Phnom Penh is a rapidly booming city with gleaming skyscrapers, world-class restaurants, and one of the world’s fastest-growing major airports. As the city loses the mantle of the past and turns to the future with hope, innovation is occurring here, from gender-bending dancers to backyard brewers and budding artists.
Where Are the Places in Phnom Penh to Eat?
Cambodia may not seem to be much of a gastronomy destination since it is sandwiched between the culinary powerhouses of Thailand and Vietnam. But the truth is that the ingenuity of Phnom Penh’s budding chefs frequently astounds visitors who arrive in the city with modest expectations.
Nesat Seafood House (offering the most fantastic soft-shell crabs and oysters fished from the southern shore), Malis (the pinnacle of Khmer fine dining), and Vibe Café (where you can check out the city’s emerging vegan scene) are among the must-visit places.
As the city develops towards a more refined nightlife scene, you’ll discover a flair for design and a taste for (dangerously priced) specialty drinks at newer establishments.
Bassac Lane, a small lane off St 308 with a slew of closet-sized pubs catering to the city’s fashionable bohemian class, is at the center of it all. Take a five-minute walk from here to get Samai, the main ingredient in many drinks.
At tasting events held every Thursday evening, try local infusions such as Kampot Pepper Rum. You should also check out Sundown Social Club, a unique rooftop pub with bird’s-eye views of the Russian Market and Riel Brewing, one of a dozen new craft brewers in the Russian Market district. Other standouts include Himawari and Cerevisiae.
Places to Stay
Phnom Penh provides exceptional value for money with a bewildering selection of hostels, guesthouses, and magnificent resorts catering to all interests and budgets. SLA, a boutique hostel near the National Museum is a favorite among backpacking couples searching for quiet and solitude.
It has immaculate rooms that contain double bunk beds with privacy curtains. If you want luxuries like a pool and a bar without the commotion of a full-on party hostel, try out Manor House.
This villa hotel near Independence Monument has managed to transition into an affordable choice without losing its attractiveness. With some of Southeast Asia’s most evocative urban hotels, the MAADS hotel company dominates the city’s luxury boutique sector.
Near the Royal Palace, the tropical-chic Penh House is their newest outlet, but the finest is still Pavilion, just around the block. This opulent adults-only resort is a lovely French home with two turquoise swimming pools and several private plunge pools adjacent to its magnificent apartments.