When most people think of Siem Reap, they immediately picture the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. However, nestled just a stone’s throw away from this ancient wonder is a hidden gem that often goes unnoticed by tourists – Kandal Village. This vibrant and charming neighborhood is a haven for those seeking unique shopping experiences, delectable dining options, and an unforgettable night out. In this article, we will delve into the charm of Kandal Village, uncovering its hidden shopping gems, discussing its unique dining experiences, and revealing the best places for drinks. If you’re planning a visit to Siem Reap, don’t miss the opportunity to explore this captivating neighborhood.
Exploring the Charm of Kandal Village
Kandal Village (also known as Hap Guan Street) is an enchanting neighborhood that exudes a laid-back and bohemian atmosphere. As you stroll through its quaint streets, you’ll be captivated by the fusion of traditional Khmer architecture and contemporary art galleries, boutiques, and cafes. The village is a melting pot of creativity and culture, attracting artists, artisans, and designers from all over the world.
One of the highlights of exploring Kandal Village is discovering its hidden shopping gems. Unlike the bustling markets of Siem Reap, which can sometimes overwhelm visitors, the boutiques in Kandal Village offer a more intimate and curated shopping experience. From locally made handicrafts to unique fashion pieces and exquisite jewelry, you’ll find a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind items that make for perfect souvenirs or gifts. The best part? Many of these boutiques support local artisans and fair trade practices, so you can shop with a good conscience.
Hidden Shopping Gems in Kandal Village
Kandal Village is a haven for shopaholics looking for something out of the ordinary. Here are a few hidden shopping gems that you shouldn’t miss:
- Louise Loubatieres Gallery showcases a variety of art that can be used for decoration or worn as accessories. From hand-dyed silks and lacquered coconut bowls to contemporary vases, precious tableware, and vibrant necklaces, the shop offers a wide range of options. With such a diverse selection, deciding which items to take home may prove to be a delightful challenge, as there are bound to be numerous contenders for your attention.
- Soursdey Textiles is a shop situated in the heart of Siem Reap City. It specializes in offering a wide range of traditional products, including Khmer women’s shoulder wear, Khmer handicrafts, and unique designs in the realm of fashion. You can find this delightful store on Hup Guan Street.
- Saarti Cambodia is situated at the core of its operations on Hap Guan Street, Krong Siem Reap. The brand encapsulates a profound appreciation for the enchanting aromas of nature, which are expertly combined and infused into their range of opulent artisanal candles, skincare products, and perfumes.
- Visit Shop676 for an elevated shopping experience. This store offers meticulously crafted clothing, intricate jewelry, and vibrant accessories that exude a sense of avant-garde minimalism. Whether you’re simply browsing or ready to indulge in a weekend shopping spree, be sure to mark your calendar for a visit to Shop676.
- Discover the wonders of Khla Kampot Pepper and Tea, where the spotlight is on the exceptional Kampot pepper, travel, and the enchanting world of spices. Our emphasis lies in delivering unparalleled product quality, prioritizing it over price or organic certifications. Immerse yourself in the rich flavors and aromas that our products have to offer, and embark on a captivating journey through the realm of Kampot pepper and tea.
Unique Dining Experiences in Kandal Village
In addition to its shopping treasures, Kandal Village is also a paradise for food lovers. The neighborhood boasts a diverse culinary scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. Whether you’re craving traditional Khmer cuisine, international flavors, or fusion dishes, you’ll find a plethora of unique dining experiences in Kandal Village.
Fumizen Siem Reap is a quaint Japanese restaurant nestled within the charming surroundings of The Aviary Hotel in Siem Reap Town. With its tranquil ambiance and delectable menu offerings, Fumizen provides a unique dining experience for locals and tourists alike. The restaurant exudes an air of authenticity, from the elegant wooden furnishings to the meticulously crafted sushi bar. Every detail has been carefully curated to create a serene and inviting atmosphere.
- Mamma Shop Italian Restaurant is the place to go for a delightful mix of Cambodian cuisine and pasta dishes. Whether you’re craving pillow-soft gnocchi or cheesy pizza, this restaurant has got you covered. Prepare to indulge and arrive with a hearty appetite because the delectable offerings at Momma Shop will surely satisfy your cravings.
- Bonfire Grill: Experience the delectable flavors of authentic American BBQ and Wings, all within a cozy and distinctive North American ambiance. Indulge in the scrumptious offerings of our American restaurant, where you can savor mouthwatering dishes in a comfortable setting that captures the essence of North America.
- Amun Bar & Restaurant is a wonderful Khmer food mixture of Asian and European located at Center Market next to the provincial hospital. A delightful combination of Asian and European flavors, this Khmer food is a culinary marvel. It can be savored at Center Market, conveniently situated near the provincial hospital and Pub Street.
Discovering the Best Places for Drinks in Kandal Village
After a day of exploring the charming streets of Kandal Village, it’s time to unwind and enjoy a drink or two. Fortunately, this neighborhood is home to some of the best bars and cafes in Siem Reap, offering a diverse range of beverages to suit every palate.
- The Little Red Fox Espresso Cafe is the ultimate destination for an invigorating cold brew on a scorching day. Ensure that a visit to this café is at the pinnacle of your Siem Reap itinerary. Indulge in their exceptional coffee, soak up the delightful ambiance, and depart with the certainty that you’ll likely return before your time in Siem Reap concludes.
- Common Grounds Cafe is more than just a place for coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. It’s a place that values people. Whether you’re a socially responsible traveler or not, you can enjoy a variety of delicious offerings such as cappuccinos, grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, and local Khmer dishes. The team at Common Grounds is dedicated to promoting “micro-enterprise development” to provide locals with opportunities for work and income, which in turn supports the Children’s Home in Siem Reap. Additionally, Common Grounds serves as a vocational training center, offering English and computer skills education, and provides housing for both long and short-term volunteers and staff. They also offer free wireless Internet if you bring your laptop. Overall, Common Grounds is a great choice for a nutritious breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- The Village Bakery & Cafe is a bakery that specializes in artisanal bread and cakes. It is situated in Kandal Village, which is also known as Hap Guan Street and is located in the center of Siem Reap City. The bakery also has a beautiful cafe space where customers can relax and enjoy their food.
- At Cakara Artisan Roastery, the CAKARA team takes great care in roasting a limited production of honey-processed coffee sourced from Bousra, Mondulkiri, and Memot. They also directly procure fine Cambodian ingredients that can be traced back to local farmers and producers. At Cakara, you have the opportunity to choose from their menu and taste the famous Cambodian dishes like Fish Amok, Nam Ban Chok, and Koh Kong curries. In addition to their daily offerings of specialty and gourmet coffee, you can also experience the flavors of well-known coffees from around the world, including Cambodian robustas. CAKARA is committed to sustainability and repurposes coffee jute bags into tote bags and modern Yukata made from Cambodian silk. Each stakeholder at CAKARA is an artisan partner who embodies and spreads Cakara’s ethos and passion.
- Pong Siem Reap has quickly become the preferred spot for fast-food breakfast in the region. They are revolutionizing the significance of breakfast with their delectable breakfast muffins, making it both effortless and flavorful. The term “Pong” is derived from the Khmer language, which means egg, and their menu originally focused on egg-based dishes, which is a combination of a burger and a sandwich. However, it is their Pong Muffin in four mouthwatering variations – bacon and egg, egg and sausage, sausage, and the deluxe muffin – that has caught the attention of both locals and tourists in the Kandal Village area.
- Experience sophistication at its finest at The Glide Bar. Located in Siem Reap, this rooftop bar and evening dining space is designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life. As part of The Aviary Hotel, The Glide Bar stands out from the crowd with its stunning views of the city’s skyline. Open from 5 pm to 10 pm, it offers the perfect opportunity to savor a cocktail while watching the sun set. Whether you’re seeking a refreshing drink, great company, delicious bites, or all of the above, The Glide Bar is the ultimate nightcap destination.
Exploring the Siem Reap Central Market
While Kandal Village offers a plethora of shopping and dining options, no visit to Siem Reap is complete without exploring the bustling Siem Reap Central Market. Located just a short distance from Kandal Village, this market is a hive of activity, where locals and tourists come together to shop for fresh produce, clothing, handicrafts, and more. Lose yourself in the maze of stalls, bargaining for souvenirs and sampling local street food. The Siem Reap Central Market is a vibrant and chaotic experience that gives you a glimpse into the daily life of the locals.
Insider Tips for Visiting Kandal Village
To make the most of your visit to Kandal Village, here are some insider tips:
- Visit during the day and night: Kandal Village has a different charm during the day and at night. Explore the neighborhood in the daylight to fully appreciate its unique architecture and browse the boutiques. In the evening, immerse yourself in the buzzing nightlife and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Kandal Village is best explored on foot, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes to navigate its narrow streets and alleyways.
- Don’t be afraid to wander: Some of the best finds in Kandal Village are off the beaten path. Take the time to explore the side streets and hidden alleys, and you might stumble upon a hidden gem.
- Try the street food: While Kandal Village is known for its boutique dining experiences, don’t miss the opportunity to try the delicious street food stalls that line the streets. From grilled meats to fresh fruit shakes, the street food in Siem Reap is a culinary adventure in itself.
How to Get to Kandal Village
Kandal Village is conveniently located in the heart of Siem Reap, just a short distance from the city center and the Angkor Wat temples. The neighborhood is easily accessible by tuk-tuk, which is a popular and affordable mode of transportation in Siem Reap. Simply hail a tuk-tuk and ask the driver to take you to Kandal Village. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle and enjoy a leisurely ride through the city to reach this hidden gem.
Other Attractions Near Kandal Village
While Kandal Village is a destination in itself, there are other attractions nearby that you can explore during your visit to Siem Reap. Here are a few suggestions:
- Pub Street in Siem Reap is a vibrant and lively destination known for its bustling atmosphere, diverse dining options, and vibrant nightlife. With a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and street food vendors, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself
- The Angkor National Museum is a museum that focuses on the excavation, conservation, and display of artifacts from the Angkorian era. It also aims to educate visitors about the art and culture of the Khmer civilization. The museum houses a collection primarily from the 9th to 14th centuries, which represents the Angkor period of the Khmer Empire.
- Angkor Wat: No visit to Siem Reap is complete without exploring the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat. Marvel at the intricate carvings, climb ancient staircases, and witness the breathtaking sunrise or sunset over this UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Tonle Sap Lake: Take a boat tour to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Explore the floating villages, observe the unique ecosystem, and learn about the daily lives of the locals.
- Banteay Srei: Located a short distance from Siem Reap, Banteay Srei is a temple known for its exquisite pink sandstone carvings. Admire the intricate details and marvel at the craftsmanship of this 10th-century architectural masterpiece.
Kandal Village is a hidden gem in Siem Reap that offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors. From its hidden shopping gems to its unique dining experiences and vibrant nightlife, this neighborhood has something for everyone. Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a food lover, or a shopaholic, Kandal Village will captivate your senses and leave you with lasting memories. So next time you find yourself in Siem Reap, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charm of Kandal Village and discover its hidden treasures.
Start planning your visit to Kandal Village today and experience the charm of this hidden gem for yourself.