$5 will get you a meal and milkshake/smoothie at touristy restaurants. It’ll get you 13 1.5L bottles of water. It’ll get you 10 rides on a motorcycle taxi around the city.
But it’ll also get you a night in a nice guesthouse near the center of town. I stayed at the appropriately-named “Happy Guesthouse” in Siem Reap and below you can see my room. It was big, had a bathroom ensuite, wifi, towel, toilet paper, soap, etc. For an extra $1/night I could have had air conditioning and hot water. I didn’t want either.
Their restaurant is great and I had breakfast there most mornings. In Vietnam I went from hero to zero in the bathroom since there is very little natural sources of fiber in their diet. But at the guesthouse I had a baguette with eggs every morning (for $1.50) that allowed me to be a champion again.
But apart from the room, the people running the show were nice as can be. I will talk about the Cambodian smile in my next post. But man. The people at this guesthouse were just so nice, including the tuk-tuk drivers they had on staff to take you to Angkor Wat and other places.
I received no discount in exchange for this post. Just wanted to share my experience and show how digital nomads can take advantage of currency arbitrage to live large on meager salaries.
If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you can work from anywhere. If you can earn $500/month then you could definitely have a very comfortable life here. A month with this room would set you back $150, maybe less if you negotiate a long-term rental. Food isn’t too expensive, transport isn’t etiher, and wifi is everywhere.