Shopping at TK Avenue Mall in Phnom Penh
It’s weird how normal TK Avenue Mall is. The outdoor mall, located in the Toul Kork section of Phnom Penh, is so Western that it feels like another country entirely. Phnom Penh has a number of shopping malls, and while some are quite nice, there’s always something a little “off” about them for an American like me. That’s not the case at TK Avenue.
- Sorya Mall, the most popular in town, has a roller skating rink on the roof and urinals that never, ever flush.
- There are entire sections of City Mall that are empty.
- Parkway Square on Mao Tse Tung Blvd. is like walking through a post-Apocalyptic ruin, with nobody around and entire sections unfinished and left exposed to the elements.
- Sovanna Shopping Centre is mostly small shops, so most of the mall resembles a fancy air-conditioned market.
TK Avenue opened in late 2013 has a bit of that tacky fake village feel that outdoor malls in the West do particularly well. The sidewalks are immaculate – probably the best in Cambodia Walking around, you’ll come across a Lucky Supermarket, Legend Cinema (only the third multiplex in the city), KFour electronics, Adidas and more. There are no massive vacancies or businesses hidden from sight like in some of the other malls.
For eating, there’s fast food burgers at Lucky Burger, a new branch of the upscale Metro chain and another Dim Sum Emperors. The most popular place by far was Brown Coffee, which was completely packed on a Saturday morning. The interiors of these places have a sleek industrial look. A Master Suki Soup and a Master Grill appears to be forthcoming. To round out the food offerings, there some ice cream places. Finally, a playground in the middle of the three-block mall is a nice touch.
The clientele appears to include many Cambodians taking selfies, some Westerners and a number of people speaking Korean or Chinese.
To be honest, all of these businesses can be had in more central parts of Phnom Penh, but TK Avenue brings it all together in one place for residents of Toul Kork. In the middle of a hot weekend day, crowds were very light – but how often are there mid-day crowds outdoors in Phnom Penh?
Some people in the Phnom Penh real estate industry appear cautiously optimistic about what the TK Avenue Mall development means for the Toul Kork area.
“The epicenter of Phnom Penh is moving west,” Philip Scott, a commercial real estate surveyor told the Cambodia Daily. ” So there will be more amenities in that area, which will encourage property developers to build more.”
Phnom Penh developers seem to have a “build it and they will come” mentality rather than adapting to existing demands, so it remains to be seen how sustainable a big development TK Avenue is.
Located on the corner of St. 315 and St. 516, not far from the big TV tower.
I'm an American freelance writer who spent a couple years living in Cambodia. Now I'm on the move again and traveling all over the place. I'm willing to try any bizarre liquor that's presented to me. Any recommendations?