So you’ve decided to move to Battambang. Welcome! Be warned it may require patience to find a home that will suit your needs, as the best places tend to be passed from expat to expat like family heirlooms. That said, there are some great houses and apartments to be had in Battambang.
In terms of location, your main two considerations are how close to the center of town you want to be, and which side of the river you want to be on. The closer to Psar Nath, the more central the location, and accordingly more expensive.
Battambang is a small city, so nothing is far, but most restaurants and markets are located on the west side of the Sangker River, and while nowhere is immune from flooding in the rainy season, the flooding can be a bit worse on the east side.
Studio apartments without a kitchen can be found for as little as $50 a month, while a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen in the center of town goes for between $100-$150 per month.
Entire houses can be rented for between $100-$300, depending on location and amenities.
For example, a one-bedroom, one-bathroom wooden house with Khmer-style kitchen, air conditioning and hot water (pictured) goes for around $250, while a Khmer-style shophouse with one bedroom, two bathrooms, and bucket toilets, no air conditioning, hot water or kitchen, is around $120 per month.
Not every home has air conditioning or hot water, so if those amenities are important to you, be sure to ask if the home has them. Very few homes have washing machines and even fewer have ovens, so if you want these appliances, you may need to buy them yourself.
There are three main ways people find housing in Battambang.
Battambang Connect is a Google Group that serves as a forum to connect those in and around Battambang. Register as a member and you can post that you are looking for housing and see any ‘for rent’ postings from other members.
Another option is Battambangimmo, which serves as a realtor, but fair warning that they do not often have many listings, largely because most homes are found through….
Word of mouth
Many apartments get snatched before they have the chance to be posted on Battambang Connect or listed with a realtor. The majority of expats find housing through others, so make friends with some expats when you arrive.
Go to popular expat hangouts like Kinyei or Jaan Bai (both popular with the English crowd), Choco l’Art (popular with the French crowd) or Here Be Dragons (popular with whomever’s around) and advertise the fact that you’re looking for a place to live. Someone will know someone who is leaving, and be able to give you tips on what apartments may be available.
Don’t be too shy to tell your colleagues that you’re looking. Khmer colleagues in particular may know of cheap places.
If you’re really stuck, or in Battambang for a short period of time and want to find something immediately, Chhaya Hotel has serviced apartments that include kitchenettes and balconies for $300 a month and Coconut House have rooms with kitchenettes for between $150 and $270 a month.
Street 1.5, Battambang
T: 017 860 003
Street 2, Battambang
T: 086 505 954
Choco l’Art Café
Street 117, Battambang [map]
T: 010 661 617
Here Be Dragons
Street 159D, Battambang
T: 089 264 895
118 Street 3, Battambang
T: 053 952 170
Street 300, Battambang
T: 053 665 5447; 012 955 447