Despite its moniker, Kandal Village in Siem Reap is less a village and more a dusty street. Nevertheless, this little neighbourhood south of the city’s former French Quarter is fast becoming the place to see and be seen, thanks to a community of environmentally and culturally conscious boutiques, eateries and spas. And with new establishments popping up regularly, there’s always something fresh to discover in this hip enclave.
The Little Red Fox Espresso
Besides the usual long blacks and flat whites, this cosy coffee house also offers unique beverages like the Cafe Meas (Khmer for “Golden Coffee”), made with homemade turmeric milk and spiced with ginger, cinnamon and coconut. You’ll also find 1960s Cambodian rock and roll blasting from the speakers and local artworks adorning the walls.
Step into this heavenly boutique and you’ll be greeted by a medley of divine scents, such as vanilla and lemongrass. This is thanks to the delectable range of home and body products on offer – from soy wax candles in silver alms bowls, to natural soaps and lotions infused with essential oils. Everything on the shelves is handcrafted in small batches in Siem Reap, using local materials wherever possible.
After a long day of temple hopping, a relaxing rubdown is definitely in order. This tranquil day spa provides a wide array of face and body treatments, from aromatherapy massages to herbal baths, all performed by professionally trained Khmer staff. Treat yourself to the Kampot Pepper Scrub, which harnesses the Cambodian spice to boost circulation and rejuvenate dull skin.
Organic and plant-based fare takes the stage at this elegant, light-filled eatery, which advocates an “earth-to-table” ethos. Try dishes like zucchini pasta with cashew cheese; quinoa porridge with cinnamon and turmeric; and more. There’s a range of healthy elixirs available, too, from kombucha to coldpressed juices. Vegan food never tasted this good.
From jewellery to home décor, this eclectic lifestyle boutique is a veritable treasure trove of trinkets proudly made in and inspired by Cambodia. Whether it’s a hand-printed cotton sarong, a vintage street sign or a beautiful set of stoneware plates that catches your fancy, you’ll find it almost impossible to walk out empty-handed.
This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of Silkwinds magazine.