Flat for sale
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom flat on Street 107, directly behind Monivong Boulevard, is selling for $300,000. It has two storeys and measures four-by-16 metres. Contact John at Bonna Realty on 012 949 577 or call 012 373 899.
What's going for it?
Monorom neighbourhood lies just west of Central Market and is bordered on the east by Monivong Boulevard. It's a busy, predominantly Khmer neighborhood with bustling street-side shops and local trade schools. It is also a central hub for people coming and going from the provinces. Monorom is truly downtown Phnom Penh and there is plenty to do and see. Street vendors, cyclos, motos, pedestrians and live fowl create a cacophony of sounds and a maze to navigate through during daylight hours. At night, people sit on their stoops and balconies before an early bedtime. For the average person looking to find a new home, Monorom could be an adventure either comic or tragic depending on one's attitude. Speaking Khmer well is advised for those willing to give it a go.
What's the catch?
The catch to living in Monorom seems to be a matter of taste. For those who love the urban hustle and bustle, Monorom is a super choice. For those who like to live in a more peaceful and natural setting, this place ain't for you. One of the major drawbacks to Monorom is an area called Borei Keila which is a bit of a slum-type ghetto located on the central west side. The government and NGOs are working to improve the situation.
Getting there, and away
Traffic is pretty thick on the main roads during rush hour, more so than in other parts of the city as Monorom sits pretty much in the heart of the metropolis, but during off-peak hours it is fairly easy to navigate. Getting to and from Monorom is easy for the same reason it is congested - it's bordered by major streets and intersections on all fronts. Getting to know the back streets and shortcuts around the major roads, however, can be done and, once mastered, getting stalled in traffic can usually be avoided.
There are no international schools in this area but Bak Touk High School, the city's largest with more than 10,000 students, is in the neigbourhood. So are a number of trade schools, computer programming schools and Japanese and Korean schools for Cambodians.
Out of the house
What's not to do in Monorom? After you've tried the numerous street-side cafes and become familiar with all of the shops directly in the neighborhood you can check out O'Russei Market and Central Market, both within a stone's throw. Sorya and BS shopping centers are also nearby, and there is plenty to do along this stretch of Monivong, including shopping at the local boutique shops and eating at some of the city's best Asian restaurants. Grocery shopping is also easy with Bayon Market, Thai Huot Market and a branch of Lucky Supermarket nearby.
On the market
Finding places to live in Monorom can be difficult but the best way to go about it is word-of-mouth. The more Khmer you know, the easier it will be to find a place. This is an old neighborhood and people are pretty well established, but there are places available. Land goes for anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 per square metre but there is precious little of it. Flats rent for between $1,800 and $2,000 per month along the main thoroughfares and between $500 and $900 along the side streets. Villas are on the market for around $2,500 per square metre. There are no serviced apartments but hotel rooms are available for between $15 and $20 a night for a single room and $20-$25 for a double.
From the streets of Monorom
Long Chanthea, resident:
"Of course I like it here! It is close to my work so it is easy for me, and there are many restaurants. Sometimes traffic is not so good, like around seven in the morning and around lunchtime and one more time near five o’clock. My neighbours are friendly and we help each other."
Van Outh Dom, student:
"I love it. My neighbours are very friendly and when I have the time with my friends I play football or tennis near my school, which is Bak Touk High School. Sometimes there are traffic jams, but it is a good neighbourhood."