Eating vegetarian and vegan on Koh Rong

Vegetarian and travelling to the Sihanoukville Islands? You are in luck — Koh Rong has many choices for you! There is a large backpacker community on the island, so Western food is pretty good and communication issues are rare. In addition to standard vegetarian standbys such as stir-fried vegetables and fried rice (more on that in our ‘How to eat vegan and vegetarian in Cambodia‘ blog post) there are several restaurants on Koh Rong that specifically cater to vegan and vegetarian diets.

Koh Rong vegan and vegetarian

Koh Rong is not just a tropical paradise, it’s a vegan and vegetarian paradise, too!

Vegetarians will find the widest variety of choice if staying in Koh Rong’s main village, Koh Toch, or on Longset Beach. Other locations on the island may also have at least the most basic vegetarian options, although you will likely be restricted to the menu of your guesthouse. Here’s a roundup of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Koh Rong. The island is growing in popularity and there are new businesses opening all the time so it is likely you will find more options than I have listed here. Feel free to comment below with your favorite veg spot, and I’ll add it to the list! Continue reading

Review: Thai Fire restaurant, Kampot

After living in Kampot for almost a year, I’ve learned the trick to winning the hearts of Kampot’s many colorful residents begins and ends with great food. It’s no surprise, then, that Thai Fire, a new restaurant that opened at the start of this year, is already a success.

Thai Fire Kampot

Whole fried fish, Thai-style, in spicy, sweet chili sauce with cashews, lemongrass & fresh herbs.

Nalee, more gastro-magician than chef, draws on her Laotian roots and Thai culinary experiences, both of which are reflected in Thai Fire’s menu. Rhett, her husband, handles front of house, and is also responsible for the restaurant’s uniquely hilarious Facebook updates. Continue reading

What to do in Mondulkiri (waterfalls and trekking edition)

Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri province in the north east of Cambodia, is the perfect off-the-beaten-track destination. Sen Monorom has something for everyone: families, tourists looking for an outdoors experience, animal lovers, adventure types, and hobbyists interested in gemstones and traditional textiles. Oh, and did we mention the waterfalls?

Elephants are clearly the must-see attraction, but Mondulkiri’s beautiful rolling hills with dry and wet sub-tropical forests, and plethora of gushing waterfalls are also worth a visit. Here’s some things you can do and see, using Sen Monorom as a base for exploring Mondulkiri:

Mondulkiri waterfalls

Chasing waterfalls in Mondulkiri.

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Phnom Penh’s best vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants

I often get asked if it’s easy to be vegetarian in Cambodia. In Phnom Penh, the answer is yes! The city feels like a foodie paradise as so many different restaurants and cuisines have popped up in recent years. Here’s a roundup of the best vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants in Phnom Penh. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I’m always discovering new favorites. So feel free to comment below with your favorite veg spot, and I’ll add it to the list!

I’ve organized the list by neighborhood: BKK area; Riverside; and Russian Market (Read more about how to eat vegetarian and vegan in Cambodia).

Phnom Penh vegetarian

Don’t worry, there are a plethora of vegetarian and vegan options in Phnom Penh

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How to get from Kampot to Kep (and vice-versa)

If you’re visiting Kampot and are itching to see Kep, or are sick of eating crab in Kep and are ready to see sleepy Kampot, never fear, there are several options to go back and forth between Kep and Kampot. The trip is only 25km (15 miles) and takes between thirty minutes to an hour depending on which type of transport you choose. None of these requires advance reservation and all can be booked while in Kampot or Kep.

The road from Kep to Kampot

The road between Kampot and Kep is finally sealed, and a tuk tuk ride is a great way to see the Cambodian countryside.

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Review: Spoons restaurant, Siem Reap

In a town that seems to have no shortage of training restaurants, Spoons has been open for less that two months but is already setting itself apart. The menu is tightly constructed, with just a handful of appetizers, mains, and desserts. The chef, Mengly Mork, draws inspiration from Cambodian street food, incorporating popular favorites in an upscale, fusion style.

Spoons Siem Reap

Num krok, a sweet and savory green onion and coconut crispy dumpling, at Spoons.

Siem Reap has at least a dozen training restaurants that aim to give disadvantaged Cambodia students skills that will allow them to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. The restaurants are generally run by NGOs that offer students English lessons plus employment and life-skills training before letting them work in the NGO’s restaurant. This model has had varying degrees of success around town, with the most effective restaurants, including Haven and Sister Srey and to a lesser degree, Marum, offering excellent food and service. Other training cafes offer same-same dishes at inflated prices with abominable service. Continue reading