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Food and Drinks in Cambodia

Cambodian cuisine, though uniquely Khmer, draws heavily on the traditions of both its Thai neighbors and Chinese residents. An oft-repeated generalization which is, nevertheless pretty accurate, likens Cambodian food to Thai food but without the spiciness. The main national staple is of course rice, but French colonial influence has dictated that the Cambodians eat more bread–generally French-style baguettes–than any other Southeast Asian country. Because of the country’s incredible richness in waterways including the Mekong, Ton Le Sap and Ton Le Bassac Rivers, not to mention the Tonlé Sap Lake, freshwater fish and prawns are especially popular–in addition to which plenty of fresh seafood is available from the Gulf of Thailand. Beef, pork, chicken, duck and other poultry are widely available but generally more expensive than fish dishes, whilst other less well known Cambodian delicacies include locusts, field rats, snakes and land crabs.

Soup is served as an accompaniment to almost all Cambodian meals, though it is always served with the main dishes, not before as in the West. Some of the better-known soup dishes include Somlar Machou Banle (Sour fish soup), Somlar Machou Bangkang (Sour and spicy prawn soup, akin to Thai tom yam gung), Somlar chapek (Pork soup with ginger) and Mon sngor (chicken and coriander soup). Num Banh Choc (Rice noodle and fish soup) is a common and popular Cambodian breakfast.

++Rice and fish are the basic foods enjoyed by Cambodians. Delicious noodle soups are available at cafes. Fresh seafood is plentiful at Sihanouk Ville. In major cities a wide range of culinary fare is on offer including; Chinese, Thai, French, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern. The Cambodian food combines Chinese and Indian influences with its own; native recipes. Most famous are the curries and the spicy hot seasoned stews, plus the smooth and tasty coconut curries. Most meals use rice as the filler, but there are many noodle dishes: and salads without rice. Ovens are not part of the ordinary Cambodian kitchen or small restaurant, for cooked food is either boiled or stir-fried. Cambodian food is never bland. Its range of spices includes chili, pepper, coriander leaf and root, lemon grass, basil, ginger, mint, cardamom, and screw pine. Sour soups are popular and meat and fish are always served with sauces like shrimp paste, tamarind, or honey with chili. Fish sauce is the basic substitute for salt across the country. Spicy salads are a local specialty. They are made from raw prawns, meat, green papaya, field crab, or chopped raw meat, with chili and other spices. Like the various noodle dishes, they are often sold at street side stalls for those who want a light meal. Cambodian have no food bias and are always willing to try any sort of meat, wild or domestic, and most seafood.

++A Traditional Meal
Before Western influence introduced tables and chairs, Cambodian dined by sitting on the floor around a small, short table. Various curries and other dishes were set upon the table, like cabbage and green bean, skewered or fried meat, crab or fish. The hot, sour soup that is part of any full-course Cambodian meal was cooked in clay pot that was placed in the center of the table. Rice was served in small bowls to each person, who then used spoons or chopsticks to select pieces of food from the other bowls. Each dinner also had a separate soup bowl that he or she filed from the common pot. That ancient style of eating has not changed much; the only exception is that the food has been transferred to a taller table. Soup is still cooled in the center, if not in a clay pot then in a wheel-shaped pan. But throughout the countryside, the old my still exist.

Several months of hard labor go into providing Cambodian supper tables with their most important food-rice. Farmers have to break up the hard ground during the dry season of the year and plough it with the first drops of rain. Rice seedlings are first planted in one part of the field, where they grow while the farmer cultivates and prepares another part of the field in which the rice will be transplanted at the start of the heavy rain season. Weeds and pests attack the rice fields all summer. Hoppers, rice bugs, field crabs, mice, and herons keep the farmers busy. After the rains comes the harvest, followed by the exhausting job of threshing, winnowing, and milling the rice grains. Most Cambodian prefers the highly polished variety called Angkor laar, or “beautiful rice.”

++Nonalcoholic Drinks
All the famous international brands of soft drinks are available in Cambodia. Locally produced mineral water is available at 500r to 700r per bottle. Coffee is sold in most restaurants. It is either served black or with generous dollops of condensed milk, which makes it very sweet. Chinese-style tea is popular and in many Khmer and Chinese restaurants a pot of it will automatically appear as soon as you sit down. You can find excellent fruit smoothies all over the country, known locally as a tikalok. Just look out for a stall with fruit and a blender and point to the flavors you want. Keep an eye on the preparatory stages or you may end up with heaps of sugar and a frothy egg. On a hot day you may be tempted by the stuff in Fanta bottles on the side of the road. Think again, as it is actually petrol (gas).

There is an abundance of fruit in Cambodia. In the appropriate seasons–especially towards the end of the hot season in May–the markets overflow with a wide variety of exotic fruits. There’s fruit to be had the year round, though, and it’s generally both reasonably priced and (if carefully washed) healthy and safe. Amongst the most popular and widespread fruits are mango, coconut, rambutan, durian, mangosteen, starfruit, pineapple, watermelon and a wide variety of bananas

++Alcoholic Drinks
The local bee is Angkor, which is produced by an Australian joint venture in Sihanoukwille. Other brands include Heineken, Tiger, San Miguel, Carlsberg, VB, Foster’s and Grolsch. Beer sells for around US$1 to US$1.50 a can in restaurants. In Phnom Penh, foreign wines and spirits are sold at reasonable prices. The local spirits are best avoided, though some experts say that Sra Special, a local whisky-like concoction, is not bad. At around 1000r a bottle it’s a cheap route to oblivion.

Other common dishes include Khao Poun (Rice noodles in a coconut-based sauce), Amok (fish with coconut milk steamed in a banana leaf), Sach Mon Chha Khnhei (stir-fried chicken with ginger), Somlar Machou Sachko (Sour beef stew) and Choeeng Chomni Chrouc Chean (Fried pork spareribs). An Sam Chruk (Pork & soybeans marinated in ginger and chili) can be delicious, but packs a fairly hefty punch. Similarly watch out for Pong Tea Kon (Fertilized duck egg containing an embryo, like the Filipino balut) which is not to everybody’s taste. Many dishes are served Trey, or grilled. Thus Trey Aing (Grilled fish) is available just about everywhere, as is trey Chean Neung Spey (fried fish with vegetables). By extension, Trey Mon is grilled chicken, Trey Sachko is grilled beef, and so on. Fish and meat dishes not served with noodles are generally accompanied by rice. Indispensable condiments–certainly as far as the Cambodians are concerned–are Prahoc (fish sauce just like Thai Nam Pla and Vietnamese Nuoc Mam) and Tuk Trey (fish sauce with ground, roasted peanuts added).

Travelers up country will generally find themselves limited to Cambodian cuisine or to the fairly ubiquitous baguette and paté. In towns of any size–all provincial capitals, for example–Chinese food is widely available, generally reflecting the southern coastal origin of most of Cambodia’s Overseas Chinese migrants. Expect, therefore, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochou and Hailam fare, but don’t waste your time looking for Szechuan or Yunnanese cuisine. In the west of the country, notably at Poipet, Sisophon, Battambang and Siem Reap, Thai cuisine is widespread. Similarly in the east, at Kampot, Takeo, Kompong Cham and Svay Rieng, Vietnamese culinary influence is common. Sihanoukville excels at seafood cooked in every conceivable way, and also has a fast growing smattering of Western food outlets–French, Italian, British, German and Australian.

Phnom Penh has, naturally enough, the widest range of restaurants in the city. Here the visitor can find everything listed above as well as Greek, Turkish, North Indian, South Indian, Malay and-increasingly–‘Fast Food’ restaurants. The capital also serves some of the best French food available in Indochina, as well as some unexpected colonial hangovers from the Middle East and North Africa, notably couscous and merguez spicy Moroccan sausage. Pizza is increasingly popular, but the ‘Pizza Hut’ restaurant near the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument is, at time of writing, a copycat operation.

Clothing in Cambodia

What type of clothes/shoes are good for site seeing? Answer: Yes, the clothes for sightseeing temples and palace here should be normal clothes but should not wear short shirt or short pant and T-shirt or shirt should cover shoulders

Sampot Phamuong
Sampot Phamuong are many different variation of traditional Khmer textiles.[4] They are single colored and twill woven. There are currently 52 colors used in Sampot Phamuong. The Phamuong Chorabap is a luxurious fabric using up to 22 needles to create. Phamuong variation are rabak, chorcung, anlounh, kaneiv and bantok. It usually contains floral and geometrical motifs. The most valued silk used to create the Phamuong is Cambodian yellow silk, known for its fine quality. New designs draw inspiration from ancient patterns of old silk.

Sampot Hol
Sampot Hol is a typical traditional textile. There are two kinds of Sampot Hol, one is a wrapping skirt that uses a technique called chong kiet and twill weave. Influenced by the Indian patola, it developed patterns and techniques over the centuries to become a genuine Khmer art style. The sampot hol has over 200 patterns combined with three to five colors, yellow, red, brown, blue, and green. There are four variations, sampot hol, sampot hol por, sampot hol kben and sampot hol ktong. Patterns are usually geometric motifs, animals, and flower motifs.

Both Sampot Phamuong and Sampot Hol believed to have invented from original Sampot in Oudok Era as word Phamuong comes from Siam language that Pha mean Fabric and Mung mean violet while Sampot Hol had introduced as ceremonial skirtcloth to the Thai court as sompak poom or pha poom in 19th century.[5][6] Although that era, Thai culture influenced that much into Khmer society, Khmer weaving however, is not a copy from Siam, because Cambodia already had a weaving culture before the Klung civilization. At this time, Cambodia still do not know what the word like Phamung meant in that time.

Sampot Tep Apsara
Sampot Tep apsara Angkor is famous sampot in Khmer empire era, which still found on the bas belief of Apsaras carving aroung Khmer Famous temple, Angkor wat. Generally, all of thoes skirt had tied to safely secure it on the waist with their style of golden belt, drop a long pleat at the middle of Sampot which the length of that fabric recoil at the calf of the leg. The hem of skirt at the both part always get a small knot up. There are also two knots come from the waist of sampot with the left Knot is the long knot like the thin long fabric while the right Knot in the same pgysical appearance but more decortion at the middle of it knot. Today, this style of sampot become the fictional skirt for nowadays people as No of this kind of sampot wearing by anyone but will an illustration to public as it will wearing in some show as they disgus as Apsara.

Sampot Samloy
Sampot Samloy is long skirt used daily for men and women. The name Samloy mostly refers to no colour but black for ancient name, now it is sometimes recognized as the soft, thin fabric with more decoration and pattern look Sarong Batik but may be smaller. With its thin and soft appearance, the style of dress had been required to hold a knot, make it to become Sampot Chang Kben easily. However, it is necessary to make a fold at the left or right side like Sarong and Another sampot but most of female wearer, likely to hold its knot at up middle, drop a small division site at the length of Saloy at the knee to be easily to walk for the wearer. Saloy was known to be popular during Chatomok Era.

Sampot Chorabap
Sampot Chorabap is a long skirt of silk embroidered all over the gold thread,, worn by woman in Khmer classical dance, newlywed and the character of Mae Hua in Royal Ploughing Ceremony of Cambodia.

Sampot Sang
Sampot Sang is a short skirt with silk embroidery.

Sampot Seai Sua
Sampot Seai Sua is a kind of skirt of one colour with a gold or silver embroidered band along a lower ham. roday, this skirt is very popular among Laotian’s lady than Khmer people.

Sampot Lbak
Sampot Lbak is a long skirt covered with entirely silk embroiredy. Today it is worn in marriage ceremonies in the place like Sampot Sabum. In ancient times, This kind of sampot is mostly worn by Noblemen of Cambodia during Lovek era.

Sampot Aslom
Sampot Aslom is a long skirt with the vertical stripes, commonly worn by old people or farmer in the countryside. This one is share highly common to Burma’s Longyi.

There are many variation of Tops known as Shirt in Cambodia. The invention of traditional Aor is found after Khmer empire era at the late of 13 century to 14 century

Chang Pok
Chang Pok is a piece of fabric in any colour which Khmer people at the late of 13 century especially women, started used it to cover their chest, showed up only the stomach. The style of Covering, is cover it at the back and each side of the fabric to join at the middle the chest and roll it to up to be smaller to tie which this style called Chang Pok.It then developed more to Tronum which is a thick and strong fabric cover on the chest of khmer lady, which stick on the body strongly. Sometimes, the commonly style of wearing this garment is similar way to wearing Aor Chang Pok, just Aor tronum, not showed as much skin like Aor Chang Pok. Popularity of wearing Aor Tronum, were for young rich lady during Chatomok Era and today an important costume of all to be used in Khmer classical dance.

Av Bupong
Av Bupong mean tube skirt in English according to appearance like a long tube, bribe to the body at the head and drop to down easily. Aor Bupok is a long shirt like a dress than the regular shurt similar to Vietnamese Ao Dai, Indian’s Kurta and Malaysia’s baju kurung. Generally, It has a Collar with a button at the length from the neck to chest like Kurta while it normally norrow at the middle of the shirt in the stomach part like Baju Kurung but has the small hidden cut at hem of each shirt of shirt like Ao Dai which allowed the below part of shirt turn to Wide and Big. Most of Shirt is length at the knee while few one just only Length at the thigh. This Shirt is famous during Lovek to Oudong era worn by rich lady.

Av Dai Puon
Av Dai Puon is a traditional blouse in Lovek era. The name of dai puon is literally meaning according to inflated short arm. This shirt usually had a row of button and just of few of extremely rich girl counld had one during that era.

Av Pnot Kback
Av Pnot Kback is the female formal shirt used for rich young lady. The whole row of its pleat filled with the decoration of flower paird with the collar and the hem of arm in the same style. This shirt invention period is not specifics but most of people believed it going to Lovek. This one is quiet similar to Burma one, as maybe one of least inflnuced of Burma culture.

Av Neang Nov
Av neang nov is a the long arm shirt, worn by woman.

Av Bar Bov
Av Bar Bov is a no arm coat wear on the Av neang nov and Av Dai Puon. This shirt had the dounble of Button on its pleat. The name of Av Bar Bov is known as Lotus leaves, the literally meaning from Thailand.

Av Pak
Av Pak is a recent popular fashion blouse in Cambodia worn by Woman. This one is known as the khmer version of Kebaya with plain stamped cotton elaborately hand-painted embroidered silk with gold thread. In the past, this kind of shirt required it own unique style with only white colour with the high full of embroider. Today, This shirt has the more gold thread in several colour and had cut into a lot of modern fashion which highly popular to Khmer people especially middle aged and young woman with the narrow style and several decoration model. This shirt had been noted as today’s khmer national costume where a lot of khmer girl had used this blouse at the special occasion both inside and outside Cambodia to revived the khmer identity. This shirt usually worn with Sampot Hol and a few worn with Sampot Chang Kben

Traditionally Cambodians wear a checkered scarf called a “Krama”. The Krama has been a symbol of Cambodian dress since the first century reign of Preah Bath Hun Tean although it is not clear when exactly the krama became fashionable in the streets. A Cambodian woman wearing a conical hat to keep off the sun’s heat in the rice fields. Her krama is worn underneath The “krama” is what distinctly separates the Khmer (Cambodians) from their Thai, Vietnamese, and Laotian neighbors. The scarf is used for many purposes including for style, protection from the hot sun, an aid (for your feet) when climbing trees, a hammock for infants, a towel, or a “sarong”. A “krama” can also be easily shaped into a small child’s doll for play. Under the Khmer Rouge, all Khmer were forced to wear a checkered “krama”. The conical hat is also worn by many particularly by workers in the countryside to keep the sun off. This, however, is a Vietnamese hat that has been adopted to a certain extent by Khmer in the provinces adjacent to Vietnam.

Cambodia’s 2024 Public Holiday Calendar

The Royal Cambodian Government recently signed a sub-decree announcing the public holidays for 2024. One of the most significant changes is the extension of the Khmer New Year holiday. Traditionally spanning three consecutive days, next year’s celebration will now encompass four days.

Below is a chart displaying the dates and holidays for 2024

Date Public Holiday 
January 1 (Monday)International New Year’s Day
January 7 (Sunday)Victory over Genocide Day
March 8 (Friday)International Women’s Day
April 13-16 (Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday)Khmer New Year’s Day
May 1 (Wednesday)International Labor Day
May 14 (Tuesday)King’s Birthday, Norodom Sihamoni
May 22 (Wednesday)Visak Bochea Day
May 26 (Sunday)Royal Plowing Ceremony
June 18 (Tuesday)Queen Mother’s Birthday, Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
September 24 (Tuesday)Constitutional Day
October 1-3 (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday)Pchum Ben
October 15 (Tuesday)Commemoration Day of King’s Father, Norodom Sihanouk
October 29 (Tuesday)King’s Coronation Day, Norodom Sihamoni
November 9 (Saturday)Independence Day
November 14-16 (Thursday, Friday & Saturday)Water Festival Ceremony

Learn to speak Khmer Language
Studying the foreign languages is very important for everyone who wants to pursue their study or to travel the third country. Cambodia: the Life magazine please to introduce you to study with us with the study guide page. We try our best to compile the useful phrases and sentences which are all talk about the every activity usages to ease all the expatriates who want to learn some guidelines to use in the countries where they visit. Cambodia: the Life is the free magazine which is written into three languages and all the articles focus on the tourism places, cultural sites, businesses, and economic zones…….. So, all foreigners can study with us easily because we have written the way how to spell and to pronounce from Cambodian language which is translated into English and Japan as well.

Ex: * – Hello! [Joom Riap Soou] Though, Cambodia: the Life is the best choice for expatriates who need to learn some study tips and it is also the best way for them get to know all of these simples phrases to practice while they are in Cambodia.


Hello (formal)

Hello (informal)

How do you do, pleased to meet you(formal)

How are you?

I am fine, and you?

Me too, Thanks.

What is your name?

My name is (John):

Do you speak English?

I can’t Speak English

Please excuse me / sorry

Joom Riap Sou


Joom Riap Sou, Rik-Riey Daehl Bahn Jooup Niak

Dtaea Niak Sok-Sah-Bay Jia Dteh

Knyom Sok-Sah-Bay Jia Dteh Jong Niak Vegn?

Kh’nhohlm solk-sah bay jia dteh o-kuln

Dtaea Niak Ch’moor Ey?

Knyom Ch’moor (Jhon)

Dtaea Niak Ahj Ni-yiay Pee-ah-Sah Onglay-Dteh?

Knyom Minh Ahj Ni-yiay Pee-ah-Sah Onglay Dteh.

Som Dtoh

In the Hotel

Have you any vacancies?

I have a reservation:

I’d like a (double room) with air-conditioning:

What is The Charge per night?

I don’t know how long I’ll stay:

Please can i see the room?

Please can you spray some mosquito repellent ?

Would you have my luggage brought up?

Please can i have (a bottle of drinking water?)

My room number is (five)

I am leaving tomorrow

Me-en Bon Dtuep Tu Neh Dteh?

Knyom Baan Kok Bon Dtuep Haeay.

Knyom jong Baan Bon Dtuep(kreh Bpi) Me-en Mashin Dtro-jayuk.

Moo-uy Yoop Tlai Bpun Mahn?

Minh Deung Neu Laeay Tah Neu Yu Bpun Nah

Knyom Ahj Merl Bon Dtup Minh Baan Dteh

Som Joouy Baan Tnham Mus Bon Dtehj Mohk

Mei-dtah Joouy yohk Ey-vahn Loean Leu Baan Dteh?

Mei-dtah Joouy yohk (Dtuk Sot Moouy Dorp Baan Dteh?)

Bon Dtup Knyom Lehk (Pdraam)

Knyom Neung Jahk Jenh T’nay Sa-aik

Useful Words


Air-conditioned room:



Coffee shop:

Double room:

Single room :






Swimming Pool:

Toilet:   (WC)

Mashin Dtro-jayuk

Bon Dtup Mashin Dtro-jayuk

Bon Dtup Dehk

Ah-Ha Bpell Bpreuk

Haang Kah-feh

Bon Dtup kreh Bpi

Bon Dtup kreh Moouy




Bon Dtup

Dteuk P’kah Chuk

Ahng Hehl Dteuk

Bon Dtup Dtuk

Eating Out At Restaurant


How are you?

I’m fine thanks

I need a table for one, Please

I need a table for two, Please

Can i see a menu?

What would you recommend?

Is this suitable for vegetarians?

I’m allergic to seafood

It’s better you order for me

not too spicy . ok?

Is it very spicy?

I can’t it spicy food?

I can eat Khmer food

Could i have a glass of water, Please

Just a cup of coffee, Please


Can we have the bill, Please

I don’t order this

That was an excellent meal, Thank you.  May we have some more………..?

Khmer food is marvelous!

Joom Riap Sou

Sok Sah-Bay jee Dteh?

Knyom Sok-sah-bay jee-ah dteh or Kun

Knyom som dtoh som rahp m’niak

Knyom som dtoh som rahp Bpi niak

Som Meul Tah Rahng Riay Mulk M’hoop bon dtehj

Niak Joouy owy yoh bon-dtehj bahn dteh?

Ni Sahk som rahp m’nu dtom sahj dteh

K’nyom dtoels nung ah-hah sah-mot.

Niak hao Owy Knyom via bpro-saea

Kom owy hul bpayk,ok?

Via hul pbayk dteh reu?

K’nyom meun ahj nyam ah-hah hul bahn dteh?

K’nyom ahj nyam ah-hah Khmer bahn

Meh-dtah som dtuk moouy kaehv mohk

Meh-dtah som kah-feh joouy bpeing mohk

Niak bom raeu

Som Meh-dtah Kit Loi

K’nyom Meun bahn hao ah-hah ni dteh

Ah-hah ni ch’ngang nal Or kun

Som……dtiat bahn dteh?

M’hoop Khmer bpeut jia os-jah!









Tngay ah-dtue

Tngay Jahn

Tngay ong-kia

Tngay Bput

Tngay bproh-hoes

Tngay sohk

Tngay saov





















































bprahm moouy

bprahm pi

bprahm bey

bprahm booun










moouy rohy

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