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Tonle Bassac Location Profile

Tonle Bassac Location Profile

Overview

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Tonle Bassac is a Sangkat (commune) of Chamkarmon District in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The area is well known for having a number of embassies and Cambodian government buildings in the area and is popular with expats and locals for offering a wide array of upscale amenities in a small area.

The highly sought after commune has become a hub of development projects for sale in Tonle Bassac over the last decade and its property is among the most expensive in the capital. In 2019, the construction and real-estate sector in Cambodia yielded investment worth approximately $11.43 billion, a 90% rise from 2018.

There is also a mix of high-end residential, retail and commercial properties in this southern central area of Phnom Penh. Just the name ‘Tonle Bassac’ is held with high esteem in terms of a residential address. 

In addition to hosting the ever-popular Aeon Mall, the area boasts the massive NagaWorld complex and sits adjacent to Koh Pich (100-hectare area of reclaimed land), one of the fastest rising districts of the capital.

Key Information

The area is populated with Cambodian government buildings and embassies as well as gated communities and is home to many professionals. As a result, there is often additional security (private, police and national security) in the area.

The Cambodian government offices and agencies in Tonle Bassac include:

  • Ministry of Interior
  • General Commissariat of the National Police
  • International Organization for Migration
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries
  • Foreign Affairs Ministry
  • Environment Ministry
  • Cambodian Senate
  • Cambodia Living Arts
  • Supreme National Economic Council
  • Tonle Bassac’s Education Sector

For about a decade Tonle Bassac has seen some of the most aggressive development in the city. It has a well-developed infrastructure and there are no height restrictions on projects, which is indicative of the number of high-rises now situated in the district.

According to a VTrust Appraisal, more than 1,300 new residential units were built in Tonle Bassac between 2003-2018.

The land prices in Tonle Bassac are high, but still attractive to international developers. There is no specific industry here but it has a strong F&B and entertainment attraction and the malls and mixed-use developments attract tourists and visitors who live in the city. 

NagaWorld is the only licensed casino in Phnom Penh and it attracts thousands of visitors to gaming and casino operations but it also offers more than a dozen dining options, conference facilities and clubs as well as high-end retail outlets. 

Diamond Island (or Koh Pich) has been transformed into a development hub of its own but still boasts one of the largest exhibition spaces in the centre of the city and it hosts a number of international and local events.

The city of Phnom Penh had a total population of just over 2 million in 2019 and the area of Chamkarmon (according to the 2008 census of Cambodia), had a population of 182,004. It would have grown significantly since then as it includes some of the most popular and populated areas of the capital of Cambodia.

The population of the country increased from 12 million in 2001 to over 15 million by 2020. 41.09% of the Cambodian population are between 25 and 54 years old, with an average age of 25.7 years.

Things To Do in Tonle Bassac

Aeon Mall was the first megamall in Cambodia and opened in 2014. The Japanese mall in Tonle Bassac covers 68,000 sqm, is air-conditioned and has local, regional and international brands and retail outlets, a food court, a bowling alley, gym & movie theatres.

On the flipside, Phsar Kapko is a small but bustling local Cambodian market, popular for its food and snacks. 

The recent addition of large mixed-use developments such as The Bridge, The Peak and DI Riviera also offers hundreds of retail outlets. The Bridge Lifestyle Mall is a lifestyle retail podium which opened in 2019 and covers 30,000 sqm of retail space over 5 floors. Fashion, electronics, household goods, food and beverages are all available.

The NagaWorld and NagaWorld 2 locations also offer high-end retail outlets. In particular, an underground duty-free shopping mall walkway, CDF Cambodia Duty-Free, connects the two large buildings in Tonle Bassac. The NagaCity Walk shopping mall offers over 200 luxury global brands. 

Opposite NagaWorld used to be the site of a theme park, but the land was purchased by property developers and since 2016 it is rumoured the $2 billion, 560m (133-storey) Thai Boon Roong Twin Trade Center will be built onsite. If the project goes ahead, it is due to include a 5-star hotel, apartment, condo, office buildings and a shopping mall.

On Koh Pich, the Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center hosts regular large scale events which have included retail and shopping exhibitions. 

Tonle Bassac is also easily accessible to TTP, BKK1, the riverside and Central Market and other popular shopping destinations. 

Groceries are easily available from local markets or well-known chain supermarkets like SuperDuper, minimarts at AEON’s ground floor.

Although there are fewer cultural or historical landmarks in Tonle Bassac, other new iconic buildings dot the skyline. Destinations popular to visitors are the Sofitel Hotel, AEON Mall, Diamond Island, and NagaWorld and an increasing number of high-rise mixed developments.

The Peak is also home to the Shangri-La Hotel and Koh Pich has several nods to global architectural landmarks.

There are a large number of international embassies and Cambodian government head offices in Tonle Bassac, perhaps the biggest concentration in Phnom Penh.

Tonle Bassac is blessed with choices when it comes to dining out. The wide selection of cuisine available, from the local markets and street food to high-regarded local and international restaurants and dining outlets, is massive.

Along Bassac Lane, are a well-known pizzeria (Luigis), burger places such as Supreme Burgers as well as Indian, Khmer, Chinese, and other international and Asian cuisines.

Close to the park and Sihanouk Blvd are a further assortment of eateries. These include the popular Java Cafe, Botanico Garden, Feel Good Cafe, Sovanna BBQ restaurants and more. Sancha (a Japanese bakery) and Irina (Russian restaurant) also offer some international options.

Cambodia’s first shopping mall opened its doors in the capital in June 2014 in the form of Aeon Mall in Tonle Bassac. There is an abundance of international, regional and local brand franchises in the mall and the ground floor has a large shopping market and a food court with affordable food from around the globe. 

Sothearos and Norodom have a cluster of rooftop dining options which include VEHAA, Celeste Sky Bar or Eclipse Sky Bar.

NagaWorld, has more than a dozen dining options across the two sites of NagaWorld and Naga2, with western and Asian cuisine. There are affordable buffets, intimate dining, executive suites, Korean style BBQ and much more. You can even take in a show as the state of the art NABA theatre.

Nearby Street 21 has some hidden gems with affordable local steak houses like Bar 21 or Japanese cuisine. Sofitel, as well as being one of the finest hotels in the city, offers spectacular dining.

You can also lounge around the large open-air swimming pool at DIB club (located on Diamond Island) and order food and drinks, or sample a wide variety of local food at the north end of the reclaimed island (more popular at nighttime).

One of the most iconic nightspots in Tonle Bassac, if not Phnom Penh, for international travellers, expats and Cambodians is Bassac Lane on St 308. 

The street, with its alleyway offshoots, has undergone rapid changes and now houses an eclectic mix of bars, pubs, restaurants and even small clubs and live music venues. As a result of the popularity and mix of nightlife available in Tonle Bassac, it attracts foreigners (residents and travellers) and locals of all ages.

Some of the more frequently visited places on Bassac Lane are Red Bar (one of the first bars here and remains affordable despite the area’s general upmarket prices), Le Boutier specialises in cocktails with a homage to Cambodian musical stars from the past, Cloud, 21 Bar, and Backstreet Bar. 

The actual Bassac Lane alleyway offers a tightly jammed collection of about a dozen themed small bars, pricier than general in Phnom Penh, but they also serve excellent cocktails, craft beers and food. There are occasional night time music gigs on weekends too and a growing selection of options on the surrounding streets. 

On nearby St 29 is Botanico Wine & Beer Garden, which serves Cambodian made craft beers and they also have quiz nights and regular live music. 

Samai Distillery is famous for its Cambodian-distilled rum and is open to tours and behind the scenes visits, and they also host monthly DJ and late-night sessions.

Luckily, there is a wide range of public transportation options for you within the capital. Cambodia’s tuk-tuk or the remork-moto is a carriage attached to a motorcycle and popular in the major cities, while newer smaller tuk-tuks have also entered the market in recent years.

You can also travel via the traditional cyclo (pedicab) or on a moto (motodops or motorbike taxis). 

Ride-hailing apps are much more commonly used now in Phnom Penh, so it's best to download one or more of these (PassApp, Grab etc), as they tend to be more affordable and easier to navigate with, than explaining destinations to the local drivers.

Within the city itself, a number of bus services are available with set routes, while water taxis have also started operating as the city expands and it deals with a growing traffic issue.

Private Buses and taxis are also alternatives for commuters and can be arranged via the many hotels and guesthouses in the area or booked online.

The airport is about 40 minutes away from Tonle Bassac.

Tonle Bassac has had a reputation for being home to high-earning expats and Cambodians and the area is also notable for having many secure gated communities. Many residents are professionals and teachers, embassy and government employees. The gated communities include Bassac Garden City, Les Jardins Du Bassac, and Borey Chamkarmorn.

Villas are another hallmark of Tonle Bassac, although these are under increased threat from large scale development and rising land prices.

A selection of current serviced apartments includes Skyline, Green Mansion II, Bassac Tower, and Syphon, V-View, Trillium, and Sanctuary.

The Sangkat also attracts expats as shopping options, restaurants, schools and embassies are all in close proximity.

Some of the more reputable international schools located in Tonle Bassac are iCAN International, Canadian International School of Phnom Penh (on Koh Pich) and Invictus International School on Norodom Blvd which opened in 2020.

Explore the Area

Situated on the west side of the Tonle Bassac River, the Sangkat is part of Chamkarmon and covers 3 square kilometres. It is also flanked by the popular Sihanouk Blvd to the north, Norodom Blvd. to the west, National Highway One in the south.

The area itself is well known for having a number of small alleys and roads that branch off the larger streets. The alleyways are lined with clusters of bars and restaurants but there are also hotels and residences along these quiet streets, well secluded from the busy centre of Phnom Penh.

In addition, the reclaimed land which forms the island of Koh Pich has undergone massive development and features highrise condos, exhibition halls, hotels and an increasing number of iconic developments.

Some recent property projects have also started or been completed on the west side of Bassac River. Large Mixed-use developments such as The Bridge, The Peak and DI Riviera have all altered the skyline of the city.

A number of embassies are also located in Tonle Bassac, which include the national embassies of:

  • Royal Thailand Embassy
  • Australian Embassy
  • Japan Embassy
  • Republic of Indonesia Embassy
  • Russian Federation Embassy
  • Malaysia Embassy
  • Republic of Korea Embassy
  • The Philippines Embassy

Real Estate in Tonle Bassac


Sangkats in Chamkarmon

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