They don’t quite have the reputation of their brother to the east. But Boeung Keng Kang 2 and Boeung Keng Kang 3 pack a big punch. These two districts are similar in feel. So, we’re bringing you a combined expat guide to BKK2 and BKK3.
BKK2 and BKK3 sit just across Monivong Boulevard from the foreign quarter of BKK1. Due to the lower rent prices here, many expats choose to live here.
The main types of housing you will find are:
Shophouses in BKK2 and 3
Two- and three-bedroom flats inside traditional shophouses are one of the most common arrangements for expats in Cambodia. Many are split into two levels with kitchen and living areas below and bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms above.
Using a realtor can make the process easier if you are looking for something specific. Head over to our list of the best realtors in Cambodia.
Renovation in the nation
Renovations seem to be happening constantly, so it’s easy to find a shophouse that has been tricked out with Western touches. Indeed, many flats are indistinguishable from those in Europe or the US.
Some landlords even choose to subdivide the house and will offer one bedroom units next to larger ones. Price here can vary a lot. You can still find a great place for around $500 a month.
Jihye Kim, who works for a capital NGO and has lived as an expat for more than three years, lives in a one-bedroom unit of a renovated shophouse in BKK3. She pays around $500 a month on rent.
“I like that it is centrally located but is also quiet,” she said, adding that her two cats have plenty of space in the roomy unit.
Condos and apartments are coming
New tower blocks seem to be popping constantly in Phnom Penh. While most of them can be seen in nearby BKK1, they are spreading to neighbouring districts. Units will resemble typical apartments in the West with a full range of furnishings.
Couches, tables, cabinets and chairs will be standard and bathrooms will have modern showers. They will run a range of different styles, too.
All luxury, no hassle
Full-service apartments look similar to the condominium units described above, however, buildings will have more luxury features. Pool, fitness centre, 24-hour security, internet connection and housekeeping services are part of the package.
Chillin’ in the villa
Villas are often used for businesses, but occasionally one will pop up on the renter’s market. They can be expensive, but if you have a large group and want more seclusion, this can be a viable option.
Villas can be found both furnished and unfurnished and most have spacious balconies and small gardens. Prices vary based on size and location. Most villas for rent in BKK2 and BKK3 are between $2,500 and $5,000 per month.
The best hangout spots are here
These districts are small in size. They stand out in terms of activities, however. Five Men Fresh Beer is just around the corner from the Tuol Sleng museum. It serves up local brew as well as food.
Another expat standby is The Flicks Community Movie House. The independent theatre’s main branch is located in BKK2. They screen three films a day and a $3.50 ticket will let you see all three.
Current owner, Ramon Stoppelenburg, explained that the district has changed enormously since he took over the business in 2011.
“Before, the city lacked anything besides bars and restaurants … [The Flicks] has become the escape haven for the many expatriates and tourists in town as it screens better movies, film festival winners, documentaries and has kids’ sessions," he attested.
Food is fantastic
This area has a few staples that every expat will know. Along Monivong you’ll find a series of Chinese hand-pulled noodle shops. Regardless of which one is the original, they all serve delicious soups and stellar dumplings.
Up near Sihanouk, Yosaya will suit if you’re looking for Thai food. Want some local fare? Plenty of beer gardens around Tuol Sleng have their grills fired up by sundown. Coin Cafe and Bar can be a good place to get a mix of Khmer or Western food.
Daily life in BKK2 and BKK3
Convenience stores can be the best way to pick up a small snack or daily groceries. Kiwi Mart and Fresh Mart are perfect for this.
Life doesn’t have to be all fun and games when you live here. Stop in to Muscle Fitness for a daily workout. If you want to do a few laps, head over to the pool at Ming Hour Club.
Stuck in the middle with you
There’s no doubt that Phnom Penh is changing. Every expat has an opinion on this. Most remark that BKK2 and BKK3 feel distinct from BKK1.
The atmosphere here sits somewhere between the foreign quarter and the more local Toul Tum Poung to the south. Because of this, many love living here.
No matter where you choose to live, there will be plenty to discover. Above all, get to know your area. Get to know the hole city, and venture around the country. Even if you’ve been here for years there’s always something new to see.
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