Being an ex-pat in almost any country has its challenges, even in the most developed countries of the world. However, it’s not as challenging in Phnom Penh as the city is full of other ex-pats.
However, if you are new in the city or plan to stay there for some time, the only real challenges are to learn what’s where, how to get to from one point to another, and which neighborhoods suit you most.
In this article, we are going to discuss the top neighborhoods in Phnom Penh for expatriates.
Boeung Keng Kang, BKK1
This has been the original ex-pats’ quarter for the last few decades. If a foreigner was living in Phnom Penh, then he or she probably lived in BKK1. Even today, for many ex-pats searching for an apartment for rent in Phnom Penh, it is the first go-to area.
However, the entire neighborhood has gone through a massive upgrade as nowadays it is packed with modern condo blocks, bars, restaurants, chain coffee shops, and flashy hotels. As a result, the only ex-pats living there are the ones for whom money and spending are not an issue.
Toul Tom Poung
If you are on a budget, Toul Tom Poung might be the right place for you. Rents are much cheaper. There are plenty of coffee shops, restaurants, and of course, the famous Russian market. It is the hip place to be as most young ex-pats prefer to live there than elsewhere in the city. Therefore, if you are a young foreigner looking for an apartment in Phnom Penh, Toul Tom Poung has that young people’s vibe and energy.
People that can’t afford to live in BKK1 anymore usually move to Tonle Bassac. The area is still in development with new apartment buildings rising as mushrooms regularly. The neighborhood is vastly known for its Bassac Lane – a dynamic alley brewing with some of the best boutique bars in the city, cool coffee shops, trendy restaurants, and stores.
The neighborhood is located just north of the city center and is becoming increasingly popular. A few years ago, only locals were living there, but nowadays more and more ex-pats choose to stay there.
Daun Pen is the home of the Sorya Shopping Mall, Wat Phnom, and the Central Market. Plus, it’s only 10 minutes’ drive from the city center and BKK1.
This neighborhood is the opposite of affordable. You go there only if you are a wealthy ex-pat that wants to enjoy the spectacular riverside view from your super-luxurious apartment. Aside from the high rental prices, the area is on almost all tourist paths. Most days, their pavements are crowded with tourists and locals.
From affordable one-bedroom apartments to luxurious condos and everything in between – Phnom Penh has it all. The colony of ex-pats living in Phnom Penh has never been greater, and more and more are flooding in the city. The point is whatever neighborhood you choose, there is a strong chance that you will find some ex-pats like you. They might not be just next door, but close enough.