About 25km north of Siem Reap lies one of the largest butterfly centres in South-East Asia, with a tropical garden filled with thousands of colourful butterflies. The centre also trains local farmers in butterfly farming, enabling them to diversify their income.
SEE & DO
Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre
Founded by renowned Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh, this resource centre is dedicated to preserving audio-visual archives that were damaged under the Khmer Rouge. It organises a mobile cinema during the dry season, too.
This emporium sells locally grown spices for home cooking, such as turmeric and curry powders. Book a wine tasting session, during which you’ll learn how to pair wine with Cambodian spices.
Siem Reap Countryside Life Tour
Suffering from a temple overdose? Explore Siem Reap’s bucolic side instead with tour operator Vespa Adventures. Have lunch among the rice paddies; watch sugar palm juice being harvested; and go shopping at a local market.
EAT & DRINK
Set in a traditional wooden house on stilts, this laid-back cocktail bar offers a much-needed reprieve from the craziness of nearby Pub Street. Sip on drinks made using Khmer fruits, herbs and spices, or sign up for a cocktail-making class. It holds a farmers’ market on Sundays, too.
Botanico Wine & Beer Garden
This lush hideaway is a co-working space by day and a beer garden by night. On offer are locally brewed craft beers; we’d recommend sampling the pale ales and red ales by Cerevisia Craft Brewhouse, one of Cambodia’s first craft breweries.
Old Shanghai meets street at this chic bar, which is festooned with cherry red lanterns that cover industrial fittings. You’ll find ice cream and chilled teas here in the day; come nightfall, the menu changes to include rums by local distiller Samui, craft beers and cocktails.
This no-frills, open-air restaurant caters mainly to a local clientele. The menu is in Khmer only, but you can’t go wrong if you ask for the green pepper crab, clams in tamarind sauce or the grilled mackerel.
The latest addition to buzzing Street 308 is this cool new bar sporting an industrial-chic aesthetic. The soundtrack is heavy on hip hop, but it’s the cocktails that impress most — think artisanal spirits and fresh seasonal ingredients jazzed up with fun elements like foams and house-made flower syrups.
This hole-in-the-wall Japanese eight-seater is referred to by in-the-know locals as the city’s secret sushi bar. Come early or risk missing out on chef Seya San’s melt-in-the-mouth otoro (fatty tuna belly) and kara-age (triple fried chicken).
This restaurant is Cambodian celeb chef Luu Meng’s latest project. The building itself – a late white structure modelled on an Angkorian temple – is inspiring, but so is the food. Sample dishes made with top-notch ingredients, such as moringa soup and red curry with Kampot rock crab.
25-year-old French chef Malo Gruget helms the signature restaurant of the Monsoon Hotel in the trendy Tonle Bassac neighbourhood. His menu is an intriguing blend of French and Cambodian flavours — for example, salmon is smoked with local jasmine tea, while foie gras is marinated in Khmer coffee.
Nesat Seafood House
Despite its city-centre location, this restaurant looks and feels like a fisherman’s house. As the décor would suggest, it serves up fresh clams, oysters, shrimp and other seafood from the coastal province of Kampot
This light-filled café and juicer blends Cambodian design influences (think rattan and bamboo furniture) with pared-back Nordic sensibilities and plenty of reclaimed wood. The menu covers cold-pressed juices, superfood smoothies and acai bowls in coconut husks.
Bee Vintage and Craft
The slow-fashion movement is gaining traction in Phnom Penh, and one shop driving this change is Bee Vintage and Craft. Located in a quiet alley, it sells second-hand and handmade clothing, accessories and shoes.
Sa’art means “beautiful” in Khmer, and this bijou, celestial-scented boutique is certainly that. Here, you’ll find 100 percent natural lotions, soaps and candles for the body and home. Topping our list are the beautiful silver Buddhist alms bowls filled with natural soy wax and essential oils.
Jaya House River Park
This brand new, 36-room boutique property on the banks of the river oozes Khmer elegance, with large suites – many boasting private pools – decked out in polished dark wood and stone. Other nifty features include Malongo espresso machines, home-made teas and even dedicated tuk-tuk drivers for each room.
Located near the Siem Reap River, this former family home is now a lovely 27-room boutique hotel. It pays homage to the river with thoughtful design touches like the use of reclaimed timber, water features running throughout the property, and a dreamy blue colour scheme.
Jaya House River Park
设有36间客房的全新精品酒店同样座落河畔，弥漫高棉式的优雅知性。偌大套房以抛光深色木材和石材为主要元素，大部分客房设有私人泳池。其他亮点包括 Malongo 意式浓缩咖啡机和自家茶茗等。酒店甚至为每间客房分配一位tuk-tuk车司机，负责接载宾客。