Is Cambodia Cheaper Than Thailand?


Is Cambodia Cheaper Than Thailand?

While you’re in SEA (South East Asia), the question of which country is cheaper, Thailand or Cambodia, pops up? I’ve lived in both countries, so I know I can give you info that helps! Let me guide you through expenditures and prices, so you can plan and decide which country is best suited for you!

All this depends on where you go in Cambodia or Thailand. For living, you can’t match the prices for rent in Thailand. For instance, you can get an apartment and pool for $300 a month. If you were looking for something like that in Phenom Penh (PNH) have to pay double, but in Sihanoukville, You can get a house or apartment for as little as $150 per month. Thailand also offers better, cheaper street food, and safer to eat. Also, away from the tourist honeypots, you can find cheap beer. Drinking in PNH is generally less expensive but rising steadily, with government adding liquor taxes in 2016.

It’s hard to compare which country is cheaper because in certain regions you pay more. In the North of Thailand, it’s less expensive than beach resorts like Phuket or Koh Samui. PNH is more costly than, say, Sihanoukville.

Overall you have to say in touristy areas in both countries you pay more, but Cambodia, overall I would say is cheaper.  China invests heavily into Cambodia, with Sihanoukville turning into a mini Macau.


Please keep reading to find the breakdown of expenses.

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Hotels/Hostels (Thailand)

Depending on your travel budget Thailand has many options. If you want to save money, it’s better to share a room with a partner. The average spend for a hotel is ฿1050 ($34.93) per night, but hostels can get as low as ฿300 ($10) (Cheapest) – In the cool season between November to March, the rates are higher. The cheapest region in Thailand is the North Chiang Mai, Pai, and Chang Rai.

Thailand is extremely accessible for both backpackers and luxury tourists.

Cambodia- Cambodia doesn’t have the luxurious hotels like Thailand, but it still has nice hotels. PNH caters to holidaymakers and backpackers. Also, the once sleepy fishing village of Sihanoukville has developed fast with heavy investment from China. Be warned I’m not sure this is for the better. The average spend for a hotel is ฿443 ($15) (Per Night) – Peak season is November to March, but I didn’t notice much difference. Cambodia is excellent for Airbnb’s you can pick up some bargains here.

Food- (Thailand)

The food in Thailand is so much better than in Cambodia. In South East Asia Thailand is in a League of its own. Food is relatively inexpensive overall.

For a quality meal on the street its only ฿60 in restaurants, it’s between ฿90- ฿150. The portion size is not so big, so order a couple of things if you have a big appetite

(Cambodia)- I found the food in Cambodia to be more expensive with less variety. If you go the bigger chain restaurants, you can pay $15 for a meal. Street food is $3 to $5 in PNH. If you find a good restaurant in PNH, stick to it. Another plus is the portion sizes are bigger than Thailand.

Cities- (Bangkok)

Bangkok is vibrant with shopping malls, parks, pubs, and restaurants. You get a massive ex-pat community with quirky bars and large hotel franchises.

A city center apartment will cost around ฿21,634.15 ($719), which is expensive. You can get lower prices on the outskirts (Half Price)

A meal in a nice restaurant will cost  ฿800 $26). Also, a good gym will cost ฿2000 ($66)

The average living wage is ฿22,418.06 ($747.77)

Cambodia (Phenom Penh) I found PNH up and coming with excellent restaurants, bars, and good quality gyms.

Apartments in central PNH costs $1,220.75per a month. Other apartments are cheaper, around $500 at Russian Market

A meal in a good restaurant for two people is around $25. A decent gym is $47 per month.

The average living wage is $295 per month

Utility Bills-

Having lived in Cambodia, I can say electricity can be expensive. If you’re looking for a provider, try and go with the local government, not companies.

Thailand- Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Bins) ฿3,111.20 ($103.78) Wifi ฿578.37 ($19.21)

Cambodia- Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Bins) ฿2548.30 ($85) Wifi ฿700.63 ($23)


I find Cambodia just slightly cheaper overall, but Thailand has some bargains to be had. I will say in peak season in Thailand, you notice things being expensive in tourist honeypots.


Many Thanks


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Hi, I’m Ian

I started traveling in 2006 when I was 21 and still today it’s the best experience of my life! I grew up in a rural town in England and I couldn’t wait to get away and explore the big wide world.

My first destination in 2006 was Singapour. After I visited Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Laos the dream continued and every day was a new experience with new foods, temples, lush countryside, and quirky boutique hotels. The variance of my days was tremendous from waking up in Jungles to a tropical island sipping an ice-cold beer 24hrs later.

With all this travel experience I started traveltin to help people who want to take the plunge into travel and seek advice. I really want to help people live their dreams and share knowledge and tips to help you have the best trip possible.

If you need anything just ask! I’ll get straight back to you.

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