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Cambodia map and flag


Candace Davis
Breanne Porter

Aggie Law Class of 2019

Building the Rule of Law

Dining and Shopping
by ​​Candace Davis and Breanne Porte​r

C-dinner-2866Plenty of ​local specialties to sample our last night in Phnom Penh

If you are planning a trip to the “Kingdom of Wonder”—better known as the nation of Cambodia—you are probably dreaming of the South Asian treasures you may find while shopping and dining. In Cambodia, you will not be disappointed no matter your budget.

Whether it be in the city streets of Phnom Penh or the tourist city of Siem Reap, you will come across an array of international culinary delights.  

On our trip this past May, you could eat almost anywhere on a budget. If you have less than ten American dollars in your pocket, you can eat your fill in this country. Single meal prices ranged from five to twenty dollars; we ate everything from Cambodian street barbeque to finer cuisine at traditional Cambodian, Italian, Chinese, and American restaurants.

If you are brave, you may want to try a bite at a street vendor—but always be on the wary side to avoid sickness. Located on almost every street and literally on the side of street sidewalks, these vendors are easy to find. They cook everything from typical meats such as beef, chicken, and fish to delicacies such as tarantulas and fertilized duck eggs.

After two weeks, our group was more than a little homesick—especially for western cuisine. We were amazed to find a taco joint just down the street from the Royal Palace on Street 19. Not only did it taste like home, but the owner was from Dallas! Cocina Cartel brings Texas to Cambodia with its tacos and burrito bowls. It was the perfect place to treat our homesickness.  

Alternatively, if you are looking for something a little more refined, there are several options. In Phnom Penh, I recommend Sleuk Chhouk Restaurant; it serves traditional Cambodian plates such as stir-fried morning glory and other dishes which are amazing.

If travelling to Siem Reap, a must try is Malis Restaurant. Try the rice wrapped in a lotus leaf—not only delicious, but Instagram worthy!

Dinner at Malis in Siem ReapDinner at Malis Restaurant in Siem Reap

Afterwards, travel just across the road to Siem Reap’s night market. Whether you are shopping for authentic souvenirs or the opposite, you will find just what you are looking for here. Some of the great finds in stores are intricate silver-coated animals and boxes, wooden or marble sculptures in shapes of animals and gods, and silk that can be tailored.

You can also find Nikes, Beats headphones, and handbags at the markets. If you are looking for cheap alternatives to the goods sold in American malls, you can find these at any of the markets in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. In Phnom Penh, your best bet at finding the best deal is at Central Market.

The Night Market near the Mekong River is also a fun place to visit since it is known as the market for the locals and often features live music. Additionally, because of the ​heat, the Night Markets also provide an opportunity to explore the shops and surrounding areas with ease.

The markets also provide the opportunity to work on your negotiating skills. Overall, the prices were amazing! From knockoff name brands to genuine, hand-crafted Cambodian sculptures, the American dollar could get you a plethora of souvenirs, for you or others, to go home with.

There are also some neat shops with goods which are harder to find in the markets and a little more unique in Phnom Penh. There are several shops located along Street 240 just down from the White Mansion ​Hotel and Hotel Aquarius, including a chocolate shop, artisan shops, and a quilting shop with several unique finds.

Be sure to stop in at Khmer Décor and Design on Street 57, which has everything from silk scarves to decorated ceramic elephants to cute elephant tea pots. Artisans of Angkor is also a beautiful shop with locations in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Although a little pricier, the store features authentic silks and art made by the locals of Siem Reap.

No matter what your budget or your taste, you can be certain you will find wonderful souvenirs and many culinary memories to commemorate your trip to the “Kingdom of Wonder.”

This unique culture offers a variety of experiences, which our class thoroughly enjoyed exploring.

Khmer DesignKhmer Décor and Design on Street 57
scooter dog​​Hound hitching a ride
C-temple-balcony-wEnjoying the Apsara dance performance at Temple Balcony Restaurant in Siem Reap
Justice Cafe, Phnom Penh, CambodiaWe were welcomed at the Justice Cafe and Library in Phnom Penh. A project of Destination Justice, a start-up non-profit law, governance and development organization, the Justice Cafe offers a library, publishing services to "develop legal literature for all," a creative team, participatory event space, media production, and local networking events to "support, connect, and inspire young people."
Katie Stallcup at fruit standAggie Law student Katie Stallcup (center) with members of the Young Eco Ambassadors at a roadside food stand on the way to Mondulkiri
Tonle Sap River night cruiseTonle Sap River night cruise
Mekong night marketNight Market near the Mekong River
flower marketSiem Reap flower market
jewelryNeed a bracelet?
busload of law aggies​​Busload of Law Aggies ready to explore the "Kingdom of Wonder"
tuk-tuk​Traveling via tuk-tuk
wire corner​​On the streets of Phnom Penh
Cambodia Dinner​​