June 8, 2024

Street Food and Nightlife in Kampong Speu!

5 min read

I have a little fixation witStreet Food in Kampong Speua, for some reason. To be honest, Covid is probably the cause, but I do have an explanation for it. And Kampong Speu’s street cuisine and nightlife are the result of destiny!

Actually, it wasn’t preciStreet Food in Kampong Speu was a trip to the Shintu Mani Wild Hotel, which is the priciest hotel in Cambodia. To put it another way, it’s like camping on acid—they have “tents” that can cost up to $3000 a night. Yes, it’s inclusive, but holy cow! Nonetheless, it has been chosen as Asia’s greatest hotel, and the pictures show how luxurious it is. 

Unfortunately, I was just invited to the press junket and could not remain, but I did get to zipline and have lunch. I’m getting off topic a little.

Just why visit Kampong Speu?

I was able to explore Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville after checking into the hotel, but regrettably, I was not able to benefit from my sea legs since I had not prepared enough.

Since I had never been to Kampong Speu and was headed back to Phnom Penh, I figured why not. Why not, in fact.

What is the matter with Cambodia’s provincial cities?

In Cambodia, there are two kinds of cities: those that are popular with visitors and others that are actually not frequented by them. Kampot is located on the former side, while your Prey Vengs are on the latter.

The latter often include very little activity, few or no foreign visitors, no bars, and a fairly similar motif. Although I like exploring their isolation and delicious street cuisine, they all seem to have one thing in common: there isn’t much of a nightlife. Svay Rieng I’m staring right at you!

Which hotels are located in the city of Kampong Speu?

The Kampong Speu City Hotel is the only hotel in the city. It seems that not much has changed since the communist era, which I obviously found fascinating. I didn’t really appreciate the Nazi-style check-in procedures or having to pawn off a picture of my passport and visa, especially after just four hours of sleep. It’s hard to argue with $15 a night and proximity to all the good stuff—which, on this particular Saturday, included three sizable markets, plenty of street food, a culinary “expo,” and bars—but it is still hard to beat that. 

Although I understand that bars shouldn’t often be regarded as “special,” Prey Veng and Svay Rieng, for instance, have zero bars. Later on, I’ll get to the bars.

The trade show!

  • Street Food in Kampong Speu
  • Kampong Speu Street Food
  • Kampong Speu Street Food
  • Street Food in Kampong Speuristma

Street Food in Kampong Speuthat it has nothing to do with Christmas, it’s almost like a Christmas market. In summary, there is a food and beverage exhibition that tours the nation, illuminating the nightlife for a couple of days. I’ve seen the same thing in Kep and Siem Reap, but in the outlying areas, the town goes crazy. 

In essence, there is a ton of clothing, cookware, toys, and—above all—street food. They played all the classics, including jazz cooked in a clay pot or hot pot, lobster, and strange toasties. I got to sample a toasty made with Khmer crab flesh, which was rather successful overall.

The remainder of the meal, in my opinion, seemed OK, but I had concerns about the freshness of the seafood, so I made the appropriate decision to visit the genuine “Kampong Speu NighKampong Speu Night Marketd.

Kampong Speu Night Market

The expo’s sole drawback was that it took place at the Kampong Speu night market instead of essentially driving the whole town and their motorcycles there. Despite being quiet, the area has a certain appeal with its typical clothing boutiques, kid-friendly attractions, eateries, and street food, but most excitingly, its bars.


Adjacent to the river, arranged in a market-style row, were ten or more bars with creative titles such as “cocktail bar” or “singles bar.” In addition, unlike what the titles would imply, Kampong Speu does not contain girlie bars. Things were looking very buzzy when I had strolled by early on a Saturday night at about 6:30 p.m., and when you paired that with the free performance at the expo, it seemed like a wild Saturday night was about to happen. 

Unfortunately, not for me since I only had 4 hours sleep the night before, but Kampong Speu is known for its weekend parties based on the loud music that drowns out all other noises in the city. 

Kampong Speu Street Food

Kampong Speu Street FoIn Kampong Speu city, there are two sides to the river: the entertaining side, which has the expo and the night market, and the other, or “business side,” which has the bus terminal, hotels, and the actual market.ketA decent market is one where one must avoid cars in order to peruse the merchandise, where appropriate goods are offered and where mouthwatering Khmer street cuisine is served.oEverything was there, including bugs, sour fruits with salt, and of course, Khmer BBQ.BI opted for a traditional meal of pig, a large portion of chicken, and naturally, an arse of chicken.kWhy is chicken anus such a delicious dish?ooI also tried a worm, but I’m not into worms. However, I did acquire several large, spicy insects.eI’ve always been willing to try new things, typically only for the “wow” factor—which I usually do once—but sometimes you come across something that really is a keeper.pI still think that bugs are a keeper, just like Balut. mThe evening concluded with street cuisine served within the town’s lone hotel from an antiquated table, accompanied by coke and crickets while we listened to revelers outside.idStreet food and nightlife in Kampong Speu: another provincial city crossed off the list, and dare I say it—possibly a real gem has been found.

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