Neighbourhood Guide: Kandal Village, Siem Reap
South of the French Quarter, this formerly sleepy street-turned up-comer nabe — also known as Hap Guan — is reinventing itself as Siem Reap’s must-visit culture hub, one hip addition at a time.
Though it packs in galleries, boutiques, spas and cafes, the bright, colonially-styled block is a compact one, so best drop down into local speed and take your sweet time.
Start at the western end of Hap Guan St and first up on your left espy is Constable Gallery At Large at #628, where local multi-genre art nestles in with curator Sasha Constable’s lino prints, then skip two doors down for lacquer homeware, ceramic vases and silky shibori textiles at #632, Louise Loubatieres’ pretty abode trove.
Keep tracking on the left side to pick up quirky nest and body-feathering accoutrements at the local outpost of Phnom Penh’s trailblazing concept spot #642 Trunkh, and be sure to give your chakras a tune up with a visit to Japanese stone and crystal treasure chest Akka at #652. Continue the zen at #664 Niko’s Studio with a panoply of Buddha statues in psychedelic hues.
Timeless, artisan-crafted his n’ her’s linen weekend-wear abounds at Shop676, appropriately placed at #676, then across the street you’ve certainly earned a pamper stop at #24 Frangipani Spa, where weary bods can get rubbed, kneaded, cleansed, waxed and polished back into tip-top shape.
Feeling rejuvenated, swish back out onto Hap Guan St and keep pushing on to sniff out Saarti’s heavenly eco-chic candles (made from beeswax ethically sourced by the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, no less), all-natural beauty products and locally-forged nameplate jewellery at #603. Follow it up with bright and breezy island chill-wear, accessories and decor back over at #10 Sirivan.
Phew! By now you must be more famished than a fasting monk, so skip back to java master #593 Little Red Fox for a caffeine kick. For something a little more substantial, scoot on to green scene queen at #715 Vibe. If a full-blown carb fest is in order, Mamma Shop at #636 has Bologna-born Simone’s indulgent pastas and pies for the win. High kick, you retail ninja!
Scope out more hip Siem Reap nabes with the LUXE Cambodia guide and app.
She's got ten years in Hong Kong and a two-year London stint under her belt, but Jane prefers life on the go, be it whooshing down the ski slopes of Japan, road-tripping along California’s PCH, haggling with Grand Bazaar vendors in Istanbul, or sailing Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
- Jane LOVES... Food, flowers, a stiff drink, a good book
- Jane LOATHES... Pollution, global chainstore-itis, bad service
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