Phnom Penh is at a point where its core districts are forming with skyscrapers while its outer districts are covered in sprawling gated communities, locally known as boreys. This guide by Realestate.com.kh, we will be giving you an overview of the pros and cons of buying between Phnom Penh’s modernizing central business districts and its fast-developing suburban areas. And hopefully, by the end of this brief overview, you get to answer: “Where is the best place to live in Phnom Penh?”.
What are the Central Business Districts in Phnom Penh?
While there are no official distinctions on what the city’s CBDs are, the de facto areas considered CBDs are Phnom Penh’s core districts: Daun Penh, Beoung Keng Kang, Toul Kork, Chamkarmon, 7 Makara.
Being on the ground in the capital city, one can easily see that these districts are much more developed in terms of concrete roads, sidewalks (some areas), and towering buildings where big multinational corporations, financial institutions, banks, law firms and government offices are located.
These districts also host a high concentration of commercial and other leisure establishments such as shopping centres, high-end bars, restaurants and shops that offer branded goods and services. Suffice to say, Phnom Penh’s CBDs are where modern city staples are found.
What are the suburbs of Phnom Penh?
The suburbs of Phnom Penh do not differ too much from how one would expect a suburb would be. These are the outer districts orbiting the CBDs and have increasingly become popular among locals, and communities of expatriates, as residential choices: Chroy Changvar, Russey Keo, Sen Sok, Por Sen Chey, Kamboul, Meanchey, Chbar Ampov, Dangkao, Prek Pnov.
The rise of Phnom Penh’s suburbs has been a gradual and consistent endeavour from the city’s urban planners and private developers. Phnom Penh’s suburbs now offer significantly better quality of living given that infrastructure for basic necessities such as electricity, water and internet connection are now available in more of these areas with further improvements on these utilities being realized on an annual basis.
Commercial developers are also looking outside of Phnom Penh for business expansions. Big developers such as local conglomerate Chip Mong and Japanese-owned AEON have broken ground on several projects outside of the city centre to capture the growing market of suburban residents.
If you’re unfamiliar with boreys, these are a collection of landed homes of varying types and sizes all securely located in a gated community. These residential developments are popular among locals and are often the first choice of most Cambodian property seekers, especially those with families. And with Cambodia’s growing middle class, demand for these properties have only increased and will likely continue to do so in the next few years.
Where is the best place to live in Phnom Penh?
For those looking to be in the middle of all the city’s happenings, the CBD or inner districts would be the best place to live. Though higher in cost, it does give back in terms of available amenities and time saved when traveling to wherever it is you decide to go.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who prefers a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the suburbs might literally be your alley. Living in the middle of the city takes its toll and significant time away from it does help one’s well-being. Homes in the suburbs additionally have wider living spaces compared to the city, hence being the choice for many Cambodian families.
Finding the best place to live in Phnom Penh’s CBD or suburban areas is ultimately a question of “What lifestyle do I want?”. Phnom Penh’s CBD and suburbs cater to different lifestyles and would be best suited for certain people who are looking to live a particular way.
Credit: Khmer Times