Photo by: MELANIE BREW
These Aspen villas are still available for rent in Northbridge Communities, but a waiting list is necessary if you want something different.
What's going for it?
One of the oldest gated communities in Phnom Penh, Northbridge has much
to offer in terms of suburban living. A range of villa styles and
apartment buildings can be found in this neighbourhood with spacious
front and back lawns and public spaces. One of the city's best schools
is located at Northbridge, and its recreational facilities include
tennis courts, a swimming pool and a large playground for children.
Situated on more than 125 acres of land (mostly undeveloped),
Northbridge is a pristine, beautifully landscaped environment and an
excellent place to raise a family.
What's the catch?
Traffic is a major drawback to living in Northbridge. Regardless of the
time of day or day of the week, it is always bad and unavoidable. As
sectors to the west of the city continue to grow, industrial trucks
hauling building materials, oxcarts, pedestrians and bicycles combine
to create extremely hazardous road conditions. Availability is also a
catch as there is nearly always a waiting list for the apartments, and
rentable villas are often limited, too. Some people say living in the
community feels too far removed from the Cambodian experience and that
if they had wanted to live in Western-style suburbs, they would have
never left home.
Northbridge International School, one of the city's top two schools, is
located in Northbridge Communities. It is accredited by the Western
Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and most families living in
the community send their children there. The Khmer-run Cambodia
International School is just down the road. More competitive in price,
it offers a Western-style curriculum and a fairly international student
Out of the house
Northbridge is a relatively secluded community as far as drinking and
dining goes, but there is a cafe in the grounds called The Club,
offering snacks and meals from The Shop, a restaurant on Street 240
downtown. There is also a branch of USA Doughnuts within walking
distance. They offer a variety of fast foods and a selection of
imported western groceries along with some darn fine doughnuts.
Golf International Driving Range and Sport is a scenic driving range
within easy distance of Northbridge for those who want to keep their
game in good form, and The Cambodia Equestrian Center, on the
Northbridge grounds, offers riding lessons and stage shows.
There are three types of apartments on the market. The 93-square-metre
two bedroom, two bath option goes for US$1,290 a month; the
117-square-metre two bedroom, two bath option for $1,590; and the
three bedroom, three bath option, which covers 210 square metres,
fetches $2,690 per month.
Villas also come in three styles. The 245-square-metre Aspen has three
bedrooms and three bathrooms for $3,500 a month; the 310-square-metre
Monterey has four bedrooms and four bathrooms and a price tag of $4,000
per month; and the 345-square-metre four bedroom Santa Fe villa is on
the rental market for $4,500.
All rentals are fully furnished, including maintenance and grounds-keeping. Parking is plentiful and security is 24 hours.
Only the Aspen villas are currently available for rent, but it's worth
getting on the waiting lists if you are at all interested in
On the market
There are no villas or apartments on the market, but land is available
through private deals. The asking rate is between $400 and $500 per