Kandal Village is Siem Reap's trendiest neighbourhood, with a wealth of stylish restaurants from Cambodian to Italian, French to Mexican, as well as galleries, coffee shops, spas and funky design shops on every side.
Here are a few of our favourite neighbours.
Everyone's favourite Mexican in Siem Reap, with a slight Californian inflection. Once a roaring success in Sihanoukville, this dedicated, family-run restaurant has finally settled here in Kandal Village. The fish tacos are especially recommended, and of course there's cold Corona beer for hot tropical afternoons.
Crane is a clubhouse of sorts, a place to hang out, chill, be inspired or inspire. A place to talk film, art, culture, religion, quantum physics or whatever the hell you want. Plus sample some of the best coffee in town, and delicious treats of no fixed abode, cooked with love.
The original Siem Reap concept store and a Kandal Village pioneer. Its philosophy:to create and source fantastic and quirky clothing, homeware and gifts that reflect the beauty of the country and that you won't see in the tourist markets, mixing the old with the new and breathing new life into seemingly mundane everyday objects.
Originally from London, where they were heavily immersed in the street art scene as curators and collectors, the owners share a passion for urban and street art, and their mission is to nurture and support local Khmer talent, established and emerging, as well as showcasing international artists -- a prime example being this landmark mural and presiding goddess of our back alley, Kandalis. They also serves delicious coffee all day as well as signature cocktails, and host many events.
Niko's is an exhibition space and studio showcasing Nicolette Matltat's colourful art. A graduate of the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Strasbourg, Nicolette displays works that mix traditional Cambodian sculpture with modern painting techniques, as well as self-designed jewellery and an exquisite collection of ethnic and folk art. Most days you can find the artist herself busily at work here.
Australian-owned and Cambodian-run, The Little Red Fox Espresso creates a unique and characterful atmosphere almost right opposite our shop, serving up some of Siem Reap's best cups of coffee. The Fox team supports local Cambodian music and art and is at the forefront of socially responsible business ethics. Featuring a variety of brewing techniques with a delicious foxy menu, this cafe has become one of the favourite spots in town for locals, expats and travellers. Perfect for breakfast -- we especially recommend the 'deconstructed' salmon and cream cheese bagel -- they also have a small salon on their top floor that you can see from your window and where David works his magic by appointment only.
Sanya, a native Cambodian with an eye for detail and beautifully made objects, showcases a stunning collection of locally handmade products using lacquer, bronze, silk and copper leaf panels, many of them made by Sanya herself and her team. The owner can be found here most of the time and is always happy to tell you more about her products and the intricacies of her art.