50. If you are planning on staying longer than 60 days, then get an ordinary Visa from the start. If you are 55 or older and no longer working, I suggest getting a retirement Visa (ER Visa) for 6 or 12 months. The 6 or 12 month ER Visa is multi-entry. I haven’t obtained the ER Visa myself yet, but I was told by a German Expat I met on the bus that the requirements are minimal compared to other countries in SE Asia. There are also student Visas, Employment Visas, and Business Visas.

Real Estate: High. Rents are cheap. This is not professional advice. But I would not buy real estate in Cambodia. If someone recommends that you buy in Cambodia, they probably have a conflict of interest with you. Just lease month to month. The rents are cheap and you can just hand the keys back to the landlord when you leave. If you want to own real estate, buy in a more economically safe country (i.e. USA) and live off the rents in a cheap country like Cambodia. Hire a property manager to manage your real estate at home.

Banking: Medium. This is not professional advice. Leave your money in your home country bank and take money out as needed at ATMs. When you are in a foreign country, it is much easier to get into a mess than to get out of one. If you want to store money outside your home country, don’t put it in developing country banks. Put it somewhere safe, like Switzerland.

Pollution: High. In general, it is better to not swim rivers or lakes near cities in SE Asia unless there is some government periodic testing you can verify. The further you get from cities and industrial areas the safer the water generally there is lower risk. There was very little observable pollutants in the air Siem Reap while were there. In the dry season you will experience dust especially on roads of Siem Reap that are not paved. The air pollution was moderate while we were in Siem Reap in December.

Siem Reap Overall Desirability Score: High. For Cambodia, Siem Reap has a fairly high retirement desirability from my perspective. I love the culture, the international presence, and the fairly high energy for a relatively small city. I could definitely see myself living there for a few months or years, so a Siem Reap Cambodia Retire Cheap $1100 Month would be possible for me. This was the last city we visited before exiting Cambodia into Thailand. Next I will rank the best place to retire in Cambodia. Stay tuned for that analysis.

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Angkor Wat Facts and History

Here are some interesting facts about Siem Reap and the deserted Angkor Temple City.

The deserted temple city of Angkor may have been the most populated city in the world when Khmer Empire fell in the late 15th century. There are about 72 temples in the deserted city.

The most famous temple, Angkor Wat, is the largest temple complex in the world. The complex spans 402 acres and is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire in the 12th century AD.

The Khmer Empire started in 802 AD and lasted about 700 years. When Angkor was abandoned in the 15th century, that was the beginning of the Cambodian dark ages. The dark ages lasted for several hundred years. What we now know about the empire was translated from sanskrit written in stone on the temple walls.

Much of the translated sanskrit describing the Khmer Empire History has been confirmed in books and journals written by Chinese explorers visiting the Khmer Empire in the 13th and 14th centuries.

The Khmer empire followed Hindu religious traditions from inception until King Jaya the 7th converted the Kingdom to Buddhism in the 12th century.

In Hinduism, there is a triad of forces through which the universe is created, maintained, and destroyed in a cycle of succession. Each such force is represented by the deities of Brahma (creation), Vishnu (preservation), and Shiva (destruction).

These three deities are different manifestations of the same supreme being, each based upon an energetic manifestations in place at that time in the life cycle–creation, preservation, and destruction. Thus, King Suryavarman II was honoring Vishnu and preservation when he built Angkor Wat Temple.

Angkor Wat is the most well preserved temple here in the former capital of the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat is constructed in the classical Khmer architecture and the temple is displayed on the modern Cambodian national flag.

The moat surrounding Angkor Wat is 5 miles long and the wall surrounding the temple is 2.2 miles long.

Angkor Wat is situated 3.4 miles north of Siem Reap, the nearest town and were tourists retreat after dark.

Angkor Wat is the most famous of the 72 temples built in Angkor.

Bayon Temple is also a must see Temple. Although Jaya the 7th enshrined his own face all over the temple, many say it represents the most beautiful faces of Buddha.

In 1860 a Frenchmen found Angkor Wat and wrote a book about it. In his book he said he discovered it and then admitted that there were people living on the grounds of the temple. It reminds me of how people say Columbus discovered the Americas, a place where 7 million people lived when he arrived.

A book had been written by a Chinese explorer in the 13th century after returning from Cambodia. The book names the city of Angkor and the temples and the fantastic artist and architectural craftsmanship of the greatest temple city in the world.

Satellite imagery shows that Angkor was indeed a very large city. The size of modern day London.

Indeed, the Angkor Wat Temple was only a small part of one of the most ancient sophisticated cities in the world.

The walls of the temples are covered in an ancient Cambodian language and Sandscipt, the ancient Hindu language. All of the writings have been translated to teach us the history of Angkor.

For 6 centuries Angkor was the capital of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia. Between the 9th and 15th centuries AD, 38 Kings ruled the Khmer Empire from the city of Angkor.

Today, Angkor has UNESCO Heritage protection and 10 different international organizations funding research.

In the last few decades, researchers have verified that Angkor was much larger and more sophisticated than any city in Europe at the time. Angkor Thom was built by Jayavarma VII. It was larger than the size of Manhattan Island and had a Royal Palace and the Bayon temple, all intricately carved. Jaya 7th has 5 wives and a haram of 3000 women.

Satellite imagery removes present vegetation and uncovers the evidence of humans. There were rest houses 1 day apart, so pilgrims could come and visit the city from all over Asia. There were thousands of temples surrounding the area. Based upon analysis of the satellite imagery, the metropolis of Angor had as many as 1 million people living there. This would make it the largest city in the world during the 13th century.

It took 500 years to build the city but it fell in a decade? Why? It was totally abandoned. The Cham people of present day Vietnam were their sworn enemies. The engraving on the walls of the Temples depict the Chams.

By the 13th century, Siam (Thailand) had came several times and had began to destroy the city.

By 1431, Siam had sacked the city and carried off the Kings Haram. What was left of the population migrated to the area known as Phnom Penh today. Within 100 years of the migration, the city had been absorbed by the jungle.

Several theories abound about what happened to Angkor and the Khmer Empire.

Some say the conversion from Hinduism to Buddhism by Jaya VII made the Kingdom more compassionate causing them to reflect on their willingness to use violence against their enemies.

Others say Jaya VII was spending too much building temples and not enough on weapons and training?

But the theory that has garnered the most support has been a failure in a sophisticated water irrigation and transportation system which was irritated by extreme weather conditions. Because the system was so sophisticated requiring a gentle balance, and extreme weather irritated its maintenance over many years, it could have been blocked by sediment. This would have resulted in a deforestation that compromised the ability to grow enough rice to feed everyone and a failure of the system of waterway transportation.

The people moved east to Phnom Penh.

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