Phnom Penh neighbourhood guide

Phnom Penh neighbourhoods
Updated 2019-11-04 08:32

As a new expat in Phnom Penh, you are going to need to know the best neighbourhoods to live in for your budget, social life, and work. Below we will go over the different neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh that suit every budget, and what types of people you will find there.

Phnom Penh is Cambodia's largest city and capital, so the city is widespread, and each neighbourhood has its own identity. With the influx of new expats and the increase in economy, the infrastructure will continue to grow. While there are many neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh, there is only a handful that offers an expat the amenities of Western life.


One of the largest and most in-demand neighbourhoods in Phnom Penh is called Riverside or Sisowath Quay. It has plenty of luxury Western-style apartments, is in the centre of the city, has many (mostly Western) restaurants and bars, and offers views of the riverfront. As with most riverside accommodation, it comes with a high price tag to match. To live in this neighbourhood in Phnom Penh, your budget is likely to be USD 800-1,500 per month for rent, which typically covers utilities like wifi, cable, a lift and cleaning service.

Boeng Keng Kang 1

The second most sought-after neighbourhood for expats with a large budget who intent to live comfortably with Western conveniences is called BKK1- or Boeng Keng Kang 1. There is a lot to do in this part of town, and it has more character than the Riverside area. You can find anything you need here: high-end shopping, boutique shops, charcuterie, organic groceries, etc. Despite the Westernisation of this part of town, it even has great local markets and restaurants. If you are part of a large company, this area has a high concentration of multi-million industry businesses. Expect to pay USD 800-1,500 per month for rent if you choose to live here.

Tonle Bassac

Tonle Bassac is another great neighbourhood for expats who would like some of the standard amenities of a Western lifestyle. This neighbourhood is considered to be a new hip neighbourhood for middle-aged and young expats to live. Here you will enjoy plenty of boutique shopping, bars and cafes, as well as the largest mall in the country, The AEON Mall. Because it is very Western-friendly, the prices and cost of living here are rising, and you can expect to pay USD600- 1,200 per month for rent.

Toul Tompoung

If you are looking for a neighbourhood that has not been gentrified yet but has some modern living, Western convenience, local and Western restaurants, and shopping, you may want to consider Toul Tompoung or the Russian Market area. Here you will be able to live comfortably in a nice Western apartment and be centred around a local market as well as plenty of Western-style grocery stores, bars and cafes. It is a 20min drive south from the city centre, so there may be a slight inconvenience depending on where you get a job. Housing ranges from cheaper Khmer style shophouses to luxury Western apartments. You should expect to pay USD350- 1,000 per month for rent.

Toul Kork

Another neighbourhood you may become familiar with if you are a student is called Toul Kork. One of the most renowned universities in Cambodia, The Royal University of Cambodia, is located here. This neighbourhood also has a wide variety of local and international Montessori type schools for the younger ones. For expats with families or students, this neighbourhood offers kid-friendly cafes and parks as well as unique attractions. Depending on your budget, you can live in a modest or Western-styled apartment for USD400- 1,000 per month. There are also some Western conveniences like cafes, bars, grocery stores, an international cinema, and it offers some nice shopping.

Phnom Penh is quite large, and every neighbourhood is different, so it may take a bit of personal research to find the one that fits for you. Unlike most neighbourhoods in other countries, Phnom Penh's don't seem to only fit one culture or the other or one group of people. Instead, you will find a large variety of groups in one neighbourhood together. Where you live here mostly depends on your budget as an expat and what and how much Western conveniences you would like to have.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.