Best things to do in Phnom Penh's cool new district

Boeung Keng Kang 1 is Phnom Penh's 'foreigner quarter' and turning into one of the coolest districts in the Cambodian capital city for travellers.

The busy streets along the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh at sunset
  • Jetstar
  • September 2018

While you’ll find no lack of incredible bars, eating places and shops across Phnom Penh, the developing Boeung Keng Kang 1 area offers a convenient and cool taster of what Cambodia’s capital city has to offer.

1. Anise Hotel and Restaurant

If ambience is what you’re after, look no further. At the entrance of the Anise Hotel opens in new window, you’re greeted by pink and white floating lotuses, and then by comfy, inviting rattan armchairs dressed in plush pastel cushions. Anise serves up a nice mix of Khmer, Southeast Asian and Western fare, and you can expect even something as simple as a gin and tonic to come with a floating orchid in it.
#2C, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1

 Traditional Cambodian khmer fish amok curry meal
Traditional Cambodian khmer fish amok curry meal

2. Khmer Surin

There’s no better way to explore a place than with your tastebuds. Khmer Surin opens in new window serves up authentic Cambodian fare that even the locals rave about. We recommend the fish amok, a steam-cooked curry in banana leaves - which is as quintessentially Cambodian a dish as you can get. Also try the spicy-tangy beef lok lac: morsels of meat served on a bed of lettuce, with pepper-lime sauce.
#9, St 57, Sangkat Boeung Keng Kang 1

3. La Table Khmere

Not just a Cambodian cooking class, this school gives you a crash course in hitting the markets, Khmer style. Sign up for La Table Khmere’s morning class opens in new window for a guided shopping trip at the markets before you begin a three-hour cooking lesson in this cosy, pristine space. You’ll cook up a traditional three-course meal and then, of course, get to savour the dishes yourself.
#11E, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1

4. White Orchid Spa

While the street it’s on may come off as potentially dodgy, the White Orchid Spa opens in new window is both classy and affordable. The professional masseuses here certainly know what they are doing. You can take your pick of massage types: aromatherapy, Khmer herbal hot compress, Thai, hot stone and oil. Prices start at only USD$6 (SGD$8) for an hour-long massage.
#5B, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1, +855 88 773 4565

5. Luna Boutique

Fancy a new wardrobe? Here you’ll find a charming array of unique handmade shoes, jewellery and class tops, dresses and gowns. Luna Boutique opens in new window’s owner, who hand-tailors nearly everything in the store, is fluent in English. She also tailors wedding gowns for just USD$100-150 (SGD$138-207) each. Prices for a made-to-order top or gown start at USD$25 (SGD$35) and your clothes will be ready in one to three days.
#8E1, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang

6. Duplex

When you’ve had your fill of popular beers Angkor, Cambodia and Beerlao, hop over to Duplex for a malty Belgian beer fix. Wednesdays and Saturdays are the best days to visit as the open-air bar fills up with a regular group of friendly salsa and bachata dancers who set the dance floor on fire. Beginners, the night starts with a lesson, so now is the perfect time to fix those two left feet.
St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1

7. Top Banana Guesthouse

Attracting a youngish backpacker crowd, the rooftop bar at Top Banana opens in new window is a funky place with a chilled-out, retro vibe that serves up some wicked cocktail concoctions. What we like most is how you’ll find a good mix of locals and foreigners who interact with one another. Ask for the Waterfall Lamborghini, which is a potent (and fiery) mix of Sambuca, Blue Curacao, Baileys and Kahlua.
#9E0, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1

 Traditional Cambodian khmer fish amok curry meal
Traditional Cambodian khmer fish amok curry meal

While you’ll find no lack of incredible bars, eating places and shops across Phnom Penh, the developing Boeung Keng Kang 1 area offers a convenient and cool taster of what Cambodia’s capital city has to offer.

1. Anise Hotel and Restaurant

If ambience is what you’re after, look no further. At the entrance of the Anise Hotel opens in new window, you’re greeted by pink and white floating lotuses, and then by comfy, inviting rattan armchairs dressed in plush pastel cushions. Anise serves up a nice mix of Khmer, Southeast Asian and Western fare, and you can expect even something as simple as a gin and tonic to come with a floating orchid in it.
#2C, St 278, Boeung Keng Kang 1