Getting the COVID-19 vaccination in Cambodia

→Updated below with information about getting same-day vaccines in Phnom Penh!
The COVID-19 vaccination process in Cambodia is being managed by a patchwork of different ministries, but rest assured it is proceeding and Cambodia has committed to vaccinating foreign residents. If you are in Phnom Penh and have a work permit, you can get vaccinated immediately. Otherwise, the best advice is to register online, notify your employer that you are interested, and then just be patient.

Getting vaccinated in cambodia

Wondering how to get the covid-19 vaccine in Cambodia? You’re not alone!

Vaccinations are now officially open to foreign residents of Cambodia, and the reality is that as a foreigner in Cambodia, you’re likely to get vaccinated faster than if you were living in Europe! Read on for more info. Continue reading

Surviving COVID-19 school closures in Cambodia

After what felt like a millennium, in January schools reopened in Cambodia, and parents hoped it would usher in some level of normality. Unfortunately, 2021 isn’t panning out the way we hoped it would, and schools are closed again in the wake of the “February 20th incident.” So how can we survive another round of school closures and online learning? As a mother, teacher, and previous mental health counselor, here are some ideas that may help ease some of the tension in your household, and even see some positives in this unprecedented situation.

School at home

School closures don’t have to be a negative situation. Read on for tips on how to get through it.

Follow a regular schedule

In order to help the transition from school to home learning (and back again) it’s a wise idea to try to keep the same routine during at home study that you would on a normal school day. That means trying to follow a daily timetable — consistently waking the children up at the same time you usually would for school, have normal meal times, and complete homework or house chores at designated times. Of course this may not be easy, especially if you are also juggling working from home, or if the responsibility is in the hands of a nanny or relative, but it will also mean fewer tantrums, better learning outcomes, and less stress in the long run. Continue reading

Where to buy children’s books in Phnom Penh

As more and more things are moved online — from entertainment to education — there’s still no substitute for sinking down into a comfortable chair with a good book. For children there is great joy in cuddling up with a loved one and transforming the written words into what an imaginative four-year-old described to me as “a movie inside his head.” Luckily, there are several great options for buying books for the entire family, kids to adults, in Phnom Penh.

D's Books Phnom Penh

D’s Books in Phnom Penh has books for the whole family, including a great range of children’s books.

One of my favorite places to buy books in this great city is a hidden gem, and one of the longest operating book stores in Phnom Penh — D’s Books. Owned by female entrepreneur Vantha Douk (affectionately known as “Mom”), D’s Books is nestled in leafy Street 240, just behind the Royal Palace. Boasting an impressive range of over 50,000 new and pre-loved titles from practically any genre you can imagine, you’ll find everything from science fiction to comic books and history to romance.

Children are well catered for, with enough classic fairy tales, picture books, young reader novels and new box sets to delight any little bookworm, and despite their huge range, D’s Books are also happy to source and order in specific books for you. D’s offers straight to your door delivery, but you should definitely make time to visit the store and browse their range, while relaxing with a coffee, juice or smoothie. Continue reading

Buying your groceries online in Cambodia

Grocery shopping was always a hassle, particularly with an easily distracted child in tow. But in the wake of COVID-19, when every face-to-face encounter feels potentially dangerous, the allure of shopping online and avoiding the grocery store has been too much to ignore. Thankfully Phnom Penh offers several online grocery sites with fast and cheap delivery, while you shop from the comfort of your home. In this post I’ll cover the best online grocery shopping options in Cambodia. Most are in Phnom Penh, but there are even a few options in Siem Reap.

Phnom Penh groceries Aeon Mall

Now you can enjoy shopping at Aeon without having to go to the mall.

Leading the charge is Aeon Supermarket. With an extensive range of quality imported (particularly Japanese) and local grocery items, fresh produce, meat and seafood, Aeon Online is a tried and tested popular online grocery delivery service. They have a user-friendly app and website that lets you choose delivery from either Aeon 1 or Aeon 2 Supermarkets, and you can search for items by category and product. From experience, you may need to check in the most appropriate category yourself if the product doesn’t show up in a search. Continue reading

A morning with Siem Reap Food Tours

Whether you travel by moto, car, or tuk tuk, you can’t miss the delectable cooking aromas that greet you in every corner of Cambodia. But Cambodian food is not well known elsewhere in the world, and neither is Khmer, the local language. So both novice tourists and experienced travelers, seeing the daunting array of street food stalls and restaurants of all kinds and sizes, may wonder how to best sample the Kingdom of Wonder’s wonderful cuisine. Enter Siem Reap Food Tours.

Siem Reap Food Tours monks

Checking out the monks making their morning rounds with Siem Reap Food Tours.

If you are looking for help navigating the wealth of eating options Siem Reap, Siem Reap Food Tours offers vast knowledge of the town and the surrounding countryside, lots of tasty options, and a little bit of hand-holding as well if it’s needed. Continue reading

A day with Cambodia’s liberated wildlife at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

Looking for a fun activity for kids and adults that involves nature, animals and the happy knowledge that your money is helping to protect both? Then consider a visit to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center. Just an hour south of Phnom Penh, Phnom Tamao is a government-run wildlife center supported by Wildlife Alliance that could use your support.

Lucky the elephant crossing the street at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Center

Lucky the elephant greeting the tour at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center.

You don’t need me to tell you about the impact Covid-19 has had on tourism, and the communities and organizations that rely on those sweet sweet tourist dollars. Siem Reap is a ghost of its former self, while Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center has seen a dramatic drop in the visitors that provided much needed funding to rescue, house, and hopefully re-release some of the 100 or so species of trafficked, injured and rescued wild animals. Continue reading

Running in Phnom Penh

Anyone who’s into running will agree this is the best time of year to get out there and pound the capital’s streets. The cooler mornings mean you don’t have to be out before dawn to avoid the heat. With the news that the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, postponed at short notice in December, has been rescheduled for January 24th is happening, as a virtual run, there’s even more reason to get (back) in training. Here are some tips to help those new to running, or new to Phnom Penh, get into their stride.

running in Phnom Penh

Enjoying a run around the statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

The riverfront is a great location for any kind of exercise. From the night market to the end of the boardwalk on Koh Pich is a scenic 5k run, much of it on the very serviceable new walkway. The wide streets and low traffic on Koh Pich itself make the area a good choice for longer distance road running. A circuit of the island is about 4km depending on route. Another quieter option is the Chroy Changvar peninsula; take the shuttle ferry between the port on Sisowath Quay, near Nagaworld, and the Sokha Hotel if you want to avoid a run across the busy Japanese Bridge. Continue reading

Koh Trong: A Mekong island showcasing rural Cambodia at its most lovely

Koh Trong. It really is bloody lovely, go and visit. The article really could end here, if you, dear reader, would just trust me. But if convincing is what you need, then picture an island in the middle of the Mekong, opposite the sleepy eponymous capital of Kratie province. The island is just 8 kilometers from top to toe, with bountiful pomelo trees filling neatly-tended front gardens, the uninhabited center a checkerboard of rice fields, and trees and bamboo in every other spot, the island is gloriously green. Welcome to Koh Trong.

Koh Trong Cambodia

Koh Trong: A different Cambodian island.

Koh Trong is about 5 hours north east of Phnom Penh. A five-minute, 1,000 riel ferry ride from Kratie’s crumbling riverside promenade, and one is transported to a bucolic Cambodia long gone from Phnom Penh; transport is only by bicycle, motorbike, or ox-drawn cart, traditional wooden houses line the 2-meter wide concrete road that rings the island, the Wat is still the tallest building around (no glass-fronted concrete towers yet), there are no chain coffee shops, and bedtime is promptly before 9 p.m., celebratory karaoke notwithstanding. Continue reading