The Vegan food in Cambodia has been amazing! We have been in Phnom Penh for the last year and still haven’t been to all the Vegan-friendly restaurants that the city has to offer. Outside of Phnom Penh, we have travelled to Kratie, Kampot, Mondulkiri, Kep, Sihanoukville, Otres, Koh Rong Samloen, Kampong Chnang, Pailin, Siem Reap, and Battambang. From the city to the beach and jungle, the cities and towns to the provinces, everywhere we have been, we have easily been able to find great Vegan food and found everyone to be very accommodating with no fuss whatsoever. Cambodia Vegan Food Everywhere!
Cambodia Vegan Food Everywhere
We were told that we would find it difficult to eat as Vegans in Cambodia and after a year eating here, we can’t tell you how wrong this information was. It is so easy! You just have to ask for no fish, oyster or shrimp sauce, no meat, no eggs, and no dairy. Most menus have options that are accidentally Vegan anyway, and if not, most can be easily tweaked to make it cruelty-free. One restaurant in Phnom Penh has over forty dishes that are Vegan!
When we started saying how easy it was to eat Vegan in Phnom Penh, other people said it would be difficult when we leave the city and go to the provinces. When we got to the provinces, we found it just as easy to find Vegan food, and of course, there weren’t as many options, but there weren’t that many options for dishes with dead animals in either. We went on a trip in the jungle and just told the organisers we were Vegan and they made sure we had just as much selection and great food as everyone else. Another time, we went to a Khmer wedding in the middle of nowhere, and Khmer weddings are very meaty affairs. Again, once they knew we didn’t eat dead animals, they made us some excellent food and made sure we had just as much as everyone else.
One thing we have found that happens often, especially in big groups, is that people who do eat dead animals love the Vegan food too. It’s tastier, often fresher, and always presents less risk of food poisoning. We often see that the Vegan food gets eaten by everyone first, and then we run out; so we have to get in quick and fill our plates!
Sometimes Choice Is Limited
Although you can find Vegan food everywhere, there are times when choices aren’t that great, but we can’t expect to have whatever we want to eat wherever we travel to. That’s what travelling is all about for me; not being able to have familiar foods and being forced to try new things. Expecting to find Vegan cheese or a brand of Vegan sausages in a small village in the middle of a country where cow breast milk cheese is not that common, is not realistic.
When we travel to new places, we want to experience local foods and flavours, and we can still do that as Vegans. Even though the choice can sometimes be limited – and this is very rare – there is always rice, noodles, a variety of vegetables, and loads of fruit. If we find ourselves in a place where these are the only ingredients available, we also find that the locals only add a dead chicken or a chunk of a dead pigs body anyway. Believe me, we really aren’t missing out.
Spoiled For Choice
So if anyone tells you it is difficult to eat as a Vegan in Cambodia, come and find out for yourself. Don’t believe everything you hear and question the person telling you. We were told it was difficult by someone who wasn’t even Vegan so obviously they weren’t going to make it a priority to look for Vegan food. As you travel around, especially near the markets, the Vegan food may not be as prominent as the BBQ chicken carcasses or flesh kebabs being grilled in the street, but if you step back and look around, do a little bit of research online and in the local area, you will soon find you will be spoiled for choice.
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