Siem Reap, the ‘temple city’ in northwest Cambodia, attracts millions of tourists wanting to see Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prom.
However, most go directly to Siem Reap city and not witness the beauty of the surrounding areas.
Siem Reap province is located 300km northwest of Phnom Penh and covers a total area of around 10,300km2.
It borders Oddar Meanchey (north), Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom (east), Battambang (south) and Banteay Meanchey (west).
It borders the Tonle Sap (the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia) and Phnom Kulen, an isolated mountain and highest point in the province, standing at 487m.
Siem Reap city is the 5th largest urban centre in Cambodia after Takhmau, Battambang, Serei Saophoan and Phnom Penh.
Siem Reap province has 12 districts, 100 communes and around 875 villages. Most of the villages are located in Angkor Chum, Chi Kreng, Krolanh, Puk and Sot Nikum.
Angkor Thom district is best known for Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
Most of Siem Reap is full of wet plains, particularly in the south near Tonle Sap.
In the wet season, rice fields and other plantations are well irrigated, and the north covered in thick, green jungle.
The Mekong River is narrow as it passes through Siem Reap but is an important source of water for the region, flowing from Phnom Kulen to the lake.
Siem Reap is a major (non-Covid) tourist destination and the demand for real estate has grown steadily.
It has a wide range of hotels, offices, commercial spaces and residential properties catering to any budget.
These are the most popular places to rent or buy in Siem Reap:
Popular expat area with many residential and commercial properties. Apartments range $200 – $1,500/month to rent and land $300 – $400/sqm to buy.
A residential area popular with locals and long-term expats where many good villas are located. Apartments range $60 – $900/month, villas $1,000 – $2,000/month and land $300 – $1,500/sqm to buy.
Mostly commercial with some residential properties near Pub Street. Apartments range $200 – $1,500/month and the price of land ranges $400 – $2,500/sqm to buy.
Popular tourist area comprised mostly of restaurants, bars, hotels, and guesthouses and some residential properties. Apartments range $300 – $1,000/month and land $600 – $2,000/sqm to buy.
Near Wat Bo, popular with locals and long-term expats due to its proximity to the centre. Apartments range $250 – $700/month and the price of land $250 – $700/sqm to buy.
Comprised mostly of commercial establishments, bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and apartment buildings. Apartments range $300 – $1,500/month and land $400 – $1,200/sqm to buy.
A rural area full of rice fields. Development is underway because of a new ring road under construction and land is being subdivided and developed.
Houses can be rented for $300 – $500/month and land bought at $30 – $60/sqm.
A temple area known for its floating villages and rice fields. Land is available to buy at $6 – $30/sqm.
A semi-rural area on the road to the floating villages. Apartments and villas are generally not available, but land is cheap at $100 – $250/sqm.
A semi-rural area becoming more developed. Apartments are available to rent for $200 – $400/month. Land is available to buy at $150 – $400/sqm.
A rural area with good access to roads, to be developed in coming years as land can be bought for $60 – $120/sqm.
The French Quarter:
Where most commercial establishments (restaurants, bars, banks and hotels) are located. There are no apartments here and land is generally more expensive at $1,000 – $3,000/sqm.
Good guide to investing
Here is a good guide to investing in Cambodia that is intended to help you steer you away from total financial disaster.
The real estate market here is extremely varied, more so than most countries, which can make investing either a smooth, hassle-free journey or a potentially rocky one.
What separates a successful from unsuccessful investor is not pure luck, as many think, but the ability to recognise and avoid mistakes.
My 2nd home program
Cambodia my 2nd home (CM2H) is an innovative initiative recently launched by KHCA (Khmer Home Charity Association) in association with the Ministry of Interior (MOI).
Its aim is to help foreign nationals enjoy a series of measures to facilitate sustainable living and business in Cambodia.
Benefits for participants in the Cambodia in my 2nd home program include a 10-year unlimited entry / exit visa.
After 5 years, they are eligible to apply for a Cambodian passport and enjoy the advantages of the dynamic ASEAN network.
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