Experiencing Cambodia

Where to stay, shop, sleep and more. Plus: Ways to give back

by Laurie Lico Albanese
cambodia image
The unspoiled beaches of Koh Rong island
Photograph: Frédéric Lagrange

Don't miss Laurie Lico Albanese's amazing travel memoir about visiting Cambodia: 22 Days of Living Dangerously.

Sleeping and Swimming
Circa 51, Phnom Penh. Urban oasis, courtyard pool ($65 to $115 a night; circa51.com).

The Villa Paradiso, Phnom Penh. On a quiet residential street; palatial rooms, deluxe pool, spa and restaurant ($70 to $140 a night; thevillaparadiso.com).

Best Western Suites and Sweet resort Angkor, Siem Reap. Roomy suites, each with private pool, tranquil setting ($135 to $155 a night; suitesandsweet.com).

Seven Candles Guesthouse, Siem Reap. Affordable guest rooms, friendly setting, rooftop restaurant and lounge ($20 to $38 a night; sevencandlesguesthouse.com).

Paradise Bungalows, Koh Rong island. Rustic beachfront bungalows, spectacular outdoor pavilion ($35 to $100 a night; paradise-bungalows.com).

Eating and Drinking
Friends, the Restaurant, Phnom Penh and Romdeng. A pair of training restaurants where former street youths learn practical job skills; the food is so tasty, you’ll forget it’s for a good cause (mithsam​lanh.org/).

FCC Phnom Penh Restaurant & Bar, the historic Foreign Correspondents Club’s breezy balcony bar overlooking the Mekong river, is a happy hour must (fcccambodia.com).

Khmer Kitchen Restaurant, Siem Reap. Traditional Cambodian food on the market square (khmerkitchens.com).

Shopping, Pampering and Exploring
Ta Prohm Silk & Souvenir Shop, Phnom Penh. Gorgeous silk goods at great prices, made by women with disabilities (two locations: #49Beo, Street 178, and #168A, Street 155).

A.N.D., Phnom Penh. Handmade clothing and accessories, tailor on premises; fair trade and fine quality (#52C, Street 240).

AthinkKoh Dach, Koh Dach island, near Phnom Penh. Stunning handwoven scarves, fabrics and tablecloths made on heirloom handlooms (090-510-544).

The Villa Paradiso Spa, Phnom Penh. Private cottages, massages and beauty treatments (thevillaparadiso.com).

Cambodia Bike Tours, Venture into the countryside and rural villages in small group-guided rides (grasshopperadventures.com).

Cambodia Cooking Class, Phnom Penh. Shop in a traditional market, prepare and enjoy authentic Khmer fish amok and more (cambodia-cooking-class.com).

First published in the July/August 2013 issue

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