The Art of real estate in Phnom Penh


PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA: We’ve found a great place to live, thanks to a helpful Khmer man called Art. It’s the ground floor of a small wooden house, set in a garden with a gate that’s locked to the street during the day–necessary if Tash is to play outside without risking the chaotic Phnom Penh traffic. There are two flats upstairs as well, and though we’ve yet to meet our Australian and Filipino neighbours, we have met the resident cats. The house is in Street 242, just a couple of blocks south of Sihanouk Boulevard for those who know Phnom Penh.

The English woman who has been living there with her three-year-old daughter has also recommended a Montessori school nearby, attended mostly by Khmer kids but with tuition in English. It sounds perfect for Tash who I’m sure could do with company other than that of her parents as much as we could do with just a tiny bit of time to ourselves. It’s getting pretty tight with the three of us in a hotel room–notwithstanding that Tash has charmed most of the guest house staff and recruited them into playing games with her.

House hunting in Phnom Penh was not fun and we are fortunate to have found something after only a few days. We looked at places with charm and rats; apartments like fortresses with tinted glass and bars on all windows and balconies; ritzy places with more bathrooms than bedrooms; and even a rural villa–perfect if we craved a bucolic lifestyle, but it’s just not us. In design terms, contemporary residential architecture in Phnom Penh seems dominated by what I call ‘bringing the bathroom to the exterior’–white tiles everywhere, with balcony and staircase railings of chrome–which not a good look at all. So we are very lucky to have found such a suitable place–indeed, lucky to have met Art, who found it for us. We move in Saturday.


2 Responses to “The Art of real estate in Phnom Penh”

  1. sooz Says:

    Great find! Good luck in securing a place in the school, sounds perfect. The Bangkok post made me all misty eyed. More misty eyed than Amy’s first day of school which was so utterly non traumatic and uneventful that even I was surprised.

  2. wand777 Says:

    can’t wait to visit. Some many places to see.

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