One of the best things in travelling is to discover new cultures and mingle with the local lifestyle; and what better way to do that than street food and local markets, and especially in a city like Kampot? Exploring Kampot is one of the most interesting experiences you could have in Cambodia.
Cambodia is filled with delicious and cheap snacks that street sellers with mobile carts cook and sell everywhere, so this is not only a way to have tasty meals for less than one dollar but also a way to support the local economy and the most underprivileged families in this country. In terms of food, cambodians stick to strict timings, with some dishes only served during the morning, some in lunch time and others only available in the evenings. For mornings, besides the delicious street coffee (from 1000 riel, or 25 cents, for a small ice black coffee, to 2000, or 50 cent, to a normal size ice coffee with sweet milk – one of the most delicious ones is from a lady near the Durian roundabout) you can try the fried bananas sold in many streets for about 800-1000 riel each, or the noodle soup cambodians usually have for breakfast, sold by ladies with portable carts.
Search for this friendly woman on the streets for a delicious noodle soup with coconut milk, vegetables, peanuts, small shrimps and pieces of fried spring rolls for 2000 riel/50 cent of dollar, the best breakfast in Kampot!
Other favorites are Kyu Teav, a noodle soup with pork/beef, meat or fish balls and rice vermicelli, sprinkled with green onions, fried shallots and bean sprouts; or num pang pâté, the typical khmer sandwich sold from morning to night with spam, vegetables, meat and delicious chili sauce (highly recommended to ask the seller to not add the sweet butter they usually put, probably that kind of cultural clashes that will always be difficult to understand… what the heck, meat with sugar?!)
During the day is also possible to find street sellers frying chive cakes and serving them with fish sauce for about 1000 riel each, a delicacy known in khmer language by Num Kachay. For the adventurers, one dish to try is the baby duck eggs, steam eggs with the embryo already developed inside (Pong Tae Koun in khmer).
In the evening try the grilled sausages on skewers and other types of barbecued meat, normally sold everywhere for about 1000 to 2000 riel per skewer. For the vegetarians, steamed corn is also a highly popular snack for cambodian people, with sour and pickled fruits such as green mango, green papaya, guava and apple (with optional sugar and chili sauce) being as well a favorite choice for the locals.
Always fun to explore the street stalls in Kampot.
One of the best places to taste different snacks is the local market, easy to spot in any Kampot map or if you ask to any cambodian person on the street (they are always eager to help you with a smile!). Try the grilled bananas or sweet potato cakes for breakfast, or the Vietnamese spring rolls Goi Cuon with rice noodles, salad and small shrimps or meat inside. The cambodian version of Som Tam, the thai papaya salad, is also easy to find around the market, costing around 2000 riel for a plate of vegetables and green papaya strings, fish sauce, chili, peanuts, fermented crabs, small shrimps, garlic, lime and long beans.
Views from Kampot market and its strange creatures for sale.
Inside the market, besides many sellers with different sweets and other snacks waiting to be tried by you, there is also a lively scenery of fishes and vegetables, friendly locals and loud atmosphere typical of traditional markets. Come early morning for the best spectacle! A good idea will also be buying some fresh organic pepper from Kampot, the best one in the world!
Ladies selling fish on the market and the world-famous Kampot pepper.
Hope we trigger your appetite and got you curious to try some new foods, check out the buses available in the Camboticket website and come to explore Kampot street food and local market!