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Bavet Location Profile

Bavet Location Profile
Bavet Location Profile

Overview

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Bavet is the largest city in Svay Rieng province in the east of Cambodia and it is home to one of the four border crossings between Cambodia and neighbouring Vietnam.

Bavet has become synonymous with being the main point of entry for overland shipping between Cambodia and Vietnam on National Road 1, as well as being home to casinos and vital special economic zones.

However, Bavet has become a hub for not only trade and gambling, but investment and even land speculation and the town has attracted attention from many Chinese investors and it has seen development projects for casinos, hotels, restaurants and special economic zones (SEZ).

The SEZs on the outskirts of Bavet town are a huge economic hub and employ thousands of Cambodians.

Key Information

Bavet sits right on the border that Cambodia shares with Vietnam and until the early 2000s it wasn’t a hugely significant town. However it has grown as a trade hub between Cambodia and Vietnam and importantly when the special economic zones were approved in 2005, Bavet has grown in economic significance. 

The gaming licences had been issued by the Cambodian government also resulted in Bavet seeing a cluster of border town casinos that have appealed to Vietnamese and Chinese investors and customers.

Bavet has become a hub for not only trade but gambling, investment and even land speculation. As an economic corridor between Cambodia and Vietnam, the Bavet international border gate traditionally had between 250 and 300 containers crossing every day.

Investments from China have been key to the development of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Bavet. The government began its program for SEZs in 2005 and a total of four SEZs have been built in Bavet, and six in nearby areas of Svay Rieng.

In 2020 most exports from the Bavet SEZs included garments, footwear, bicycles and spare parts from nearly 60 factories which employ more than 40,000 people.

The other obvious economic activity in Bavet are the casinos, attended mainly by Vietnamese customers along National Road 1. At its peak, there were about 10–12 (from small to large) casinos and 6 to 7 developing areas set up by foreign investors.

Over the last few years, along with the development of the casinos in Bavet, the local economy has grown. A host of factories have begun operating in the province’s 10 special economic zones, and the real estate market has expanded.

Many of the visitors to Bavet may stop for a night or two which has led to the development of  hotels, restaurants, markets and other developments

In October of 2018, three Chinese companies announced joint plans for a satellite city project in Svay Rieng province covering 800 hectares and cost roughly $500 million. The development will have a 50-hectare residential development as well as parks, entertainment venues and factories. 

By 2020 it is believed Bavet boasts a population of over 50,000. The results of the latest census should be available in 2020-2021.

41.09% of the population are between 25 and 54 years old, with an average age of 25.7 years across Cambodia.

Things To Do in Bavet

The local Cambodian market Psar Nat is popular and many Vietnamese and Cambodian goods can be found here.

Aside from local goods at some shops and casinos, shopping is limited in Bavet but there are the usual array of phone shops, local supermarkets, pharmacies etc.

Just before the border crossing in Bavet are some duty-free stores with a selection of perfumes, cosmetics, liquors and other items.

The main landmark near Bavet is the 2.2 km-long Neak Loeang bridge funded by Japan is the longest bridge across the Mekong River in Cambodia and was unveiled in 2015.

This 2.2 km cable-stayed bridge eliminated a ferry crossing and is 300 metres longer than its nearest rival, the Koh Kong Bridge.

The casinos in Bavet offer a range of Western, Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian food and beverages.  

Most other restaurants or local food stalls in Bavet cater to travellers stopping for a meal on their way to or Vietnam and there are many choices near the border crossing.

Due to the mix of expats in Bavet, Chinese restaurants and Japanese BBQ can also be found in the border town.

Most of the cafes, restaurants and othering food and beverage options are clustered along National Road 1 up to the border checkpoint.

The casinos in Bavet offer a range of nighttime entertainment, but they each may have their own restrictions and dress codes. The entertainment may include live music, shows, and other events.

There are some local beer gardens and KTVs which are popular with Cambodians, most are near to National Road 1.

As Bavet is the home to one of the four border crossings between Cambodia and Vietnam, it is a key entry for overland shipping between the two countries and there are many bus and tax companies that operate services to and from Bavet.

Tuk tuks 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 and are popular with a number of ride-hailing apps which are commonly used in Cambodian cities

In 2020 a feasibility study was completed, looking at developing a Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway. The study is under review but it could potentially stretch 135 kilometres departing from Phnom Penh, crossing the provinces of Kandal, Prey Veng, and Svay Rieng before reaching Bavet in Svay Rieng province. The expressway would allow for speeds of 120 kilometres per hour.

In addition, the railway network is also being studied to have trains travel from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, via Bavet.

Bavet is not home to many western expats but of course, Vietnamese and Chinese population numbers are higher as well as the Japanese who several have companies in the SEZs.

Some western expats have relocated here for work in the casino and hotel industry and some also reside in the town to teach English.

Real Estate near Bavet

Sangkats in Bavet