LIVING LIFE AS AN EXPAT. UPDATE (8)- CAMBODIA

’WELCOME TO OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD’

Today, rather than go to the Gym, we went for a stroll …. I took some photos to introduce you to our surrounds!

How fuel is often sold. While there are petrol stations…. where they always serve you, they are always surprised when David says ‘fill it up’, which for our bike is around $3US, because most moto riders buy only a dollar at a time. There are many roadside stalls like this one. They are selling fuel which has been ‘brought in’ (illegally) from Thailand. Not sure what happens to fuel when stored like this! Their price is about 400 riel less than the petrol station – a saving of about 10c a litre

EDITED FROM move to Cambodia.com

Traditional Khmer Houses  –   Cambodian wooden houses are made of wood and on stilts, traditionally the breezy area under the house was used for hanging hammocks, lounging and keeping livestock safe.

Khmer-style shophouse – The Khmer-style shophouse is one of the most common Phnom Penh property types. They are usually three or four floors high, and are rented either as individual apartments or the entire house. They are long and narrow and have windows only in the front and back, so the bedrooms may only have internal windows. Kitchens are basic, with a gas burner stovetop and very little, if any, kitchen storage. Bathrooms are similarly basic, with no separate shower and often no windows.

Renovated shophouse – This type of apartment has been renovated to offer Western touches to the standard Khmer-style shophouse. Like the Khmer-style shophouse, they are long and narrow – 13 feet by 52 feet, with updated floors, lighting and modern kitchens. They will always have air-conditioning and are usually quite affordable. Many will come with a washing machine and a fresh coat of paint, as well as Western style furniture (no wooden couches).

Modern apartment – New build Western-style apartments are diverse, covering a wide range of sizes and styles, with features not usually found in shophouses like built-in cooktops, kitchen cabinets and bathtubs. Most are larger and feel more spacious than shophouses, and are of a significantly higher standard. (While not an apartment, this is the description that best describes our accommodation). We pay $550US a month for our partially furnished place. There is a property for sale in our street for $135,000US. (Only Cambodian’s are allowed to own ground floor property).

Full-service apartment – Also called luxury apartments, full-service apartments in Phnom Penh have everything that you’ll find in a Western apartment, but with the addition of a gym and pool, security guard, parking, elevator and included services including cleaning and Internet. Luxury apartments are usually designed to look as Western as possible, and are completely furnished with all necessary (if sometimes tacky) decor and appliances. Full-service apartments are designed for the sort of expat who has a lot of money and won’t be in Cambodia for more than a year or two (think embassy employees). Getting a Modern apartment is almost always a better deal, but they are less likely to have a pool.

Villas – In Phnom Penh, freestanding houses that are not shophouses are always referred to as villas, and usually have at least a small garden. Villas are found in various neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh and are just as often used to house businesses and NGOs as expats. They are usually significantly more expensive than shophouses (some available for rent near us are $1300US a month …. and we are NOT in a central location).

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