Phnom Penh Area Guide: Daun Penh – Old Meets the New

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Daun Penh on the banks of the Tonle Bassac River. The area is best known for riverside restaurants and the nightlife scene on Street 51. Like most of Phnom Penh, this area is undergoing some rapid development.

Much of the development is for commercial purposes. However, there are new residential apartment constructions. There are also renovations of older style housing. The Riverside area to Norodom Blvd has many shophouse-style accommodations.

There are few large villas, except for those in the north and south of the Khan. From Norodom Blvd to Monivong Blvd, there is a mix of housing styles. Villas in this area are available to cater to those wanting more open space.

Real Estate in Daun Penh

Being in the center of the city, it is not surprising that rents are higher than in other suburbs. There are still some great offerings if you don’t mind crowded spaces. The attraction is the convenience of being near almost anything you need. It has a plethora of restaurants, bars, supermarkets, spas, and a cinema complex in the area.

Shopfront apartments range from $350-$1,200. Most of them are 1-2 bedroom units with a business on the ground floor. Villas are more expensive. It can range from $2,000-$4,000, depending on size and condition.

There are apartments like Green Mansion 3, Palm Palace, Garden Mansion, Elegant, Samdech Pan Suites, and Maline. For a single bedroom, the price can range from $600-$1,500. For a 2-3 bedroom option, you can expect anywhere from $900-$3,500.

Daun Penh Rich History and Culture

Daun Penh is named after Lady Penh. According to legends, Grandmother Penh founded the city of Phnom Penh. Legend says the wealthy widow found a big koki branch floating at the end of the river after a big storm.

When she investigated, she found 4 bronze and a stone Buddha inside the trunk. She asked the people in the village to construct a temple in an artificial hill to house the Buddhas. This artificial temple is now known as Wat Phnom.

The area surrounding the temple developed and became Phnom Penh or “Hill of Penh”. Built-in 1372, Wat Phnom had undergone improvements and renovations over the years. The famous attraction is the main venue for the Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben celebrations.

The Royal Palace

Daun Penh is also home to the Royal Palace, another famous tourist attraction in the city. Preah Barum Reachea Veang Nei Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea is a building complex covering 174,870 sq.m. It serves as the Royal residence since its construction in 1866.

The Royal Palace was constructed during the reign of King Norodom. It was after he moved the capital from Oudong in the mid-19th century. It was built on top of an old citadel called Banteay Kev.

Daun Penh

The Palace faces East and located at the western side between the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River. It has 4 main compounds. The Silver Pagoda is in the South. Khemarin Palace is in the North. The Inner Court private sector is in the west. The Throne Hall is in the central compound.

Daun Penh Places of Interest

Daun Penh has a character of mixed cultural diversity. The district has rich historical value. This is due to the legends and structures built in the area. Another factor is the thriving economy as seen in the variety of businesses around it.

There is no shortage of places to go for any type of activity. This district encompasses the whole of the riverside area. It overlooks the great Tonle Sap river. Riverside offers an assortment of restaurants and bars. It also provides the best views of the river. Everything is just a short walk away.

Daun Penh Markets

Built-in the 1930s, Central Market is a roofed structure shaped like a cross with a central dome. It is stocked with everything from souvenirs, food items, electronics, and apparels.

For shopping, the district is home to the Central Market (Phsar Thmey). This market is a tourist haven for souvenirs, handicraft, shirts, and jewelry.

Phnom Penh Night Market (Psar Reatrey) is another famous shopping area in the district. This shopping area is geared toward locals. It has local produce, local pop music, and Khmer food items. It is a nice venue to experience retail therapy – the Khmer way.

Daun Penh

Night market overlooks the Riverside area. It gives shoppers a sample of live local pop music from local artists. There is a wide selection of stalls selling every bit of merchandise you can think of.

Food stalls surround a big space lined out with matting. You can sit there cross-legged and consume the food you bought. Other places to visit are the National Museum, Phsar Kandal Market, Central Park Sports Complex and National Library.

Government Sector in Daun Penh

The district, like any area in the city, is home to embassies and government offices. Along the riverside, there is the Ambassadore de France and the Embassy of the United Kingdom. The United States of America Embassy and North Korea Embassy is also there.

Also located in the district are the following Ministry offices:

  • The Ministry of Justice
  • Education
  • Youth and Sports
  • Ministry of Information
  • Economy and Finance
  • Public Works and Highways
  • Water Resources and Meteorology
  • Daun Penh Health Center
  • Phnom Penh Autonomous Port.

International Schools

Daun Penh has local and international schools that cater to expat and local children. International schools in the area include:- Royal University of Fine Arts

  • National Institute of Education
  • Australian Centre for Education
  • French Institute of Cambodia
  • University of Puthisastra
  • University of Health and Sciences
  • CamEd Business School
  • Norton University
  • Wat Koh High School
  • Preah Sisowath High School
  • Westline School
  • Chaktomuk Secondary School
  • Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia
  • Beijing International Academy
  • Student Development Institute
  • Hun Sen Bun Rany
  • Wat Phnom High School
  • Preah Sihanouk Raja
  • Golden Gate American School
  • ICS International School
  • Sovannaphumi School

NightLife in Daun Penh

There are 3 main areas of nightlife in Daun Penh. The most famous is the Riverside Area. It features a whole street of bars and restaurants across the Mekong River. St. 51 is a popular area for great bars and clubbing. St 172 is where you will find a strip of bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Khan Daun Penh remains the hub of Phnom Penh. During the day, the area sees busy workers and shop owners plying their trade. At night, restaurants and bars open and the streets come alive. Locals, expatriates, and tourists revel in the diverse entertainment options. This area is great for people who desire to feel the heartbeat of the city.

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