From the crumbling colonials in the French Quarter, three of the city’s busiest markets and the walls of the Royal Palace, Street 13 is packed with more reasons than Angkorian treasures to linger a while. Writer Barb Eason takes a stroll down the vibrant road. Photography by Anna Clare Spelman
Color Vintage Clothing & Accessories
Near St 178
This funky outlet offers a variety of vintage clothing, ranging from dresses and shoes to winter jackets, swimwear and jewellery. Free on-site alterations mean shoppers can find something to suit their taste and size. While mainly catering for the ladies, there is also a small men’s collection to choose from.
Corner of St 178
Formerly the gallery of contemporary Khmer artist, Asasax, the renowned artist’s work continues to adorn the walls of this new restaurant, bar, café and art space. Serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 7am to about 10pm, this is the perfect address to pull up a seat from their eclectic collection of furnishings and enjoy the incredible roofline of the National Museum while watching the ebb and flow of tourists in and out of its front gate. Artwork and t-shirts are available for purchase, with postcards coming soon.
Friends n Stuff Nail Bar
Between Streets 178 & 172
Open from 11am to 9pm, the Nail Bar in Friends n Stuff is the product of one of the vocational training programs of award-winning NGO Mith Samlanh. With seating for up to six clients at a time, you can chose from a manicure or pedicure ($5 each) and a foot or hand massage ($4 each). Feel good about spending your dollars on being pampered for a worthy cause.
Near St 136
Some of the tastiest baguettes in the city can be found in the giant baskets out front of this busy bakery. With several bakes per day, you can often purchase sesame-encrusted bread still warm and fresh out of the ovens. Also a great place to order customised cakes. With just 24 hours’ notice, tailor-made cakes baring names, dates and decorations of any choosing can be baked from just $10.
Behind Wat Ounalom
Treat yourself to a streetside short, back and sides with one of the numerous barbers dotted around the rear gates of Wat Ounalom. With a trim costing about 6,000 riel, you too can sport a Cambodian style. Keep an eye out for the barber with the hot pink mohawk.
Thi Cheau Chinese Temple & School
Between Streets 144 & 136
Every Chinese New Year, numerous Phnom Penh businesses host a ceremony that features a Chinese Lion in order to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. For the rest of the year, these lions can be found in training, behind the gates of Thi Cheau Chinese School & Temple. Most evenings at 5pm, dozens of students can be seen honing their craft, leaping between raised platforms in the courtyard of the school to the crashing of symbols, gongs and drums.