Most people like to gaze out over the river the runs through Phnom Penh. But if you look at the opposite bank you’ll see one of the most up-and-coming districts in the city. Chroy Changvar district encompasses the peninsula formed by the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, as well as Koh Dach, or Silk Island.
Chroy Changvar was a part of Russey Keo district until 2013. It’s made up of five communes:
Preaek Ta Sek
Our location profiles and guides are good references if you want to know more about the other districts of Phnom Penh. But this guide will give you a crash course about real estate in Chroy Changvar, what’s there, and how the area will gro. Let’s get started!
From marshland to boomtown
The decade has seen Chroy Changvar turn from marshland into one of the fastest-growing areas of Phnom Penh. Change is being led by hospitality businesses like hotels and restaurants.
Chroy Changvar is connected to central Phnom Penh by a pair of bridges. The Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge and Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge were also instrumental in the neighbourhood’s rise. The latter was originally built back in the 1960s, but saw major renovations in the first half of 2019.
There’s also a bridge to the peninsula farther north in the Prek Pnov area of the capital.
The transformation of Chroy Changvar has astounded many. Yim Socheath, Director of CDN Property, said Chroy Changvar is developing faster than any other suburbs in Phnom Penh.
“You have comparatively large and famous investment projects there,” he added.
Property development taking off
Chroy Changvar hosts some of the biggest property development projects in Cambodia. One of the leading projects is the Chroy Changvar Satellite City.
Developed by Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) to the tune of $1.6 billion, the complex is spread over 300 hectares. This includes riverfront power plants, supermarkets, exhibition centres, sports facilities, government buildings, schools, and a clubhouse.
Chroy Changvar is also becoming a hub for borey development. Borey projects there include Borey the Flora, The Botanic City, and Borey the Mekong Royal. These landed properties are massively popular low- and middle-income Cambodians.
Yet there are projects courting the high end of the market as well. Bel Air Residences, Bali Resort & Hotel, Mekong View Tower (1,2 & 3), and La Vie Residences are a few of the big names.
Stay up to date on all the newest developments in Cambodia, check out our developments page and stay tuned to our news blog.
Vast swaths of land at a bargain
Currently, much of the focus of development in Phnom Penh is focused on outer districts like Sen Sok, Toul Kork and Meanchey. Chroy Changvar falls squarely into that category. Indeed, it’s got a strategic advantage over most areas.
The district has large parcels of undeveloped land. Much of it is far cheaper than in other parts of the city. It still has good access to the centre of the city too, and the two rivers mean it has an eco-friendly feel.
In early 2019, Jiayuan International Group, a major Chinese property developer, purchased five plots of land in Chroy Changvar for $35 million. The land will be used by the company for residential and commercial projects.
Normally, residential land in Chroy Changvar sells for between $50 and $1,400 per square metre. Meanwhile, commercial land is usually between $550 and $2,250 per square metre. Chroy Changvar commune is the most expensive. Land there can be as high as $3,000 per square metre along main roads. On smaller roads, however, it can be found for as little as $800 per square metre.
Koh Dach, or Silk Island, has the cheapest land in Chroy Changvar. Along main roads expect to pay between $90 and $300 per square metre, or between $20 and $100 off minor roads.
For rent or sale
As demand for more diverse types of properties increases, more condos, apartments, villas and shophouses are popping up on the peninsula.
A typical fully-furnished condo unit in Chroy Changvar sells for $68,000 to $238,000. The usual rental price for such property is between $1,000 and $1,500 per month, depending on the number of rooms and amenities.
Expats living in Chroy Changvar usually choose serviced apartments. These offer cleaning service and usually have pools and gyms. You can find these in Chroy Changvar for as low as $700 per month. Yet larger units can be more than $2,000 per month. For more details, read our expat rental guide to Phnom Penh.
If you’re shopping for villas for sale in Chroy Changvar, the price varies widely. Most are between $100,000 and $1 million. Conversely, if you’re wanting a villa for rent, aim to pay between $1,000 and $3,500 per month.
Shophouses are still widely available in Chroy Changvar. They can be purchased for between $55,000 and $380,000, or leased for less than $2,500 per month.
Tourism on the peninsula
Chroy Changvar has more than a few tourist attractions, including Cambodia’s largest wildlife park. Here’s a few of them:
Chroy Changvar Bridge
Also known as the Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge, this is the most well-known landmark in Chroy Changvar. The bridge, which spans the Mekong River, was originally built with Japanese aid in the early 1960s. Mined and partially destroyed by the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Civil War, the bridge remained closed for more than two decades until it was repaired and put back into operation in the 1990s.
One of the newest tourist attractions in Phnom Penh, the memorial commemorates Cambodia’s struggles and the successes gained after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979. Prime Minister Hun Sen described it as a symbol of independence, unity, national reconciliation, and development. The main feature of the memorial is a 54-metre high monument. Spread over 8 hectares, the memorial also includes a picture gallery, movie theatre, fountains, and a library.
Koh Dach (Silk Island)
Koh Dach is among the most popular tourist destinations in Phnom Penh. The beautiful island on the Mekong River is noted for its silk production and weaving industry. Mostly secluded, the island is popular with locals and foreigners seeking peace and solitude. It is also a good place to buy silk products, wood carvings, pottery, and other handicrafts.
Safari World Phnom Penh
The largest zoo in Cambodia, the Safari World Phnom Penh, houses more than 800 animals including deer, a tiger, a giraffe and kangaroo. It also features daily animal shows that are popular with many visitors, especially children. The $9 million zoo was previously located in Koh Kong province before moving to Phnom Penh.
More attractions on the horizon
Set for completion in 2020 is the Morodok Techo National Stadium. The 60,000-seat venue has a price tag of $200 million and will host the 2023 Southeast Asian Games. It is being built with Chinese assistance.
Chroy Changvar will also be the site of Cambodia’s first-ever dinosaur park. Construction of the park, which is being built by OCIC to the tune of $2 million, is ongoing.
Blossoming shopping options
Chroy Changvar has just a few markets, but many think more will be added as international investment there grows. Among the most prominent of them are Vathanak Super Market, JR Mart, Point One Commercial Center, and Phsar Preak Leap. These have a good selection of wet and dry goods.
New street food king
Chroy Changvar was never really known for its food. But that has changed recently. There are tons of restaurants right along the riverside near Sokha Hotel.
Yet most notably is Food Palace, the biggest street food centre in Cambodia. It’s inside the Chroy Changvar Satellite City and hosts over 200 food stalls. They serve up Khmer, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Western food.
Among the best restaurants in Chroy Changvar is Theato Restaurant. Located inside The Bale Phnom Penh, Theato Restaurant serves Khmer, Asian, and Western cuisine. Several indoor restaurants in Sokha Phnom Penh are also known for serving a wide and excellent variety of Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Asian dishes.
Less lively nightlife
The nightlife in Chroy Changvar is less lively than places closer to the centre. The most famous names in the district’s nightlife scene include Dream World KTV, Bokor Lounge & Bar, and Spean Meas Karaoke. These mostly cater to the local population.
The best is yet to come
Chroy Changvar undoubtedly has what it takes to become an economic powerhouse. Packed with potential, Chroy Changvar is headed and pushing itself in the right direction.
And with it hosting Southeast Asia’s biggest sporting event, it is just a matter of time that Chroy Changvar will join the list of Phnom Penh’s most progressive districts.