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Current prices in Cambodia: price discrimination

For most part of westerners, Cambodia remains an inexpensive country, much like Thailand, Vietnam or Laos. Indeed, compared with other countries of the region, typical prices of goods and services in Cambodia don't differ much. But there are some specific local features.

First of all, the labor cost here is very low. The average monthly salary of Khmer unqualified worker is approx $50-$80. It is very common for a restaurant worker or even a schoolteacher to earn just $50 per month. Some considers $100 a month a fortune. The four dollars that you pay to a tuk-tuk driver for a twenty-minutes trip will make his day. A three-dollar tip added to a restaurant bill is a royal gift. But highly qualified staff is very sought after and experienced English-speaking managers may earn over $500 per month.

Traditionally for most Asian countries, there are various price levels for different ethnic customers. Of course, the highest prices are reserved for "barangs" (westerners). Prices they pay, may be 2-3 times higher than a standard price for Khmer for the same product or service. An exception is made for foreigners living in Cambodia and speaking a little basic Khmer. In this case a typical surcharge rarely exceeds 50%. Generally Khmer sellers don't indicate retail prices of goods in small shops. They prefer to change them depending on who the customer is. An exception is big supermarkets: they do indicate all the selling prices.

Unlike Thai or Chinese sellers, Khmer don't like to bargain! In many cases the price they told you is firm and final. If you succeed in getting a 20% discount, consider it as a big victory.

Cambodian Riel is a national currency; recently $1 is equal to approximately 4200 Riels. US dollars are accepted everywhere and play a role of parallel currency. For simplicity, in small trade operations $1 is set equal to 4000 Riels.

Reasonable prices for foreigners for common products and services are:

Taxi from the airport to Phnom Penh center: $5 - $7.
Small hotel or guesthouse room: $10-$30
Motorbike trip, 5-10 minutes on road: $1
Rent a motorbike: $5-$10 / day
Rent a car: from $30 / day
Rent a house in Phnom Penh, 2 rooms + kitchen: $400-$600 / month
Rent a house in Sihanoukville, 2 rooms + kitchen: $200-$300 / month
Private guide service: about $50 / day
Local fruits on the market: $1-$2 / Kg
Vegetables: around $1 / Kg
Fresh seafood: $3-$6 / Kg
Pork or beef: $4-$6 / Kg
Rice: $0.50 - $1 / Kg
Fruit salad plate on the beach: $1.5-$2
Dinner in a restaurant: $8-$15
Medical consultation: from $10
Traditional Khmer or Vietnamese massage: $5-$10 / hour
Internet cafe: $1 / hour
Unlimited Internet access at your house: from $33/month
Electric energy: $0.20-$0.25 / KWh
Fuel: $0.85-$1.10 / L
Quality local cigarettes: $0.30
Coca-Cola can: $0.5
Real Scotch Whisky bottle: from $7.


Hotels in Cambodia
Traditional Khmer cuisine
Business in Cambodia
Basic Khmer phrases
Tips for travelers