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Living Guide in Chamkarmon District of Phnom Penh ——Phnom Penh Central Business District, and Multicultural Center

2021-07-08
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Summary:Chamkarmon District highlight of clothing, food, housing, transportation and a guide to living in the area. Based on such lifestyle and necessities, Chamkarmon's real estate market has its own distinct value and qualities.

Compass Cambodia - Chamkarmon District is a lively neighborhood located in the south of the central part of Phnom Penh and a part of the Central Business District (CBD). 

As one of the fourteen major administrative districts in Phnom Penh, Chamkarmon initially had 12 communes. After the promulgation of Sub-Decree No. 03 dated on 8th January 2019, Chamkarmon had been divided into two administrative districts, left with five existing communes.

The representative landmarks of Chamkarmon are the Independence Monument and Naga World. Meanwhile, there are many hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and markets in the area. With a high degree of commercialization, Chamkarmon is the divergence place of the trend culture of young people in Phnom Penh. In addition, Chamkarmon is also characterized by a dense number of embassies and many expats.

Based on such lifestyle and necessities, Chamkarmon's real estate market has its own distinct value and qualities.

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Independence Monument

1. Introduction

1.1. Chamkarmon Overview

Chamkarmon is one of the earliest administrative district, which local people refer to as Khan Chamkarmon (Khan: District, Chamkarmon: Mulberry Farm). It has 5 communes (locally called Sangkat), which are Tonle Bassac, Toul Tom Poung I, Toul Tom Poung II, Boeung Trabek, and Phsar Doeum Thkov. And within these communes, there are 40 villages.

From the regional scope, Chamkarmon's border on the north side stretches along Mao Tse Toung Blvd, Norodom Blvd, and Preah Suramarit Blvd, and adheres to the Boeung Keng Kang District and Daun Penh District. The South and the East border runs along Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin Blvd (271) and adhere to Mean Chey District. The West border is along the Bassac River at the edge of Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

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Chamkarmon Map, Source: Google Map

As of 2019, the area size of Chamkarmon is 7.183 km², accounting for about 1% of the total area of Phnom Penh. In terms of the total population of Chamkarmon, it is about 70,772 people and population density of 9,853/km², accounting for about 3% of the total population of Phnom Penh.

1.2. Regional Characteristics

Chamkarmon's five communes are very diverse, and interesting to explore, as it is the key district of Phnom Penh.

Tonle Bassac: This commune is a part of Chamkarmon District that covers the eastern part of Norodom Blvd from Independence Monument to Kbal Thnal Flyover. Not much has changed in the past, particularly in housing such as shophouses or villas, although huge buildings such as condominiums have a significant increase because it is close to the river, as well as corporate centers, international schools, embassies, and other major institutions. Naga World, Aeon Mall, The Bridge, Casa Meridian, The Peak, DI Riviera, and Rose Condo are among the major developments. In terms of housing, the new residential buildings in the area are all apartment projects, which are arranged in order along the Bassac River, such as The Bridge, Casa Meridian, The Peak, etc; There are no new shophouses and villas in this area.

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Tonle Bassac Map

For the overall scenario in Tonle Bassac, the demand for housing will increase even more because there are more advantages to residing there, particularly for big businesses and foreigners who are rapidly expanding in Cambodia. This quick expansion is attributable to a number of causes, including, first and foremost, the advantageous position due to its proximity to a winding river and clean air; second, it has a well-developed infrastructure; and the third, it is an area with no construction height restrictions (the construction height in some nearby area, such as near the Royal Palace and the Independence Monument, is limited); the fourth reason is economic growth in Cambodia; and the fifth is the government's strategy of encouraging investors to come and build large structures in the area. Tonle Bassac is a high-potential location that will continue to grow rapidly, attracting both domestic and international investors.

Toul Tum Poung I & II: These 2 communes are very similar, these are located in Northwest part of Chamkarmon, with a small population density. These communes are full of activities for both locals and tourists. Compared to Tonle Bassac, it is more for exploring crafts & souvenirs, and relies more on food&beverage scene. Toul Tum Poung I are largely known for Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tum Poung or TTP) and multi-cultural shops on every corner of the street. Toul Tum Poung I is also having the effects of a fast-growing metropolis, with new condos and contemporary serviced apartments springing up all over the place.

Boeung Trabek and Phsar Doeum Thkov: Both of these communes are located on the west side of Tonle Bassac, with smaller population density, 18,849/km² and 17,885/km² respectively. These communes are more oriented toward locals, and there are fewer new development projects in the works, so it remains ripe for future investment.

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1.3. Regional Planning

Tonle Bassac is the mainly based area of Chamkarmon District, and the outstanding progress in this area is Koh Pich (Diamond Island),which is a gradually commercialized location at the west of Chamkarmon with views of the Mekong and Bassac rivers, now features a golf driving range, the city's largest international exhibition facility, a fire station, a new city hall, and a theatre. All local and international musicians' concerts are hosted here.

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Koh Pich

Currently, Overseas Cambodia-China Investment Corporation (OCIC) is planning to build a pedestrian street and night market around Koh Pich, which is the most important part of the island's overall development plan, as well as other infrastructure development projects. The development of Koh Pich covers an area of about 80 hectares and is currently proceeding in an orderly manner in accordance with the original master plan. Up to now, the development area of the whole Koh Pich only accounts for 50% of the total land, and the Convention and Exhibition Center on the island will be relocated to the area under the jurisdiction of Chroy Chongva Satellite City in the future.

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The Elysee commercial project in Koh Pich

2. Regional Facilities

2.1. Transportation

Main highway in Chamkarmon are Norodom Blvd (4 lanes) and Preah Monivong Blvd (National Road 1, AH1) (6 lanes), which both routes run across the capital city and has gateways to the surrounding provinces. Other main city routes which run throughout the district such as Mao Tse Toung Blvd (4 lanes) and Samdach Sothearos Blvd (2 lanes) are the ones with many big cooperation company buildings, embassies, and governmental office buildings, etc.

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For public transportation, there's only public city bus with an affordable fee of KHR 1,500 per ride to any bus stop in the city. There are lines 1, line 2, line 5, and line 13 within Chamkarmon.

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Phnom Penh Bus Line Map

As far as living habits are concerned, most people who lives in this district prefer walking, cycling or driving motorbikes, because the surrounding facilities and essential places are only a few minutes away. For people who do not own a car or any type of private vehicles, there are other common transportation such as Grab or PassApp, which is used by booking rickshaws or taxis on mobile applications. Tuk Tuk is another form of local transportation, which can be caught on the street just like catching a cab at anytime during the day, and it is equally popular as rickshaws. Tuk Tuk is a vehicle with the two-wheel carriage being pulled out by a motorbike, and you need to make sure to negotiate a price before getting in the Tuk Tuk to avoid any awkward over-charging issues. When you call, you have the option of stopping at any time to improve your touring experience.

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 Local Transportation of Phnom Penh 

2.2. Economy

As for Chamkarmon economy, there has been a rapid growth in the recent years due to the open investment market of foreign direct investment (FDI), which Cambodia recorded its highest ever FDI in 2019, at USD 3.7 billion. As the CBD of Phnom Penh, Chamkarmon is also the first choice of foreign-funded enterprises' branches and offices. Its regional economy has also been growing rapidly in recent years.

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WorldBridge Business Center, view from National Assembly Street, Source: The Cambodia Daily

2.3. Education Center

Despite the fact that Chamkarmorn is not a university area, it is home to several famous national and international universities and schools, such as Royal University Of Law And Economics, Royal School of Administration, Raffles International College, Canadian International School of Phnom Penh, Paragon International School, etc. Among them, there are five public high schools and three public universities, while private educational institutions have no external statistics.

2.4. Medical Center

There is only one public hospital in Chamkarmon, which is Phsar Daem Thkov Health Center. Other medical centers belongs to private sector, including Health Care Volunteers International Multispecialty Clinic, Singapore Medical Center, Orchid Koh Pich Hospital, etc.

2.5. Sports Center

The Place Gym AEON 1, Phokeethra Sports Club, Phnom Penh Sports Club, are the popular sport center in this area, which are all private center. It is not difficult to find a decent place to exercise, as many apartments and condominiums has a private gym and swimming pool in the building.

2.6. Park

After a long day of hectic life in the business district, people love to enjoy some fresh air in the park and there is a very popular one in the area, which is Samdach Hun Sen Park, located around Independence Monument and Statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk. This park is more busy during the evening as many people like to exercise there.

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Evening walk in the park

3. Lifestyle

When we hear that a person is living in Chamkarmon, especially in Tonle Bassac, we often admire their lifestyle because this is one of the best location in Phnom Penh among local people for many years. Most people who live in this district usually are high-ranking government officials, ambassadors, entrepreneurs, expatriates etc. Now that this area's market price keep growing higher and is being recognized as the prime area of Phnom Penh, many local and foreign investors and entrepreneurs flocked in to lay their offices and companies name there, such as Diamond Business Center, WorldBridge Group Of Companies, RTM Business Center, etc. , which made Chamkarmon a part of Phnom Penh's CBD.

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Expatriates in Bassac Lane

3.1. Business

Charmkarmon is no doubt the most fun place to shop, from food to clothing to souvenir, it is very easy to find diverse culture things to try. For urban shopping and luxury brands, AEON Mall Phnom Penh is a place to go. It was the first mega shopping mall in Cambodia to open in 2014. However, if you want to find a place to shop for cultural souvenir, affordable clothing, electronic gadgets, etc, Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tum Poung) is the most popular one for tourists and expats in Phnom Penh.

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Russian Market (Phsar Toul Tum Poung), Source: Cambodia Tour

Of course, there are other local markets such as Boeung Trabek Plaza and Phsar Doeum Thkov, which has small stalls on the street selling variety of fresh meats, vegetables, and many kind of foods and goods only in the morning and evening. For supermarket and minimart, you can find it in almost every corner of the street, such as Super Duper, Chip Mong Market, Thai Huot, etc. Many local and imported brand shops of food&beverage and clothing can be found all around the blocks.

The worth mentioning new landmark on Norodom Blvd is Chip Mong Noro Mall, which launched in 2019. It is a community mall that incorporates natural design concepts with approximately 7,400㎡of net leasable space spanning 6 storeys.

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Chip Mong Noro Mall, Source: chipmong

Another worth mentioning is Naga World, which is one of the largest 5-star hotels and the only luxury premium casino in Cambodia with 1658 luxurious rooms and suites. NagaWorld has 20 food&beverage outlets and clubs, two all-suite luxurious spas, a shopping gallery with China Duty Free Group, the first underground shopping centre in Cambodia selling luxurious international brands, extensive entertainment services including gaming facilities, and premium meeting spaces with state-of-the-art facilities.

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Naga World

3.2. Food

No matter where you are from in the world, food in Chamkarmon could never disappoint you. There are variety range of restaurant from every culture, Khmer, Chinese, French, Indian, Greek, Mexican, or even Halal. Daily expense on meal can range from average of KHR 12,000 (USD 3) per inexpensive meal to KHR 40,000 (USD 10) per meal in a decent restaurant. French bakeries and patisseries, for instance Eric Kayser, are also common in the area. As young Cambodians enjoy going to a coffee shop or milk-tea stall for studying or meeting friends, these shops can be found almost everywhere throughout Chamkarmon. If you are looking for authentic Khmer cuisine, there is one of the best restaurant called Malis, which is located along Norodom Blvd, near Independence Monument. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers private dining rooms for business lunches or special events.

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Khmer cuisine, Malis Restaurant

3.3. Nightlife

Clubs, pubs and bars are one of the highlights of Chamkarmon. Due to the number of foreigners in the area, the lifestyle of people has evolved. Locals and foreigners love to enjoy their evening drinking and having fun after exhausting day at work. A lot of pubs and bars are spotted in Bassac Lane, where people drink and celebrate any occasions that involve alcohol. Clubs are normally spotted in area around Koh Pich area, near the Bridge of Chinatown and Aeon Mall. Koh Pich is also one of the popular place for pubs and restaurants by the river, so people can enjoy the river view while drinking. Most skybars are located on the rooftop of high-rise buildings and the popular ones are Celeste, Vehaa, Eclipse, etc.

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Vehaa Skybar

4. Current Situation of Chamkarmon Property Market

According to data of Compass Real Estate Platform in May 2021, Chamkarmon, as Phnom Penh's central district, has a high price with many properties, with an average real estate price of USD $2612/㎡, which continued to lead the national house price, while the number of new projects under construction accounted for 17% of the total in Phnom Penh.

4.1. New Development Projects Market

New housing market in Chamkarmon is dominated by high-rise buildings, such as apartments, condominiums, commercial buildings, and community apartment projects, without new shophouses and villas in this area.

There are many reasons to why new housing market of shophouses and villas are none. First, due to the age of Chamkarmon, this district has been around as the Modern Khmer district, second tier after Daun Penh District. Senior citizens, who owned any shophouse or villa in this area from the beginning, prefer to reserve and only fix or decorate their properties for the family next generation, because to them, owning a property in Chamkarmon is a status or symbol of wealth. Second reason is the crowded population, as many people want to own the property and refuse to sell or rather sell in a high price, local developers cannot afford to buy it, only foreign developers and outside investors has more chance of occupation. Moreover, because of the high market price of this area, it is not easy to occupy a large area size of land for new construction or to develop a whole new row of shophouses, and a new villa would not bring much advantages for developers. Therefore, high-rise building is a better solution for developers, since it requires smaller area, yet provides more units for more residences to move in Chamkamon.

Currently, there are 15 featured projects being built in Chamkarmon.

Tonle Bassac has out-numbered with 11 projects of the most new development projects among the five communes in Chamkarmon. Boeung Trabek & Phsar Doeum Thkov has 2 projects each. Toul Tum Poung I & II has no new data yet.

According to Compass real estate data, local customers' interest to new development projects has increased as a result of the strong perk policies of new development projects throughout the epidemic period.

One of the best selling project in Tonle Bassac in May, according to the data of Compass real estate, is Morgan EnMaison, which had sold off 7 unites in May. It has garnered the interest of local and international customers due to its limited Mekong River View and the successful sales of past project developments. Current, there are 4 types of layout selling , ranging from 1 to 3 bedrooms with area of 32㎡ to 102㎡ and starting sale price is $88,000 per unit. It is expected to be delivered in December 2022.

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View of Mekong River from Morgan EnMaison

In Phsar Doeum Thkov area, the best selling project in May is Prince Happiness Plaza, which had sold off 15 unites. It is a landmark business complex with 5A grade commercial building specifications. There are 4 types of layout available at the moment, ranging from 1 to 2 bedrooms with area of 40.1㎡ to 96.6㎡ and starting sale price is $65,000 per unit. It is expected to be delivered in March 2024.

As for the best selling project in Boeung Trabek, Parc 21 Residence and Sino Plaza are still competing for its place.

4.2. Second Hand Properties Market

Many different types of second hand properties, such as apartments, villas, and shophouses, are very common in Chamkarmon. There are currently 227 properties for sale: 145 apartments, 32 villas, 15 shophouses/townhouses, and 35 other property types, according to Compass Real Estate data.

Apartments can range in price from $43K to $760K per unit, with 1-4 bedrooms and floor areas ranging from 38㎡ to 220㎡.

Villas range in price from $1.13M to $3.1M, with 3-7 bedrooms and an area ranging from 324㎡ to 629㎡.

Prices for shophouses/townhouses range from $330K to $6.5M, with 4-5 bedrooms and sizes ranging from 72㎡ to 600㎡.

From the market point of view, House buyers are more likely to purchase an apartment or a villa in Tonle Bassac because it is simple to find a tenant to rent it back to them throughout the year. However, in Toul Tum Poung I & II, apartments and shophouses are equally popular among buyers, as the area's F&B and apparel businesses expand. On the other hand, shophouses and villas are a better deal in Phsar Doeum Thkov and Boeung Trabek, but these two areas are popular only among local buyers.

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The Iconic Vann Molyvann's Phnom Penh villa, New Khmer Architecture, located on Mao Tse Toung Blvd, Source: tourismcambodia

4.3. Rental properties

Because it is difficult and requires a lot of procedures for foreigners to buy real estate in Cambodia, rental real estate is a common solution. On Compass Real Estate Platform, in Chamkarmon, there are currently 3777 properties for rent, including 2384 apartments, 387 villas, 324 shophouses, and 682 other property types.

Apartments can range in price from $130 to $5,900 per month, with layout of 1-4 bedrooms, and size area of 25㎡ to 240㎡.

Villas are ranging from $450 to $30K per month, with layout of 5-10 bedrooms, and size area of 144㎡ to 2000㎡.

Shophouses price range from $300 to $30K per month, with layout of 2-4 bedrooms, and size area of 80㎡ to 336㎡.

Rental properties in Tonle Bassac can vary in any types from a store to a villa, all types of properties are evenly trendy. Toul Tum Poung I & II popular rental properties are mostly apartments and shophouses. Along with Phsar Doeum Thkov and Boeung Trabek, popular rental properties are just shophouses.

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Rental apartment, Residence 105, Source: Compass Real Estate Platform

5. Conclusion

Chamkarmon is the area of the city where the majority of people go to work and shop, implying that it is Phnom Penh's business center. At the same time, this is the place where significant enterprises and well-known corporations are located within the city, all of which are good factors to promote housing prices. In addition, the planning of major transportation routes and other supporting facilities is also of strategic significance to regional development.

Chamkarmon, with prosperous government and business economy, has strong consumption power, high land price and rental income, which is of great investment value. Moreover, the market capacity of this area is large, high-quality projects and low-end real estate coexist, and there are many low-cost real estate, so it can be the first choice for investment.


Source: Compass Cambodia Original

Editor: Malinda         Chief Editor: Sunnie         General in Chief/Executive Producer: Nicole

 

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Disclaimer: The re-forward articles on Compass website are for the purpose of conveying more information, and it does not mean that the Compass website agrees with its views or confirms the authenticity of its content. Article noted as "Source: Compass original", please note that the source from Compass. The content of the article is for reference only and should not consider as investment advice, and it does not mean that Compass agree with its views.

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